FIRST WIN AT LAST

New York Red Bulls Lloyd Sam, left, struggles for possession of the ball with Montreal Impact Andres Romero during first half of an MLS soccer game in Montreal, Saturday, April 5, 2014.
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Peter McCabe, file

The waiting game is over for the New York Red Bulls! The team registered its first MLS win this season with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Union last Wednesday night, April 16 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison (NJ).

So what was different in the second half of last Wednesday night’s game? Maybe it was a lambasting at half time from head coach Mike Pekte, who had seen a fruitless first half that resembled other first halves so far this season; or was it the fact that 14,768 loyal fans who came out to support the team on a chilly mid-week night; whatever the reason, the Red Bulls were a different team in the second half.

New York (1-2-4, 7 pts.) forged forward literally from the outset of the second period and forced goals by Captain Thierry Henry and midfielder Lloyd Sam. The Red Bulls played with much urgency and by the 57th minute, Henry tapped in a Roy Miller cross from the left wing; ten minutes later, it was midfielder Lloyd Sam, who headed in an Eric Alexander cross from the same side to give the home team a 2-0 lead. Former Red Bull Sebastien Le Toux scored from the penalty spot for the Union in the 80th minute. The Red Bulls go in search of its second win when it hosts the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night, April 23, at 7:30 p.m.

AROUND MLS

In the Western Conference last Saturday, FC Dallas and new coach Oscar Pareda got their fifth win in seven attempts when the home team defeated Toronto FC, 2-1, at Toyota Stadium. After an evenly played first half that ended, 1-1, it took a Blas Pérez goal in the 88th minute to pull off the win. Issey Nakajima-Farran scored to put Toronto ahead early in the first half, before Matt Hedges equalized for Dallas by half time. The stage was set for Pérez’s winner.

The Vancouver Whitecaps and the Los Angeles Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw at B.C. Place. Stefan Ishizaki helped the Galaxy forge ahead, 1-0, in the 38th minute for a slim half time, but in the 67th minute, Darren Mattocks equalized for Vancouver. Los Angeles stormed back on a Robbie Keane goal to go ahead again, 2-1. Kekuta Manneh’s shot late in the contest got the draw for the Whitecaps.

Also on the West coast, host Real Salt Lake topped winless Portland Timbers, 1-0. Ned Grabavoy scored for RSL in the 78th minute for the only score of the game at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Seattle Sounders visited the StubHub Center in Los Angeles and came away with a 2-1 win over host Chivas USA. Obafemi Martins scored the winner five minutes from the end. Erick Torres scored at the five-minute mark for Chivas USA and Lamar Neagle equalized minutes after. Martins combined U.S. Captain Clint Dempsey for the winner. Host Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a scoreless draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

In the Eastern Conference, defending MLS cup champion Sporting Kansas City walloped winless Montreal Impact, 4-0, at Sporting Park. Dom Dwyer scored twice and defender Aurelien Collin once to lead Kansas City. Kansas’ other goal came from an own-goal by Impact player Calum Mallace. At Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, the Crew tied DC United, 1-1, on a goal by Hector Jiménez in the 90th minute; DC United was searching for its third straight win and almost got it, as it led most of the way on a goal by Fabián Espíndola in the 30th minute.

Host Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution played to a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park. Quincy Amarikwa put the Fire ahead, 1-0, in the 16th minute before he was red carded in the second half and left to Fire a layer short. Lee Nguyen equalized for New England 15 minutes after from the penalty spot after defender Kevin Alston was tripped in the penalty area by Fire midfielder Patrick Nyarko. With the score tied, Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth stopped Juan Luis Anangonó’s penalty in the 90th-minute that could have given Chicago its first win of the season. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Union and the Houston Dynamo played to a goalless draw at PPL Park just outside Philadelphia.

UNITED FIRES MOYES

Famed English club Manchester United fired manager David Moyes with only four games to play in his initial season with the club. United, the defending champions of the English Premier League and not accustomed to losing, lost patience with Moyes, who seemed not up to the job. Moyes was brought in from Everton FC, another Premier League club, after legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson retired last season. The results were very poor as the defending champion is mired in seventh place in the Premiership, missed out on all the trophies this year, including the prestigious English FA Cup, and will not qualify for next year’s European Champion’s League.

New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry dribbles the ball during a MLS soccer game against the D.C. United, in Harrison, N.J.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez, file

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