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Five different players scored two goals in MLS this weekend, highlighted by a pair of goalkeeping gaffes, and ended on an unfortunate note on Sunday night. It was another weekend in which all 24 teams in MLS were in action and another weekend in which Los Angeles FC won. The April favorites to win Supporters Shield this year beat FC Cincinnati 2-0 on Saturday night to get to 19 points from seven games. Carlos Vela scored again, as Bob Bradley's side continues to impress week in and week out.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Barco, Will Bruin, Jozy Altidore, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi all found the back of the net twice in their games this weekend. They all had much better weekends than David Ousted and Sean Johnson, who produced nightmare inducing mistakes in their teams' draws this weekend.
And then on Sunday night's weekend finale, a wild 2-2 game was marred by the New York Red Bulls' Kaku kicking the ball into the stands and hitting a fan in close range. Kaku earned a red card for his actions but will likely face a longer suspension down the road.
Off to the action!
Chicago Fire 1 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps
The scoreline indicates a tame draw, but the result was a bit kinder to the visitors. The Fire had 60 percent possession and got off 23 shots to nine from the 'Caps. But it took a late equalizer from the spot from Nemanja Nikolic to get the hosts at least one point. That's because earlier in the half, David Ousted, who has made two stand out saves already this season, gifted Vancouver the opening goal.
Montreal Impact 1 - 0 Columbus Crew
A couple of weeks ago, the Impact went to Kansas and got blasted by Sporting Kansas City 7-1. It was ugly. Since then, the Canadians have managed five points from three games, all while conceding zero goals. On Saturday afternoon, they finally played their first home game of the season and got a goal from Igancio Piatti fill-in Harry Novillo for their third win of the season. Daniel Lovitz had to clear a shot off the line in the second half, but after a better than expected six-game road trip to begin the season, Remi Garde's side is close to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Houston Dynamo 2 - 1 San Jose Earthquakes
Somehow the Dynamo continue to stay out of the spotlight, despite winning once again, maintaining their unbeaten record through five games. This game featured a lengthy weather delay to go along with three excellent second-half goals. The woodwork stopped this game from being a bit wilder and kept out what would have been Goal of the Year candidates. At any rate, check out Jackson Yueill's goal for the visitors.
Seattle Sounders 3 - 2 Toronto FC
Two of the better performing teams thus far in 2019 put on a show Saturday in Washington. Will Bruin and Jozy Altidore each scored two goals for their teams, but the difference was made by Christian Roldan. Bruin took advantage of the absence of the injured Raul Ruidiaz to score twice, while both of Altidore's goals were assisted by Alejandro Pozuelo. The Spanish playmaker is going to take the Reds far this year, if he has a healthy Altidore to lead the line.
Minnesota United 3 - 3 New York City FC
We should remember this game for the opening of another soccer-specific stadium, Minnesota's new Allianz Field. Featuring the old-time clock and scoreboard, the newest stadium to open in MLS was christened with a wild affair on Saturday afternoon. Ozzie Alonso goes down in the record book as the first ever goalscorer at Allianz Field (in addition to being the first to ever be booked), but defense was optional for most of the game. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi's brace helped the visitors earn a point, but his second goal could have been the winner, if not for this moment from Sean Johnson.
New England Revolution 0 - 2 Atlanta United
Here's what you need to know about this game: Ezequiel Barco started the game on the bench and ended the game on the bench. In the time in-between, Barco scored both goals for Frank de Boer's side, which picked up their first win of the season in moving out of the cellar in the Eastern Conference. Eric Remedi was injured very early on and eventually had to be taken out in the 15th minute. Barco came on in his place, and he scored a goal on either side of the half.
The young Argentine hasn't had the smoothest of transitions to MLS since his big-money move before the 2018 season. But Barco's two-goal effort was his first in MLS, and with three goals this season, he's one shy of equaling his output from last year. He made way late on for Pity Martinez, who should be ready to start after suffering an injury last month while with Argentina.
FC Dallas 2 - 1 Portland Timbers
The Timbers were left fuming after this one after their late shout for a penalty didn't go there way, denying them a chance at a point in Frisco. The frustrations have been piling on in Oregon, where last year's MLS Cup runners-up have yet to win a game this season. They have just one point through their first six games, with another six games on the road to go before they can finally re-open Providence Park. They'll need a positive result or two to get back on track before the June return to home.
Luchi Gonzalez's side meanwhile has already picked up four wins from their first seven games, again getting major contributions from their cavalry of homegrown players. If Dallas can add a significant difference maker or two in the summer, this team could be dangerous come playoffs.
Real Salt Lake 2 - 1 Orlando City
Orlando were coming off of a 4-3 win over the Rapids last weekend but couldn't get something on the road, as James O'Connor made the curious decision to rest Nani and Dom Dwyer from the start. It didn't work out in the Lions' favor, even with Nani scoring a free kick in the 81st minute. Sam Johnson, RSL's DP signing this offseason, scored his first goal of the season, as the hosts ended a four-game losing streak.
RSL also got Justen Glad back in defense for this one, and so there might be a bit of hope that RSL can get back on track moving into the summer.
Colorado Rapids 2 - 3 D.C. United
We've already covered a bunch of this game from United's side, but Colorado continues to remain winless in 2019. There have been some bad defensive teams in the league this year, but the Rapids remain the worst, having conceded 19 goals in seven games so far. Even a weakened United side, playing on short rest, and having not scored a goal since the end of March, reeled off three goals in eight minutes in Commerce City.
Colorado's attack isn't spectacular, but it's good enough with Kei Kamara and Benny Feilhaber to win games. However, if the defense isn't fixed, it's going to be another long season in the Rockies. Take, for instance, Lucas Rodriguez's game-winner:
LA Galaxy 2 - 0 Philadelphia Union
Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a couple of games due to injury already this season. At 37 years old, that has to be the main concern for the striker. He's at the age where the body is almost certain to break down at certain points of a season, so he'll have to manage his minutes for the Galaxy. Because when he's healthy, he can't stop scoring. Two goals against the Union take Zlatan to six goals in four games this year. That's an incredible return and rivals the output of his crosstown rival, Carlos Vela.
The Union had been playing well coming into the game, but their major concern from this loss has to be the injury to Marco Fabian, who left the game in the first half with a foot injury. To be successful this year, Philly needs to have their Mexican star healthy and on the field. No timetable yet on any absence for Fabian.
Los Angeles FC 2 - 0 FC Cincinnati
Starting in place of the injured and suspended Fanendo Adi, Darren Mattocks was close to an equalizer late in the first half against LAFC. Cutting back on his right foot, Mattocks curled a shot destined for the back of the net, until a diving save from Tyler Miller denied the visitors an equalizer.
Cincy wasn't blown away by LAFC as San Jose and D.C. had been in the previous weeks. But there's just no matching the quality of Carlos Vela right now, who had the assist for Mark-Anthony Kaye's opener, and then sealed the game in stoppage time with his own tally.
Sporting Kansas City 2 - 2 New York Red Bulls
Sunday night's capper was another wild affair, as both teams had the lead before settling for a point. Johnny Russell put SKC up first, but had a hat trick of chances to score aside from his goal. But second-half goals from Daniel Royer, and substitute Brian White had the Red Bulls on the verge of second win of the season. But, a fortunate bounce late let 16-year-old Gianluca Busio score an equalizer, his third goal in three games. SKC then nearly won the game late on, before Kaku was sent off for this moment of madness.
Kaku was given a red card in extra time after intentionally kicking the ball into the stands at close range and hitting a fan. pic.twitter.com/QxjmBz5fV8— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 15, 2019
A frustrated Kaku tried to kick the ball into the sideline boards and missed, striking a fan in the stands. Kaku was apologizing as he walked off the field, and took to Twitter to apologize as well. But he has to know better, and while he's for sure out for one game, he is likely looking at a longer suspension that will be handed down by MLS.