Here is a round up of all the action on a busy Saturday in America’s top division.
It’s always common that a team improves dramatically when a manager comes in at a football club. Mike Petke and Real Salt Lake are no different.
On Saturday night, RSL made light work of Vancouver Whitecaps with a 3-0 win at the Rio Tinto Stadium.
Battling against the torrential snow, the home side finally went in front after Albert Rusnak ran into the box, cut in on his right foot, and fired the ball into the bottom left corner.
The 22-year old Slovakian then provided the assist for RSL’s second of the game when he picked out a free Yura Movsisyan. The striker curled his shot into the bottom right corner for his third of the season.
Rusnak claimed yet another assist when his corner was met on the volley by Luke Mulholland as the home side finally ended their longest winless run at home in the club’s history.
It was RSL’s first win at Rio Tinto Stadium in seven matches, and first in MLS for thirteen. You could sense the relief from the players and fans at the final whistle.
Petke, who took charge of the side following the sacking of Jeff Cassar earlier in the season, couldn’t be more proud of his team.
“We want to play for the supporters. The support they show this team is amazing. Tonight was a building block, a stepping stone,” he told RSL.
“I am very happy for the players. They showed they wanted it more in that second half when the conditions were almost unplayable.”
Pekte’s team would like to replicate the recent upturn in form of DC United, who made it two wins on the bounce with a 2-1 victory against New York City FC.
Lloyd Sam (who was making his 100th MLS start) opened the scoring, capatalising on a Frederic Brilliant mistake to slot the ball past Sean Johnson in the New York goal.
Sam almost got his second but his fierce shot was parried by Johnson, but Luciano Acosta did double the host’s lead when tapped in the rebound.
David Villa scored with a low shot into the bottom right corner to set up a nervy finish but it was Ben Olsen’s side that held on for all three points.
Goalkeeper Ben Hamid made some crucial saves when the score was 0-0, and he says that DC are now challenging their MLS rivals after a tough start.
“We’ve had to roll with the punches, and we got punched pretty hard in the beginning of the season,” he told the Washington Post.
“But we’ve now started throwing some punches of our own.”
DC are level on points with New England Revolution, after they defeated Houston Dynamo 2-0 at the Gillette Stadium.
Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo grabbed the goals for the home side, who are now unbeaten in their last three MLS matches.
For the Dynamo their inconsistent form continues. Despite a 100% home record, the team from Texas are yet to pick up a point on the road this season.
Kelyn Rowe told the press after the game: “We knew we had to come out hard. They are a good team, but we were at home and we had to make a stand.
“We did a very good job defensively. We made sure they didn’t have any clear cut chances.”
Elsewhere, Chicago Fire defeated Coloumbus Crew 1-0, and LA Galaxy picked up a crucial 2-0 win over Montreal Impact.
Toronto FC and Atlanta United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw, whilst San Jose and Seattle shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw.
Portland won at winless Philadelphia Union 3-1 and FC Dallas picked up three points after defeating Minnesota United 2-0.