The Semper Soccer MLS Week 23 Recap
MLS Week 23 marked another step to the stretch run of the season. Just a little more than two months remain in the regular season and the player transfer window closed this week. Teams have their rosters set and the push for the playoffs is on. As the competition heats up, the Semper Soccer blog is here to break it down for you. This is our MLS Week 23 recap.
This weekend saw 20 clubs take the field across 10 matches. There were no games in the mid-week thanks to the first of two U.S. Open Cup semifinals taking place between San Jose and Kansas City. With nine games on Saturday and one on Sunday, here’s a look at the MLS Week 23 scoreboard.
- Seattle Sounders 1 – Sporting Kansas City 0
- Toronto FC 4 – Portland Timbers 1
- Columbus Crew 3 – Chicago Fire 1
- New York Red Bulls 3 – Orlando City 1
- FC Dallas 0 – Colorado Rapids 0
- New England Revolution 1 – Vancouver Whitecaps 0
- Philadelphia Union 0 – Montreal Impact 3
- Houston Dynamo 3 – San Jose Earthquakes 0
- Los Angeles Galaxy 0 – New York City FC 2
- D.C. United 0 – Real Salt Lake 1
5 Things To Know
- Who wants to win the West? The push for the playoffs is shaping up to be a wild one in the Western Conference. First place to seventh place, the first spot out of the playoffs, are separated by just six points. That includes a three-way tie atop the table with Houston, Seattle and Sporting KC all on 37 points. As you look down the standings, Dallas, Portland, San Jose and Vancouver (teams four through seven) have all won nine games. The best teams in the league so far are in the East, but the West delivers on the drama.
- The MLS transfer window closed this week. And it did so without much fanfare. There are still a couple moves worth mentioning here. Orlando and Colorado traded midfielders this past week. Dillon Powers makes his way south to Orlando after spending his entire career so far with the Rapids, including winning the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year award. In return, Colorado receives creative play maker Luis Gil. Gil is best known for his time with Real Salt Lake, which featured an appearance in the 2013 MLS Cup final. The New England Revolution also completed a trade with the Columbus Crew to reach the number one spot in the allocation order and sign forward Krisztian Nemeth. New England hopes he can get fit quickly and add some firepower to an offense for a team sitting in 10th place in the East.
- Caleb Porter was not happy with his team. After Portland was on the wrong end of 4-1 loss to Toronto, Porter accused some of his players of hanging their heads after going down just one goal. You can read his whole comment in this tweet. The coach looks to be trying to light a fire under a squad that’s gone 4-7-6 in their last 17 matches. In the ultra-competitive West, they can’t afford to take any days off. Porter’s a good coach and certainly knows how to get the most out of his players, so keep an eye on how the Timbers respond.
- A tip of the cap for Clint Dempsey. In Seattle’s 1-0 over Sporting KC, Deuce notched his 50th goal as a Sounder. That’s not bad for a 34-year-old who missed a large portion of last season with an irregular heartbeat. It’s just another notch on Dempsey’s belt this summer; he also tied Landon Donovan’s USMNT scoring record in July. He is not slowing down and wants to keep playing his best in MLS as well as setting his sights on one more World Cup in 2018.
- Time for an update on the U.S. Open Cup. Sporting Kansas City defeated the San Jose Earthquakes last Wednesday night in the first semifinal. This thriller of a match was tied 1-1 after 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time. Sporting prevailed once more in a penalty kick shootout at home with Tim Melia making a crucial save to seal the win in the sixth round of spot kicks. Tomorrow, the New York Red Bulls travel to Nippert Stadium where they face lower-division darlings FC Cincinnati. The winner travels to Kansas City for the final on September 20.
Player Of The Week
Blerim Dzemaili and the Montreal Impact had themselves a fine weekend. The Swiss international midfielder scored two second half goals to lead the Canadian side to a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union. After more than an hour of scoreless soccer, Dzemaili smashed home the first goal in the 69th minute and the Impact was on their way. He sneaked his second goal inside the far post in the fifth minute of stoppage time to seal a valuable road win for his team. Along with it, we recognized Blerim Dzemaili as our MLS Week 23 Player of the Week.
The transfer window closed and the teams are set for the last two plus months of the regular season. Here’s how they stand after MLS Week 23.
Soccer Savings and the Semper Soccer blog are your places for all things soccer. Be sure to check out our Fan Shop for all your soccer team gear needs. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or leave a comment here on the blog to join the soccer conversation!