The MLS season has been nothing short of interesting. We have seen the two clubs who battled for the MLS Cup last season struggle out of the gate and expansion side FC Cincinnati coming out the gate strong. With this week being a FIFA international break, it was a very light schedule in MLS. There were only five matches over the weekend.
FC Dallas continued its solid start to the season with a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids, managing just two draws so far on the season, have yet to pick up that elusive first victory. FC Dallas rebounded from a tough loss last week on the road in Columbus to pick up a valuable three points. After its surprising opening weekend draw against New England, FC Dallas has won two of its last three matches and is currently sitting in a tie for third in the west.
There were a pair of stunning results this weekend. The first of those saw David Accam and the Philadelphia Union dismantle an undermanned Columbus Crew team. Without Gyasi Zardes and Zack Steffen, the Crew were facing an uphill battle on the road in Philadelphia. Accam struck twice in just 10 minutes before the half to dash the hopes of the Crew. Just three minutes after the start of the second half, Ilsinho added a third for the Union.
Sacha Kljestan scored against his former club, helping Orlando City surprisingly knock off the New York Red Bulls, 1-0 at Red Bull Arena. Orlando City stunned the Red Bulls, getting its first win in Red Bull Arena in four years. The win for Orlando City caused it to jump the Red Bulls in the standings, moving up to sixth in the East.
Out west, LAFC jumped back to the top of the conference with a 2-1 comeback victory over Real Salt Lake. In a heated rematch of last years MLS Cup playoffs, Real Salt Lake took the lead through LAFC killer, Damir Kreilach. With the 3252 in full voice, Walker Zimmerman sent the supporters into a frenzy with his 92nd minute winner and sending LAFC to the top of the standings.
GOAAAAALLL!!!! @thewalkerzim GIVES LAFC THE LEAD!!!!#LAFCvRSL 2-1 pic.twitter.com/HKLD81mSed
— LAFC (@LAFC) March 24, 2019
New England Revolution manager Brad Friedel joined the hot seat club after the Revolution’s dismal performance against FC Cincinnati. Friedel joined Atlanta United coach Frank de Boer on the hot seat. The Revolution were the only struggling club that was in action this past week and could not take advantage of the shorthanded expansion side and Friedel looked completely lost and looking for answers.
Friedel basically washing his hands of his players’ performance (“it’s nothing we worked on during the week”) and slamming FCC’s superior tactics in the same breath. Not a good look. pic.twitter.com/neesXGbDob
— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) March 25, 2019
With this being the FIFA break, the United States Men’s National Team was in action, knocking off Ecuador, 1-0, in front of 17,422 in Orlando, Fla. Gregg Berhalter and his mix of MLS and European players once again came away with another victory. The starting 11 featured a solid mix of MLS starters with a few European callups, mainly, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic. The game wasn’t pretty, but the USMNT won its third straight match under Berhalter. Things will get a lot more difficult this week when the USMNT face another CONMEBOL opponent, Chile, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston on Tuesday.
Below is the schedule for MLS clubs in action this week.
United States vs. Chile – 7:55 p.m. (International Friendly)
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC – 8 p.m.
Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls – 1 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Minnesota United – 2 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Montreal Impact – 3 p.m.
San Jose Quakes vs. Los Angeles FC – 3:30 p.m.
FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union – 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Crew SC vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo – 9 p.m.
Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas – 9 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – 10 p.m.
Orlando City SC vs. DC United – 6:30 p.m. (FS1)
LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers – 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
As always, stay tuned to Cincinnati Soccer Talk for all things FC Cincinnati, when it returns to Nippert Stadium to face the Philadelphia Union.
@iamchrisasbrock for @CincySoccerTalk