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Eastern race tightens, Sounders pull away in beatdown
by Ridge Mahoney, June 1st, 2014 1:08AM
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TAGS:  mls


[MLS WEEK: 13] A trio of Eastern Conference games tightened up the standings and the Western showdown turned into a beatdown.

EASTERN SHUFFLE. The defending MLS Cup champion was beaten by last season’s doormat, the bottom-feeder knocked off the current leader, and a showdown of teams on the upswing produced five goals including a stoppage-time winner.

Meet your new and improved Eastern Conference.

D.C. United, which won all of three games last year, closed to within two points of first-place New England by beating Sporting Kansas City, 1-0. The Revs fell in Montreal, 2-0, as the Impact doubled its win total and halted New England’s five-game win streak. Toronto rallied to beat the Crew, 3-2, to knot the teams in the fifth and final playoff spot with 16 points though TFC has played three fewer games.

Though SKC wasn’t playing all that well before Graham Zusi and Matt Besler left to join the U.S. World Cup preparation camp, it is struggling to cope with their absences and a rash of injuries, the latest of which sent Aurelien Collin to the sideline in the seventh minute with a hamstring problem. Add a dose of poor fortune -- a cross by Fabian Espindola that wound up in the net – and few near-misses in the attacking third and you have a five-game winless streak. Credit to United; it took advantage of weakened foe to win a sixth game that doubles last year’s total.

After conceding 22 goals in its first 11 games, the Impact blanked the potent Revs by stifling their speed after taking an early lead. Revs head coach Jay Heaps said his players came out flat and they were also chasing the game from the third minute after Jack McInerney’s touch set up Andreas Romero to play a one-two with Marco Di Vaio and finish from close range. McInerney scored the second goal before halftime on a rebound when Issey Nakajima-Farran’s shot bounced off keeper Bobby Shuttleworth.

The Crew led twice at BMO Field and still came up short. Playmaker Federico Higuain sat out with a suspension and though the attack generated goals by Justin Meram and Augustin Viana, it could not manage the advantage and Jermain Defoe equalized both times. In stoppage time, the Crew crumbled again; Dwayne DeRosario drew a foul and Doneil Henry got free to head Dan Lovitz’s free kick for the winner.

RSL ROUTED. The Sounders turned the weekend’s big game into a big win, a 4-0 rout of previously undefeated Real Salt Lake. Provided a 1-0 lead on a rather shaky call for a penalty kick that Gonzalo Pineda knocked home shortly before halftime, the Sounders took command in the second half. Marco Pappa nailed a superb free kick, and Seattle added goals by Chad Barrett and Obafemi Martins to win its seventh game in the last nine.

QUAKES SHAKIN’, DALLAS REELING. For the second time in three weeks, San Jose downed FC Dallas, 2-1, and after a terrible start is just a point out of the playoff quintet. It is also only two points behind fourth-place FCD despite having played three fewer games.

The Quakes took advantage of a second caution administered to FCD midfielder Adam Moffat in the 37th minute to post their first road win of the season. The score was tied, 1-1, at the time, on goals by Blas Perez and ex-FCD man Atiba Harris, and the home team couldn’t quite hold out until halftime. In the last minute of the half, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi belted an incredible goal from about 35 yards out that held up for the winner.

FCD is in fourth mainly because it has played a league-most 15 games. Its 1.2 points per game is less than sixth-place San Jose (1.33) and seventh-place Portland (1.23), and it is winless in the last eight games. Moffat’s red card was its sixth of the season, one fewer than it accrued all of last year.

MLS WEEK 13, Results:
Saturday, May 31
Toronto FC 3 Columbus 2.
CLB: Justin Meram (Ethan Finlay) 18
TFC: Jermain Defoe (pen.) 21
CLB: Agustin Viana (Ben Speas) 65
TFC: Jermain Defoe (Gilberto) 81
TFC: Doneil Henry (Daniel Lovitz) 90+2
Att.: 22,591.

Montreal 2 New England 0.
MON: Andres Romero (Marco Di Vaio) 3
MON: Jack McInerney 38
Att.: 18,068.

D.C. United 1 Sporting KC 0.
DCU: Fabian Espindola (Chris Korb) 28.
Red Card: DCU -- Alex Caskey 94+.
Att.: 18,522.

FC Dallas 1 San Jose 2.
DAL: Blas Perez (Fabian Castillo) 16
SJ: Atiba Harris (Steven Lenhart) 27
SJ: Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi 1 (Khari Stephenson) 45
Red Card: DAL -- Adam Moffat 37.
Att.: 15,682.

Chivas USA 0 Philadelphia 3.
PHI: Conor Casey pen. 28
PHI: Conor Casey (Cristian  Maidana) 66
PHI: Cristian Maidana (Vincent Nogueira) 76
Red Card: CHV -- Oswaldo Minda 83.
Att.: 5,231.

Seattle 4 Real Salt Lake 0.
SEA: Gonzalo Pineda (pen.)
SEA: Marco Pappa 55
SEA: Chad Barrett (Lamar Neagle) 62
SEA: Obafemi Martins (Kenny Cooper) 90
Att.: 39,245.

Wednesday, May 28

Chivas USA 0 Portland 2.
POR: Fanendo Adi (Jorge Villafana, Darlington Nagbe) 65
POR: Fanendo Adi (Diego Valeri) 71
Red Card: CHV -- Bobby Burling 84.
Att.: 3,702.
Tuesday, May 27

Sporting KC 1 New York 1.
SKC: Toni (Benny Feilhaber) 9
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Thierry Henry) 50
Att.: 19,221.

MLS WEEK 13, Schedule:
Sunday, June 1
4 pm ET
Chicago vs. LA Galaxy, MLS LIVE
8 pm ET
Colorado vs. Houston, UDN
9 pm ET
Portland vs. Vancouver, MLS LIVE

MLS Standings:
23 New England 7-4-2 21/146
21 D.C. United 6-4-3 18/14
19 Sporting KC 5-5-4 19/14
17 Houston 5-7-2 16/24
16 Toronto FC 5-4-1 15/13
16 Columbus 4-5-4 17/17
15 New York 3-5-6 20/22
14 Philadelphia 3-7-5 19/24
12 Chicago 2-3-6 19/21
10 Montreal 1-7-4 11/22

29 Seattle 9-3-2 29/21
24 Real Salt Lake 6-1-6 23/17
18 Colorado 5-4-3 16/15
18 FC Dallas 5-7-3 23/24
17 Vancouver 4-2-5 18/14
16 Portland 3-3-7 20/20
16 San Jose 4-4-4 15/13
15 LA Galaxy 4-3-3 14/9
10 Chivas USA 2-7-4 13/25
MLS: Leading Scorers
11+1 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
10 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
8 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
8 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
7+1 Fabian Espindola, D.C. United
7 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
6+2 Jermaine Defoe, Toronto FC
6+1 Obafemi Martins
, Seattle
6 Federico Higuain, Columbus
6 Joao Plata
, Real Salt Lake
6 Will Bruin, Houston
6 Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake

MLS WEEK 14, Schedule:
Wednesday, June 4
7:30 pm ET
Columbus vs. Real Salt Lake, MLS LIVE
9 pm ET
Colorado vs. Chicago, MLS LIVE
Friday, June 6
8:30 pm ET
Houston vs. Sporting KC, MLS LIVE
Saturday, June 7
4 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. San Jose, MLS LIVE
6:30 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Columbus, MLS LIVE
7 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Vancouver, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
Chicago vs. Seattle, MLS LIVE
8:30 pm ET
FC Dallas vs. Colorado, MLS LIVE
10 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Portland, MLS LIVE, UDN
Sunday, June 8 
5 pm ET
New England vs. New York, MLS LIVE
8 pm ET
LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, UDN

MLS WEEK 15, Schedule:
Wednesday, June 11
7:30 pm ET
Montreal vs. D.C. United, MLS LIVE
10 pm ET
Portland vs. FC Dallas, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

1 comment
  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: June 2, 2014 at 6:51 p.m.
    "...beaten by last season’s doormat, the bottom-feeder knocked off the current leader," ...REALLY? JEALOUS MUCH? It's one thing to say it once, but you had to place this negative term upon the Sounders TWICE? What a jerk! You should not even be in journalism!

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