Each and every week, MLS play leaves plenty to ponder. The league is notoriously wacky, and this past weekend was no exception.
It was a weekend filled with stunning goals, lopsided wins and long-awaited returns. It saw a perennial contender thumped on home turf and a recent punching bag beaten back after seizing an early lead.
Minnesota United took a huge step in shrugging off the dismal stigma around the club in its first year by coming back from two goals down to earn a point at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Houston Dynamo.
The Loons, who have lacked a bit of punch when going down this season, used two second-half strikes to force a 2-2 draw against the dangerous Dynamo.
In a first for the MLS expansion team, Minnesota United got three points from a game. Minnesota came back to beat Real Salt Lake 4-2 at home in week 5. Luke Mulholland put RSL up in the 4th minute with Kevin Molino equalizing in the 16th. Molino assisted on Christian Ramirez's goal in the 52nd with Ramirez scoring again in the 62nd.
Photo by Greg Bartram-USA TODAY SportsWith most teams having been off for the international break, there isn't much movement in this week's power rankings, but a few teams in action earned some solid points for themselves.
The New England Revolution are the big winners of the weekend, as their 5-2 dismantling of Minnesota United will bump them up the standings while leaving the Loons stranded at the bottom.
And Jay Heaps earned a nod for coach of the week, too.
Five Revolution players earned a spot on mlssoccer.com's Team of the Week following a 5-2 thumping of Minnesota United. That honor may never happen again—partly because the Revs turned in an attacking performance for the ages, and partly because just six teams played in week four.
Armchair Analyst: Deluge of goals continues vs. MNUFC & more from Week 4 Thanks to the international date Week 4 was an abbreviated, limited week. There was still, however, enough happening for us to divine a few truths from 270 minutes of MLS action.
It didn't get any better for Minnesota United in week 4 of the 2017 MLS season. With most of the league taking the international weekend off, Minnesota United didn't get a break. Instead, it was another lopsided loss, this time on the road at New England. The Revolution opened their home schedule with a 5-2 win.
Following back-to-back humiliating defeats to start their season, Minnesota United held onfor a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapidson Saturday.
The Loons were relegated to 10 men in the 70th minute, when Justin Davis stuck a high boot into the leg of Marlon Hairston. Despite facing a disadvantage for 20 minutes, the much-maligned Minnesota defense held firm to earn the first point in club history.
The second week of MLS play was supposed to be headlined by a clash between expansion sides but, while one of them brought the attacking heat, it was quite apparent that it was the cold that would take center stage in the teams' sophomore efforts.
Winter conditions affected several MLS matches, with the most obvious coming in New England as the Revolution canceled their match with Orlando City.
The weather didn't help Minnesota United in week 2 of the 2017 MLS season. Minnesota lost its second MLS game and first home game 6-1 to Atlanta United. Josef Martinez had Atlanta up at TCF Bank Stadium in the 3rd minute. Miguel Almiron doubled the lead in the 13th with Martinez making it 3-0 in the 27th.
Three Big Storylines, National TV and Streaming Listings and From a Sounders Point of View.
Three Big Storylines:
Minnesota United will have their franchise opener on Sunday against fellow expansion side Atlanta United. Both expansion teams lost their opening game, Atlanta lost at home 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls while Minnesota lost at Portland 5-1.
The most talked about topic heading into Week 2 is the weather, and it will continue to be talked about all weekend as cold slams the Northeast. One match, the New England Revolution's home opener against Orlando City, has already been postponed to September 2, and the games in Philadelphia, New York and Minnesota will be played in frigid conditions.
Can the Loons attack thrive without Kevin Molino? That, and four other headlines to track.
The Revolution and Minnesota United have both endured a lackluster start to the 2017 season. The Loons conceded 13 goals in its first three outings, but earned a result against the Colorado Rapids, one of the league's premier clubs, last weekend.
The Houston Dynamo are hosting the San Jose Earthquakes this weekend. Houston are coming off of a draw against Minnesota United. Houston sit above San Jose in the standings by just one point. You can check out our full preview here.
Josh and Justin try to find the reason behind yet another road loss
After another painful road loss by the Houston Dynamo, Josh and Justin try to make sense of the bad road play. Also, on this week's The Peel the guys set up the upcoming home match against the 2017 expansion club Minnesota United.
The Portland Timbers are looking to get back to winning ways today as they host the New England Revolution this evening at Providence Park. The Revs, meanwhile, will be looking to put together back to back wins after grabbing their first victory of the season in last weekend's 5-2 demolition of Minnesota United.
It's the Revolution home opener against expansion side Minnesota United, so we're chatting with SBN's expansion blog.
At long last it's time for the New England Revolution home opener. There's still some leftover snow sitting around, but Minnesota United played their home opener a few weeks ago in an actual snow storm so they're used to it.
The Revolution home opener kicks off at 2 p.m. ET.
The last Revolution home match took place on October 23, 2016. Five months later, the club will square off with Minnesota United—a team that has only played one MLS home match in its history—at Gillette Stadium.
While playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season, the Revs will do whatever it takes to pick up three points.