The MLS season barely paused for the All-Star break, returning to action on Saturday with Atlanta and Toronto drawing 2-2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was a quick turnaround for the venue that hosted Wednesday's All-Star game. United needed a comeback after falling behind in first-half stoppage time to a Seb Giovinco goal. Josef Martinez equalized from the penalty spot in the 53rd and put Atlanta up in the 67th. Tosaint Ricketts equalized for Toronto a minute into stoppage time.
"I already said it, by having a throw in and a delay. A sub and a delay. A goal kick and a delay," Atlanta coach Tata Martino said about closing out a game. "That’s things that other teams are doing and tonight the other team is doing it and they aren’t being punished for it. In the second half, when we’re up after 80 minutes, we see they’re not being punished for it, then that’s something that we should do. If you have a favorable result then that’s a tactic. If other teams are going to do it and not get punished... We have to have the experience and knowledge of how to close the game "
Montreal and DC United finished 1-1 at Stade Saputo. Matteo Mancosu scored for Montreal in the 5th minute with Yamil Asad equalizing in the 70th. DC United had the lead on shots on goal 5 to 3.
"We have played four games less than Montreal and less games than other teams," DC coach Ben Olsen said. "We have some games in hand and if we maximize our points or get close to that at home then we’ll be in good shape to put ourselves in the mix. We just need to keep moving forward."
Orlando City came back from two goals down at home to draw 3-3 with the New England Revolution. Juan Agudelo scored for the Revs in the 7th minute with Cristian Penilla making it 2-0 in the 18th. Dom dwyer cut that lead in half in the 45th with Amro Tarek equalizing in the 71st. Agudelo assisted on Bunbury's goal in the 76th with Scott Sutter equalizing for Orlando three minutes into stoppage time. Orlando finished a man down with a red card to Yoshimar Yotun for violent conduct eight minutes into stoppage time
San Jose won 3-1 at FC Dallas in a Western Conference upset. Valeri Qazaishvili put San Jose up in the 19th minute with Roland Lamah equalizing in the 23rd. That was it for the Dallas offense with Jahmir Hyka putting the Quakes up for good in the 47th and Qazaishvili scoring again in the 88th minute.
"As we planned out this week, having this beautiful night with the [new part of the] stadium, we had an ambition to have three points that many of us probably thought that they were going to be easy," Dallas coach Oscar Pareja said. "But there is not an easy game in Major League Soccer and today the game just taught us a big lesson. Today we did not play well and I have to recognize that. They played better the whole night."
Seattle scored twice in stoppage time to beat Minnesota United 2-1 on the road. Darwin scored for United in the 19th minute. Nicolas Lodeiro equalized from the penalty spot in the first minute of stoppage time with Will Bruin scoring Seattle's winner six minutes later.
NYCFC needed a comeback to draw 2-2 at home with Vancouver. Nicolas Mezquida put the Whitecaps up in the 22nd minute with Jesus Medina equalizing a minute into stoppage time. Valentin Castellanos scored for NYCFC in the 46th with Erik Hurtado equalizing for Vancouver in the 87th minute.
Colorado came back to beat the LA Galax 2-1 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The Galaxy played without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, serving a one-game suspension for missing the MLS All-Star game. Romain Alessandrini scored LA's goal in the 33rd with Kellyn Acosta equalizing in the 50th. Edgar Castillo assisted on Sam Nicholson's winner a minute into stoppage time.
"I don’t think we played real well tonight," Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. "We scored a goal in the first half, but it was a little bit against the run of play. On their first goal, I thought Acosta hit a good shot, so you have to take that in account, but on the second goal, we got back-doored and the defensive positioning wasn’t good. We seemed a little sluggish tonight and we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be."
Sporting KC shutout Houston 1-0 on the road with the Dynamo ending up playing three men down. Houston's Alejandro Fuenmayor was the first to see red for a serious foul in the 14th minute. Diego Rubio scored the game's only goal in the 74th minute. The referee reached for his red card twice in stoppage time, sending off Darwin Ceren for violent conduct four minutes in and Alberth Elis for the same offense four minutes later. Tim Melia made four saves to keep the clean sheet.
"I think it was a dangerous game," Sporting coach Peter Vermes said. "And what I mean by that is that I am very proud of my guys for keeping their emotions. We could have easily lost ourselves. We were very disciplined, not only tactically, but we were also very disciplined emotionally because this wasn’t an easy game to be that way. There is something that could happen, and we could have reacted poorly, but we didn’t. In that end, I am very proud of the guys. I think that was the difference in the game for us, to keep our emotions and to be disciplined in our tactics in the game."
Real Salt Lake beat Chicago 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Damir Kreilach scored for RSL three minutes into first-half stoppage time. Bastian Schweinsteiger equalized for the Fire in the 48th minute with Kreilach scoring again in the 75th.
Portland shutout Philadelphia 3-0 at home to close out the Saturday schedule. Diego Valeri converted a penalty in the 58th. Dairon Asprilla converted from the penalty spot in the 84th. David Guzman made it 3-0 in the 87th with Valeri assisting. Jeff Attinella kept the clean sheet with three saves.
Week 23 came to a close on Sunday with the New York Red Bulls beating LAFC 2-1 at home. Daniel Royer put the Red Bulls up in the 39th with Diego Rossi equalizing in the 53rd. Royer scored again in the 80th minute.
Photo by Jeremy Olson - ISIPhotos.com