Week seven of the MLS saw Bastian Schweinsteiger’s growth with Chicago Fire continue, while Orlando City set a record.
Schweinsteiger effect well and truly alive
Ever since the German international arrived in Chicago to start his new challenge after Manchester United, the Fire have been unbeaten in their last three games, which Schweinsteiger has been a part of. In his debut, he opened the scoring and his side drew 2-2 with Montreal Impact before winning again a week later against Columbus Crew 1-0. Chicago continued on that vein of form as they defeated New England Revolution 3-0, and once again Schweinsteiger proved an integral presence on the pitch when he opened the scoring just before half time. A Nemanja Nikolic double rounded things out to give the hosts a 3-0 win. Despite all the chatter about the German’s recruitment, it seems the Fire were right to invest in him after all.
Orlando City set the record straight
Orlando will be loving life at their new stadium, not because it is a beauty in its own right or because of the accolades it has rightfully pulled, but for the record they hold there. Orlando hosted the LA Galaxy, writing themselves into the history books. Will Johnson opened accounts for Orlando but that strike was cancelled out by winger Romain Alessandrini in the 83rd minute. The hero for Orlando was Cyle Larin, who scored a stoppage time winner to earn the hosts the win. However, the win at home proved more significant; four wins from four in a new stadium. Orlando City stadium is a fortress and travelling teams face a tough ask.
Sporting Kansas City show how it is done
Heading to Portland to play the Timbers is one of the most daunting trips in the MLS, but Sporting KC showed how to buck the trend. Timers stars Deigo Valeri and Fernando Adi were kept quiet in an unsurprising turn of events for the hosts. Sporting turned up the heat on the hosts and had a number of chances, eventually opening the scoring through Dominic Dwyer. Portland showed their intent but could not breach Tim Melia goal, and if not for him, the result could have been very different. Take note MLS teams; the Timbers can be beaten at home and if Valeri and Adi are kept quiet.
Whitecaps nearly melt at the death
Vancouver Whitecaps extended their unbeaten run to three games with a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders at BC Place, but they were in for a tight and nervous finish. Former Sounders player Freddy Montero haunted his former club when he opened the scoring in the 65th minute, and 15 minutes later, Montero scored his second. Seattle left it late and broke through with a minute of normal time to go, but ultimately it was not enough. An opportunity was cleared off the line in a messy 10 minutes for the Whitecaps, and for their opponents, plenty of heart can be taken from their display.
Controversial red card overshadows Montreal’s first win
Montreal Impact finally got off the mark this MLS season with a 2-1 win over Atlanta, but it was not without controversy. Former Stoke City striker Kenwyne Jones struck in the 40th minute to put the visitors ahead, running onto a through ball. Controversy struck in stoppage time when Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was shown his marching orders after he made what appeared to be little contact on Ignacio Piatti. The incident warranted a yellow card at best, but we have seen in the MLS that if you make contact with a player in the box, you run the red card tightrope. Piatti made no mistake with the penalty, rubbing salt into the wound. Montreal then left it late to nab the win via a cheeky back-heel from Anthony Jackson-Hamel. Even though the Impact got off the mark, all the talk will be about Pirez’s dismissal. Philadelphia Union are the only winless team in the league.