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MLS Week 7 Review: Loons home opener, Kaku incident and more

David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The newest soccer cathedral in North America was christened with a wild affair Saturday afternoon.

The 3-3 draw between Minnesota United and New York City FC at Allianz Field had a little bit of everything, and in a way it was the perfect type of MLS match to open a stadium.

Osvaldo Alonso delivered the moment everyone in the Twin Cities waited three years to see in the 13th minute, when he blasted the first goal in stadium history into the net. 

Nineteen minutes later, the score was 3-2 in favor of the Loons and one of the most stunning own goals credited to Sean Johnson occurred. 

The first 32 minutes in Allianz Field history will go down as nothing but memorable with a back-and-forth affair between the two sides breaking out. 

From a long-term perspective, a draw at home won’t hurt the Loons much since they already have three road victories to their name. 

As long as Adrian Heath’s side takes control of the home-field advantage throughout the 2019 season, the Loons should be in the mix for the Western Conference playoffs, a destination that would be a welcome sight after the struggles of the first two seasons. 

After a Week 8 trip to Toronto, the Loons have an opportunity to secure their fortress in the north against some of the best teams in MLS.

If the Loons take the challenge posed by the LA Galaxy, D.C. United and Seattle Sounders head on, they will not only prove they are one of the best home teams in MLS, but one of the top handful of teams in the West. 

Unfortunately for MLS, Week 7 didn’t end on a high note.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku fired a ball into the stands in frustration in the 94th minute against Sporting Kansas City. The Paraguayan international was immediately sent off for his actions, and his awful decision-making was roasted on social media. 

The actions of the 24-year-old could garner additional sanctions from the league office.

Other Red Bulls players tried to make up for their teammate’s actions by going over to visit the fan after the game ended. 

Kaku also apologized for the incident on Twitter, but the Red Bulls didn’t escape criticism postgame, especially after Luis Robles’ comments on the situation.

“I know that he’s remorseful about it,” Robles told the Kansas City Star after the match. “I know that he didn’t mean to do it. We all checked in with the guy. I guess that’s the price you pay when you sit in the front row, right?”

Sadly the nonsense at the end of Week 7 stole the headlines from an entertaining crop of matches that included a few intriguing goals, some unfortunate howlers and a wild stretch Saturday afternoon in which everyone decided to score. 

Goals of the Week 

Ezequiel Barco, Atlanta United

Osvaldo Alonso, Minnesota United 

Lucas Rodriguez, D.C. United 

Howlers of the Week 

David Ousted, Chicago Fire

David Ousted delivered the first goalkeeping blunder of Week 7 on Friday night. The Chicago goalkeeper raced to the edge of the box, failed to control the ball and allowed Vancouver to score on an open net. 

Sean Johnson, New York City FC 

Luckily for Ousted, Sean Johnson one-upped him and made everyone forget about the Friday night howler with a terrible own goal that went viral. 

The formation of Jozuelo 

Every duo needs a cool nickname.

Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo have theirs.  Jozuelo combined on both of Toronto FC’s goals in the loss to Seattle Sounders on Saturday. 

Based off early returns in Ontario, Pozuelo will be feeding Altidore with many more assists this season. 

Atlanta United panic button update

Atlanta United fans have backed away from the break-in-case-of-emergency hammer and are nowhere near slamming the panic button after Saturday’s win over New England. 

The Five Stripes benefited from a week off and Ezequiel Barco finally started to show signs of why he was a big-money signing a year ago. 

After the panic that ensued in March, Frank de Boer’s side is now three points out of a playoff place in the Eastern Conference. 

Let’s get Loony

During a 30-minute stretch Saturday afternoon, everything happened at once in three different games. 

After a weather delay pushed back the second-half start at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston and San Jose combined for three goals in eight minutes. 

Up in Seattle, the Sounders scored a pair of goals and then Altidore deposited his second strike of the game into the net to complete a wild four-minute stretch.

Then there was the chaos in Minnesota, where five goals were scored in 19 minutes. 

The end-to-end action on Saturday afternoon was a perfect example of how crazy an MLS weekend can get. 

Looking Ahead

The popcorn is already in the microwave warming for the Week 8 clash between the Sounders and Los Angeles FC. 

Sunday’s clash at Banc of California Stadium is one of two head-to-head meetings to end April between the Western Conference powers. 

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