MLS Matchweek 27 Recap: Toronto Clinch, FC Dallas Fall Further

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MLS Matchweek
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 21: An official MLS match ball is seen on the pitch during warm-up prior to the MLS match between the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy at StubHub Center on March 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Dynamo and the Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

MLS Matchweek 27 provided a few surprises, a few teams getting back on track, and Toronto FC continuing their dominance. Among the constants, FC Dallas are constantly not winning now, and they’re getting into further trouble when it comes to the postseason outlook. We’ll break down all the MLS action this weekend, right here. So let’s get do it!

MLS Matchweek 27 Recap: Toronto Clinch, FC Dallas Fall Further, Atlanta Open in Style

Chicago Fire 1-1 New York Red Bulls

Bradley Wright-Phillips got his 15th goal of the season, but Nemanja Nikolic’s 17th of the season and his first since the all-star break earned the Fire a tough point in their search to stay in the playoff race. If Nikolic really gets going again, the Fire will solidify their playoff spot, and maybe just ride a hot streak through the Eastern Conference playoffs. We’ve seen it in the past. And the Fire have the “firepower” to do just that.

Toronto FC 4-0 San Jose Earthquakes

Toronto FC have clinched their spot in the playoffs with resounding 4-0 defeat against San Jose. Victor Vasquez might have just clinched his “Newcomer of the Year” award with a goal and an assist. Jozy Altidore’s brace is nice to see after the American had a frustrating international break. San Jose on the other hand, had to hope for the Colorado Rapids and Atlanta United to help keep them in the playoff picture. Their road form has been absolutely dreadful outside of their 3-0 Cali Classico win. Granted, they shouldn’t have been expected to win this game. But the fact that it was 4-0 further hurts their GD, and playoff chances.

New York City FC 0-1 Portland Timbers

Diego Valeri added his 17th goal of the year after Andrea Pirlo just stood around after losing a challenge. A rare home loss for NYCFC, but they had already picked up three points on the week after their midweek victory against Sporting KC. Their playoff standing isn’t really hurt, while Portland momentarily went up to first place in the Western Conference. If Portland can keep Valeri red hot, and get healthy with their pieces around him, they could be a big danger come postseason time.

D.C. United 1-2 Orlando City SC

While the Orlando win pretty much delayed the inevitable (missing the playoffs), it was nice to see Dom Dwyer get involved in the attack for the first time since his trade in July. Three points here certainly has to feel good for Orlando, especially after their off the field issues this week. DC United still have plenty of work to do, as all their signings clearly are not ready to gel right now. Frankly that’s ok, since D.C. can only look to 2018 right now.

New England Revolution 1-0 Montreal Impact FC

The Impact had been white hot headed into the big Canadian Derby matchup with Toronto FC. Since that 2-1 loss they’ve slowly drifted out of the playoff picture, thanks to the Big win for the Fire last Saturday, and this loss now. The closest team for them now becomes RBNY, who are on 41 points with an equal amount of games played. While the saying, “points in the bag are better than games at hand” can usually ring true, Atlanta has played less games and will be playing in a raucous home atmosphere for seven of their last nine matches.

So it’s going to take Nacho Piatti putting the team on his back for Montreal to make the postseason. And while the win for the Revolution certainly helps them, they’re in a worse position than Montreal, so it will be equally as tough for them to make the postseason.

Minnesota United FC 1-1 Philadelphia Union

Two teams who are way out of the big picture that actually matters right now, played each other. They Tied. C.J Sapong and Ethan Finlay scored. Both players were probably in equal need of a goal anyways. Francisco Calvo had a really good game as well. Minnesota probably could’ve won. That’s all there really is to say, honestly. Oh, if Ethan Finlay can find 2015 form, Minnesota will have a very nice, dynamic piece going forward into 2018. If they can get a legit DP or two, there ARE good pieces here to make an improvement into next season.

Houston Dynamo 0-1 Colorado Rapids

The San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas, Sporting KC, and even Real Salt Lake simultaneously screamed for joy when Dominique Badji finished off a great service from Colorado newcomer, Stefan Aigner. The big road win for Colorado really helps keep a few teams around in the playoff hunt. San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake could’ve been effectively eliminated from contention if Houston and Dallas won while they lost. But the complete opposite happened so they’re still kicking! For the Rapids, the road win has to feel nice in the midst of this dismal year.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 3-2 Real Salt Lake

It was a wild one at BC Place, but Vancouver did really well to defeat Real Salt Lake. They finished off their chances nicely despite being outshot and out-possessed. Bernie Ibini has been a great signing for Vancouver, and Yordy Reyna’s infusion into the team since the start of the summer has catapulted Vancouver into a position where they now have the [SECOND] highest PPG in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake really could’ve helped their playoff push with a win here, but they’re still in the picture thanks to the Houston and Dallas losses.

Columbus Crew SC 1-1 Sporting KC

Columbus and Sporting KC had to come in searching for three points to help separate themselves from the bottom of the pack. But they weren’t able to in their 1-1 draw. John Mensah royally screwed up for the umpteenth time in 2017. Sporting KC had more shots, more possession, but never looked more dangerous than the Crew did.

If Sporting KC can learn to create more clear-cut chances instead of half chances, then they’ll be fine. But if they continue to do look toothless while out-possessing and out shooting teams, they won’t get far in the postseason. Columbus on the other hand still have work to do for them to make the playoffs, but it’s pretty hard to see them falling out of the Eastern Playoff picture at the moment.

Atlanta United FC 3-0 FC Dallas

The FC Dallas fall from grace began with the 3-0 defeat in the US Open Cup to Sporting KC, and has just spiraled downward ever since. Their latest in bad results is the uninspired performance in their 3-0 defeat to Atlanta United FC They look one dimensional toothless. Atlanta United was far and away the better team. Atlanta United FC have the ability to jump real high up the Eastern Conference Standings, and everyone is getting healthy in time for that. Greg Garza’s goal in that match was a beautifully worked play. If he plays well the next few matches, Bruce Arena has to consider him at left back for the USMNT.

Seattle Sounders 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy

In what was the most entertaining matches of the Sunday slate, Gyasi Zardes bagged a goal and the Galaxy looked like they were going to escape with three points from Centurylink. But Lamar Neagle’s “Ole-Gunnar Solskajær” impression with Seattle returned, and the Sounders looked like they could get back and grab all three points. Then, the Drew Fischer show struck.

After completely ignoring Bradford Jameson barreling through a Sounder right in front of his face, Drew Fischer decided to give a foul, and DOGSO red card to Roman Torres when he was virtually 30 yards away from the play. Upon replay, it was clear no foul should’ve been called, nor even if it was a foul, was it denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Thankfully with VAR, it was overturned and adjudicated correctly. VAR wasn’t even consulted despite the clear and obvious error.

Seattle now sits second to Portland, while Sporting KC and Houston breathe a sigh of relief as they still have a chance to get up into the top two or three spots by the end of the season thanks to their games in hand. Seattle are starting to slip by the wayside after many pundits “gave them” the Western Conference title a few weeks back. For the Galaxy, it has to be a confidence booster. They’ve played better the last few weeks, and certainly can use performances like Sunday’s to build on for 2018.

 

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