The big story was Thierry Henry netting his first MLS hat trick, the Frenchman's trio punishing expansion Montreal. Goal.com recaps Saturday's MLS action.
The Philadelphia Union have finally earned a point, but the team remains winless after a scoreless draw against the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.
A physical first half saw a handful of chances for each team, but neither Union keeper Zac MacMath nor his counterpart Joe Cannon was truly tested. Vancouver forward Sebastien Le Toux put together two breakaways, but one was intercepted by a charging MacMath just outside the box, the other deflected harmlessly by defender Danny Califf.
Philadelphia controlled the tempo in the second half, as Valdes’ header rang off the inside of the post and bounced in front of the Vancouver goal before being cleared. Mere minutes later, midfielder Brian Carroll redirected a Keon Daniel cross towards the near post, a shot that Cannon barely held onto right along the goal line.
Daniel later had a hard shot of his own parried by Cannon, and another run on goal by him was swallowed up inside the six-yard box. The Trinidadian then created yet another chance on his corner kick, which was met by Califf and headed just north of goal.
Vancouver earned its best scoring opportunity when Chiumiento sprung Le Toux free just inside the box. The former Union star and Philadelphia fan favorite evaded Valdes and had MacMath beat but shot over the bar.
The Union had two final attempts at goal late in the match, but dangerous free kicks by Gomez were knocked away to safety by Cannon and shot wide, respectively.
Both teams froze in fear in the 66th minute, as a hard-charging MacMath attacked Chiumiento’s cross, only to collide with an equally aggressive Atiba Harris. The players each had a hard time getting up, but MacMath remained in the match while Harris was removed shortly thereafter.
Toronto FC 0-1 Columbus Crew
The Columbus Crew grabbed a 1-0 win on the Road over Toronto FC on Saturday, with Bernardo Anor's goal on the counterattack as the only difference in the game.
The Crew had a chance to take the lead just before halftime from the penalty spot. Olman Vargas was brought down in the box by Ty Harden in the 41st minute, but Milovan Mirosevic couldn't take the chance and the match went to the break level.
But just over 10 minutes after the restart the visiting side made a counterattack count.
Anor did well to win the ball in his own defensive half, breaking forward on a long run toward TFC's box. He slid a pass out to the left and picked up the return ball before a fortunate bounce off a defender saw it land in perfect position for the finish.
Toronto couldn't come up with the equalizer despite pushing forward for much of the rest of the match, and Columbus walked away with three valuable road points.
New York Red Bulls 5-2 Montreal Impact
This is what the New York Red Bulls envisioned when they shelled out the big bucks for Thierry Henry.
The legendary French forward dominated the Montreal Impact recording his first Major League Soccer hat trick in 5-2 win at Red Bull Arena. Kenny Cooper and Mehdi Ballouchy added a goal a piece in the victory while Sanna Nyassi and Justin Mapp scored for Montreal.
The Red Bulls fought back from an early deficit after Nyassi scored in the 18th minute. Henry immediately responded with his first goal of the afternoon in the 28th minute. The Impact took another lead after Mapp scored 10 minutes later.
Then New York came back with a vengeance as the team scored four unanswered goals. Cooper hit from the penalty spot just before the break. Henry hit from the top of the box early in the second half, and then assisted as Ballouchy made it 4-2.
Last week, Henry almost got his first triple goal tally but missed a close range opportunity in the 90th minute. This week, Henry wouldn't let the same opportunity go begging as he hit a right footed shot from the center of the penalty box to finish off his hat trick in the 89th, giving the game its final scoreline.
Portland Timbers 2-3 Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake had never beaten the Portland Timbers before. Until the 89th minute of a come-from-behind 3-2 win on Saturday, that trend looked set to continue in 2012.
The visiting team grabbed the go-ahead goal from a penalty. Alvaro Saborio put Ned Grabavoy through, but when the midfielder tried to flick the ball past Rodney Wallace, it hit the fullback's arm. Saborio confidently slotted past Troy Perkins.
Darlington Nagbe equalized with a scorcher. He poked the ball past Kyle Beckerman and then, from outside the box, blasted near post. Nick Rimando, surprised by the gumption and lack of a sight-line, barely saw it as the ball sizzled by.
Nagbe's second was even better. Eric Alexander lobbed the ball ahead. Still on the bounce, with three RSL defenders around him, Nagbe walloped a volley that swerved right and downward to score.
If Rimando was surprised, that was nothing compared to how the Timbers felt. Two goals in the final minutes turned the game on its head, giving RSL the three points. First, Johnny Steele maneuvered around several Portland players and slotted the ball between Andrew Jean-Baptiste's legs to equalize in the 89th minute.
Then, in injury time, Fabian Espindola floated a ball from the end line back to the top of the box. Beckerman one-timed it into the corner of the goalmouth.
Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes
The San Jose Earthquakes secured three big road points with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night. A Chris Wondolowski penalty was all it took for San Jose, with Marc Burch's foul on Steven Lenhart proving the most decisive moment of the match.
In a rare case of an off-ball foul being given for a penalty, Lenhart rounded a run back to the middle of the box in preparation for a cross from the right. Burch left a foot out as the forward ran by and the penalty was awarded.
"It was my fault, 100 percent," Burch said. "I went up for a header and he gave me a little elbow in the back so when he tried to run around to the far post I just tried to jump in his path and he sold it pretty well."
Wondolowski stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, giving his team a 1-0 lead 24 minutes in.
Seattle's push thereafter was turned away time and again by Jon Busch who put in a top class performance in the Earthquake goal, denying Seattle's potent attacking duo of David Estrada and Freddy Montero.
LA Galaxy 1-3 New England Revolution
This is no early April Fools' joke: The best team in MLS last year lost to 2011's worst. At home.
The New England Revolution, scorers of exactly one goal in three matches in 2012, knocked three past last year's stingiest defense, as the LA Galaxy fell 3-1 in the Home Depot Center.
The Galaxy defense fell asleep early on a Shalrie Joseph cross, allowing Kelyn Rowe to saunter behind the backline unmarked. Josh Saunders parried the first shot, but had no chance on the quickfire rebound.
Within a quarter of an hour it was two. The fullbacks combined, with Kevin Alston making a run into the box and cutting the ball back. Chris Tierney slammed it home at the far post.
The eyebrows rose even higher in the second half. Ryan Guy spun A.J. DeLaGarza along the flank and lofted a cross into the box. From between two defenders, Saer Sene finished the chance and the game.
Late in the match the Galaxy pulled one back. Edson Buddle played a delightfully penetrative ball through to Robbie Keane, who feigned past Matt Reis and tucked the ball home.
Don't look now, but the Galaxy are tied for last in the West.