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Three games to watch
by Paul Kennedy, April 24th, 2014 8:42PM

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TAGS:  mls

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[MLS: Week 8] Without a lot of fanfare, D.C. United finds itself in the thick of things in the Eastern Conference. With a victory on Saturday at RFK Stadium, it will match its season total for 2013 -- a record-low three wins -- but it will beat the best team in MLS, FC Dallas, at 5-1-1 with a league-high 17 goals scored.

D.C. United looked the same ol' same ol', opening with back-to-back defeats, but since then it has gone unbeaten, winning two games and tying the other two to sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

United had to settle for a 1-1 tie at Columbus last Saturday when Hector Jimenez scored the tying goal in the 90th minute. It didn't get any help from the refereeing as Tico defender Giancarlo Gonzalez -- wrongly -- stayed on the field after taking down Eddie Johnson in the 71st minute.

Last season, that kind of game was par for the course for United. This season, a new team -- with new attitude -- is starting to think positively.

Only two players who started against the Crew -- midfielders Nick DeLeon and Perry Kitchen -- were with D.C. in 2013. What's remarkable about United's turnaround is that it has done it without any production from Johnson, its Designated Player signing who is still without a goal or assist after six games.

The only player with more than one goal is Fabian Espindola, picked up from New York. The Argentine has two goals but more than that his fiery play has served as an example for the new-look Washingtonians.

Two other games to watch ...

MONTREAL-PHILADELPHIA. If the Jack McInerney-for-Andrew Wenger was intended to shake up the Montreal Impact and Philadelphia Union, it has yet to have effect. The clubs enter Saturday's game in Montreal -- the season opener at Stade de Saputo -- with one win combined in 15 games -- and that was by the Union in Week 2. Both players have scored one goal since switching clubs.

HOUSTON-PORTLAND. Last year's beaten conference finalists are both desperate for a win. The Dynamo, hammered by New York, 4-0, on Wednesday, is winless in its last five games but at least it opened with a couple of wins. The Timbers are still without a victory after seven games and will enter the game in last place unless San Jose loses at home to Chivas USA on Saturday night.

MLS RESULTS, Week 8:
Wednesday, April 23
New York 4 Houston 0.
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Thierry Henry, Kosuke Kimura) 12
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Roy Miller, Thierry Henry) 24
NY: Thierry Henry 65
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 86
Att.: 13,238.

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 8:
Saturday, April 26
4 pm ET
Seattle vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE, Univision Dep.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
D.C. United vs. FC Dallas, MLS LIVE
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. New York, MLS LIVE
New England vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
9:30 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver, MLS LIVE
10:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. Chivas USA, MLS LIVE
Sunday, April 27
3 pm ET
Houston vs. Portland, UniMas
------------------------------------------------
MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
11 Columbus 3-1-2 11/6
11 Sporting KC 3-1-2 9/4
10 New York 2-2-4 12/11
9 Toronto FC 3-3-0 5/7
8 D.C. United 2-2-2 6/7
------------------------------------------------
8 New England 2-3-2 5/9
8 Philadelphia 1-2-5 9/10
7 Houston 2-4-1 7/12
6 Chicago 0-1-6 11/12
3 Montreal 0-4-3 7/15

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
16 FC Dallas 5-1-1 17/9
13 Seattle 4-2-1 14/11
13 Real Salt Lake 3-0-4 11/6
11 Colorado 3-1-2 8/5
9 Vancouver 2-2-3 10/8
------------------------------------------------
8 LA Galaxy 2-1-2 7/4
6 Chivas USA 1-3-3 8/13
4 Portland 0-3-4 8/12
3 San Jose 0-2-3 5/7
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
6 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
6 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
4+3 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
4 Quincy Amarikwa, Chicago
4 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
4 Federico Higuain, Columbus
4 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
4 Vicente Sanchez, Colorado
3+1 Thierry Henry
, New York
3
Blas Perez
, FC Dallas
3 Will Bruin, Houston
3 Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
3 Michel, FC Dallas
3 Kenny Miller, Vancouver
3 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake
3 Je-Vaughn Watson, FC Dallas
3 Chris Wondolowski, San Jose


1 comment
  1. Eric Dibella
    commented on: April 25, 2014 at 5:53 p.m.
    I would love to watch the games, but none of them are on television. Actually, I think I can see the Portland one in Spanish.


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