CARSON, CA - APRIL 14: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy slides on his knees to celebrate his second half goal against the Portland Timbers at The Home Depot Center on April 14, 2012 in Carson, California. The Galaxy won 3-1. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
It was a weekend of close matches in the MLS as some teams rebounded after tough losses while others took a step backward after picking up wins last week. Saturday finally saw the 0-3-1 (now 1-3-1) Philadelphia Union pick up their first win of the season, defeating the struggling Columbus Crew 1-0.
At the end of what could have possibly been their best 90 minutes of play this season, the Philadelphia Union were able to celebrate. A 37th minute penalty shot confidently chipped in by midfielder Gabriel Gomez was all Philadelphia needed to pick up the win.
While the offense is still a work in progress, the Union defense was brilliant throughout the match. With Danny Califf taken out of the starting XI right before kickoff due to a hamstring injury during warmups, rookie Raymon Gaddis made his first start of the season and showed a lot of promise both as a critical member of the defense, and someone who can help bring some depth to the attack.
Freddy Adu, who was responsible for the penalty being awarded to the Union, also had a great match. Adu played so well in fact, that is came as a surprise to him as well as the Union faithful when he was subbed out in the 62nd minute for striker Josue Martinez.
The Union hope to pick up their second win as they take on Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center next Saturday.
When Kris Boyd scored a 23rd minute goal for Portland, it looked like it was going to be another bad night for the Galaxy. That would not be the case. Instead, LA played the kind of game that helped them go undefeated at home in 2011 and win the MLS Cup. It would take until the 44th minute, but the Galaxy would tie the match after a beautiful pass from Robbie Keane found Landon Donovan who slotted in the goal from 20 yards out.
While Portland did everything they could to hold on for a point, their hopes were crushed when Juninho scored the go ahead goal to put the Galaxy up 2-1 in the 83rd minute. David Beckham, who is up for goal of the week, put the icing on the cake, scoring a beauty of a goal from outside the box in stoppage time.
Beckham absolutely deserves to win goal of the week for his curler, but the goal might also be the best of the young MLS season. The Galaxy will look for another win this weekend when they take on the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.Sporting Kansas City continued their excellent run of form against Real Salt Lake as they became the first team to start the season 6-0-0 since the 1998 LA Galaxy, who started the season 9-0-0. This was a match that was touted as a possible MLS Cup preview as both teams sit on top of their respective divisions.
Despite the match lackinga little excitement, it didn’t lack controversy. With a draw a predictable outcome, Kansas City looked to go up 1-0 right before the half time whistle.
After a Bobby Convey cross found the head of C.J. Sapong, the Sporting faithful celebrated, only to have the goal called back after Sapong was called for a foul. Despite the no goal, Kansas City would go on to win the game after a 63rd minute goal from Aurelien Collin.
Sporting look to remain undefeated as they take on Vancouver this Wednesday at BC Place.
Other decisions from around the league saw DC United pick up their second win of the season, defeating New England 2-1. Montreal took a step back in the wrong direction, losing a close game to FC Dallas.
Brek Shea picked up the game winner and his first goal of the season, breaking up a 1-1 tie in the 88th minute. This one probably stings a little more for Montreal as they actually had the lead at one point during the matchup.
Seattle picked up a 63rd minute (lots of 63rd minute goals this week) against Colorado to pick up their third win of the season, currently sitting at third place in the West. Toronto continue to try and find answers as they remain winless after another loss, this time to Chivas USA.
After three straight wins, New York could not continue their winning ways, coming away with a 2-2 draw against San Jose who also were coming off three straight wins. Finally, Chicago and Houston played to a 1-1 draw after their match was halted due to sever weather.
This weeks big matchup comes sooner rather than later Wednesday night as Sporting Kansas City look to remain undefeated as they take on Vancouver at BC Place. Wednesday also sees Montreal take on DC United as Jesse Marsch's squad try and pick up their second win.
All eyes will be on the nationally televised Toronto FC/ Chicago Fire match as Toronto looks for any kind of spark to get them a win. That match can be seen on NBC Sports Network this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Finally, the Union will travel to The Home Depot Center in LA to take on Chivas Saturday night. You can catch all the action of that match on the Comcast Network at 10:30 p.m.