Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record

[MLS: Saturday] New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips is within three goals of the MLS record for goals in a season after he scored his third hat trick of the season in a 4-1 win over Seattle, and the LA Galaxy tied the Sounders for the points lead. New York, Portland and Columbus were three teams needing victories to bolster their playoff hopes, and all three came through.

MLS RESULTS, Week 28:
Saturday, September 20
Los Angeles 2, FC Dallas 1
Portland 3 Vancouver 0.
Philadelphia 0 Houston 0.
New York 4 Seattle 1.
Montreal 2 San Jose 0.
Columbus 1 New England 0.
Chicago 3 D.C. United 3.

ON THE BRINK.
How do you beat the team with the league’s best record? Unleash the league’s top scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips nailed his third hat trick of the season and edged closer to history in a 4-1 Red Bull rout of Seattle Saturday at Red Bull Arena. With 24 goals, he is within three of the record of 27 set by Roy Lassiter in 1996 and tied two years ago by Chris Wondolowski. The Red Bulls have five more games to play and are just a point out of third place, currently occupied by New England.

New York took command less than halfway through the first minute. Ambroise Oyongo put the first shot of the game on target and Wright-Phillips collected the rebound from Stefan Frei’s save to score after just 29 seconds of play. Though the Sounders fielded many backups -- Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins came off the bench in the second half -- they battled through the first half without conceding again, but couldn’t sustain the effort.

In the 54th minute, Wright-Phillips knocked home a penalty kick awarded when reserve defender Dylan Remick fouled Lloyd Sam, and two minutes later he swung into a great cross from Roy Miller to score his third. Head coach Mike Petke then brought him off to a tremendous ovation, with Tim Cahill the replacement. Seattle got one back when Dempsey scored two minutes after replacing Kenny Cooper, and Cahill punished an error by Djimi Traore to restore the three-goal edge as New York extended its unbeaten streak to four games.

NEW LIFE FOR THE CREW. During New England’s impressive five-game winning streak, an Eastern Conference rival was steadily -- of not so spectacularly -- picking up points as well.

The Crew won its fourth game in the last six by snapping the Revs’ five-game run with a 1-0 victory Saturday, provided by a wonderful free kick by Federico Higuain. New England had fended off numerous attacks in the first half and got into the locker room at 0-0, but a few minutes into the second half Higuain stepped up to a free kick awarded few yards outside the box and bent his shot into the top corner.

On a much better chance in the 84th minute Higuain failed. A scuffed penalty kick -- his third such failure this season -- was easily saved. Charlie Davies nearly exploited that miss on a breakaway in the final minutes, but a great fingertip save by keeper Steve Clark preserved the victory and a two-point lead over sixth-place Philadelphia, which labored to a 0-0 tie with Houston at PPL Park.

SIX-GOAL SPECTACLE. A chance to widen its lead atop the Eastern Conference wasn’t fully taken by D.C. United, which rallied from a 2-0 deficit at Chicago to take a 3-2 lead it couldn’t hold. The 3-3 tie added a point to its lead over Sporting Kansas City, which sat out the league program this weekend and is three points back.

Luis Silva scored twice, once from the penalty spot and the other on a free kick, to match an opening goal by Quincy Amarikwa and a Jeff Larentowicz PK. Bobby Boswell scored during a scramble during which a shot by Perry Kitchen that was cleared may actually have crossed the goal line, and Chicago capped the frenzy with a deflected shot by Matt Watson.

Chicago has tied the MLS record for ties in a season, 16, that it set along with New York in 2011.

DIFFERENT VENUE, SAME RESULT. Three weeks after beating the Whitecaps, 3-0, at B.C. Place, Portland rolled another trey at home and took over fifth place in the Western Conference.

Fanendo Adi has scored eight goals this season, as in four two-goal games. He struck twice three minutes apart in the second half to smother the Whitecaps, who fell behind in the 28th minute when Diego Valeri nailed an electrifying volley for his ninth goal.

Valeri sealed the outcome near the midpoint of the second half when he pick pocketed Matias Laba and slipped a through ball that Adi steered into the net. Darlington Nagbe, whose revived form is one reason the current Timbers are looking a bit more like the 2013 version, provided the pass for Adi to round out the scoring.

Portland, which has taken eight points from its last four matches, leads Vancouver by two points in the standings. Both teams have five games to play.

GALAXY DOWNS DALLAS. Another topsy-turvy game fell in favor of the Galaxy, which rallied to beat FC Dallas, 2-1, at StubHub Center and pull into a tie for the Western Conference lead and Supporters’ Shield race with Seattle. Both teams have 54 points though the Sounders have played one fewer game and lead the first tiebreaker, most wins, 17-15.

Blas Perez broke a scoreless deadlock in the 54th minute with his third goal in the last two games, but FCD couldn’t contain the Galaxy’s Irish icon nor its super-sub. Gyasi Zardes stole a ball and fed Robbie Keane, who fired home to tie the game, and Alan Gordon came off the bench to score yet again.

For the winning goal, Keane juked Adam Moffat and clipped a left-footed cross that Gordon headed home for his fourth goal since arriving in a trade from San Jose and his third as a sub.

FUTILITY BOWL. Two of league’s three worst teams met at Stade Saputo, and the last-place Eastern Conference team, Montreal, posted a 2-0 victory over second-to-last-in–the-West San Jose.

Jack McInerney and Dilly Duka got the goals and Ignacio Piatti delivered another impressive performance, but still the Impact became the first team eliminated from playoff contention. The Quakes, winless in nine games, are nearly there as well.

MLS RESULTS, Week 28:
Saturday, September 20
Los Angeles 2, FC Dallas 1
FCD: Blas Perez (Andres Escobar) 54.
LA: Robbie Keane (Gyasi Zardes) 62.
LA: Alan Gordon (Robbie Keane) 84.
Att.: 22,863.

Portland 3 Vancouver 0.
POR: Diego Valeri (Jorge Villafana) 28
POR: Fanendo Adi (Diego Valeri) 66
POR: Fanendo Adi (Darlington Nagbe) 69
Att.: 20,814.




Philadelphia 0 Houston 0.

Att.: 18,462.

New York 4 Seattle 1.

NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 1
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips pen. 54
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 24 (Roy Miller, Thierry Henry) 56
SEA: Clint Dempsey (Lamar Neagle) 62
NY: Tim Cahill  65
Att.: 25,000.



Montreal 2 San Jose 0.

MTL: Jack McInerney 81
MTL: Dilly Duka (Marco Di Vaio) 88

Columbus 1 New England 0.

CLB: Federico Higuain 48
Att.: 21,318.



Chicago 3 D.C. United 3.

CHI: Quincy Amarikwa (Harrison Shipp) 16
CHI: Jeff Larentowicz pen. 32
DC: Luis Silva pen. 39
DC: Luis Silva 54
DC: Bobby Boswell 68
CHI: Matt Watson (Quincy Amarikwa) 78
Att.: 17,279.



Friday, September 19
Real Salt Lake 5 Colorado 1.
COL: Jose Mari 21
RSL: Joao Plata (Ned Grabavoy) 32
RSL: Javier Morales 33
RSL: Chris Schuler 37
RSL: own goal 45
RSL: Carlos Salcedo 63
Att.: 20,692.

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 28:

Sunday, September 21
3 p.m. ET
Toronto FC vs. Chivas USA, UniMas

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE

PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T GF/GA

48 (29) D.C. United 14-9-6 45/34
45 (29) Sporting KC
13-10-6 43/34
42 (29) New England 13-13-3 41/40
41 (29) New York 10-8-11 48/42
40 (29) Columbus 10-9-10 41/36
---------------------------------------
38 (29) Philadelphia 9-9-11 45/43
34 (27) Toronto FC 9-11-7 36/43
33 (28) Houston 9-13-6 33/50
31 (28) Chicago 5-7-16 37/43
24 (29) Montreal 6-17-6 34/52

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
54 (28) *Seattle 17-8-3 52/41
54 (29) LA Galaxy 15-5-9 59/31
49 (29) Real Salt Lake 13-6-10 49/36
45 (29) FC Dallas 13-10-6 49/39
39
(29) Portland 9-8-12 52/48
-----------------------------------------
37 (29) Vancouver 8-8-13 36/39
31 (29) Colorado 8-14-7 40/53
28 (28) San Jose 6-12-10 33/41
24 (28) Chivas USA 6-16-6 23/51
*Clinched playoff berth.
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
24 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
19 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
15 Gyasi Zardes, LA Galaxy
14 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
14 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
13 Obafemi Martins, Seattle
13 Lee Nguyen, New England
13 Joao Plata
, Real Salt Lake
13 Chris Wondolowski, San Jose
12 Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia
12 Clint Dempsey, Seattle

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 29:
Wednesday, September 24
9 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Seattle
Friday, September 26
8 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. New England, NBCSN
Saturday, September 27
1 p.m. ET
Toronto FC vs. Portland
3 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. Philadelphia, NBCSN
4 p.m. ET
Seattle vs. Chivas USA
7 p.m. ET
Vancouver vs. Real Salt Lake
7:30 p.m. ET
Columbus vs. Montreal
9 p.m. ET
Colorado vs. San Jose
Sunday, September 28
3 p.m. ET
Houston vs. Chicago, UniMas
8:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. New York, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 30:
Thursday, October 2
8 p.m. ET
Philadelphia vs. Chicago, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Friday, October 3  
8 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. Sporting KC, NBCSN
Saturday, October 4
6 p.m. ET
New York vs. Houston, NBCSN
7 p.m. ET
Vancouver vs. FC Dallas, UDN
7:30 p.m. ET
New England vs. Columbus
10:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. Toronto FC
11 p.m. ET
San Jose vs. Portland, NBCSN
Sunday, October 5
3 p.m. ET
Colorado vs. Seattle, UniMas
5 p.m. ET
Chicago vs. Montreal
7 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 31:
Wednesday, October 8
7:30 p.m. ET
Toronto FC vs. Houston
10:30 p.m. ET
Portland vs. San Jose
Friday, October 10
8:30 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. Chicago
10 p.m. ET
Seattle vs. Vancouver, NBCSN
Saturday, October 11
4 p.m. ET
Montreal vs. New England
7 p.m. ET
Philadelphia vs. Columbus
New York vs. Toronto FC
9:30 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose
10:30 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. Colorado
Sunday, October 12
3 p.m. ET
Houston vs. D.C. United, UniMas
7 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. LA Galaxy, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 32:
Thursday, October 16
8 p.m. ET
Houston vs. New England, ESPN2, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Friday, October 17
10 p.m. ET
Portland vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN
Saturday, October 18
2 p.m. ET
Toronto FC vs. Montreal, UDN
3 p.m. ET
Colorado vs. FC Dallas, NBCSN
7 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. Chicago
Philadelphia vs. Sporting KC
10:30 p.m. ET
San Jose vs. Vancouver
Sunday, October 19
3 p.m. ET
New York vs. Columbus, UniMas
8:30 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy vs. Seattle, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

MLS SCHEDULE, Week 32:
Wednesday, October 22
9:30 p.m. ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA
Friday, October 24
8 p.m. ET
Chicago vs. Houston
Saturday, October 25
2:30 p.m. ET
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy, NBC
4 p.m. ET
Montreal vs. D.C. United
7:30 p.m. ET
New England vs. Toronto FC
8:30 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. Portland
10 p.m. ET
Vancouver vs. Colorado, UDN
Sunday, October 26
3 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. San Jose, UniMas
5 p.m. ET
Columbus vs. Philadelphia
8:30 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. New York, ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes

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1 comment about "Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record".
  1. Gus Keri, September 21, 2014 at 9:03 a.m.

    LA Galaxy also Clinched playoff berth

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