Atlanta United has been dominating MLS this season. This week was no exception. Josef Martinez tied the MLS hat trick record against a nine-man Philadelphia Union team on Saturday. Here’s what happened around the league this weekend.
Vancouver started the match out strong with a goal by Cristian Techera at the 17’ mark. Yordy Reyna would give the Whitecaps a 2-0 lead at the 39’ mark. The Rapids got on the board thanks to Edgar Castillo (41’). They would go on to control the ball the majority of the match (53%) and take more shots than Vancouver, but they just couldn’t find the net.
Two of the west coast’s most popular teams took the pitch against each other this weekend, ending in a 1-1 draw. Chris Pontius scored the opening goal at 20’. LA’s backline was missing key pieces, but Portland still couldn’t get their footing. They had some good chances and scored a goal of a penalty by Diego Valeri (57’), and probably should have won the match, but the game ended in a draw.
The Red Bulls’ winning streak was put to an end this Saturday by the Revolution. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the opening minutes (8’), but that would be the end of the Red Bulls’ luck. Diego Fagundez got New England on the board at the end of the first half (45+1’). Teal Bunbury sealed the deal with a goal at the 78’ mark. This game was pretty evenly matched, New England took 10 shots to New York’s nine, and controlled possession at 54%.
NYCFC shut out Orlando this weekend. Although the shots were fairly even at 16 in favour of NYC and 11 from Orlando, the visitors just couldn’t find their footing. Ismael Tajouri had two goals for NYC (35’ and 79’), the third coming from Maximiliano Moralez at the 87’ mark.
This match was another close one. Montreal had just one shot more than Houston at seven. They maintained the most possession with 56%. Houston drew significantly more fouls with 13, four of them resulting in yellow cards. Jeisson Vargas had the lone goal of the match for the Impact at the 44’ mark.
Atlanta United 3-1 Philadelphia Union
Atlanta stole the show around the league this weekend. Philadelphia’s Auston Trusty was called for a foul in the penalty area that led to a fracas around the referee. Both Haris Medunjanin and Alejandro Bedoya were sent off with red cards for dissent at 19’, meaning the Union were down two men the rest of the match. Josef Martinez began his record-tying game with a goal on the penalty at 21’. He would score his second at 49’. The Union would respond with a goal from Fafa Picault (52’), and Martinez would score his third goal on a handball penalty at the 83’ mark. This was Martinez’s 34th MLS game and he has tied Stern John and Diego Serna’s record of five hat tricks. Atlanta currently sits on top of the table.
FC Dallas 2-1 Los Angeles FC
LAFC continued to slump this week. After losing to Portland and drawing against D.C. United, they saw another loss this weekend. FC Dallas put significantly more shots toward the net at 19 to LA’s eight. Reto Ziegler scored the first goal of the match for FC Dallas at 25’. Roland Lamah responded, bringing Dallas’s lead to 2-0 at the 51’ mark. Adama Diomande attempted to revive LA with a goal at 61’. Jordan Harvey would receive a red card in the final minutes of the match (89’), putting a nail in LA’s coffin.
The Earthquakes continue to struggle, losing this weekend to Chicago. Alan Gordon got Chicago on the board early (29’). Aleksander Katai brought the Fire’s lead to 2-0 at the 49’ mark. Danny Hoesen got the Quakes on the board at 74’, but it was too late for San Jose.
This match was all about Real Salt Lake. They dominated shots with 18, compared to Seattle’s five. They also maintained the most ball possession with 54%. Corey Baird scored the opening goal of the match at 57’. Luis Silva scored the second goal in stoppage time (90+1).
This match was an entertaining one. Daniel Salloi got Sporting KC on the board early (9’) and Minnesota United responded shortly thereafter with a goal from Tyrone Mears (11’). The rest of the game belonged to SKC. They maintained 69% possession and managed to put 28 shots toward goal. Wan Kuzain scored at 35’, with Cristian Lobato scoring quickly after (38’). Diego Rubio had the closing goal of the match at 81’.
Here’s how the table is currently shaping up, courtesy of MLSSoccer.com