CARSON, CA - JULY 04: Chad Barrett #9 of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his second half goal with teammate Robbie Keane #7 during the MLS match against the Philadelphia Union at The Home Depot Center on July 4, 2012 in Carson, California. The Union defeated the Galaxy 2-1. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
The MLS wrap-up is back this week and what a weekend it was. There was a little bit of everything this past weekend; a handful of 0-0 draws, a few close games and a couple of blowouts. After losing two straight, the LA Galaxy took a step in the right direction with a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire. The Portland Timbers were not so lucky, as they were easily handled by Real Salt Lake in a 3-0 loss. The loss, accompanied by a disappointing season thus far, led to the firing of head coach John Spencer earlier today. Perhaps the biggest shocker coming out of this weekend was New England's 2-0 shutout victory over the New York Red Bulls.
Coming off a thrilling 2-2 draw against the Seattle Sounders, the New England Revolution had to feel like they had at least a chance against third place New York. They ended up having much more than a chance as the Revs went on to win the match 2-0. Lee Nguyen capped his third goal of the season in the 24th minute, giving New England an early 1-0 lead. Newcomer Jerry Bengston, who just signed with the squad this week, padded New England's lead in the 84th minute, leading to the 2-0 victory.
After a draw and a win against two top teams in the league, New England will be feeling awfully confident when they take on Toronto FC this Saturday. Toronto is coming off a big 3-0 loss to the Union. The Red Bulls will have to get back on track in a hurry as they face the Sounders on Sunday.
Despite a big win last Tuesday against San Jose, it wasn't big enough for John Spencer to keep his head coach position in Portland. After a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, Spencer, Portland's only head coach since the Timbers joining the league, was relieved of his duties.
Despite a goalless first half, it was all Salt Lake in the second half. A 60th minute header from Saborio put Real on the board after a beautiful ball was put into the box by Kyle Beckerman. Saborio was not done using his head as he would pick up his second goal of the game just two minutes later, this time off a cross from Chris Wingert. And what do you know? Saborio would get a hat trick after nailing a penalty kick which was given after Diego Chara was called for a hand ball and consequently sent off with a red card.
With General Manager Gavin Wilkinson taking over as interim head coach, the Timbers will try and turn over a new leaf this Saturday, but it won't be easy, as they take on the LA Galaxy. Salt Lake will also have a tough task ahead of them as they take on West leading San Jose.
After two straight losses, the Galaxy found their footing, dispatching Chicago with a 2-0 victory. The day belonged to Robbie Keane, who notched both of LA's braces. Kean's first goal came off of a 22nd minute penalty shot after a Chicago handball was called. Keane gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead late in the 78th with a near post notch coming off a long pass from Landon Donovan.
With a win against Chicago, LA will head to Portland to take on the struggling Timbers as previously mentioned. Meanwhile, the Chicago Fire will take on Vancouver at Toyota Park.
The weekend also saw the Union pick up a huge 3-0 win against Toronto as the John Hackworth Era in Philadelphia continues to impress. This match saw goals from Gabriel Gomez, Freddy Adu and red hot sub Antoine Hoppenot. The Union will take on expansion squad Montreal Impact for the first time this Saturday while Toronto takes on Vancouver on Wednesday.
Speaking of Montreal. After losing three straight, Jesse Marsch's expansion squad picked up a win against the Columbus Crew after making a late comeback. With the match all square at one a piece, a penalty scored by Patrice Bernier in the 89th minute sealed the deal for the Impact. While Montreal heads to Philly, Columbus will head back home to take on Sporting Kansas City.
The Seattle Sounder snapped a nine game winless streak, defeating the Colorado Rapids at CenturyLink Field. This match marked the return of winger Steve Zakuani, who was injured in April 2011 against the Rapids. Eddie Johnson and Alvaro Fernandez were responsible for Seattle's two notches, giving their squad the win. Seattle take on Chivas USA this Wednesday in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Semi-Finals. Colorado will head back home to take on FC Dallas on Saturday.
Chivas USA took on the Vancouver Whitecaps, ending in a 0-0 draw. Dallas/San Jose and Sporting Kansas City/Houtson Dynamo played to 0-0 draws as well.
Two matches to look out for this week. The first being the US Open Cup Semi-Final match between SKC and the Union this Wednesday. Sporting will likely be looking for some revenge after the Union embarrassed them last week in a 4-0 route. The Union however is coming off a huge win against Toronto. This match will be available via streaming on philadelphiaunion.com at 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles against Portland is the second. Last season, these two squads put on one heck of a match and with a new coaching regime in Portland, this one has an added level of excitement. This one has a late start time at 11:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.
On a side note, don't forget to vote Union for this week's MLS Goal of the week. Jack McInerney and Michael Farfan are both nominated for their goals against LA this past Wednesday. If you're feeling nostalgic, you can also vote for Danny Mwanga. You can cast your vote here.