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MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

September 28, 2016
MLS ROUNDUP
Toronto take over 1st place in the East; Fire out of the playoff chase


TORONTO FC 0, ORLANDO CITY SC 0
TORONTO--Orlando City SC lost valuable ground in their hunt for an MLS playoff berth with Wednesday's scoreless draw against Toronto FC at BMO Field.

The Reds (13-8-10, 49 pts) take a slim one-point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference over the New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. Eighth-place Orlando City (7-10-14, 35) fall five points behind DC United for the sixth and final postseason berth.

The Lions had abundant chances to break the deadlock, especially during the final 20 minutes, after Toronto forward Tosaint Ricketts picked up his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. Not even a late error by Reds 'keeper Alex Bono, who mis-hit an attempted clearance after charging out of the penalty area to defuse Cyle Larin's breakaway and sent the ball blooping back into the area, was enough to help Orlando get on the board.

Larin had a golden opportunity in the 11th minute, after Kevin Molino relayed Brek Shea's pass from the right side across to the Canada international, but the shot rolled just wide of the left post. Ricketts had the best of Toronto's chances, just missing with a header in the fifth minute and forcing goalkeeper Joe Bendik to stop an open shot from the top of the six-yard box in the 31st, before being sent off for making contact with defender Jose Aja on a dangerous bicycle kick.

MONTREAL IMPACT 3, SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 1
MONTREAL--The Montreal Impact scored two early goals on their way to a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Wednesday at Stade Saputo.

The Impact (10-10-11, 41 points) close to within a point of fourth-place Philadelphia in the MLS East. The Quakes remain ninth in the West at 7-10-13 (34).

Dominic Oduro put Montreal on the board off a rebound in the 22nd minute, and Ignacio Piatti netted the eight-yard game-winner ten minutes later.

Piatti also set the table as Johan Venegas added an insurance goal for the Impact in the second minute of stoppage time, finishing a three-on-two breakaway to restore Montreal's two-goal margin after Chris Wondolowski scored for the Quakes after the Impact failed to clear the rebound of Darwin Ceren's saved shot in the 62nd.

DC UNITED 3, COLUMBUS CREW SC 0
WASHINGTON, DC--DC United scored three goals after the 70th minute to pull away from Columbus Crew SC 3-0 Wednesday night at RFK Stadium.

The win gave United (9-9-13, 40 pts) a four point edge over the New England Revolution for the sixth and final playoff berth in the MLS East. Crew SC (8-12-11, 32) are ninth in the conference.

Lloyd Sam opened the DC scoring in the 71st minute, settling a short pass from Luciano Acosta and working his way around defender Corey Ashe before beating netminder Steve Clark. Lamar Neagle made the score 2-0 in the 86th minute, and assisted on Alvaro Saborio's capper in the 90th. Both late goals started with long distributions from goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

Hamid needed only two saves to post the shutout, as Crew SC failed to put most of their 11 shots on target. His biggest challenge came in the 22nd minute, when he punched a sharply-angled pass from near the right end line into the path of Harrison Afful, then had to save Afful's shot.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 1, CHICAGO FIRE 0
SEATTLE--Chad Marshall's first-half header was all Seattle Sounders FC needed to defeat the Chicago Fire 1-0 Wednesday at CenturyLink Field, officially eliminating the Fire from playoff contention.

Seattle (12-13-5, 41) move into a tie on points with Cascadia Cup rivals Portland for the critical sixth spot in the Western Conference. The Fire (6-15-9, 27 pts), who trail the field in the East, have won only one of 11 games all-time against Seattle, and only one road game since July 2014, so Wednesday's result was no surprise.

Marshall converted off a set piece in the 24th minute. Andreas Ivanschitz delivered a corner kick, and the Chicago defense failed to pick up Marshall, who easily rose up to head home the winner.

The Fire created some excitement of their own in the 32nd minute, when Luis Solignac found David Accam in the center of the box with a cross on the ground. The Ghanaian's first shot was blocked by the Seattle backline but returned to Accam, who dropped a pass back to Razvan Cocis. Cocis took a well struck one-time shot, but Frei was equal to the task, preserving the Sounders lead.

Frei also came up with a late save on David Arshakyan in stoppage time, after the Armenian forward latched onto a loose ball that had bounced off Accam's back.
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