[MLS] D.C. United took over first place in the Carolina Challenge Cup by winning its second straight game, and defending MLS champion Real Salt Lake moved into second place by beating the host Charleston Battery in matches played Wednesday night.
Jaime Moreno scored the only goal of the game to give D.C. a 1-0 win over Toronto FC, which played a man down after Amadou Sanyang was sent off in the 28th minute.
A pair of late goals by RSL striker Fabian Espindola broke open a 1-1 tie created when the Battery’s Pierre-Rudolf Mayard matched a goal scored by Robbie Findley in the 10th minute for a 3-1 Salt Lake win.
Rookie Collen Warner set up Findley’s goal with a through ball, but Charleston equalized in the 36th minute when Levi Coleman corralled a back pass goalie Nick Rimando was trying to control, and squared a ball for Mayard to tuck away.
After a flurry of substitutions at halftime, Charleston nearly took the lead when Kevin Jackson fired a hard shot that Rimando did well to tip over the bar. Andy Williams set up the winning goal in the 76th minute with a ball to the near post that Espindola banged into the net. Espindola scored again in stoppage time from about 10 yards out.
TFC went a man down for the fourth time this preseason just 28 minutes into its game with D.C. United. After making a hard tackle in midfield, Sanyang tussled with United defender Julius James and received a red card. Keeper Stefan Frei stopped a fierce shot from Boyzzz Khumalo in the 57th minute, but a few minutes later TFC failed to close down Jaime Moreno, and the only original MLS player still in action scored easily.
The tournament concludes Saturday with Charleston hosting D.C. United, and RSL playing Toronto FC. United leads with six points, RSL has three, and TFC and Charleston are tied with one apiece.
The MLS teams will be missing their union player representatives, who will meet in Washington, D.C., Thursday to participate in discussions and negotiations regarding a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players union.