ICYMI | MLS: Expansion teams find their strides

MLS's two expansion teams both won for the second week in a row. The Seattle Sounders are back on top in the Supporters' Shield race with two games in hand on second-place D.C. United. New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones will be sidelined 6-8 weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery.

1. Orlando digs in, NYCFC gets gorilla off its back.

Orlando City extended its unbeaten streak to five games and moved into third place in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 win over D.C. United, gaining revenge for two earlier losses to the Eastern Conference leaders. New York City FC, MLS"s other expansion, won its second straight game with a 3-1 win over Montreal that moved it to within three points of the playoff zone.

MLS: Week 14

Kaka’s seventh goal of the season in the 28th minute gave Orlando City the lead before 30,054 fans at the Citrus Bowl. Orlando City coach Adrian Heath was pleased with the progress his team has made after struggling to hold on to leads early in the season.



"I’m not sure we would have saw that through about five or six weeks ago," he said, "but I think that is a measure on how far we have come as a group. I thought that we really dug in and defended the goal later on. I was really pleased with our first-half performance. The ball movement and circulation was excellent."

After winning just once in its first 13 games, NYCFC beat Philadelphia, 2-1, and Montreal, 3-1, to join Chicago and Montreal in a tie for eighth place.

“For me, it’s all about confidence," said NYCFC coach Jason Kreis. "And I said that last week -- that it certainly was not the prettiest of games that we picked up the three points in Philadelphia, but I think it was extremely important that we finally got a win. I felt that this week in training that this giant-sized gorilla had been lifted off of everybody’s shoulders. I think because of that, we saw a group tonight that felt a little bit more liberated and a little bit more free to be the type of players and the type of team that they’re capable of.”

2. Subs put Sounders back on top in Supporters' Shield race.

The Seattle Sounders regained sole possession of first place in the Western Conference with a 3-0 win over FC Dallas. They also took a one-point lead over Eastern Conference leader D.C. United in the Supporters' Shield race with two games in hand after United's loss to Orlando City on Sunday.

Seattle, which broke open the game three goals in the second half, got big games from its three subs. Brad Evans, who came on in midfield for injured Gonzalo Pineda, set up Lamar Neagle for the first goal in the 55th minute that ended a streak of 271 consecutive scoreless minutes between the Sounders and FC Dallas. Obafemi Martins, recovering from a broken nose, came off the bench and scored his seventh goal of the season, Leo Gonzalez, who lost his starting job to Dylan Remick, netted his second career MLS goal and his first since June 2010.



3. Jermaine Jones sidelined 6-8 weeks.

New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones underwent surgery on Friday to repair a bilateral sports hernia that will sideline him 6-8 weeks. He was not listed on the USA's provisional roster for the 2015 Gold Cup.

Jones appeared in and started nine games for Revs. He missed the first five games of the season while rehabbing from offseason surgery. The Revs were 3-1-5 in the nine games that he played upon his return in early April, including wins in three of his first four appearances. The 4-2 loss to Sporting Kansas City was the first regular-season game the Revs lost in which Jones started since he joined them in August 2014.

Jones has played in 19 regular-season games, scoring two goals and adding four assists with the Revs losing just two of those contests.

4. Orlando City and Heath fined for tampering.

Orlando City and Heath were fined an undisclosed amount for violating MLS’s tampering policy in response to remarks Heath made about Sporting Kansas City's Dom Dwyer, who had starred on loan for Orlando City in USL PRO,  setting a league scoring record with 15 goals and scoring four more in the 2013 final, a 7-4 win over Charlotte after he returned temporarily from SKC.

Heath got himself in hot water for comments on his radio show when asked by a listener about whether there would be a mid-season move for Dwyer.

"I don’t know what you want me to say about Dom," he began. "If we ring Kansas City one more time, we’re going to get reported to the league from Peter Vermes."

Vermes might not have reported Heath but for what he said next.

"By the way, there’s no secret that Dom wants to be here," Heath added. "We’ve tried to get him here. We’ve done everything we can. Unfortunately, we can’t do it yet. But we will keep trying. I think this is his spiritual home. He wants to come back. We’d love to have him. But we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes before we can do it."

Vermes was not happy with Heath's comments, telling the Kansas City Star they were "uncalled for" and "unprofessional."

Heath apologized before the fine was announced, saying his comments had been misconstrued.



5. Agent: No medical for Movsisyan

Patrick McCabe, the agent for Yura Movsisyan, dismissed a report issued by the Armenian soccer federation that the former Real Salt Lake striker returned to the United States for a medical exam that might signal his return to MLS.

"There is no medical whatsoever," McCabe told the Salt Lake Tribune. Movsisyan is in Pasadena, California, where his family moved from Azerbaijan when he was 13.

McCabe had told the Tribune in May he didn't think Movsisyan would be staying at Spartak Moscow much longer, but the hiring of a new coach might mean Movsisyan would stay. Dmitry Alenichev replaced Murat Yakin, who was sacked after Spartak finished sixth in the Russian Premier League.
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