Seattle Sounders turned the MLS Western Conference upside down with a stunning 5-0 victory over pacesetters Dallas at CenturyLink field.
The Sounders headed into the match sitting bottom of the conference and with the lowest scoring tally in MLS, with just 14 goals from their previous 17 matches, but they finally found their form in front of goal to run riot.
They were 3-0 up inside 22 minutes, as Clint Dempsey fired home from the penalty spot once Maynor Figueroa had been sent off for handball, before Andreas Ivanschitz and Jordan Morris got in on the act.
Dallas should have been given some hope when Dempsey also saw red for making contact with the face of Juan Ortiz after a late challenge by the Colombian, but that did little to halt the Sounders’ progress.
Joevin Jones made it four, before Cristian Roldan weighed in with his first league goal to give Seattle their biggest winning margin in MLS history.
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) July 14, 2016
It was clearly a night of firsts, as both Michael de Leeuw and Connor Lade also netted their maiden MLS goals to lead their sides to victory.
Former Groningen attacker De Leeuw got off the mark in only his second game for Chicago Fire to earn a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, while full-back Lade helped New York Red Bull snap a five-game winless streak in all competitions by beating Orlando 2-0.
The 26-year-old fired home eight minutes before the break and Felipe doubled the advantage just before the hour with a well-taken free kick, as Red Bull extended their home shutout streak to 546 minutes.
— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) July 14, 2016
“It was a long time coming,” Lade said of his goal afterwards.
“I’m glad to get that weight off my chest and really overall [I’m] happy with the team tonight. I thought we put in a good shift.”
An own goal by Justen Glad and a thunderbolt from Cristian Techera in the space of three minutes gave Vancouver Whitecaps a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake to lift them to sixth in the Western Conference, while Columbus Crew and Toronto shared a 1-1 draw.
Portland Timbers’ unbeaten MLS run was extended to eight games as they were held to the same scoreline by Montreal Impact.