The regular MLS Season schedule has less than a month left, and the battle for a seat at the playoffs is heating up. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored and helped drive LA Galaxy further into the Western Conference Playoff territory.
With has less than a month left, and the battle for a seat at the playoffs is heating up. Surely this isn’t the group stages of Champions League, but the MLS playoff run always brings some surprises. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored and helped drive LA Galaxy further into the Western Conference Playoff territory.
And in the East, Wayne Rooney’s assist to goal helped push D.C. United up the Eastern Conference table. Atlanta United win and keep chasing the East’s No. 1 seed New York City FC, whilst conference leader NYCFC draw at Dallas. This and more, in MLS week 29 recap.
LA Galaxy 2 – 1 Montreal Impact
Although not on the scoring sheet for the night, Cristian Pavon was the architect of both goals, and probably the key reason for the Galaxy to win over Montreal Impact on Sunday.
The match started with Pavon chasing a long ball and passing it from the left to Jonathan Dos Santos who fired a shot that bounced off Uriel Antuna and then onto Ibrahimovic. Zlatan turned around and scored from the 8th (31’). This is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 27 goal this season.
Early in the second half, Montreal’s Lassi Lappalainen, who is on loan from Bologna, equalized with a header from nine yards. It was delivered by Saphir Taider to behind Galaxy’s defense (48’).
The Impact’s joy was shored lived, when two minutes later with Pavon again, this time picking a pass that meant for Montreal’s goalkeeper Samuel Piette. Pavon then chased the ball down the corner and fired it into the box again. Ibrahimovic headed it down to Antuna who scored.
D.C. United 2 – 0 Seattle Sounders
D.C. United came into Sunday’s match ranking sixth on the MLS Eastern Conference table, hosting the Western Conference second-placed Seattle Sounders.
Everything could have gone the visitor’s way if Sounders’ left-back Brad Smith wouldn’t have hit the crossbar after a powerful breakthrough attack towards United’s goal on the seventh minute.
Wayne Rooney was also declined by the woodwork when firing a shot to the upper-right corner of Seattle’s goal in the twelfth minute.
The first goal of the match finally came with Lucas Rodriguez scoring for D.C. He found a deflected clearance and scored past Seattle’s goalkeeper Stefan Frei’s (14’).
D.C’s insurance goal came in the second half, with Rooney taking a free-kick from left of the box, and setting up Fredrick Brilliant to score the hosts’ second goal (54’).
Seattle Sounders remain at second place at the Western Conference with 50 points. D.C. United are now fourth in the East, with 48 points.
Atlanta United 3 – 1 San Jose Earthquakes
MLS powerhouse Atlanta United, who are ranked second in the MLS table on East, hosted number seven from the Western Conference San Jose Earthquakes. Atlanta came to this game on the back of a midweek win against FC Cincinnati.
San Jose was trying to recover from a loss to NYCFC at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
Atlanta’s Justin Meram put the hosts up to an early lead when taking a deflection and scoring the first goal of the match (4’).
The equalizer came when a cross from San Jose’s Christian Espinoza was deflected off Atlanta’s goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s foot into his own goal (27’).
Shortly thereafter Espinoza was sent off for a second yellow card (34’), leaving San Jose to play with 10 men for the rest of the night.
Things seemed to be heading for a tie for most of the remaining game, as San Jose’s goalkeeper Mario Vega made some tremendous saves.
However, Atlanta did find the net at the end of regulation time with Emerson Hyndman scoring Atlanta’s second (90’). Gonzalo Martinez with an added time insurance (90+2’) completed Atlanta win.
Dallas FC 1- 1 NYCFC
Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC traveled on Sunday to Western Conference mid-table Dallas FC who are ranked sixth. New York’s Valentin Castellanos scored less than a minute from kick-off (‘1), but the hosts didn’t give up and after a long and hard struggle, managed to claw back and score an equalizer (Zdenek Ondrasek, 66’).
This 1-1 draw was a lost opportunity for both sides, as Dallas desperately needs the extra points for the last slot in the playoffs, and NFCFC needs to keep a distance from Eastern Conference runner up Atlanta United FC.
LAFC 1 – 1 Toronto FC
LAFC narrowly escaped a home defeat to Toronto FC on Sunday, with Tsubasa Endoh scoring for the Canadians on the 19th minute. It seems as if the hosts wouldn’t close the gap and forfeit the game, up to stoppage time.
This until Toronto’s Chris Mavinga committed a foul inside the penalty area.
Carlos Vela converted for LA a late penalty kick (90+5’), ending the night at a 1-1 draw.
Columbus Crew 1 – 1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Columbus Crew hosted Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, with Crew’s Gyasi Zardes converting a penalty kick for the hosts (18’).
The Crew kept the lead for nearly all of the match. Until Vancouver substitute sticker Fredy Montero finding the Crew’s net. The goal came on the last minute (90+4’) for an equalizer, ending at a 1-1 tie.
0-0 draws for NE Revolution vs RSL and Chicago Fire vs Cincinnati
Bottom of the Eastern Conference table FC Cincinnati met on Sunday east eighth-placed Chicago Fire for a 0-0 tie.
New England Revolution hosted on Sunday Real Salt Lake, again for a 0-0 scoreless draw.
NY Red Bulls 2 – 0 Philadelphia Union
The New York Red Bulls clinched a spot at the playoffs after winning on Sunday the Philadelphia Union 2-0.
This gets the Red Bulls closer to hosting a Round 1 game at Red Bull Arena.