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by Ridge Mahoney, June 9th, 2014 6:09PM

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[MLS: Week 14] The top-ranked Sounders closed out their pre-World Cup schedule with another win but no other team in the top five was able to post a victory. 

MLS: Week 14
June 8
(Report)
New England 0, New York 2
Los Angeles 1, Chivas USA 1

June 7 (Report)
Toronto 1, San Jose 0
D.C. United 0, Columbus 0
Chicago 2, Seattle 3
Philadelphia 3, Vancouver 3
Real Salt Lake 1, Portland 3
FC Dallas 3, Colorado 2

1. SEATTLE (10-2-3), 1. Stuff happens when Obafemi Martins is on the field. In the first half of a 3-2 defeat of Chicago he scored twice and went a bit mad to take a red card for an incident not picked up by TV cameras but described by referee Chris Penso as: “Violent conduct. Martins was sent off after striking an opponent [Benji Joya] in the head.” Lamar Neagle got the winning goal and the Sounders won for the eighth time in the last 10 games.

2. VANCOUVER (5-2-6), 2. The ‘Caps scored early and late and in between blew a two-goal lead to end up tied, 3-3, at Philadelphia. Erik Hurtado led the push with a goal and an assist, yet Vancouver needed a late penalty kick from Pedro Morales to get the tie and extend its unbeaten streak to seven games. Defender Jay DeMerit hobbled off in the 25th minute favoring his right leg.

3. D. C. UNITED (6-4-4), 5. A stoppage-time penalty kick by Fabian Espindola went straight to the goalkeeper and thus did a goalless game with the Crew end that way. United, sparked by Luis Silva in the playmaking role, produced a fair number of good chances and the back line,  where rookie Steve Birnbaum made his league debut in place of injured centerback Jeff Parke, logged a shutout. United has 11 points (three wins, two ties) in its last six games, and a real belief it can be a playoff participant this season.

4. NEW ENGLAND (7-5-2), 3.
One moment doesn’t define a game, yet a collision between keeper Bobby Shuttleworth and teammate Andy Dorman that gave New York a free header for the winning goal wasn’t untypical of the Revs’ performance in a 2-0 loss. They were on the front foot most of the time, and outshot the Red Bulls, 22-8, but misfired often enough to lose their second straight.

5. REAL SALT LAKE (6-2-7), 4. The team that didn’t lose in its first 12 games is stuck in a three-game winless streak after a 1-1 midweek tie with Columbus and a 3-1 loss to Portland in which right back Tony Beltran picked up two yellow cards within two minutes. A sharp first-time finish by Luke Mulholland provided a 1-0 lead against the Timbers, who then took command by scoring on a corner kick and then countering after an RSL corner to hit the winner. Against the Crew, Luis Gil scored on a rebound play during which three teammates were offside yet he wasn’t, but RSL conceded an equalizer in the final minutes.

6LOS ANGELES (4-3-5), 7. A revamped Galaxy lineup controlled most of the play (65.5 percent of possession) but could manage only a 1-1 tie with rival Chivas USA. Samuel and Gyasi Zardes started at forward in place of Robbie Keane (with Ireland’s national team), Marcelo Sarvas returned after a seven-game absence following knee surgery, and Robbie Rogers got his first 2014 start at right back. Zardes equalized in the 35th minute with a header from a Sarvas’ cross and the Galaxy attacked in waves without finding a winner.

7. TORONTO FC (6-4-1), 8. TFC matched its total of wins from last year by edging San Jose, 1-0, with a penalty kick won by Nick Hagglund and converted by Jermain Defoe. In the starting lineup, Kyle Bekker replaced Gilberto, who suffered an injury in the pre-game warmup and didn’t get on the field. Recent trade acquisition Dominic Oduro (from Columbus) debuted for the club in the 65th minute. TFC goes into the break with two straight league wins and three consecutive victories overall.

8. COLORADO (6-5-4), 6. The Rapids' hit-or-miss season hit another dip: a 3-2 loss to Dallas and their former head coach, Oscar Pareja. They took an early lead on a fine chip by Deshorn Brown, and after falling behind got back even shortly after halftime when Jose Mari connected on a corner kick. But FCD’s speed burned them for the winner and the defeat ended a modest three-game unbeaten streak.

9. SPORTING KC (6-5-4),10. The defending champion has been reeling for nearly a month but got its game together to win, 2-0, in Houston on Friday. Soony Saad scored the winning goal and Dom Dwyer converted a penalty kick to move into a tie for the league goals lead with 11. Kevin Ellis, moved into central defense because of injuries and callups, upped his reputation with another solid game. By winning, SKC snapped a five-game winless streak and is only a point out of first place in the Eastern Conference

10. SAN JOSE (4-5-4), 9. The Quakes lost for only the second time in the last six games, a 1-0 defeat in Toronto, and that goal came on a penalty kick when forward Alan Gordon committed a foul. Keeper Jon Busch could do nothing on that shot but staved off several TFC attacks in typically brave fashion. Clarence Goodson avoided a red card when he used his arm to knock down a ball sailing over his head. The loss did drop their road record to 1-4-1.

11. FC DALLAS (6-7-3), 11. Fabian Castillo’s learning curve edged upwards in a 3-2 defeat of Colorado. With the score tied, 2-2, he raced through three opponents to score the winning goal as FCD stopped an eight-game winless run. FCD had battled back to notch a pair of scrappy goals -- a Jair Benitez shot went in off Andres Escobar, and a close range shot by Zach Loyd also took a deflection on its way into the net -- and Castillo’s exhilarating run and sweet finish capped off a badly needed victory.

12. COLUMBUS (4-6-6), 12. When it works, the softly chipped penalty kick that sails straight into the middle of the goal as the keeper flies to one side or the other is coolness personified. And when the keeper turns the tables and holds his spot and punks the Panenka, as Steve Clark did to Fabian Espindola’s stoppage-time PK, the shooter goes from cool to fool. Thus did the Crew garner a 0-0 tie at RFK three days after a 1-1 result at home against RSL in which Gonzalo Higuain drilled a penalty kick over the crossbar and Ethan Finlay equalized with a delicate chip in the final minute.

13. NEW YORK (3-5-6), 13. A 2-0 victory in Gillette Stadium ended a 19-game-winless streak in regular-season and playoff road tussles against the Revs in Foxboro. Both goals were products of free kicks: Eric Alexander headed home a ball floated into the box by Lloyd Sam, and Peguy Luyindula first-timed a partial clearance back into the net. At times, the Red Bulls tried to self-destruct but were foiled by keeper Luis Robles, who finished with 10 saves and did some excellent work against his own team; at full stretch in the 70th minute he parried a “shot” off the foot of teammate Ibrahim Sekagya that would have tied the game. The win was their first in the last five games and they have yet to look much like the 2013 Supporters’ Shield winners.

14. PORTLAND (4-4-7), 16. 
It’s not too late for Fanendo Adi, named Player of the Week, to make a solid push for Newcomer of the Year; he scored twice in a 3-1 win at RSL and in only 226 minutes of action has four goals and two assists. Will Johnson converted a penalty kick against his former team to end an 11-game winless run (eight losses, three ties) in regular-season and playoff matches. Since a 1-0 loss to RSL April 19, the Timbers have knocked home 18 goals in eight games.

15. PHILADELPHIA (3-7-6), 15. A back-and-forth game of great excitement and plenty of frustration ended 3-3. Conor Casey scored two goals for the second straight game, Sebastian LeToux notched his fourth goal of the season just minutes after coming off the bench, and Cristian Maidana assisted on all three Philly scores as it rallied from two goals down. So what’s not to like? Well, twice the Union fell victim to Vancouver counters, and a penalty kick given away by Zac MacMath’s foul enabled the ‘Caps to re-tie the game. Three good chances in the final minutes weren’t converted and so the Union goes into the break with just two wins in its last 14 games.

16. HOUSTON (5-9-2), 14. Well, maybe the World Cup break can change the Dynamo’s fortunes. It lost its fourth straight, 2-0, at home to Sporting Kansas City Friday and has been outscored, 10-0, in those four games. This might be the worst of the bunch; SKC, already shorthanded by callups and injuries, went down to 10 men in the 21st minute and still prevailed. Houston defender David Horst suffered a leg injury and was replaced by Eric Brunner, who had just recovered from ankle surgery to make his first appearance of the season, and goalie Tyler Deric got the start in goal in place of Tally Hall. The changes, enforced or not, did little as the Dynamo lost a fourth straight game for the first time in four years.

17. CHICAGO (2-4-8), 17. The Fire is still winless against Seattle after a 3-2 defeat in which Homegrown signing Harry Shipp scored two goals for the second time this season and mayhem broke out several times. Defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, who was already carrying a caution, went off after plowing into Martins, whom Joya later accused of punching him in the face. Quincy Amarikwa set up both goals for Shipp with nice touches, but the second goal came with the score 3-1 and Juan Luis Anangono’s attempt in the final minutes was saved.

18. MONTREAL (2-6-4), 18. The Impact sat out the weekend but gets one last bit of action before the World Cup break when it hosts D.C. United Wednesday.

19. CHIVAS USA (2-7-5) 19. Erick "Cubo" Torresninth goal of the season and six saves by Dan Kennedy earned a 1-1 tie against the Galaxy in the final game for both teams prior to the World Cup break. Torres put away a deflected cross from Martin Rivero in the first half to give Chivas USA a lead that lasted only 15 minutes but strong work by Kennedy and centerbacks Carlos Bocanegra and Bobby Burling  -- they were back in the lineup after a hamstring problem and suspension, respectively -- blunted the Galaxy attack the rest of the way. Now begins the wait; club officials say Torres will stay for the remainder of the MLS season but parent club Guadalajara might have a different perspective.

 



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