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Timbers on top but not yet in playoffs
by Ridge Mahoney, October 13th, 2013 11:13PM

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TAGS:  mls, portland timbers, seattle sounders

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[MLS REWIND: Week 33] Balance and parity is keeping most of the MLS postseason hopefuls on edge for at least a few more days, as evidenced by the fact Western Conference leader Portland is not yet assured of a playoff spot.

The Timbers downed Cascadia Cup rival Seattle, 1-0, Sunday night at a pulsating Jeld-Wen Field to jump into first place with a 13-5-14 record (53 points). But they are only five points ahead of the LA Galaxy and Colorado, which are tied for fourth, and six ahead of San Jose. Since all teams have at least two games to play, Portland must wait to clinch despite a spectacular victory decided by Kalif Alhassan’s strike at the end of the first half.

Seattle, which sent out Clint Dempsey for just his fourth start of the season, nearly took an early lead when a Dempsey header hit the crossbar. He went down heavily -- one of several punishing hits dished out by Portland -- in a collision with Diego Chara and favored his shoulder before being replaced by Steve Zakuani in the 77th minute.

Alhassan nailed a first-time shot past keeper Marcus Hahnemann -- who was given the start in place of Michael Gspurning, who had been shelled for nine goals in the past two games -- after a clearance bounced off Seattle right back DeAndre Yedlin. The shot beat Hahnemann low to the near post in the 45th minute.

Seattle went down to 10 men in the 73rd minute after a hard foul on Portland forward Darlington Nagbe triggered a scuffle. Referee Hilario Grajeda showed Sounders captain Osvaldo Alonso the red card for elbowing counterpart Will Johnson in the face.

Zakuani nearly rescued a tie for the Sounders in stoppage time but his deflected shot came back off the crossbar. The result left the season series evenly split at 1-1-1, with each team winning, 1-0, and the other match ending 1-1.

Both teams resume play Saturday. Seattle is at FC Dallas and Portland hosts Real Salt Lake.



MLS WEEK 33, Results:
Sunday, October 13
Portland 1 Seattle 0.
POR: Kalif Alhassan 45
Red Card: Seattle -- Osvaldo Alonso 74.
Att.: 20,674.

Saturday, October 12
Montreal 0 New England 1.
NE: Jose Goncalves (Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez) 31.
Att.: 18,917.



Saturday, October 12
D.C. United 1 Philadelphia 1.
DC: Nick DeLeon (Lewis Neal) 36
PHI: Jack McInerney (Kleberson) 90
Att.: 11,213.

McInerney Goal:


Saturday, October 12
FC Dallas 2 Chicago 3.
CHI: Juan Luis Anangono (Mike Magee) 25
CHI: Mike Magee (Alex) 42
CHI:  Jalil Anibaba 52
DAL: Kenny Cooper (David Ferreira, Ramon Nunez) 63
DAL: Kenny Cooper 75 
Att.: 14,087.

Wednesday, October 9
Houston 0 Sporting KC 0.
Att.: 16,433.

Wednesday, October 9
Seattle 1 Vancouver 4.
VAN: Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi) 12
VAN: Kekuta Manneh (Camilo, Lee Young-Pyo) 42
VAN: Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi) 53
SEA: Mauro Rosales 69
VAN: Nigel Reo-Coker 82
Att.: 38,833.

Wednesday, October 9
San Jose 1 Colorado 0.
SJ: Chris Wondolowski (Shea Salinas) 69
Att.: 10,525.
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS STANDINGS:
Eastern Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-

53 (32) *New York 15-9-8 50/39
52 (32) *Sporting KC 15-10-7 44/29
48 (32) Houston 13-10-9 39/37
46 (31) Montreal 13-11-7 48/46
46 (32) Chicago 13-12-7 44/47
-------------------------------------------
46 (32) Philadelphia 12-10-10 40/40
45 (32) New England 12-11-9 45/36
41 (32) Columbus 12-15-5 40/42
26 (32) Toronto FC 5-16-11 29/46
16 (32) D.C. United 3-22-7 21/56
*Clinched playoff berth.

Western Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-
53 (32) Portland 13-5-14 49/33
52 (32) Real Salt Lake 15-10-7 55/40
51 (32) Seattle 15-11-6 41/39
48 (31) LA Galaxy 14-11-6 51/37
48 (32) Colorado 13-10-9 42/33
-------------------------------------------
47 (32) San Jose 13-11-8 33/41
45 (32) Vancouver 12-11-9 48/42
41 (32) FC Dallas 10-11-11 45/50
26 (32) Chivas USA 6-18-8 29/60
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS LEADING SCORERS:
G PLAYER (TEAM)
19+1 Mike Magee (LA Galaxy/Chicago)
19 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal)
18 Camilo (Vancouver)
15 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
12 Diego Fagundez (New England)
12 Dominic Oduro (Columbus)
11+1 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
11 Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
11 Federico Higuain (Columbus)
11 Blas Perez (FC Dallas)

MLS WEEK 34, Schedule:
Wednesday, October 16
10:30 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Montreal

Friday, October 18
8 pm ET
Sporting KC vs. D.C. United NBCSN

Saturday, October 19
2 pm ET
Montreal vs. Philadelphia
3 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Seattle NBCSN
6 pm ET
Colorado vs. Vancouver
7:30 pm ET
New England vs. Columbus
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. Toronto FC
10:30 pm ET
Portland vs. Real Salt Lake

Sunday, October 20
4 pm ET
Houston vs. New York UniMas
9 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. San Jose ESPN

MLS WEEK 35, Schedule:
Wednesday, October 23
9 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, October 26
3 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Sporting KC NBCSN
4 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Univision Dep.
5:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. FC Dallas NBCSN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland

Sunday, October 27
1:30 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Houston NBC
4 pm ET
Columbus vs. New England
5 pm ET
New York vs. Chicago UniMas
8 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Colorado
9 pm ET
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy ESPN


1 comment
  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: October 14, 2013 at 2 p.m.
    Not a mention of the fact that the foul that injured Deuce was deliberate, cowardly and from behind -- and did not merit a yellow card. So long as the refs allow MLS matches to deteriorate into slug-fests before they try to restore order, the league will retain thuggery as the order of the day. Can someone explain to me why an intentional foul from behind on a skillful player who has passed you and is running free in the attacking end does not merit a Yellow?

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