August 7, 2017

The Semper Soccer MLS Week 22 Recap

We’ve made it to August. The dog days of summer end soon and Major League Soccer is primed for its stretch run. MLS Week 22 marked a return to regularly scheduled soccer with the All-Star Game completed. With a full schedule of games, impressive performances and teams looking to make the playoff push, it’s time for the Semper Soccer blog’s MLS Week 22 recap.

The Games

There was plenty of action as the league returned to normal this week. Wednesday saw the MLS All-Stars take on Real Madrid before all 22 clubs were in action Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a glance at the MLS Week 22 scoreboard.

  • MLS All-Stars 1 (2) – Real Madrid 1 (4) Madrid won 4-2 in PK shootout
  • D.C. United 1 – Toronto FC 1
  • Philadelphia Union 3 – FC Dallas 1
  • Montreal Impact 2 – Orlando City 1
  • Minnesota United 0 – Seattle Sounders 4
  • Chicago Fire 4 – New England Revolution 1
  • Colorado Rapids 2 – Vancouver Whitecaps 2
  • Real Salt Lake 0 – Houston Dynamo 0
  • San Jose Earthquakes 2 – Columbus Crew 1
  • Portland Timbers 3 – Los Angeles Galaxy 1
  • New York City FC 3 – New York Red Bulls 2
  • Sporting Kansas City 1 – Atlanta United 1

5 Things To Know

  1. Video review arrived in MLS this week. Major League Soccer announced video assistant referees would be used after the All-Star Game. Well, here we are. Former Premier League referee Howard Webb heads up the program and here’s how it works. The review was first pressed into duty when Dallas forward Cristian Colman collided with Philadelphia goalkeeper John McCarthy before Dallas’s Max Urruti put the loose ball in the net. A review showed significant contact by Colman on McCarthy, a foul was called and the goal was disallowed. From start to finish, the entire process took just two minutes. Officials called upon the system five times over the weekend. No game featured an overly-long delay and, most importantly, the system got the calls correct. Ultimately, isn’t that what we want?
  2. What happens when the league’s best offense faces the league’s best defense? On Sunday night, the answer was a 1-1 draw. Heading into MLS Week 22 Atlanta’s 41 goals scored led the league while Sporting KC only surrendered 17. Benny Feilhaber entered the game as a sub after halftime and his 59th-minute penalty kick staked the home side to a 1-0 lead. In stoppage time, former KC forward Jacob Peterson turned into Atlanta’s hero when the ball bounced to him in the box and he calmly stuck it home. When the dynamic offense and stone-wall defense collided, a split of the points commenced.
  3. If New York has one thing, it’s goal scorers. In this week’s edition of the New York rivalry, David Villa and Bradley Wright-Phillips showcased their prowess for putting the ball in the net. Villa struck first in the 28th minute to put City ahead, but Wright-Phillips equalized in the 41st to tie it up before the half. The next goal went to Wright-Phillips as well when the Red Bulls took a 2-1 lead in the 64th minute. But Villa would be out-dueled. The Spaniard struck again in the 72nd and tallied a PK in the 75th for his first-career MLS hat trick and secured all three points for City.
  4. The MLS All-Stars pushed Real Madrid to penalties. Since 2005, Major League Soccer has selected an All-Star team to play a European club during their preseason. This year marked just the second time this version of the game ended in a shootout. Both teams traded goals in the second half with Borja Mayoral putting Madrid ahead in the 59th minute before Dom Dwyer tied things up for MLS in the 87th. The All-Stars held their own fairly well for a team that trained together for two days against a club who has been together for such a long time. The loss dropped MLS to record of seven wins and six losses in this format.
  5. The transfer window is still open. Who could possibly be on the move to an MLS team? One difference maker could be USMNT forward Aron Johannsson. Reports say German club Werder Bremen is set to sell the striker and a trip to MLS could be in store. There are plenty of teams who could use another goal scorer. How about Sporting Kansas City? They’ve got a ton of money after trading want-away forward Dom Dwyer and need goals to stay atop the West. The San Jose Earthquakes could use some goals as well to stay above the red line and earn a playoff spot. We’ll be watching closely as the transfer window closes soon.

Player Of The Week

David Villa's first-career MLS hat trick earned him our MLS Week 22 Player of the Week honor.

David Villa’s first-career MLS hat trick earned him our MLS Week 22 Player of the Week honor.

Can you believe David Villa had never scored a hat trick in his MLS career? Neither could we. As impressive as he’s been since joining the league for New York City FC, he keeps accomplishing new feats. His three goals against the Red Bulls this weekend raised his season total to 17 and propelled him to the league lead. The win also marked the first time NYCFC has defeated their New York rivals in consecutive games. That’s why we’ve picked David Villa as our Semper Soccer blog MLS Week 22 Player of the Week.

Standings

The August portion of the schedule kicked off with MLS Week 22 so let’s see how the teams stand.

MLS Week 22 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 22 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 22 Western Conference Standings

MLS Week 22 Western Conference Standings

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