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Problems continue for Los Angeles and Columbus
by Ridge Mahoney, June 11th, 2007 7AM

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TAGS:  gold cup, mls

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Rough times for the Crew and Galaxy continued, and the Fire lost at home again. D.C. United, Houston and Chivas USA extended their winning streaks, and FC Dallas kept its lead in the Western Conference. For Ridge Mahoney's breakdown on all the MLS action ...

CREW CRISIS. A record of one win in 10 games deepens the troubles of Columbus after losing at home to Houston, 2-1, Sunday.

Tim Ward replaced Frankie Hejduk at right back for the Crew (1-4-5), and Coach Sigi Schmid started with Alejandro Moreno and Andy Herron together up top for only the second time this season. The Dynamo (5-5-1) was deprived of three starters because of Gold Cup duty, but Canadian keeper Pat Onstad returned to the team after playing for his country while suspended for Houston's 2-1 defeat of Colorado Thursday.

The players traded by these teams a few weeks ago, Joseph Ngwenya and Moreno, scored headers three minutes apart on corner kicks. Ngwenya's glancing shot bounced off the inside of the post for his third goal in three games, and Moreno replied for the Crew with a powerful bolt that flew into the top corner. Brad Davis and Guillermo Barros Schelotto served up the corners.

Kelly Gray, playing alongside Richard Mulrooney in central midfield with Ricardo Clark on U.S. duty, got up the right wing to center a low ball Chad Marshall steered into his own net. For most of the game, he and Mulrooney blotted out the Columbus attempts to break through the middle, and while a roaming Schelotto saw much of the ball, seldom did he reach shooting range.

The defending champion Dynamo played its third game in eight days and by winning all of them has moved into second place in the Western Conference.

OLSEN, OLE! In nearly a decade of pro competition, midfielder Ben Olsen had never scored a hat trick. His first one beat his former college and pro head coach Bruce Arena in a 4-2 United win over Red Bull New York (6-3-2) at RFK.

Olsen latched onto a curling diagonal ball from Josh Gros to head past RBNY keeper Ronald Waterreus in the 15th minute for the first goal, and then struck twice within 12 minutes to blow open a 2-1 game with United down to 10 men. He took a Brian Carroll feed and cut inside to fire a left-footed that deflected past Waterreus, and with six minutes left controlled a bouncing ball from Jaime Moreno outside the penalty area and smashed a right-footed blast a yard underneath the crossbar.

New York had tied the game, 1-1, on a low, 20-yard drive from former D.C. midfielder Dema Kovalenko, but fell behind again four minutes into the second half when Fred, not for the first time, sliced through the middle. This time, he played a ball Luciano Emilio banged past a stranded Wattereus. A second yellow to Bobby Boswell in the 60th minute gave Red Bull a man advantage it couldn't exploit.

Juan Pablo Angel scored his seventh goal a minute after Olsen completed his hat trick. United (4-3-2) moved into a tie for fourth place with Chicago, over which it has two games in hand.

TOYOTA RECALL. A packed house couldn't inspire the flickering Fire, which lost to Chivas USA, 1-0, for its second home defeat of the season.

Paulo Nagamura pounced on a loose ball to score in the 79th minute as Chivas USA (4-3-2) won on the road for the first time this season. Chicago (4-5-2) has lost five of its last seven. Calen Carr, Chad Barrett and Willian Oliveira displayed some good touches but the decisive serving ball and strong shot were seldom produced. Orlando Perez took over for Jonathan Bornstein (with the U.S.) at left back and a solid defensive effort marshaled by Jesse Marsch and Sasha Kljestan blunted Chicago's attack.

Chivas USA controlled much of the play, and launched 11 shots to three for Chicago, whose total matched that of former Fire striker Ante Razov. He tested Fire keeper Matt Pickens midway through the second half and Pickens made his only save of the match.

Razov and Maykel Galindo forced their way into the penalty area and when the ball squirted loose after a tackle Nagamura drilled it into the net. Chivas USA keeper Brad Guzan earned his only save of the game and fourth shutout of the season by holding a shot from Diego Gutierrez.

BIG D DEMOLITION. Tied at halftime on the road after trailing, 1-0, the Galaxy might have believed its season could be turned around.

Instead, FC Dallas scored twice in the second half to win, 3-1, and extend the winless skid of Los Angeles (1-4-3) to five league games. Juan Toja, Abe Thompson and Drew Moor scored for FCD (6-5-1). The equalizer by Robbie Findley is the only goal LA has scored in the last three matches.

Toja squeezed a shot between the posts from a nearly impossible angle after Thompson ran down a long ball as the Galaxy players appealed for offside. Findley put away the rebound of a Cobi Jones shot that had been blocked on the goalline by Chris Gbandi to tie the score.

The Galaxy back line scrambled to negate the speed of Thompson and Dominic Oduro, who were starting together in a three-forward alignment with Arturo Alvarez. Defender Ty Harden's late challenge on Oduro resulted in a penalty kick, and Thompson's successful attempt should have been retaken, as Oduro encroached by yards before the ball was struck. But referee Jair Marrufo let the kick stand.

Slack defending plagued LA on the third goal in the 73rd minute. A Dax McCarty free kick from the right side skipped through the goalmouth to the far post and Moor stooped to head it over the goalline.
A great day for FCD turned sour when substitute Kenny Cooper suffered a broken right leg in a rough tackle by Tyrone Marshall, who was ejected.

GAME SUMMARIES:
June 9 in Frisco, Texas
FC Dallas 3 Los Angeles 1. Goals: Toja (Thompson, Ricchetti) 24, Thompson pen. 54, Moor (McCarty) 73; Findley 41.
FC Dallas - Sala, Gbandi, Goodson, Moor, Yi, Saragosa, Ricchetti, Toja (Wagenfuhr, 87), Alvarez (McCarty, 64), Thompson (Cooper, 68), Oduro.
Los Angeles - Cannon, Sturgis, Marshall, Veris, Harden, Jones, Martino, Vagenas, Quaranta (Randolph, 82), Findley, Jaqua (Kirk, 72).
Yellow Cards: FC Dallas - Gbandi 27; Los Angeles - Harden 53, Sturgis 55.
Red Card: Los Angeles - Marshall 89.
Referee: Jair Marrufo.
Att.: 14,640.

June 9 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 0 Chivas USA 1. Goal: Nagamura 79.
Chicago - Pickens, Robinson, Brown, Curtin (Banner, 86), Plotkin, Gutierrez, Soumare, Oliveira (Franks, 70), Segares, Barrett, Carr (Monteiro, 87).
Chivas USA - Guzan, Zotinca (Hernandez, 82), Suarez, Thomas, Perez, Kljestan, Marsch, Nagamura, Mendoza, Razov, Galindo (Taylor, 83).
Yellow Cards: Chicago - Soumare 24, Brown 47+; Chivas USA - Kljestan 21.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo.
Att.: 20,407.

June 10 in Washington, D.C.
D.C. United 4 New York 2. Goals: Olsen (Gros, Fred) 15, Emilio (Fred, Erpen) 49, Olsen (Carroll, Gomez) 72, Olsen (Moreno, Gomez) 84; Kovalenko (Schopp) 18, Angel (Altidore, Parke) 85.
D.C. United - Perkins, Namoff, Boswell, Erpen, Gros, Fred (McTavish, 88), Carroll, Gomez, Olsen (Burch, 91+), Emilio (Moose, 74), Moreno.
New York - Waterreus, Graham (Ubiparipovic, 73), Mendes, Stammler, Schopp (Parke, 66), Richards, Kovalenko, Reyna, van den Bergh (Altidore, 57), Angel, Mathis.
Yellow Cards: D.C. United - Boswell 12, Erpen 43.
Red Card: D.C. United - Boswell 60.
Referee: Brian Hall.
Att.: 18,066.

June 10 in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus 1 Houston 2. Goals: Moreno (Schelotto) 25; Ngwenya (Davis) 22, own goal 29.
Columbus - Gruenebaum, Ward, Gonzalez, Marshall, Pierce (Garey, 81), Schelotto, Grabavoy, Oughton, Rogers, Moreno, Herron (Gaven, 72).
Houston - Onstad, Waibel, Cochrane, Robinson (Ianni, 62), Barrett, Mullan, Gray, Mulrooney, Davis (Ashe, 58), Ngwenya, Wondolowski (Holden, 74).
Yellow Cards: Columbus - Schelotto 27; Houston - Ngwenya 43.
Referee: Kevin Stott.
Att.: 12,661.



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