September 18, 2017

The Semper Soccer MLS Week 28 Recap

With MLS Week 28 completed, the number of games left on the scheduled is rapidly dwindling. Teams continued to fight for playoff position with some flying high (like Atlanta) and some not so much (like Montreal). The Semper Soccer Blog’s weekly MLS recap is here to look back at all the action and make the picture clear as the season is in the stretch run.

The Games

There were 13 games on the MLS Week 28 schedule. The week started on Wednesday with a couple midweek games as teams start to even up with the games they have in hand. Top it all off with a full slate of games over the weekend and every team was in action at this key time of year. Let’s take a look at the scoreboard.

  • Atlanta United 7 – New England Revolution 0
  • Vancouver Whitecaps 3 – Minnesota United 0
  • Atlanta United 3 – Orlando City 3
  • Vancouver Whitecaps 2 – Columbus Crew 2
  • Montreal Impact 2 – Minnesota United 3
  • FC Dallas 0 – Seattle Sounders 0
  • Chicago Fire 3 – D.C. United 0
  • Sporting Kansas City 3 – New England Revolution 1
  • Colorado Rapids 1 – New York City FC 1
  • Real Salt Lake 2 – Portland Timbers 1
  • Los Angeles Galaxy 0 – Toronto FC 4
  • San Jose Earthquakes 1 – Houston Dynamo 0
  • New York Red Bulls 0 – Philadelphia Union 0

5 Things To Know

  1. Diego Valeri set a new MLS record. We’ll start the week with a round of applause of the Portland midfielder. When Valeri headed home a Dairon Asprilla cross in the 47th minute, it marked the eighth consecutive match in which he’s scored a goal. The previous record of seven had been done three different times. Despite the record-setting tally coming in a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, this mark is a nice feather in the cap for Valeri who has played at an MVP level all season long.
  2. Real Salt Lake has their sights set on the playoffs. With the above-mentioned win over Portland, RSL has pulled into a three-way tie for sixth place in the Western Conference. They currently hold the tiebreaker on both FC Dallas and Houston. This team turned their season around quick and believe they can hang on and earn a spot in the postseason. That experience would go a long way in helping the young core of Salt Lake take that next step in MLS.
  3. What happened to FC Dallas? They sat on top of the Western Conference for a large part of the season’s first half. Then they slumped through the dog days of summer. It’s been nearly 60 days since their last victory, a July 22 at Montreal. There’s still hope, however. They’re still tied for the final playoff spot and they have six games left to play. Sneaking into the postseason would still feel like a defeat after Dallas looked like championship contenders earlier in the year.
  4. The picture is much clearer out in the East. Toronto FC clinched their playoff spot already and currently hold an 11-point lead over New York City FC. In the six spot, the New York Red Bulls have 42 points and are six points clear of the slumping Montreal Impact in seventh. The six playoff representatives look to be set with only seeding left to be determined between teams like Chicago, Columbus and Atlanta. Finally, if you needed one more reminder of just how powerful they are, Toronto has a chance to secure the Supporters’ Shield next weekend.
  5. Now there’s a trophy on the line. This is looking ahead more than looking back at MLS Week 28, but the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final is Wednesday. The New York Red Bulls travel to Children’s Mercy Park to square off against Sporting Kansas City. Sporting is coming off a 3-1 home win against New England and has to be feeling rested. The Red Bulls limped to a scoreless draw versus Philadelphia on Sunday. With a home game in a venue where they haven’t lost this season, Kansas City is considered the favorites to lift the trophy for the third time in six years.

Player Of The Week

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez notched not one but two hat tricks this week, making him our pick for MLS Week 28 Player of the Week.

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez notched not one but two hat tricks this week, making him our pick for MLS Week 28 Player of the Week.

Forget just this week. Has anyone in Major League Soccer ever had a week as good as Josef Martinez? The Atlanta United forward started the week with a hat trick to lead his team in a 7-0 thrashing of New England. Martinez’s goals in the 2nd, 31st and 39th minutes got Atlanta out to a 3-0 lead and they never looked back. With that type of performance in a midweek match, how do you possibly follow it up? With another hat trick, this time against Orlando City in a 3-3 draw. Those weekend goals may have been even more important. All three of his goals leveled the score throughout the game and earned Atlanta a point. Martinez now has 16 goals on the year and he’s played in just 14 games. That dazzling display earned Josef Martinez the Semper Soccer Blog’s MLS Week 28 Player of the Week honor.

The Standings

After a round of key matches in MLS Week 28, let’s see how the teams stack up.

MLS Week 28 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 28 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 28 Western Conference Standings

MLS Week 28 Western Conference Standings

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