One star-studded favorite in the MLS Eastern Conference continued to struggle, while another earned valuable points that will be needed later this season.
In the Western Conference, Real Salt Lake got a much-needed shot of confidence with a home victory.
The New York Red Bulls continue to be the major story in the Eastern Conference. Somehow, New York settled for another draw even though it controlled most of the game. Since May 7, the Red Bulls have given up an astonishing eight goals in the 15-minute segments that comprise the beginning of the game, before and after halftime and at the end of the game. This weekend was no different as Columbus scored in the 92nd minute to equalize and steal a point on the road that probably wasn’t deserved.
The Red Bulls’ streak without a win now stands at six matches dating back to April. Even worse, the squad has allowed 10 of its 12 goals this season in the last six games.
The Philadelphia Union continued on their unexpected streak this week, earning a draw on the road against Colorado as the team continues to grind out results that it didn’t last year. The draw gave them an extra point ahead of New York in the conference table.
With three of their next four games at PPL Park, the Union, who are undefeated at home, stands to make that lead even larger.
This weekend’s match with RSL is a big match during that stretch and it could go a long way to helping Philly win the East. Almost equally as amazing from the second-year franchise is that it is currently stand on 21 points, only 10 less than it earned during the entire season last year.
In the West, Real Salt Lake earned some much-needed confidence partially because of its schedule but mostly because it played its best game in weeks. With the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps in town on the heels of a mid-week game and a coaching change, the Claret and Cobalt had no trouble dispatching its opponent.
Even missing several key players, RSL controlled possession for much of the match and dominated from beginning to end as it heads into a key three games in eight days. More importantly, RSL began to gain ground on the first place Los Angeles Galaxy and now stand only 10 points behind.
Landon Walters is a history and political science major currently studying at Salt Lake Community College and is an avid sports fan. He can be reached at email@example.com or on twitter at www.twitter.com/LandawgDew