Chris N (follow on Twitter: @ChrisTSC)
Tue 21 June 2011

Football Americana Week 14: Thierry Henry sees rouge in the Rose City

It wasn't the worst (or indeed the best) weekend of Major League Soccer action. But worry ye not, for the vintage goals remain a fixture in this league and the Timbers and Red Bulls served up a treat to relight the dying embers of the weekend.

New England Revolution and Toronto FC played out a 0-0 draw to get Week 14 underway at Gillette Stadium. TFC's Doneil Henry headed over from a corner in the first half and Chris Tierney's drive at the other end forced a save from Stefan Frei, but neither side could break the deadlock. Gianluca Zavarise, on as a sub for Nick Soolsma for Toronto, was sent off for two bookable offences in the last five minutes, his first for standing over the ball with Shalrie Joseph attempting to take a free kick and his second for barely a nibble at the back of the Revs captain a few minutes later.

Toronto almost managed to get through another goalless 90 minutes - almost. Seattle Sounders went down to ten men just after half time at BMO Field when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado added a yellow for haulling down Alen Stevanovic to the one he gained for tripping Mikael Yourassowsky in the first half. Fredy Montero (pictured) made it a successful trip for the Sounders, though; with one minute to go he stepped up to take a free kick and curled it brilliantly into the top corner.

The Revs also had a second game, theirs a 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire. Dominic Oduro continued his uncharacteristically good scoring form for the Fire with a placed but deflected finish past a wrong-footed Matt Reis. Rajko Lekic equalised just after half time, punishing the Fire's defence for stepping up and leaving him onside and scoring easily from close range.

Sporting Kansas City won their second consecutive match, their first victory at the beautiful Livestrong Sporting Park. San Jose Earthquakes were the losers on Friday night, falling to a 1-0 defeat by dint of the first ever MLS goal there, by Sporting rookie CJ Sapong. The goal came after half an hour, and was an acrobatic poacher's finish from a Graham Zusi free kick.

Houston Dynamo went down at home to Columbus Crew, thanks in large part to the dismissal of Lovel Palmer. Andres Mendoza raced clear to slot home for the Crew five minutes before half time, and any hope of the Dynamo getting back into the game was foiled by Palmer's red card in the 52nd minute. Will Hesmer made some crucial saves and Bernardo Anor put the game beyond them with 13 minutes left, taking two bites of the cherry but finding the top corner to kill the game.

It was a tale of two penalties in Sandy as Real Salt Lake and DC United scored one each. Chris Pontius' early goal was disallowed because Josh Wolff was offside but RSL were awarded a first half penalty when a sliding Clyde Simms' arm was struck by the ball in the box. Fabian Espindola swept in the spot kick to put Salt Lake into the lead. If Salt Lake's penalty was a slightly harsh decision, there was a huge question mark over DC's. Charlie Davies went over like a sack of spuds under a challenge from Chris Wingert and found the net from twelve yards to earn a point for United. Chris Pontius hit the crossbar twice but a win for United would have been unjust.

LA Galaxy remain short-handed thanks to the Gold Cup, but came away from their game with Colorado Rapids with a 3-1 win. Drew Moor's own goal was drawn out by Chris Birchall, and Juninho's goal for 2-0 was a superb strike from 30 yards that beat Matt Pickens comfortably. The Rapids pulled one back after just over an hour, Conor Casey tapping in after Omar Cummings low shot came back off the post. Caleb Folan then spoiled Colorado's chances by picking up a straight red for a scissor tackle on Juninho, before Chad Barrett wrapped up the win with a nice finish on the break.

One goal was enough for Vancouver Whitecaps to defeat Philadelphia Union at home in an entertaining encounter, and it was a goal worthy of any victory. Davide Chiumiento found Alain Rochat in space on the left hand side after a fantastic run, and the shot across Faryd Mondragon and bending inside the post from 20-odd yards was wonderfully struck.

A late goal won it for FC Dallas at Chivas USA, where they won 2-1. Brek Shea put them one up mid-way through the first half, cracking Andrew Jacobson's precise ball into the bottom corner without giving Dan Kennedy (who had an excellent game in goal) the merest sniff of a touch. Michael Lahoud equalised for Chivas with 20 minutes left with a horribly deflected shot from miles out that left Kevin Hartman helpless in the Dallas goal. The winner came five minutes from time and was a beautifully controlled finish after Lahoud's error at the back.

Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls didn't hold back at Jeld-Wen Field, duking it out in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Austin Da Luz rolled the Red Bulls into an early lead but, with coach John Spencer serving a touchline ban, the Timbers came roaring back after half time. Jack Jewsbury got the first, driving it low from the edge of the box, and Kevin Goldthwaite made it 2-1 just a minute later with a cheeky finish after Eric Brunner nodded down Jewsbury's free kick. The Timbers had two great opportunities to double their lead and eventually did so when Stephen Keel slid the ball into his own net. Thierry Henry (that's him in the photo) fired in New York's second with an emphatic finish after a nice build-up.

If Portland were to regret not putting away their chances, they'll be mortified at what happened with 15 minutes to go. Awarded a penalty at 3-2 when Jorge Perlaza was fouled by Greg Sutton, Jewsbury's attempt hit the foot of the post. A stoppage time flashpoint saw Henry dismissed for his involvement in what can only be described as a nothing incident with Adam Moffat; even then the pair had sorted out their differences by the time the referee chose to interfere. New York made up for it with an even later equaliser, Dwayne DeRosario crashing in a penalty after Rodney Wallace's clear handball.

That draw for the Red Bulls takes them a point clear of Philly at the top of the East, with Columbus a point behind them in turn. Two consecutive wins for Kansas City have brought them right back up against the bottom of the pack.

With all three top teams in the West winning their most recent games, it's as-you-were: LA top by six points, Dallas second by three and Seattle in third. Vancouver made up ground on Chivas and Portland with their win over the Union. Those tables are here, and you can see all the Week 14 action at MLSsoccer.com.

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