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Teams look to break Eastern Conference logjam
September 7th, 2013 2:16AM

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TAGS:  mls

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[MLS PREVIEW: Week 28] Three teams -- Montreal, New York and Sporting Kansas City -- begin the weekend tied for first place in the Eastern Conference. Sporting KC is at home against Columbus, while Montreal and New York are on the road against New England and Houston, respectively.

Sporting KC is without Matt Besler and Graham Zusi on national team duty, Kei Kamara has been sold to Middlesbrough and Dom Dwyer will be playing in the USL PRO final for Orlando City. With Zusi and Dwyer out and Kamara gone, C.J. Sapong, who recently returned from  Orlando City, should again start.

The installation of grass at Gillette Stadium for Tuesday's Brazil-Portugal match should mean that Italian star Alessandro Nesta will play for the Impact against the Revs.

New York head coach Mike Petke and Thierry Henry downplayed their confrontation a week ago that was followed by Petke's decision to leave the Frenchman on the bench for the start of the D.C. match. Look for Henry to be back in the starting XI at struggling Houston.

WESTERN CONFERENCE. The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders can both move to within two points of idle Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference with home wins over Colorado and Chicago, respectively.

They'll both without their frontline duos on national team duty: Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan for the Galaxy and Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey for the Sounders. Youngsters Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean could start for the Galaxy, while Seattle will have to see whether Obafemi Martins is ready to go. The Nigerian has missed four straight games with an ankle injury.

The weekend's big game in the Western Conference pits Vancouver against FC Dallas. They are tied for sixth place only two points out of the playoff zone.

-- Houston midfielder Oscar Boniek Garcia, who is on World Cup duty with Honduras, won't serve his suspension for his reckless challenge on Chicago midfielder Patrick Nyarko in their Sept. 1 game until Sept. 14 when the Dynamo plays against Philadelphia Union.

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 28:
Saturday, September 7
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Vancouver
Sporting KC vs. Columbus
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. Chicago, NBCSN
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Colorado
11 pm ET
Portland vs. Toronto FC

Sunday, September 8
5 pm ET
Houston vs. New York, UniMas
7:30 pm ET
New England vs. Montreal
9 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. D.C. United
11 pm ET
San Jose vs. Philadelphia, ESPN2

MLS RESULTS Week 28:
Wednesday, September 4
Columbus 2 Houston 0.
CLB: Ryan Finley (Justin Meram, Bernardo Anor) 47
CLB: Justin Meram (Ryan Finley, Dominic Oduro) 74
Att.: 143,60.

Wednesday, September 4

Seattle 1 Chivas USA 0.
SEA: Lamar Neagle  (Marc Burch) 24
Att.: 38,317.
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS STANDINGS:
Eastern Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-

42 (25) Montreal 12-7-6 41/35
42 (27) New York 12-9-6 40/35
42 (27) Sporting KC 12-9-6 38/27
39 (27) Philadelphia 10-8-9 37/37
37 (26) New England 10-9-7 35/25
-----------------------------
37 (26) Houston 10-9-7 30/32
35 (25) Chicago 10-10-5 31/35
32 (27) Columbus 9-13-5 31/35
22 (26) Toronto FC 4-12-10 23/35
14 (26) D.C. United 3-18-5 16/43

Western Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-
48 (28) Real Salt Lake 14-8-6 52/35
43 (26) LA Galaxy 13-9-4 43/32
43 (25) Seattle 13-8-4 33/26
39 (27) Colorado 10-8-9 34/29
39 (26) Portland 9-5-12 39/30
-------------------------------
37 (26) Vancouver 10-9-7 38/35
37 (26) FC Dallas 9-7-10 36/38
34 (26) San Jose 9-10-7 28/40
22 (27) Chivas USA 5-15-7 26/48
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS LEADING SCORERS:
G PLAYER (TEAM)
15 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal)
14 Camilo (Vancouver)
14 Mike Magee (Los Angeles/Chicago)
12+2 Robbie Keane (Los Angeles)
10+1 Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
10 Blas Perez (FC Dallas)
10 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
9+1 Diego Fagundez (New England)
9 Federico Higuain (Columbus)
9 Conor Casey (Philadelphia)
9 Dominic Oduro (Columbus)
9 Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC)

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 29:
Wednesday, September 11
7:30 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Chicago

Friday, September 13
10 pm ET
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN

Saturday, September 14
2 pm ET
Montreal vs. Columbus
4 pm ET
D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy, UniMas
7 pm ET
New York vs. Toronto FC
7:30 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Houston
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. New England
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. FC Dallas
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Vancouver
Chivas USA vs. Portland


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