October 16, 2016
The playoff picture starts to come into focus
CHICAGO FIRE 2, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 1
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill.--The New England Revolution's playoff hopes were all but extinguished with Sunday's 2-1 loss to the last-place Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
The Revs (10-14-9, 39 pts) remain three points behind sixth-place Philadelphia, meaning they can do no better than tie for the final playoff spot by season's end, and the Union have a whopping +12 advantage in goal differential. Chicago remain on the way to their worst finish ever at 7-16-10 (31).
Michael de Leeuw gave Chicago a 1-0 advantage in the ninth minute, shedding his market to reach Brandon Vincent's cross and slotting the shot. Diego Fagundez leveled the score in the 43rd with a one-timer from the top of the arc.
New England had a man advantage for 19 minutes of the second half after Luis Solignac was sent off for kicking defender London Woodberry in the 54th minute. But they could not capitalize, and were left with ten men themselves when goalkeeper Brad Knighton drew a red card for tripping up David Accam in the 73rd.
Accam delivered the game-winner for the Fire in the 80th minute, after Jonathan Campbell found him with a perfect ball over the top. Accam settled the ball before blasting it to the near post past substitute 'keeper Bobby Shuttleworth, putting the home side up 2-1.
Full story from Chicagoland Soccer News
Full story from New England Soccer News
DC UNITED 3, NEW YORK CITY FC 1
WASHINGTON, DC--Patrick Mullins made New York City FC pay for trading him at midseason, notching a goal and an assist to lead DC United to a 3-1 win over his former teammates Sunday at RFK Stadium.
The win assured DC (11-9-13, 46 pts) of a berth in the playoffs. NYC (14-10-9) remain second in the Eastern Conference behind Hudson River rivals the NY Red Bulls, with a tenuous one-point lead over Toronto FC for first place with one game to play.
Mullins put DC on the board in the 27th minute, after a backfield turnover by the NYC defense. The ball got to Lloyd Sam, who crossed in from the right side, through Patrick Nyarko to Mullins, unmarked at the left side of the six-yard box.
Bobby Boswell made the score 2-0 four minutes later, getting position on defender Jefferson Mena to get his head on Sam's right-side corner kick.
Rob Vincent piled on for DC seconds before halftime, off another NYC defensive error. Andoni Iraola's poor pass into the box for netminder Josh Saunders went to the off-balance Mullins, who tapped it back to Vincent for an easy finish.
David Villa put NYC on the board from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute, after being kicked in the right leg by DC's Taylor Kemp.
Full story from Big Apple Soccer
ORLANDO CITY SC 2, PHILADELPHIA UNION 0
CHESTER, Pa. – Although they are only playing for pride at this point, Orlando City SC pulled out only their third road win of the season on Sunday, 2-0 over the Philadelphia Union before a crowd of 18,007 at Talen Energy Stadium.
Union defender Keegan Rosenberry gifted the Lions a game-winning own goal, Julio Baptista came off the bench to add a late capper and goalkeeper Joe Bendik made five saves to preserve the clean sheet.
Orlando City, which entered the day ninth in the Eastern Conference, improved to 8-11-14 (38 points). Philadelphia’s winless skid reached six (0-4-2) and it dropped to 11-13-9 (42 points).
The Lions SC went ahead 1-0 in the 59th minute when Carlos Rivas took advantage of an apparent stumble by defender Fabinho and scampered down the middle of the field. Rosenberry finally caught up and dove, but kicked the ball into the net for an own goal.
Bendik then made a spectacular fall-away stop on a header by Chris Pontius in the 67th minute to preserve the lead, and Baptista sealed the victory near the end of six minutes of stoppage time when he got behind the Union defense and knocked a shot past Andre Blake and into the back of the net.
Full story from Philly Soccer News
Full story from Sunshine Soccer News
MONTREAL IMPACT 2, TORONTO FC 2
MONTREAL--The Montreal Impact backed into the MLS playoffs with Sunday's 2-2 tie with Toronto FC at Stade Saputo.
The result leaves the Reds (13-9-11, 50 points) one point out of second place in the MLS East with one game to play. The Impact (11-10-12, 45) can finish no higher than fourth in the conference.
Ignacio Piatti scored two go-ahead goals for Montreal, but aided by Jozy Altidore's goal and assist, Toronto rallied both times, and only a five-save performance by Impact netminder Evan Bush kept things level.
Piatti put Montreal on the board in the 19th minute with a right-footed rocket from the top of the penalty area.
Altidore leveled the score in the 51st minute, lunging between two defenders to get a foot on Justin Morrow's pass into the goalmouth, but Morrow's from-behind takedown of Matteo Moncuso four minutes later sent Piatti to the penalty spot to restore the Impact lead.
Tosaint Ricketts salvaged the point for Toronto in the 86th. Sebastian Giovinco served the ball into the six-yard box, where Altidore chested it over to Ricketts for the close-in finish.
NEW YORK RED BULLS 3, COLUMBUS CREW SC 2
HARRISON, NJ--The New York Red Bulls held off a late rally to defeat Columbus Crew SC 3-2 Sunday at Red Bull Arena.
The Red Bulls (15-9-9) all but clinch first place in the MLS East with 54 points and a virtually unassailable +13 edge in goal differential over the only team that could catch them on points, NY City FC. Bradley Wright Phillips took sole possession of first place in the MLS Golden Boot race with two goals against Crew SC, giving him 23.
Although Sacha Kljestan teed up a penalty kick for the Red Bulls in the seventh minute, Sunday's match was scoreless until the 53rd minute, when Mike Grella broke the ice for the Red Bulls with a 17-yard blast. Wright-Phillips made the score 2-0 five minutes later, after a showy solo move to get past defender Nicolai Naess, and slid in to net the difference-maker in the 70th.
Adam Jahn made a game of it for Columbus with a goal that glanced off the crossbar and into the net in the 73rd minute. Harrison Afful chipped goalkeeper Luis Robles to cut the Red Bulls' lead to one in the 83rd.
Full story from Big Apple Soccer
REAL SALT LAKE 0, SPORTING KANSAS CITY 0
SANDY, Utah--Real Salt Lake (12-11-10, 46 pts) moved into fourth place in the MLS West by playing Sporting Kansas City to a scoreless draw Sunday afternoon at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Coupled with Portland's 1-0 win over Colorado on Sunday, the result leaves Sporting (12-13-8, 44 pts) with a scant tiebreaker's hold on the sixth and final playoff spot in the conference with one game left.
RSL GK Nick Rimando finished the match with five saves, including a game-saving swipe to rob Dom Dwyer of a would-be goal in the 86th minute, securing his sixth shutout of the season.
Rimando also came up with clutch stops on Dwyer in the 64th minute and Saad Abdul-Salaam in the 66th.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 0, VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 0
SAN JOSE--In the only match of Sunday's crowded schedule with no postseason implications, the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps FC battled to a scoreless draw at Avaya Stadium.
The Quakes are eighth in the MLS West at 8-11-14 (38 pts). The ninth-place Whitecaps enter the final week of the season at 9-15-9 (36).
Vancouver goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi made six saves in his first MLS regular season start since 2012. David Bingham also had a busy day in goal for San Jose, stopping seven.
The Quakes had the best of the early chances, with Simon Dawkins testing Tornaghi in the seventh minute and Cordell Cato sending the Italian netminder diving to keep a curling shot away from the far post just two minutes later.
Vancouver picked up their attacking pace after the intermission, mainly through Masato Kudo, who hammered a point-blank shot at Bingham in the 54th minute, had another close-range attempt saved and slammed the rebound off the crossbar two minutes later.
FC DALLAS 2, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 1
FRISCO, Texas--FC Dallas re-took first place in the MLS West and the lead in the race for the MLS Supporters' Shield by defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 Sunday at Toyota Stadium.
FCD improves to 17-8-8 and a league-high 59 points, two points ahead of the Colorado Rapids. The draw was enough to nail down a playoff berth for Seattle (13-13-7, 46) with one game left.
Seattle led 1-0 at halftime on Nicolas Lodeiro's 41st-minute free kick into the right side of the net, and had an apparent 34th-minute strike by Herculez Gomez called back for a foul.
Maxi Urruti knotted the score 1-1 in the 79th minute, finishing off a Mauro Diaz free kick, and new arrival Carlos Ruiz sealed the win in the 89th minute. Carlos Gruezo centered the ball for Diaz, who chipped a first-touch pass into the path of Ruiz. The 37-year-old netted his 89th MLS goal, volleying a shot past Sounders FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
LA GALAXY 1, HOUSTON DYNAMO 0
HOUSTON--Alan Gordon's 72nd-minute goal lifted the LA Galaxy over the Houston Dynamo 1-0 Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
Gordon was in the right place as David Horst's clearing attempt after a low ball from Mike Magee was palmed away by netminder Joe Willis smacked off his knee and into the net.
Willis had kept the match scoreless to that point with rapid-fire saves on LA's Emmanuel Boateng in first-half stoppage time. Will Bruin had a chance to put Houston back in the game late, but sent his 87th-minute header over the bar.
PORTLAND TIMBERS 1, COLORADO RAPIDS 0
PORTLAND, Ore.--Fanendo Adi's 35th-minute penalty kick held up as the game-winner as the Portland Timbers edged the Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sunday at Providence Park.
The loss knocked the Rapids (15-6-12, 57 pts) back to second place in the MLS West, while the Timbers (12-13-8, 44) are tied in points with Kansas City for the playoff-critical sixth spot in the conference, but are in seventh place on goal differential.
Adi stepped to the spot after Portland defender Vytautus Andriuskevicius was upended by Bobby Burling inside the penalty area. Vytas drew another penalty five minutes later, but Rapids netminder Tim Howard stopped Adi's initial attempt, and the follow-up shot went wide.
Timbers netminder Jake Gleeson made three saves, and got lucky when Colorado's Kevin Doyle hit the woodwork twice.