MLS scores: Portland and Houston put on a show in a lighter Week 6

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

A brand new Toronto team opened Saturday in positive fashion before Portland and Houston thrilled to close out the day.

Take a seat, Galaxy and Sounders. You need to prepare for your likely CONCACAF Champions League eliminations, which left for a lighter MLS slate, but fear not, the rest of the league held up their end of the bargain.

That is especially true of the Timbers and Dynamo, who put on a show in Portland. Whereas five years ago it took some crazy drama to make MLS matches truly engrossing and entertaining, that match showed how much the league has matured by thrilling in a match that had nothing absurd. It was just well-played, skillful, disciplined and well-managed in front of a great crowd. Just a regular MLS match was must-watch TV.

Sporting Kansas City 1-0 D.C. United

Uri Rossell and Perry Kitchen were the two best players on Friday night and when the defensive midfielders are the best a match has to offer, well, it's probably not a pretty match. This one certainly wasn't pretty.

In the end, though, Soony Saad made the difference for KC, coming off the bench and giving Sporting the direct and forward-thinking player they so desperately needed to break down a D.C. team holding on for a draw. His assist, which came with some help from shaky D.C. defending, left Claudio Bielder with a gimme finish to secure a win that keeps Sporting ticking, even if their play isn't impressing anyone.

Toronto FC 2-2 FC Dallas

Justin Braun and Darel Russell were the goalscorers for Toronto FC, John Bostock was lively on the right and Robert Earnshaw and Hogan Ephraim were the threats up top. This TFC squad looked absolutely nothing like last year's joke of a team and, unsurprisingly, they are a lot better.

With the new guys, as well as young holdovers Luis Silva and Richard Eckersley, TFC came from behind to draw a good FC Dallas team that gives them five points from five matches. That's still well behind the league leaders, of which Dallas is, and it won't get them into the playoffs, but it's a pretty massive step up from where they were a year ago.

Columbus Crew 1-1 Philadelphia Union

The Crew look good. Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta are still fantastic and they are strong at the back with Andy Gruenebaum backstopping a good defense. Even the midfield is coming along so when they add a goal from Dominic Oduro, they should be cruising to wins, especially at home, right?

Wrong.

For all of the good-looking things Columbus did on Saturday, they were unable to get the upperhand on an athletic Philadelphia team that frustrated them for much of the first half. Jack McInerney put the Union in front and while Oduro helped tilt the match in the Crew's favor before scoring the equalizer, it was another frustrating match for Columbus.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Real Salt Lake

Clint Irwin. That is all.

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Note to San Jose: Playing with nine men is a bad idea. It's worse when you do it voluntarily.

Portland Timbers 2-0 Houston Dynamo

Diego Chara finally looked like the dominant player some expected him to be when Portland signed him. That doesn't mean he'll always be that player, because that is probably asking too much of the Colombian, but he was sensational on Saturday night. The ball he played for Ryan Johnson's first goal was perfect and he single-handedly grabbed control of the midfield, neutralizing Ricardo Clark and completing an astonishing 49 of 51 passes.

Chicago Fire 3-1 New York Red Bulls

The Fire finally have a win! And unsurprisingly, it came against the Red Bulls. These kinds of things just seem to always happen to New York.

Maicon Santos made the difference, coming off the bench to score two goals in the final seven minutes and earn Chicago the victory. Frank Klopas is still on the hot seat, but it is a little cooler now, plus he has company -- the pressure is on Mike Petke in New York now.

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More in Soccer:

Full coverage of the Manchester Derby

Diego Chara the highlight of Portland’s big win this weekend

Manchester City: The noisy neighbors

Chatting about the Rome Derby

David Beckham isn’t a sideshow

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