Open Cup tune-up leads to Galaxy romp over Philadelphia
LA Galaxy boss Bruce Arena made the curious decision to field many of his starters in the 6-1 victory over amateur side PSA Elite in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday. Why? His players -- captain Robbie Keane, most notably -- need to find their rhythm again. The exercise worked: Keane and the Galaxy tore through the overwhelmed Union to register a 5-1 win on Saturday. Are the Galaxy back? After their best performance of the season, it’s hard to say no, though Arena somehow claimed they could play better in his post-match remarks.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY SporJayne Kamin-Oncea
NYCFC rounds into form after sluggish start
There were a few elements of a more cynical approach at BMO Field, but NYCFC spent most of its time in Ontario working toward a precious 2-0 victory over Toronto FC. Jason Kreis’ side now boasts a three-match winning streak after figuring out how to pose more of a threat with all of that possession and shore up its leaky defense. The emergence of a handful of players -- Manchester City loanee Shay Facey, in particular -- provides Kreis with more options. The only trick now: trying to figure out how to fit Andrea Pirlo into the side if he completes his reported move from Juventus.
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SpoJohn E. Sokolowski
Whitecaps continue road success with wacky victory over Red Bulls
Vancouver leads MLS with five road victories after securing a 2-1 win at New York Red Bulls on Saturday. The elements of this particular triumph captured some familiar traits (rampaging work on the break), some peculiar occurrences (David Ousted saving two Bradley Wright-Phillips penalties) and one useful expression of frustration (Sacha Kljestan’s early red card). It is folly to expect the Whitecaps to replicate the last two traits any time soon, but that tidy work on the counter serves as a meaningful platform as the Whitecaps continue their chase for the Supporters’ Shield.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
Matias Perez Garcia announces himself as Earthquakes defeat Sounders
Seattle inevitably warrants discussion after the Open Cup mess last week and the resulting suspension to Clint Dempsey, but the Earthquakes deserve a moment in the sun for their 2-0 victory at CenturyLink Field on Saturday. This win -- the second over the Sounders in Seattle this season -- arrived as a result of more inspiration from Perez Garcia. He is the ingenious schemer charged with trying to pull attractive soccer out of a team not entirely built for it. Sometimes, it doesn’t come off. On this particular day, Perez Garcia mustered the feat with his work on the first goal and his precision on the expertly taken second.
Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY SpoJennifer Nicholson
Will the contributions of two misfits lead Real Salt Lake back toward the right path?
RSL coach Jeff Cassar kept the faith with Sebastian Jaime (thrust into the starting XI after Alvaro Saborio pulled out for personal reasons) and threw Olmes Garcia into the fray late in the match. The two misfiring strikers finally repaid that belief by firing RSL past Sporting Kansas City in a thrilling 2-1 victory on Sunday. Both men will need to find themselves among the goals again to ensure this potentially crucial victory leads to a prolonged uptick in form.