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New York takes lead in tight MLS Eastern Conference race
by Ridge Mahoney, July 9th, 2007 7AM

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BULL MARKET. New York (7-5-3) used a John Wolyniec goal and a staunch defensive effort to beat Colorado, 1-0, and take over first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls were thrashed, 4-0, in Houston Thursday night but finished off a three-game road trip with their third away win of the season. Wolyniec, playing up top with Juan Pablo Angel and Clint Mathis, trapped an atrocious clearance by Ugo Ihemelu in the 19th minute and bent a 25-yard shot low past goalie Bouna Coundoul inside the far post.

For the second half, Coach Fernando Clavijo brought on Herculez Gomez, Daniel Wasson and Roberto Brown to liven up his team, and chances followed the changes. Yet Red Bull keeper Ronald Waterreus needed to make just one save in the second half as defenders threw themselves in front of shots. Jovan Kirovski blasted a long-distance shot off the crossbar.

Two Colorado (4-8-5) shots were deflected and Jacob Peterson hit the post during five minutes of stoppage time as furious attacks failed to produce an equalizer. The Rapids were shut out at home for the third time in a row and haven't won a game in their last eight.

HIGH-FLYING HOUSTON. After going six straight games unbeaten in June, Houston added its second straight win of July by beating D.C. United, 1-0, Sunday on Brian Ching's fourth goal of the season. Ching redirected a low shot from outside the box off the foot of Richard Mulrooney after Eddie Robinson had headed down a Dwayne DeRosario corner kick.

The teams combined for only 15 shots yet kept a quick pace for most of the match despite 86-degree temperatures and high humidity.. Sharp goalkeeping kept the score low. Houston goalie Pat Onstad denied Luciano Emilio with a foot save and also stopped Christian Gomez from a tight angle. Another Gomez effort hit the crossbar. United goalie Troy Perkins saved acrobatically on a Ching shot deflected by Bobby Boswell.

The Dynamo's shutout streak reached 515 minutes, the third-longest in league history. Houston hasn't surrendered a goal since June 10 in a 2-1 victory over Columbus; the scorer was ex-Dynamo striker Alejandro Moreno.

Houston (9-5-2) moved into a first-place tie with FC Dallas. Both teams have 29 points, the Dynamo has a game in hand. United (7-5-2) is tied with New England for second, a point behind New York.

ROLLING CREW. Columbus piled on some more misery for Real Salt Lake by beating the Western Conference cellar-dweller, 2-0, with late goals by Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno.

Columbus dominated the first half, outshooting RSL 10-2 and preventing a shot on goal. A solid block by Eddie Pope defused a shot by Moreno that rolled to RSL keeper Nick Rimando, and several Crew shots from good positions missed the frame.

Eddie Gaven, who arrived from Copa America duty shortly before the match, put a ball into the net on a feed from Andy Herron in the 74th minute but he was ruled offside. Two minutes later, Ritchie Kotschau tripped Herron as he cut inside the penalty area and Schelotto put away the penalty.

Moreno charged up left side and crossed a ball that Gaven, who drew criticism for his lackluster U.S., skillfully picked out of the air with his left foot to bang home his second goal of the season.

A six-game unbeaten streak has moved the Crew (5-4-7) up the Eastern Conference standings into a tie for fourth place. RSL (1-7-6), beaten in four of its last five games, lost Alecko Eskandarian to a second caution in stoppage time when he chopped down Schelotto.

COBI'S COMEBACK. Kansas City may have the talent and experience to challenge for the title, but it has yet to develop a killer instinct.
After a scoreless first half at Home Depot Center, the Wizards (6-5-4) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a quick pair of goals by Yuri Movsisyan and Davy Arnaud, only to concede goals to Cobi Jones 14 minutes apart as the Galaxy (3-5-4) rallied for a 2-2 tie.

Movsisyan came on as a halftime substitute and needed less than two minutes to score; he controlled a Jack Jewsbury cross that both Abel Xavier and Chris Klein failed to clear and fired low past Joe Cannon to score his fourth goal of the season. Four minutes later, Cannon couldn't handle defender Ante Jazic's back header, and Arnaud pounced on the bobble to score a very soft goal.

Jones came on for striker Edson Buddle and almost immediately he and Landon Donovan opened up the Kansas City defense. A block denied Kyle Martino, but on a counterattack Donovan released Carlos Pavon to race upfield and drill a low shot that rebounded off the base of the post for Jones to tuck away.

Donovan set up Jones for the equalizer in the 75th minute with a low centering pass that Jones neatly side-footed past former Galaxy keeper Kevin Hartman at the near post for the 71st goal of his career.

BURPO BLINDER. A week after losing to Chivas USA in California, New England hosted the second and final meeting of the teams at Gillette Stadium, and a razor-sharp showing by goalie Preston Burpo helped the visitors escape with a 1-1 tie.

Claudio Suarez headed Chivas USA (6-5-3) into the lead five minutes into the match and twice Ante Razov couldn't convert good opportunities that could have increased its edge. Revs keeper Matt Reis denied one of his shots with a leg save. Adam Cristman blasted a volley off the knee of Burpo shortly before halftime and Ralston drove a rebound off the post.

Burpo dazzled in the second half with some spectacular saves, including a pair of gems to rob Taylor Twellman, but couldn't stave off the Revs (6-3-5) forever. New England outshot Chivas USA, 20-9, over the 90 minutes and equalized when Andy Dorman volleyed in a Steve Ralston corner kick. The assist tied Ralston with Carlos Valderrama atop the MLS all-time list with 114.

Pat Noonan nearly scored a late winner but Burpo snared his header and then threw the ball to safety as he fell backwards into the goal.

TALE OF TWO POINTS. Eastern Conference rivals Toronto FC (5-7-3) and Chicago (4-7-4) have the same number of losses and are separated by just a couple of points after playing a 1-1 tie Saturday, but their outlooks couldn't be more different.

TFC equalized with a Maurice Edu goal to give his team its seventh point in the last three road games. Interim head coach Denis Hamlett juggled his lineup yet again but the Fire, despite taking the lead in the 70th minute when Chad Barrett earned and converted a penalty kick, couldn't hold on and has won only one of its last 11 matches.

Barrett ran onto a back heel by Bakary Soumare off a throw-in to draw a foul by former Galaxy defender Tyrone Marshall and rolled the penalty to the left of keeper Srdjan Djekanovic. Eight minutes later, Marvell Wynne chipped a ball from midfield that Edu chested down in a crowd and banged into the net.

GAME SUMMARIES
July 7 in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus 2 Real Salt Lake 0. Goals: Schelotto pen. 76, Gaven (Moreno) 80.
Columbus - Hesmer, Hejduk, Gonzalez, Marshall, Pierce, Thomas (Herron, 70), Grabavoy (Gaven, 64), O'Rourke, Miglioranzi, Schelotto, Moreno (Kamara, 90).
Real Salt Lake - Rimando, Kipre (Watson, 82), Pope, Torres, Kotschau, Talley, Harris, Williams (Lancos, 87), Ballouchy, Eskandarian, Findley (Brown, 64).
Yellow Cards: Real Salt Lake - Talley 7, Ballouchy 55, Eskandarian 77, Kipre 78.
Referee: Alex Prus.
Att.: 14,203.

July 7 in Foxboro, Mass.
New England 1 Chivas USA 1. Goals: Dorman (Ralston) 64; Suarez (Zotinca) 5.
New England - Reis, Heaps, Parkhurst, Riley, John (Smith, 46), Ralston, Dorman, Joseph, Thompson, Noonan, Cristman (Twellman, 56).
Chivas USA - Burpo, Suarez, Hernandez, Thomas, Perez, Zotinca (Merlin, 56), Marsch, Mendoza, Nagamura, Galindo (Lopez, 88), Razov (Cunliffe, 76).
Yellow Cards: Chivas USA - Zotinca 25, Suarez 29; New England - John 13, Joseph 58, Heaps 69, Noonan 94+.
Referee: Abiodun Okulaja.
Att.: 13,266.

July 7 in Bridgeview, Ill.
Chicago 1 Toronto FC 1. Goals: Barrett pen. 70; Edu (Wynne) 78.
Chicago - Pickens, Brown, Pause, Segares, Gutierrez, Armas, Thiago (Mapp, 63), Guerrero, Soumare, Carr, Barrett (Franks, 83).
Toronto FC - Djekanovic, Brennan, Dunivant, Marshall, O'Brien, Edu, Robinson, Welsh (Pozniak, 65), Wynne, Dichio, Samuel.
Yellow Cards: Chicago - Brown 31; Toronto FC - Edu 34, Brennan 69, Pozniak 76.
Referee: Mark Geiger.
Att.: 13,080.

July 7 in Carson Calif.
Los Angeles 2 Kansas City 2. Goals: Jones 61, Jones (Donovan) 75; Movsisyan (Jewsbury) 47, Arnaud 51.
Los Angeles - Cannon, Klein, Harden, Xavier, Jazic, Donovan, Gray, Vagenas, Martino, Buddle (Jones, 55), Pavon (Glinton, 74).
Kansas City - Hartman, Jewsbury, Conrad, Garcia, Harrington, Victorine, Marinelli, Zavagnin, Arnaud, Pore (Morsink, 81), Sealy (Movsisyan, 46).
Yellow Cards: Kansas City - Garcia 62.
Referee: Richard Heron.
Att.: 22,637.

July 8 in Commerce City, Colo.
Colorado 0 New York 1. Goal: Wolyniec 19.
Colorado - Coundoul, Gargan, Erpen, Ihemelu, Prideaux, Cooke, Beckerman (Wasson, 46), Clark (Gomez, 46), Hernandez (Brown, 59), Kirovski, Peterson.
New York - Waterreus, Freeman, Mendes (Vide, 54), Parke, Goldthwaite, Richards (Schopp, 81), Reyna, Stammler, Mathis, Angel, Wolyniec (van den Bergh, 71).
Yellow Cards: Colorado - Prideaux 32; New York - Parke 56, Vide 68.
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez.
Att.: 12,708.

July 8 in Houston
Houston 1 D.C. United 0. Goal: Ching (Mulrooney) 33.
Houston - Onstad, Waibel, Ianni, Robinson, Barrett, Mullan, De Rosario (Clark, 72), Mulrooney, Holden (Ashe, 83), Ngwenya (Jaqua, 64), Ching.
D.C. United - Perkins, Boswell, McTavish, Vanney, Gros, Olsen (Burch, 66), Carroll (Simms, 76), Gomez, Fred, Addlery (Dyachenko, 64), Emilio.
Yellow Cards: Houston - De Rosario 52; D.C. United - Gomez 90.
Referee: Brian Hall.
Att.: 15,033.



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