The MLS XI, Week 10: Philly's Fresh Prince delivers on an unexpected weekend
- The Philadelphia Union are on the board, Orlando's hot streak is most certainly over and Minnesota United turned in an impressive result in a topsy-turvy week in MLS.
A word to the wise: Never bet money on MLS results. If you had this week, going with the favorites might have resulted in a lost of lost cash, as they took losses left and right, while teams that had disappointed recently broke through with big results.
The Philadelphia Union finally returned to the win column for the first time in over eight months, while Orlando City's momentum came to a crashing halt with a pair of road defeats, for example.
There was a fair amount of entertainment in between all that madness, so let’s get to it in the Week 10 edition of The MLS XI:
I: Fresh Prince gets at hat trick
The Union entered the weekend as the lone winless team in MLS, but they achieved a significant victory mid-week when a released this spot-on video tribute to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
As good as the video was though, some were wondering if maybe the Union should be focusing on, you know, winning their next game against the New York Red Bulls, considering the club's last win in MLS play came on August 27 of last year. Well, they did that, too. Philly's Fresh Prince, CJ Sapong, had a hat trick in a 3–0 win, with all three goals coming in one 11-minute span in the second half.
That’s Sapong’s first career hat trick, and it catapults him into the Golden Boot conversation.
II: Stefan Frei did it again
In Saturday’s rematch of that final, Frei managed a similar feat.
That one’s worth an alternate angle. That ball is moving all over the place.
Unfortunately for Frei and Seattle, the save didn’t lead to an eventual victory. Altidore later earned and buried a penalty kick as Toronto won 1–0.
III: Romell Quioto did it again
This is his first season on MLS, but the long-range, perfectly placed golazo from outside the box is already becoming his signature move. He did it in Week 1, and he did it again in Week 10 against Orlando City.
That was the capper in a 4–0 win for the Dynamo, impressively done without the services of leading scorer Erick “Cubo” Torres. For Orlando, it capped a rough two-loss week following a midweek loss at Toronto FC.
IV: Je-Vaughn Watson did it again
The Revs’ Jamaican defender must have laundry to do. That’s the only reason I can imagine why he would pull out the clothesline on poor Niko Hansen.
For those keeping score at home, that’s the second time this season that Watson has let loose with a ridiculous, dangerous challenge.
V: Lights out in L.A.
Meet the newest member of the MLS photo corps:
Still out with a foot injury suffered on national team duty, Sebastian Lletget took in Saturday’s Galaxy game against the Chicago Fire from behind the lens. He was given an impromptu crash course in how important good lightning is for photography.
He also watched his team fight back from a 2–0 down to force a 2–2 draw thanks to two set-piece goals.
VI: Urruti is on fire
MLS has seen a few of its forwards go off on scoring streaks this season, and the latest is FC Dallas striker Maxi Urruti. The Argentine had two goals in a 3-0 win at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, including an especially nifty improvised finish for his second.
Those give Urruti three goals in his last two games, and six on the season for the still-unbeaten FC Dallas.
VII: No pain, no gain
Minnesota United got the most impressive win in its young MLS history on Sunday, shutting out Sporting KC in a 2–0 win, with No. 1 draft pick Abu Danladi scoring his first career goal in the victory.
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, injured in a clash with Dom Dwyer, looks happy to absorb the punishment.
VIII: How did NYCFC not score here?
Luckily, the club didn’t need to. Goals from David Villa, Maxi Moralez, and Rodney Wallace led Patrick Vieira’s side to a 3–1 win over suddenly reeling Atlanta United.
The buildup to Villa’s was especially tasty:
IX: Death, taxes, and Wondo
San Jose’s 3–0 win over Portland was one of the more unexpected results of the weekend, but the scorer of the goals could not possibly have been more predictable. Chris Wondolowski hasn’t had the best start to the 2017 season, but he notched goals Nos. 124 and 125 of his illustrious MLS career in the win.
The 125th was scored with a very Wondo-like bit of finishing:
X: Montreal's youngster makes an Impact
The most commonly cited weakness of the Montreal Impact going into this season was that its squad was simply too old to withstand the rigors of a long MLS regular season. But so far this season it’s been the youngsters making an impact for the Canadian club. On Saturday it was Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, who in addition to having one of the best names in MLS also has a fair bit of skill in his 18-year-old legs.
That was the only goal of the game, as the Impact eked out a 1–0 win on the road against D.C. United.
XI: Welcome back, Brek
Brek Shea has been sidelined with a knee injury since March, but he made his return count as he scored the winner–and his first goal of the season–for Vancouver in a 1–0 triumph at Colorado:
That’s the fifth loss in a row for the Rapids, who couldn't turn around their fortunes in Tim Howard's return to action from his three-game suspension.