MLS Recap: Sounders thriller, Crew stalemate, Sporting unbeaten, Rost debuts

With Vancouver - Salt Lake postponed due a waterlogged pitch, Seattle kicked off the day's MLS action with a thrilling home win over reigning champ Colorado.
Seattle Sounders FC 4-3 Colorado Rapids

Seattle fought back from a halftime deficit to defeat the visiting Colorado Rapids 4-3 in an open, entertaining game that saw the Sounders extend their unbeaten streak to nine games, 11 counting two U.S. Open Cup victories.

Wells Thompson got the visitors off to a flying start after just 60 seconds, collecting a mishit clearance at the top of the box and firing home past Kasey Keller. However, Alvaro Fernandez pulled one back within minutes after he held off his defender and poked past Matt Pickens.

The game was not without incident as Pablo Mastroeni and Erik Friberg clashed midway through the first half, resulting in a yellow card for Mastroeni. Jeff Larentowicz pulled the Rapids back ahead just before halftime, collecting a pass from Thompson and firing home from the edge of the area, but Colorado’s lead wouldn’t last long after the break.

Mauro Rosales collected a diagonal ball and crossed for Roger Levesque, who redirected the ball with the slightest of touches to fool Matt Pickens, equalizing and setting the tone for the second half. Seattle’s positive play finally paid off when Fredy Montero was on hand to head home a rebound in the 81st minute. Rosales added a fourth goal minutes later with a tidy finish, and it would prove to be crucial as Caleb Folan managed to stab home in the last minute of regular time, though it just wasn’t enough for the Rapids.

Columbus Crew 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes

The Crew and the 'Quakes played out a draw in Ohio. Khari Stephenson smashed a long shot off the upright in the very first minute to belie what would turn out a scoreless encounter.

Jon Busch pulled off six saves to preserve the draw, but San Jose is still winless in six, shut out in five of those. His counterpart, Will Hesmer, made five saves to collect his seventh shut-out of the year.

The shots kept raining in, but both goalkeepers proved in better form than the finishers. Steven Lenhart was making his first appearance against the Crew since being traded in January. Prior to the match, he had five goals in six appearances.

"We feel good about getting the point on the road in the end," San Jose assistant coach Mark Watson said. "There were chances at both ends, but nobody could get that first goal. Both teams worked hard and created enough opportunities to score and on another night it might have been a 2-2 game."

With the point, Columbus moves tied at second the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union.

Chicago Fire 0-1 Portland Timbers

The Portland Timber earned their first road win as a Major League Soccer franchise, completing a season sweep over the Chicago Fire 1-0 thanks to a slightly controversial penalty call.

Portland opened the scoring after slow start to the match from both side when Gonzalo Segares' foul on Jorge Perlaza in the 23rd minute was given as a penalty. Chicago players were far from happy with the spot kick being awarded, but Jack Jewsbury made no mistake with the penalty and gave his side the lead.

Chicago pressed the pace for the rest of the first half and in the early part of the second frame, coming close to drawing level on a couple of occasions, but in the 63rd defender Yamith Cuesta was shown his second yellow of the match, and the Fire had to finish out with 10 men on the pitch.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Fire hit the post in the 71st minute and creating several other good chances late on, but Portland 'keeper Troy Perkins was up to the task and the visitors walked away with a historic win for the franchise.

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City continued its resurgence in Major League Soccer earning a 1-1 draw away from home against the Houston Dynamo.

Aurelien Collin cemented the thrilling result with a 90th minute equalizer. It was the second week in a row the club equalized at the 90th minute or later.

Collin was fed the ball 25 yards away from goal and hit a powerful, low shot which was slightly deflected to wrong-foot Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. The French defender’s finish leveled the score after Sporting KC spent almost the entire game trailing after a eighth minute goal off of a stunning free kick from Houston’s Brad Davis.

Earlier, both Colin Clark and Brian Ching were shown straight red cards for tackles on Collin.

The result sees Sporting KC move up to fifth in the Eastern Conference standing and has turned around its season after spending a few months as the league’s cellar dweller.

Following two months on the road which produced only earning six points in 10 matches to start the season, Sporting KC currently has an 11-game unbeaten run and has seen its standings improved vastly since opening its $200 million stadium.
Despite giving up the late equalizer, Houston remained in fourth place in the conference with 24 points.

FC Dallas 0-0 D.C. United

FC Dallas and D.C. United combined to put just three shots on goal in a match dominated by hard tackles and defensive strength.

As the shot total would lead you to believe, chances were few and far between. D.C. wasted a great scoring chance in the 34th when defender Brandon McDonald got on the end of a ball from Andy Najar, but sent his volley well up over the frame of goal.

For Dallas, the best scoring chance came from Marvin Chavez in the 67th when he took the ball off of McDonald and was in on goal, but rather than sliding the ball off to the onrushing Jackson, he took the shot on himself and came up short.

Jackson had one final go at the end of the night, but his volley hit the bar and came back, leaving the match with a 0-0 scoreline at full time.

Chivas USA 0-0 New York Red Bulls

After becoming MLS’ first DP goalkeeper, Frank Rost showed why he will be a valuable addition to the New York Red Bulls even if its offense couldn’t reward the German’s performance with a win as it drew 0-0 with Chivas USA.

It was an even match between Chivas USA and the Red Bulls but New York head coach Hans Backe will be disappointed with his finishers not being able to put away any of its four shots on target. Promising young Red Bulls forward Juan Agudelo missed a golden opportunity to put the game away in stoppage time as he dribbled past two defenders in the penalty box and saw his finish go a foot wide.

Still, Backe should be encouraged with Rost’s debut.

The 38-year-old manned the team’s posts with poise and made smart decisions during the game. He wasn’t as tested as his counterpart Joe Kennedy, who made four saves, but proved to be an immediate upgrade in his goal kicks with a much stronger leg than his predecessor Bouna Coundoul. 

The result sees the Red Bulls remain in second place in the Eastern Conference with 28 points while Chivas USA is behind San Jose in seventh place with 22 points.

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