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MLS Review – Seattle Keeps On Winning

Seattle 2 Toronto 0
Freddie Ljungberg scored his first MLS goal, Kasey Keller recorded his third consecutive shutout and the expansion Seattle Sounders remained perfect with a 2-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday. Steve Zakuani also scored for Seattle (3-0-0), which has yet to allow a goal through the first three games of its debut season.

“It was a perfect scenario for me,” Ljungberg said. “I couldn’t have written it better. It’s nice to score in my first game as a starter in MLS.”

Ljungberg opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a clever give-and-go move with forward Nate Jaqua, racing past Serioux and into the penalty box to collect the return pass and fire it beyond goalkeeper Greg Sutton.

“We tried to get me in between the midfield and the striker position so I could turn and use my pace in the passing,” Ljungberg said. “I had a one-two with Nate and tried to finish on the first touch because I thought the goalie would be coming out and maybe wouldn’t be able to react.”

It was the first loss of the season for Toronto (1-1-1), which beat Kansas City two weeks ago before tying Columbus last Saturday. Seattle, which opened the year with home victories over New York and Real Salt Lake, were impressive once again, while Toronto disappointed in front a sell-out of 20,658 in its home opener.

Toronto coach John Carver called his team’s performance “a disgrace.”

“Every single one of (the players) I was disappointed in,” Carver said. “I’m making no excuses, I’m not going to defend anybody today.”

Rapids 3, Galaxy 2
Conor Casey had a hat trick, including the second-quickest goal in Major League Soccer history as the Rapids downed the Galaxy 3-2. Omar Cummings added two assists for the Rapids (2-1-0). Omar Gonzalez andAlan Gordon scored for the Galaxy (0-1-1), with Landon Donovan providing both assists. Casey’s final goal broke a 2-all tie in the 84th minute when he scored on a breakaway from a Colin Clark pass. The Galaxy had been playing with 10 men since the 59th minute, when Dema Kovalenko received a red card for a foul on Mehdi Ballouchy. It took Casey only 16 seconds to get the games first goal making it the second quickest goal in MLS history. Dwayne DeRosario scored in 11 seconds for San Jose against Dallas in 2003 for the quickest goal in MLS history.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was not a happy camper after the game remarking:

“Let’s not kid anybody; our performance was terribl. I give our guys a lot of credit for hanging in and fighting but there were an incredible number of mental mistakes. I’m embarrassed for our fans and for our organization, and that’s what I told the team.”

Revolution 2, FC Dallas 1
Veteran midfielder Steve Ralston came off the bench to lead the Revolution to their first victory of the season. Kenny Cooper had given FC Dallas (0-3-0) the lead in the first half before Sainey Nyassi tied the game up. Then Ralston scored the winner after Kheli Dube had been fouled inside the penalty box area by defender George John. Ralston’s penalty was his 70th MLS career goal.

D.C. United 1, Dynamo 0
Luciano Emilio scored his second goal of the season early in the second half to give D.C. United its first win. United (1-0-2) had struggled in the second half of their first two games, getting outscored 3-1 in the two ties. Emilio bucked that trend with his second goal in as many games. He caught up with a ball lobbed into the box byBryan Namoff, then chipped a shot over goalkeeper Pat Onstad into the top left corner of the goal in the 47th minute. The win was United’s first in two years over the Dynamo (0-2-1), who put all their shots on goal in the second half. United goalkeeper Louis Crayton made four saves in his first shutout of the season.

Fire 1 Red Bulls 0
Marco Pappa’s goal helped the Chicago Fire overcome an early red card as they maintained their dominance of the New York Red Bulls with a 1-0 win Sunday. Fire midfielder John Thorrington was sent off in the 14th minute for tackling New York’s Macoumba Kandji from behind on a breakaway. Kandji left the game with a sprained right ankle. Despite the ejection and 38-degree weather with winds gusting up to 29 mph, Pappa connected on a 25-yard shot in the 33rd minute for his first goal of the season.

The Fire’s Wilman Conde lofted a free kick into the box that was slowed by the wind, causing Red Bulls goalkeeperDanny Cepero to come out of his net. A clearing attempt by New York fell right to Pappa at the top of the box, and his shot found the back of the net with Cepero left scrambling.

The Fire have five goals this season—all scored by different players. Chicago won its fourth straight over New York since coach Juan Carlos Osorio broke his contract with the club to take over the Red Bulls before last season. In that span, the Fire have outscored the Red Bulls 12-3.

KC 2 San Jose 0
Aaron Hohlbein scored his first career goal, and the Kansas City Wizards beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 on Sunday for their first win of the season. Claudio Lopez also scored for Kansas City (1-2), which had given up five goals in its first two games. The Wizards outshot San Jose 12-3 and didn’t force a save by Kansas City’s Kevin Hartman until the 81st minute.

San Jose dropped to 1-2 on the season. Hohlbein’s goal in the 28th minute came after two deflections in the penalty area. Jimmy Conrad recovered the first loose ball and shot from 5 yards, and San Jose keeper Joe Cannon was only able to deflect the ball with his chest. It went straight to Hohlbein, who drove it into the net from point-blank range. Lopez made it 2-0 in the 78th minute. He took a long pass from Herculez Gomez on the left side, dribbled into the penalty area and fired a shot past Cannon from 15 yards.