MLS week 18 started with lots of goals on Wednesday night. Both the Chicago Fire and LAC won 5-1 while Houston posted a 4-0 shutout at home against the Red Bulls.
Wednesday's MLS schedule opened with NYCFC shutting out the Seattle Sounders 3-0 at Yankee Stadium. Maxi Moralez scored in the 58th minute with Jesus Medina doubling the lead in the 77th. Ebenezer Ofori finished off the goals in the 87th. Brad Stuver made four saves to keep the clean sheet.
Chicago beat Atlanta 5-1 at home. Francisco Calvo put the Fire up in the 4th minute with CJ Sapong making it 2-0 in the 7th. Atlanta's Leandro Gonzalez Pirez saw red in the 11th minute for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Nicolas Gaitan converted the Chicago penalty in the 13th. CJ Sapong scored Chicago's fourth goal in the 37th with Fabian Herbers making it 5-0 in the 44th. Brandon Vasquez converted a 58th minute penalty for Atlanta.
"It’s not explainable, I think," Atlanta coach Frank de Boer said. "In every aspect of the game we weren’t there. We weren’t ready. I have to blame myself first because I have to prepare them of course. And we have to be ashamed for the first 45 minutes. For our fans, who come here and want to see Atlanta United and we were embarrassing today, especially the first-half. Explanations are always difficult but we weren’t there the first-half, that was clear."
Minnesota beat San Jose 3-1 at Allianz Field. Darwin Quintero put United up in the 5th minute with Tommy Thompson equalizing in first-half stoppage time. Michael Boxall put Minnesota up for good in the 52nd with Kevin Molino scoring two minutes into stoppage time.
"Nothing to be ashamed of," Earthquakes midfielder Magnus Eriksson said. "We controlled the whole second half and we are proud of the way we executed this game, but of course we wanted three points and we didn't succeed with that, but otherwise we were happy with the performance."
Philadelphia came back to beat Orlando City 3-1 on the road. Chris Mueller scored for City in the 8th minute with Kacper Przybylko equalizing in the 32nd. Orlando's Robin Jannson saw red in the 45th. Przybylko scored again in the 47th with Fabrice-Jean Picault scoring in the 52nd. Orlando's Sacha Kljestan saw red in the 67th for a serious foul.
LAFC beat Sporting KC 5-1 on the road. Christian Ramirez scored for LAFC in the 28th and assisted on Diego Rossi's goal in the 50th. Rossi assisted on Carlos Vela's goal in the 63rd. Yohan Croizet pulled a goal back for Sporting in the 85th. Rodolfo Zelaya made it 4-1 LAFC in the 89th with Mohamed El-Munir scoring a minute into stoppage time.
"I don't know what to say other than just that I feel bad for the fans," Sporting defender Matt Besler said. "They come out here and the atmosphere was great. We were in the game in the first-half. I thought we played extremely well. The game, right now, comes down to small little details and right now things aren't going our way. We're just not making the right plays."
Houston shutout the New York Red Bulls 4-0 at BBVA Stadium. Mauro Manotas scored in the 39th with Tomas Martinez doubling the lead in the 56th. Alberth Elis made it 3-0 Houston in the 72nd. New York's Michael Murillo saw red for unsporting behavior in the 83rd. Elis scored four minutes into stoppage time with Houston's Maynor Figueroa and New York's Alejandro Gamarra seeing red. Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Real Salt Lake shutout Columbus 1-0 at home. Sam Johnson scored the game's only goal in the 38th minute with Nikck Rimando not needing a save to keep the clean sheet.
Photo by Katie Gillen - Atlanta United