Long-awaited meeting between Red Bulls, NYCFC delivers in spades
New York deserves a derby worthy of a grand stage. Only time will tell whether these two clubs and their supporters can deliver on a regular basis, but their first effort supplied plenty of encouragement. The endeavor shown on both sides led to an open game, while the supporters brought their best to mark the occasion. This expansive display of counterattacking might (a change for the Red Bulls, but a sign of their intent even with 10 men) and sheer persistence (NYCFC stuck to the task despite being second best all night and falling behind by two goals) bodes well for the future as this rivalry develops.
Noah K. Murray
Toronto FC comes up short in a big moment….again
TFC spent most of the week trumpeting the unveiling of the new BMO Field and underscoring the renovated ground’s potential impact on the club going forward. Unfortunately for the Reds, they forgot to show up for the occasion. Houston proved good value for its 2-1 victory against a TFC outfit lacking the proper application and the proper shape on the day. The poor display -- located straight off the back of a pair of road wins in Orlando and Philadelphia -- reinforces the importance of ensuring all of those new accoutrements do not go to waste.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY SportsDan Hamilton
Intent leads to production for Columbus and Seattle
The entire affair at MAPFRE Stadium offered a breath of fresh air in the often stale opening quarter of the season. There were no half-measures taken by either side, no mitigating steps to temper their attacking thrust. The resulting fare led to a thoroughly entertaining display between two of the league’s better sides and underscored the importance of attacking a game with genuine relish. Crew SC eventually emerged with a 3-2 victory thanks to Federico Higuain and Kei Kamara, but the neutrals perhaps reaped the most enduring benefits.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SporTrevor Ruszkowski
Valeri snatches three precious points for the Timbers in Montréal
The economy of motion obscured the skill required to determine the affair at a rather sparsely occupied Stade Saputo on Saturday. Valeri picked up his head, spotted his opportunity and sweetly curled the winning goal around the stranded Evan Bush. It proved a timely reminder of Valeri’s influence on the day (likely the best player on the field in an otherwise forgettable game) and his importance to the Timbers as they attempt to cobble together a consistent run of results.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY SportsEric Bolte
Defeat in Vancouver highlights painful woes in Philadelphia
This trek to B.C. Place looked doomed from the moment Andre Blake and John McCarthy sustained injuries in the same training session on Tuesday. The problems in Chester run far deeper than the carousel in goal, but the continued struggles to keep a number one for any length of time rather sum up the inability to translate expectations into production at PPL Park. Throw in the perpetual inability to receive any semblance of luck and the club remains mired in a neverending cycle of frustrating results and peculiar occurrences well beyond the purview of earnest coach Jim Curtin.