Chris N (follow on Twitter: @ChrisTSC)
Fri 11 June 2010

Football Americana Week 12: Pontius hat-trick downs the Sounders

Just a quick one from me this week, with four midweek matches taking place in Major League Soccer before it takes a short break for the World Cup, where Bob Bradley's USA kick off against England tomorrow.

Chicago Fire hosted Colorado Rapids in Bridgeview, and the two battled out a thrilling 2-2 draw. Conor Casey superbly set up Omar Cummings, who took the first goal well. Marco Pappa equalised for the Fire with a cheeky low free kick halfway through the first half, and then gave them the lead on the stroke of half time. They had to settle for a point, though, because Casey got himself on the scoresheet with a glancing header past Andrew Dykstra.

The biggest news this week was from Utah, where Real Salt Lake ended LA Galaxy's unbeaten record in 2010 with a 1-0 win. Believe it or not, the match was halted early on due to lightning, which forced the players from the field. It took 80 minutes, but Javier Morales won it for RSL with a neat finish past Donovan Ricketts to make Jason Kreis' men the first team to beat LA this season.

Kansas City Wizards dismissed Philadelphia Union in the first half at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Kei Kamara opened the scoring inside the first ten minutes, thumping in from the edge of the area. Graham Suzi doubled the lead with an easy finish provided by Ryan Smith, and the Union once more ruined any hope they had of a comeback by having a man sent off. Michael Orozco saw red after his second bookable offence, a very clumsy tackle on Josh Wolff.

The final game took place late on Thursday at Qwest Field, where a hat-trick described as "resourceful" by the official MLS match report only told half the story as DC United left the other Washington with three points in their back pockets. Chris Pontius' first goal was well made by a lovely dummy but deflected horribly past Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller. Keller then made two horrific errors as DC ended up with a 3-0 lead, spilling another well worked effort from Pontius over the line, and then letting the 2009 rookie's header across goal swerve in off the far post.

Stoppage time goals from James Riley, via a deflection, and Fredy Montero took the edge of a great result for United and made them sweat at the end, but they are three points gratefully received. Keller, meanwhile, said afterwards that he wants to play another year - but not if he plays like that.

You can see all that action here and the latest standings here, where you'll see that United are finally off the bottom of the East, where the Union now prop them up. Aside from that, nothing too much at the top or bottom has changed apart from RSL's win dragging them a tad closer to LA. Have a fantastic World Cup.

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