Seattle is the best team in the league … right now
FC Dallas could have and should have taken control at CenturyLink Field on Saturday. The visitors were the better team in the first half. They generated two good opportunities, but they failed to take them. The wastefulness opened the door for Seattle to retool at the break and summon the necessary menace to carve open a makeshift FCD defense in the second half. The resulting 3-0 victory highlighted Sounders FC’s menace going forward and underscored its status as the best side in the league at the moment.
Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY SpoJennifer Nicholson
Firm foundations pave the way for Orlando City’s long-awaited success against D.C. United
The previous two meetings between the two sides offered Orlando City an instructive way forward on Sunday. Adrian Heath’s side assessed the path toward the points -- a solid defensive block first and foremost, then a quick transition from back to front to exploit United on the break -- and followed it dutifully. This display did not hit the heights of other showings this year, but it did reveal the sort of maturity required to churn out points consistently. There were no crippling errors, no massive letdowns to undermine an otherwise encouraging performance. This group got the goal (an iffy penalty award and a Kaka header after an initial penalty save) and made it stand with a resolute shift. The triumph marks an important step forward for a team that must win more of these sorts of games in order to make those playoff dreams come true.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Precision in midfield allows Revs to end winless drought
New England entered Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Chicago in desperate need of a victory after six matches without a win. The home side eased to the points with a second-half outburst predicated on their tempo in possession. Their incisive work stemmed from the sort of intricate, tidy combinations absent in recent weeks. Credit to Scott Caldwell (excellent in his holding role), Diego Fagundez (influential for more than his sweetly taken volley) and Lee Nguyen in particular for allowing the Revs to exert firm control over the proceedings.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsBob DeChiara
Diamond sparkles for NYCFC against out-of-sorts Montréal
NYCFC isn’t the finished product yet, but Jason Kreis’ side now looks more of a threat with a reconstituted midfield. The combination of precision (deft work in possession to prevent the Impact’s desire to break) and thrust (Tommy McNamara’s direct runs on the left add an interesting dynamic to this midfield) allowed NYCFC to take firm control over the proceedings at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The final result -- a 3-1 victory over Montréal to claim the first two-game winning streak in club history -- reinforces the success of the associated tweaks over the past few weeks.
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY SportAnthony Gruppuso
Columbus, LA Galaxy should blame it on the rain and shunt their draw to the side
Poor weather in central Ohio dampened the occasion and left both teams to play foursquare for a couple of hours on Saturday night. The resulting fare -- Galaxy-dominated in the first half, Crew SC-ruled in the second -- eventually led to a 1-1 draw between the side. It is a good result for both teams in the peculiar circumstances, but the fare on this slick night at MAPFRE Stadium does not lend to further introspection.