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MLS Roundup: Sporting Kansas City, Union blank opponents

It was a mid-week frenzy in the MLS on Wednesday.

Five matches were held, all while the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup took place in other parts – and with other leagues.

Meanwhile, in the MLS, the Philadelphia Union continued to climb the Eastern Conference chart all while the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City blanked their opponents. Furthermore, Real Salt Lake won their first match in five games, while Orlando City SC and the San Jose Earthquakes battled to a late draw.

Read all about the matches below.

Philadelphia Union 2-0 Houston Dynamo: After a horrible start to the season, the Philadelphia Union are slowly climbing back up the Eastern Conference standings chart.

The Union now sit in the No. 7 position, while the Houston Dynamo sit at No. 2 in the Western Conference. For Houston, it’s a major improvement from last season. For the Union, it’s almost identical to where they were last year.

“None of them are tired because they’re happy as can be, said Union head coach Jim Curtin. “They’ve scored a ton of goals now in a short amount of time. It’s amazing what that can do, some good results that go your way. I think our group is stronger because of it. I think we’re together and I’d like to say that the negative stuff is behind us now, we got it out of the way early in the season.”

“We want to get on a run now,” Curtin continued. “We’re not a finished product, we’re not perfect, but at the same time, I think it’s something that our fans can be proud of because those guys go out and fight for 90 minutes.”

The Union were able to snag all three points in Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday night with two goals from Fabrice Picault in the 17’ minute and Ilsinho in the 38’ minute. Meanwhile, the Union had two yellow cards shown to Raymon Gaddis (47’) and Keegan Rosenberry (83’).

As for the Dynamo, they had three yellow cards, shown to Leonardo (39’), Romell Quioto (39’) and Juan Cabezas (48’).

Chicago Fire 3-0 Colorado Rapids: Things were looking up for the Colorado Rapids recently – then they faced the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

The Fire blanked the Rapids, just days after upsetting the reigning MLS Cup champions, the Seattle Sounders. Two goals were scored by Nemanja Nikolic in the 15’ and 74’ minutes, while another was tacked on by David Accam in the 54’ minute. The Fire also had another positive by not having any yellow or red cards handed out.

For the Rapids, one yellow card went to Michael Azira in the 62’ minute. It was the first loss on the road for the Rapids this season.

“Undefeated and I think playing and developing good soccer here at home and I think the mentality is great,” said Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic. “Huge effort, huge job by the team and congrats to our guys. I love the attitude in our locker room. When we ask them what they need, they said the next game, we want to win the next game and that’s the attitude we were looking for, for a long time.”

“The guys are confident, the guys are really happy and enjoying playing soccer and winning games so I believe we’re doing a good job with the team and the team believes it,” Paunovic continued.

The Fire currently sit at No. 4 in the Eastern Conference and the Rapids sit at dead last in the Western Conference.

Sporting Kansas City 3-0 Seattle Sounders: A mid-week hat trick was supplied this Wednesday by Sporting Kansas City’s Gerso.

Gerso scored all three goals in Sporting Kansas City’s match against the reigning MLS Cup champions, the Seattle Sounders. Sporting Kansas City hosted the match at Children’s Mercy Park, where Gerso scored his goals in the 56′, 58′ and 69′ minutes. In addition, Sporting Kansas City were shown no yellow cards.

The same couldn’t be said for Seattle. The first yellow card came early, in the 3’ minute, and was shown to Jordy Delem. The second yellow card, which was the final shown to Seattle, was given to Tony Alfaro in the 85’ minute.

In goal, Tim Melia of Sporting Kansas City had a busy night, saving five shots. Meanwhile, Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei made three saves.

“I’m feeling very happy to be a part of this story,” Gerso said after the match. “It’s important to get three goals and get this hat trick, but it’s most important to win as a team. Sometimes the things just don’t go as we want, but since last week, the things are going really well. I’m very, very happy and my teammates are helping very much to reach these points.”

“He is popping up in so many good places,” Melia said. “Whether it’s with his right foot or left foot, he’s able to pull off defenders and help create things for our offense. His work rate is so good. He’s a special player and I look forward to seeing his evolution with our team.”

Currently, Sporting Kansas City sit in the No. 1 slot in the Western Conference, while Seattle hangs low in the No. 10 spot.

Real Salt Lake 2-1 New York City FC: After a big draw against FC Dallas and a huge win over Atlanta United FC, New York City FC were upset by Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.

The match, which was held at Rio Tinto Stadium, was the first win for Real Salt Lake in four matches. Real Salt Lake had their two goals scored by Albert Rusnák (38’) and Aaron Maund (51’). Meanwhile, New York City FC had their lone goal scored first by Sean Okoli in the 4’ minute.

Each club had two yellow cards shown to players on their respective side. For Real Sal Lake, Yura Movsisyan (16’) and Chris Schuler (23’) were the recipients while New York City FC’s were Ethan White (21’) and Thomas McNamara (25’).

Nick Rimando of Real Salt Lake had a busy night, making five saves. Meanwhile, New York City FC’s Sean Johnson made three saves. For Rimando, he set an MLS record for most career saves with 1,475, and counting.

“You play as long as I’ve been playing those records are going to come,” Rimando said. “It’s special to me, but the three points are the most important right now. We have been fighting and wanting this win, the last four games has been rough for us. We have been putting in the work so the work showed today even though we went down one zero.  I saw the pride that we took and we have got to take that confidence to Seattle and not worry about that goal.”

Real Salt Lake currently sits in the No. 9 slot in the Western Conference as New York City FC takes the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Orlando City SC: It came down to the wire, but in the end the San Jose Earthquakes and Orlando City SC were forced to split the points at Avaya Stadium.

Orlando City SC took the lead in the 80’ minute, with a goal from Carlos Rivas. Rivas came into the match in the 63’ minute as a substitute for Luis Gil. However, forward Chris Wondolowski ruined the party for Orlando, scoring for the Earthquakes in the 83’ minute. Neither team could tack on another goal.

“Scoring a goal never gets old,” Wondolowski said. “I do really enjoy that. I wish it was a game-winner instead of just tying. It’s good to get a point but we feel they were points dropped here just because we’re at home. We feel confident with this group anytime we step out there to get three points.”

Plenty of yellow cards were shown to the San Jose Earthquakes, with four being the grand total. Anibal Godoy (44’), Marcos Ureña (62’), Nick Lima (68’) and Darwin Cerén (70’) all received yellow cards. However, only one yellow card went to Orlando City SC, going to Leo Pereira in the 25’ minute.

“I’m really appreciative of the guys’ effort. I said before the game that the objective for us was pretty clear, we needed to defend better and I feel like we did that,” Orlando City SC head coach Jason Kreis said. “Obviously we hate to concede the goal. Pleased with all the guys. Pleased with the guys that started the match and pleased with the guys that came off the bench.”

“I thought this was the first game at home that we haven’t put a solid attacking performance,” said Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear. “We were hoping to rebound from the 3-0 Colorado game to get something good. Obviously we had a feeling that Jason [Kreis] was going to rest some players, which he obviously did. We just couldn’t get going. I think we were a little bit off all over the field, in the attacking areas, I think it was just an off night for us.”

Orlando City SC currently sits in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference while the San Jose Earthquakes plant themselves in the Western Conference’s No. 5 slot.


Photo from the official Twitter of Sporting Kansas City.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all MLS coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist

Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search “McKriger Photography” on Facebook, to see her photos.

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