MLS – Big 5
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1) 67,385 Watch Seattle Beat Portland 1-0

Clint Dempsey made his highly anticipated home debut Sunday night against Seattle’s great rivals Portland. The attendance was the second largest ever for a stand alone MLS game, trailing only the first ever L.A. Galaxy home game, which drew 69,255 in 1996. With such a huge, fired up crowd, the atmosphere was crackling and so were the tackles.

Eddie Johnson (L) taking a shot in the game against Portland. (ISI Photos/Stephen Brashear)

Eddie Johnson (L) taking a shot in the game against Portland. (ISI Photos/Stephen Brashear)

Eddie Johnson got the lone goal, when his got his oddly colored head, is that yellow or orange?, onto a good cross from Mauro Rosales. Dempsey spent most of the match attempting to leap over scything tackles from Portland center back Kah, who was a menace all night. Kah should have been been  handed at least one red card by referee Jair Marrufo, who apparently has never seen a foul that he couldn’t ignore.

The win puts the Sounders above the magic playoff line, just barely, in fifth place, two points and one position behind the Timbers. And for all the playoff haters, take a look at the league standings and enjoy the rest of the “meaningless,” regular season.

 

2) 8,103 Turn up for Chivas USA vs. the Red Bulls – Really!!

Have you ever seen the Saturday Night Live bit with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler reading news stories punctuated by a skeptical “Really?” Well I have, and I couldn’t help but recall it when I saw the announced attendance at Sunday night’s game between floundering Chivas USA and the New York Red Bulls.

8,103? Really??!! They must have been hiding from the television cameras.

Erick Torres in action for the Chivas game against Red Bulls. (ISI Photos/David Bernal)

Erick Torres in action for the Chivas game against Red Bulls. (ISI Photos/David Bernal)

As for the game, with first place on offer if they could beat the Western Conference doormats, New York flopped. Erick Torres scored two for the Goats to raise Chivas’ points total to 21 for the season.

The Red Bulls are stuck on 39, two behind Montreal, tied with Kansas City. Philadelphia are one back and New England (36), Houston (36) and Chicago (34), are all in striking distance. Oh, and the Impact, the Revs and the Dynamo all have two games in hand, while Chicago has one.

 

3) In Year Two Montreal Are Number 1, So Far

Look who are on top in the East. Montreal raised some eyebrows when they parted ways with coach Jesse Marsch after a pretty successful first season in Major League Soccer.

It all seems to have worked out for the Impact, who sit alone atop the Eastern conference after Saturday night’s 5-0 trouncing of the Houston Dynamo.

Marco celebrating scoring during a MLS match. (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

Marco Di Vaio celebrating scoring during a MLS match. (ISI Photos/Nick Turchiaro)

Veteran Italian striker Marco Di Vaio led the way with a brace, taking his personal tally to 15, good for the league lead. Justin Mapp contributed two assists for Montreal, who trail just Real Salt Lake in the Supporters Shield race, although the Canadian side have played three less games than RSL.

 

4) Golazo Time!

The nets were bulging this weekend in MLS play, with scores like Montreal 5-0 over Houston, Real Salt Lake topping Columbus 4-0, New England crushing Philadelphia 5-1 and Chivas USA outlasting New York 3-2.

With all that firepower, three goals stood out, Landon Donovan’s winner versus Vancouver, Kelyn Rowe’s long range missile against the Union and Dwayne De Rosario’s bit of magic in a 1-1 tie with Toronto.

Dwayne De Rosario scored an impressive goal (Getty Images)

Dwayne De Rosario scored an impressive goal (Getty Images)

De Rosario has always had a knack for the spectacular and after his left footed blast Donovan needs just four goals to pass both Jaime Moreno (133) and Jeff Cunningham (134) for the most goals in league history. So we know about them. But what about this Rowe kid?

With two fine goals versus Philly the 21 year old second year man out of UCLA has five goals and six assists this season, building on a promising rookie campaign. An attack minded midfielder, Rowe signed a Generation adidas contract out of college, and even if 2014 is too soon for the former youth international, he is shaping up as one for the future.

 

5) Panama Keeper a Hit in L.A.

I mentioned during the Gold Cup that while for some players MLS is a jumping off point, for others MLS is a destination. Particularly, it would seem for Panamanians.

Colorado signed Panama’s goal scoring attacker Gabriel Torres to a DP contract after he impressed during the Canaleros run to the Gold Cup Final and the Galaxy scooped up goalkeeper Jamie Penedo to fortify their defense.

Jaime Pendo looked the real deal against (Getty Images)

Jaime Pendo looked the real deal against Vancouver.(Getty Images)

Torres is still getting adjusted to the Colorado altitude, but Penedo has stepped for in for L.A. and it looks like he has pushed out Carlo Cudicini. Penedo was a hit on Sports Center over the weekend, after his spectacular 82nd minute save from Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey.

Penedo’s save allowed Donovan’s golazo to stand up for the victory and it looks like Cudicini is headed back to the bench, where he spent most of his career in the English Premier League for Chelsea and Tottenham.

 

 

 

About Peter Nolan

Peter Nolan is a staff writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, covering MLS and other US leagues, He's GotSoccer's chief National Team Correspondent.
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