Football Americana Week 6: Chicago and Houston share points as lightning stops play



Ferocious weather, a David Beckham goal and a victory for DC United. What more could one ask of a week in Major League Soccer?

Gabriel Gomez scored the only goal as Philadelphia Union defeated Columbus Crew, a vital win for the Union on home soil. Michael Farfan was fortunate to escape without a card after an elbow, and Philly soon had a chance to open the scoring from the spot when Eric Gehrig handled Freddy Adu's effort, and Gomez's delicate Panenka was a worthy winner for any game.

Jose Moreno's first MLS goal got New England Revolution off to a great start against DC United, benefiting from a flawless Saer Sene cross to make it 1-0 after six minutes at Gillette Stadium. The lead lasted just twelve minutes before Dwayne De Rosario's bicycle kick was cleverly diverted into the net by Maicon Santos. Substitute Chris Pontius made an immediate impact for DC, making it 2-1 with a little under ten minutes remaining to win it for United after cutting inside from the left hand side and bending it past Matt Reis.

Brian Mullan faced a predictably hostile welcome in the north west, where one goal did the trick for Seattle Sounders against Colorado Rapids - and it came from an unlikely source. It was Mullan who had the ball in the net first, but had the opportunity to play super-heel removed by the offside flag. Zach Scott finally grabbed the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute with a glancing header from Fredy Montero's vicious corner. Matt Pickens put in a tremendous performance in goal for the Rapids.

It goes from bad to worse for Toronto FC, who went down 1-0 at home to Chivas USA to continue their appalling start. Oswaldo Minda grabbed the goal, powering a first half header onto the goal line and up into the net. Ryan Johnson should have equalised in the 84th minute with a free header from six yards that squeezed past the post with Dan Kennedy scrambling. The Goats' goalkeeper then made a good save to deny Danny Koevermans from similar range, securing all three points.

A blistering first half saw New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes draw 2-2 at Red Bull Arena. All four goals came in an undulating first period, with Kenny Cooper ghosting into the area to put the Red Bulls ahead in the first five minutes yet again, Thierry Henry the architect once more.

Rafael Baca equalised with a simple finish from Khari Stephenson's assist ten minutes later only for RBNY to restore the lead in the 22nd minute through Dax McCarty's controlled volley from the edge of the box. In-form Chris Wondolowski' netted the second equaliser for the Quakes, diving to head a loose ball into the top corner from six yards. Rafael Marquez was fortunate to not give away a penalty after wrestling Shea Salinas to the floor, fracturing his collarbone in the process.

In Texas, FC Dallas needed to come from behind to beat Montreal Impact 2-1. The goals all came in the second half, the first arriving after just over an hour from the penalty spot. George John's foul on Davy Arnaud was seemingly non-existent and Bernardo Corradi swept the ball home from 12 yards past Kevin Hartman. Blas Perez nodded in the equaliser in the 76th minute after John's header came back off the bar, and Brek Shea fired in the late winner with a lovely one-on-one finish and then celebrated in style.

An early season top-of-the-table clash went Sporting Kansas City's way, continuing their 100% start against Real Salt Lake. CJ Sapong's looping header was disallowed just before the break for a push on Jamison Olave, but Sporting scored the only game of the goal through a firm set-piece header from Aurelien Collin in the 63rd minute.

Kris Boyd again scored first for Portland Timbers and again they went on to lose, this time going down 3-1 in their away game against LA Galaxy. The Scotsman struck mid-way through the first half at the HDC, breaking the offside trap and rolling the ball past Troy Perkins early - he scored again, but was adjudged to be offside. Landon Donovan scored the crucial equaliser moments before half time with his first of the season, a drilled finish from the edge of the area from Robbie Keane's cut-back.

LA had to wait until the final ten minutes to turn one point into three and had the big guns to thank for the victory, but not before Eric Alexander's curling shot hit the bar for Portland. Juninho's accurate low drive made it 2-1 in the 83rd minute, and in the dying minutes David Beckham stepped up to add some spit-and-polish to the result. Picking up the ball 30 yards out, he lined up some space for himself with an awful first touch and swung a beautiful shot beyond Perkins into the top corner.

Remarkably, Chicago Fire v Houston Dynamo was halted after just 65 minutes in horrendous weather, finishing 1-1. The game was delayed for an hour due to rain and lightning in the 13th minute, but ten minutes after the restart Will Bruin went clear for Houston and clipped the ball inside Sean Johnson's near post. Logan Pause quickly equalised with his back, inadvertently deflected Pavel Pardo's free kick over Tally Hall and into the net off the bar. The draw stands despite the game finally being called off due to the weather.

With Kansas City still brushing away all before them, they now enjoy a massive eight-point gap over New York in the East, while DC climb to third and Toronto remain on zero points at the bottom. Salt Lake top the East but second-placed San Jose have a game in hand on them, with Seattle and Dallas together on 10 points. Portland's record fourth consecutive loss leaves them bottom.

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