BLANCO DOES BMO. The MLS debut of Mexican attacker Cuauhtemoc Blanco came in Canada, of course, and whether because of his presence or a decimated opponent Chicago rolled to a 3-0 win.
Ivan Guerrero, Calen Carr and Floyd Franks scored as Chicago (5-8-4) ended a six-game winless streak, avenged a 3-1 loss at BMO Field May 19, and presented head coach Juan Carlos Osorio his first MLS victory. It also drew the Fire even with TFC at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 19 points.
The homecoming of Toronto (5-9-4) following a six-game road stretch necessitated by the U-20 World Cup fizzled into disappointment. Jeff Cunningham, Ronnie O'Brien and Marvell Wynne all missed the match with injuries, and goalkeeping woes forced 18-year-old David Monsalve into the nets, with regular starter Greg Sutton and previous emergency backup Sam Reynolds sidelined.
A Blanco pass sent in Guerrero to score his first MLS goal since October 2005 in the 37th minute, and 13 minutes into the second half Carr doubled the lead after a scramble with a shot that Monsalve should have smothered.
Carr hit the woodwork late in the match before setting up Franks to score his first MLS goal.
REVS RISE TO THE TOP. The goggles Jeff Larentowicz wears to protect an eye he injured early in the season have little aesthetic value, yet his bespectacled appearance hasn't impaired his competitive value.
Larentowicz drilled home a free kick in the 82nd minute to ruin a spirited effort by Real Salt Lake (1-9-6) and lift the Revs (8-3-6) to first place in the Eastern Conference. RSL played a man down after Andy Williams, whose petulance and occasional flashes of talent are typical of his performances this season, received a straight card midway through the second half for a wild tackle on Andy Dorman.
RSL trailed at the time of Williams' ejection, 1-0, to a Revs goal prompted by a long ball from Larentowicz to Taylor Twellman, who laid it off for Pat Noonan to score his fourth goal of the season. Khano Smith nearly doubled the lead just before Williams' ejection but drilled a shot off the crossbar.
RSL tied the match, 1-1, with a penalty kick called for a foul by Jay Heaps on Kyle Beckerman, a recent acquisition from Colorado. Carey Talley put away the penalty for his first goal of the season. A foul by Talley on Noonan provided the opportunity for Larentowicz's winning blast.
CRACKER IN K.C. Spectacular goals by Kerry Zavagnin and Yuri Movsisyan propelled the Wizards past Chivas USA, 3-2, and pushed them to within a point of the Eastern Conference lead.
Kansas City (8-5-5) fell behind to a Jonathan Bornstein strike, tied the match late in the first half on Zavagnin's missile from outside the box, and took a 2-1 lead in the 53rd minute when Davy Arnaud nicked home a loose ball after a free kick. Yet just two minutes later, John Cunliffe put a feed from Sacha Kljestan through Kevin Hartman's legs to tie the match, 2-2.
The teams traded chances but nobody broke through until Movsisyan, seven minutes after coming on as a sub, ran on to a Nick Garcia pass on the right flank and cut inside to unleash a right-footed shot that glanced off defender Shavar Thomas and sailed over keeper Brad Guzan.
Chivas USA (8-6-3), which beat Red Bull New York Thursday for only its second road win of the season, is 2-6-2 on the road yet unbeaten at home.
July 28 in Salt Lake City
Real Salt Lake 1 New England 2. Goals: Talley pen. 72; Noonan (Twellman, Larentowicz) 39, Larentowicz 82.
Real Salt Lake -- Rimando, Kipre, Kotschau, Pope, Wingert, Beckerman, Sturgis (Watson, 70), Talley, Williams, Findley (Harris, 73), Brown (Brown, 61).
New England -- Reis, Heaps, Parkhurst, Riley, Ralston, Dorman, Joseph, Larentowicz, Thompson (Smith, 59), Twellman, Noonan.
Yellow Cards: Real Salt Lake - Pope 34;?New England - Dorman 36.
Red Card: Real Salt Lake - Williams 67.
Referee: Michael Kennedy.
July 29 in Kansas City
Kansas City 3 Chivas USA 2. Goals: Zavagnin (Victorine) 38, Arnaud 53, Movsisyan 89; Bornstein 17, Cunliffe (Kljestan) 55.
Chivas USA -- Guzan, Zotinca, Suarez, Thomas, Bornstein, Kljestan, Marsch, Vaughn (Lopez, 83), Mendoza, Merlin (Cunliffe, 46), Razov.
Kansas City -- Hartman, Jewsbury, Conrad, Garcia, Raybould (Movsisyan, 82), Victorine (Pore 74), Marinelli (Morsink, 91+), Zavagnin, Harrington, Johnson, Arnaud.
Yellow cards: Kansas City -- Jewsbury 5, Marinelli 71; Chivas USA -- Vaughn 10, Thomas 42, Marsch 45, Suarez 91+.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo.
July 29 in Toronto
Toronto FC 0 Chicago 3. Goals: Guerrero (Blanco) 37, Carr 58, Franks 75.
Chicago -- Pickens, Brown, Gutierrez (Plotkin, 87), Segares, Carr, Armas, Pause, D.Robinson, Guerrero, Blanco (Thiago, 82), Barrett (Franks, 66).
Toronto FC -- Monsalve, Boyens (Lombardo, 46), Marshall, Dunivant, Pozniak, Brennan, Edu, C.Robinson, Welsh, Dichio (Melo 67), Samuel.
Yellow cards: Toronto FC -- Welsh 10, Samuel 42; Chicago -- Carr 13, Barrett 44.
Referee: Jair Marrufo.