If you missed out on Week 9 action in Major League Soccer and did a quick glance over the scores, one stands out immediately. Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution played to a 4-4 draw Saturday in the craziest game of the season to date.
The clash at Children’s Mercy Park was the type of match that comes out of nowhere in MLS a few times per season. The path taken to the final score made absolutely no sense, and it included a series of events rarely seen over a stretch of games, yet alone in a single contest.
The match was odd enough at the point where the Revs took a 3-1 lead into halftime. The first-half performance was a perfect encapsulation of the topsy-turvy nature of the league. Brad Friedel’s side came off a brutal home loss Wednesday and all of a sudden turned into an offensive juggernaut.
Then all hell broke loose in the second half.
In the span of 35 minutes, the Revolution had two players sent off and Sporting KC outscored the visitors 3-1 to earn a draw and leave everyone speechless.
The game is one that you can’t make any significant observations from, but it could go on to have a lingering effect on both franchises in the coming weeks.
— Sporting KC (@SportingKC) April 28, 2019
Peter Vermes’ side needed an emotional boost after falling 4-1 in San Jose last week, and although SKC didn’t win at home, it still earned a jolt from that comeback going into back-to-back games against Atlanta United and D.C. United.
On the other hand, the Revs have one win in their last five games and will be without Brandon Bye and Jalil Anibaba for their Saturday road trip to Philadelphia.
The 4-4 draw was by far the most exciting game of the weekend slate, but there were plenty of other things that caught our attention.
Goals of the Week
Connor Lade, New York Red Bulls
This remarkable team goal from the New York Red Bulls was finished off by a thunderous hit from Connor Lade.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 27, 2019
Tomas Martinez, Houston Dynamo
If you vote for Goal of the Week based off level of difficulty, this is one of your two potential picks. Tomas Martinez hit this strike on the run, on the volley and with a small margin of error in the middle of the box.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) April 28, 2019
Bill Tuiloma, Portland Timbers
A defender scoring off a corner in spectacular fashion is as rare as it gets in MLS.
— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) April 27, 2019
Panic Button Update
Atlanta United: The good news for Atlanta United is they won Saturday. The bad news is it was a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at home. Work still has to be done under Frank de Boer, but the results are starting to come.
Columbus Crew: Welcome to the panic button update, Columbus. Four losses in a row will put you in that category, especially after failing to score over 180 minutes in Week 9. The schedule doesn’t get easier for the Crew, with D.C. and both Los Angeles teams upcoming in the next three games.
New York Red Bulls and New York City FC: What a difference a week makes for both New York teams. New York City FC picked up four points this week to move into the top seven of the Eastern Conference, while the New York Red Bulls erased a five-game winless run by beating FC Cincinnati.
Hot Seat Rankings
After last week was filled with false Thierry Henry-to-MLS coaching rumors, it got us thinking about which manager will be the first to go in 2019.
Colorado’s Anthony Hudson is the leading candidate since his team hasn’t won in nine games. The Rapids only have two points to their name and they’ve buried themselves in a hole with a -12 goal differential.
Losses to Vancouver and Real Salt Lake at home in the next two weeks might put the pressure on the Rapids to make an important decision.
Brad Friedel has been teetering on the hot seat most of the season, and it doesn’t help that his team lost at home to Montreal on Wednesday and then blew a lead on the road against Sporting KC.
If the next three games go south for the Revs, then we might have to seriously discuss a change in direction, but for now, it appears the former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper has a chance to let his long-term vision play out.
The First ‘Wonderwall’
Minnesota United fans got the opportunity to sing Oasis’ “Wonderwall” after a win for the first time at Allianz Field.
The moment was nothing short of awesome to watch.
YOU’RE GONNA BE THE ONE THAT SAVES MEEEEEEEEEEEEE pic.twitter.com/JnyiwP8Bda
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 28, 2019
He Scores When He Wants
Nani has done nothing but score since his arrival in MLS, and he added to his tally once again Saturday at Yankee Stadium.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 27, 2019
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Portuguese winger is now fifth in the Golden Boot race with five goals.
Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued their scoring ways in Week 9, and at this point we just assume both of them will score each week.
Ibrahimovic didn’t paint himself in the best light Sunday night. The Swedish forward dragged down Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha in the 60th minute, which led to a yellow card.
Then Ibrahimovic stared down the defender after scoring the game-winning goal in the 78th minute.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic went into the locker room apparently to apologize to Nedum Onuoha for fouling and taunting him during the game. Nedum wanted no part of his apology. #mls #RSL #rsltid pic.twitter.com/F2zcmPTbC2
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) April 29, 2019
Ibrahimovic then tried to go to RSL locker room to apologize for his actions, but Onuoha was having none of it.
Whatever Ibrahimovic wanted to achieve appeared to work. He got under the skin of a defender, fired up his Galaxy teammates, scored the game-winner and left the field with three points.
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) April 29, 2019