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Crew rules; Colorado lights up New York
by Mike Woitalla, September 29th, 2008 7AM



[MLS NAMES & NUMBERS/VIDEO] The Columbus Crew confirmed its superiority. ... A hat trick featured in Colorado's barnburner in New York. ... Kenny Cooper reaffirmed his Big D value. ... An own goal you don't see everyday, a bicycle kick, and a long-range free kick that bounced into the net. ...

HUNTER FREEMAN headed the ball into his own net from 17 yards to gift Houston a 1-0 lead. His Toronto FC recovered to earn a 1-1 tie thanks to Marvell Wynne's first MLS goal in four seasons and kept its playoff hopes alive despite remaining last in the East standings with 26 points VIDEO

The Columbus Crew, which clinched a playoff spot last weekend, extended its overall point lead when it downed second-best New England, 1-0, on the road. The Crew, which got its goal on a corner-kick header from defender Chad Marshall, tops the East on 50 points, followed by New England (42) and Chicago (41). West leader Houston is fourth on overall points with 40. Columbus has six wins and one tie in its last seven games. VIDEO

CONOR CASEY scored a hat trick for Colorado in its 5-4 win at New York, which got its goals from four different players, including MLS debutant Matthew Mbuta, a 21-year-old Cameroonian who was signed by the Red Bulls Sept. 15 from the USL's Crystal Palace Baltimore. VIDEO

2. Real Salt Lake won its second road game of the year when it downed San Jose, 3-2, to end the Earthquakes nine-game unbeaten streak. Javier Morales scored the gamewinner with a 59th minute free kick. Before the Argentine's strike, Yura Movsisyan scored twice for Salt Lake and Darren Huckerby hit two for San Jose. VIDEO

KENNY COOPER scored his 15th goal of the season when he struck FC Dallas's third goal in a 3-0 win over D.C. United that boosted Dallas' chances of a playoff spot. United and Dallas are now in fifth place of the East and West, respectively with 33 points. Cooper is second in league scoring behind Landon Donovan (19 goals) and is the first Dallas player to reach 15 in a season since Ariel Graziani did in 2000. Dallas has a 19-1-7 all-time record when Cooper scores. [VIDEO]

6. Dallas' win broke a six-game winless streak against D.C. United, which last lost to Dallas on May 28, 2005. Before Cooper's goal against United, Brazilian Andre Rocha scored with a long-distance free kick that bounced through a confused D.C. defense and into the goal. Jeff Cunningham scored the second with his fifth goal in seven games.

SASHA VICTORINE, who joined Chivas USA from Kansas City less than two weeks ago, shone against the club he'd played for since 2005. Victorine set up Alecko Eskandarian for the opening goal and scored the stoppage-time gamewinner with a 19-yard shot in Chivas USA's 2-1 win over the Wizards. VIDEO

JOSH WOLFF's third goal of the season was a bicycle kick effort that equalized the Kansas City-Chivas USA game until Victorine's winner. VIDEO


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