September 29, 2012
Gridlock continues in East and West
NEW YORK RED BULLS 4, TORONTO FC 1
|Kenny Cooper scored two goals for the New York Red Bulls
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, NJ-- Kenny Cooper ended a slump of more than two months without a goal by scoring a brace and Thierry Henry set up three goals and tallied another in stoppage time to boost the New York Red Bulls to a 4-1 win over Toronto FC at Red Bull Arena on Saturday night.
Markus Holgersson added a first-half goal as the Red Bulls moved into a second-place tie with the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference before an announced sellout crowd of 25,017.
Ryan Johnson staked the Reds to a short-lived lead in the sixth minute, beating debutante goalkeeper Luis Robles – in net for the injured Bill Gaudette – with a stunning 36-yard strike into the upper left corner. Holgersson equalized with a header off Henry’s corner kick some seven minutes later.
In the 27th minute, Henry took a pass from Lloyd Sam and sprinted toward goal half a step ahead of defender Richard Eckersley. As Eckersley crashed into goalkeeper Freddy Hall, the former French international fed Cooper for an easy tap-in into an unattended net for his 15th goal and a 2-1 Red Bulls lead. Cooper scored his second goal in the 88th minute, slotting an off-balance shot past Hall.
In stoppage time, Cooper led Henry with a long upfield ball that the French forward lofted over Hall from well outside the penalty area.
The win improved the Red Bulls (53 points) to 15-8-8 while Toronto (22), winless in their last 11 and mired in last place in the conference, fell to a league-worst 5-18-7.
Full story from Big Apple Soccer
COLUMBUS CREW 3, PHILADELPHIA UNION 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Columbus Crew officially knocked the Philadelphia Union out of MLS playoff contention with a 3-2 win Saturday night at Columbus Crew Stadium.
A pair of goals by Jairo Arrieta and a contested game-winner by Milovan Mirosevic proved to be too much for Philadelphia (8-15-6, 30 pts), who came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the game on goals by Danny Cruz and Jack McInerney.
Arrieta gave the Crew the lead in the 44th minute. Sebastian Miranda played a ball from the left to the speedy Costa Rican, who slipped behind Union defender Amobi Okugo, chested the ball down and finished with a left-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net. Five minutes into stoppage time, Arrieta got on the end of a long ball from netminder Andy Gruenebaum, cut around Okugo and put the shot across the mouth of the goal into the right side of the net.
The Union cut the Crew's lead to one in the 65th minute, after second-half sub Antoine Hoppenot was fouled by Gruenebaum on a breakaway. The Crew goalkeeper was given a yellow card, and Cruz slipped the penalty kick into the lower left corner of the net. Twenty minutes later, McInerney knotted the score after a ball into the box by Roger Torres took a slight deflection off Chris Birchall in front of the goal.
Less than a minute later, following a scramble outside the box, Josh Williams slid the ball through the Union defense to Mirosevic, who appeared to be offside. Mirosevic put a right footed shot into the center of the goal, and despite the Union’s vehement protests, it stood.
Despite the win, the Crew (14-11-6, 48 pts) remain sixth in the MLS East, one point behind Houston, who also picked up a win on Saturday.
Fulll story from Philly Soccer News
HOUSTON DYNAMO 2, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0
HOUSTON—The Houston Dynamo used second-half goals by Ricardo Clark and Oscar Boniek Garcia to defeat the New England Revolution 2-0 Saturday night at rain-drenched BBVA Compass Stadium.
The win allowed Houston (13-8-10, 49 points) to maintain their hold on a fifth-place playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and extended their home unbeaten streak to 23 games.
Clark scored the game-winner in the 77th minute, off Brad Davis’s 12th assist, while Honduran international Garcia added the clincher in stoppage time. Davis found Clark making a hard run to the near post between central defenders McCarthy and A.J. Soares, and the former US international was able to put a toe on the cross and send it past Shuttleworth for the deciding score. As the Revs pressed to equalize, Garcia put the game out of reach with a powerful volley off a Warren Creavalle cross.
Full story from New England Soccer News
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 0, SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 0
VANCOUVER, BC---Seattle Sounders FC clinched a playoff spot and Vancouver Whitecaps FC kept their postseason hopes alive as they battled to a 0-0 draw in front of a sellout crowd of 21,000 fans at BC Place on Saturday night.
Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and Vancouver netminder Brad Knighton each made three saves to keep their sheets clean. It was Gspurning’s 7th shutout of the season, and Knighton’s second.
Gspurning kept the match scoreless in extra time, sticking out his left hand to stop a blast from Vancouver defender Jay DeMerit in the 91st minute.
Seattle defender Jeff Parke almost wiped out Vancouver’s playoff chances in the 79th minute. A corner kick rebound in the penalty box came right to Parke, whose shot was blocked at the goal line by Vancouver defender Lee Young-Pyo.
Seattle is now 13-7-10 for 49 points, fourth in the MLS West, and Vancouver is 10-12-9 for 39 points and holding on to the last playoff spot in the West two points ahead of FC Dallas.
REAL SALT LAKE 4, CHIVAS USA 0
CARSON, Calif.—Alvaro Saborio scored twice in the first 12 minutes, and finished with a hat trick as Real Salt Lake routed Chivas USA 4-0 Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
At least until Sunday, the win boosts RSL (16-11-4) to second place in the MLS West with 52 points. Chivas are last in the conference at 7-16-7 (28 pts), but, at least mathematically, still have a flickering hope of advancing to the postseason after Vancouver settled for a scoreless tie with Seattle earlier on Saturday.
In the eighth minute, Espindola chipped a pass over the defense from the right side of the penalty area for Saborio, who darted in to poke the ball home from just off the left post with the outside of his right foot. Four minutes later, RSL was up by two, after Espindola picked off a pass from netminder Dan Kennedy. Once again, Espindola brought the ball into the right side of the box, this time slipping a sharp low pass through the box for Saborio, who finished from almost the same spot as he had earlier.
After being denied by a pair of heroic sliding plays by defender John Valencia in the second half, RSL added to their lead in the 65th minute, with an opportunistic strike by Saborio. Kennedy went down to block Luis Gil’s shot from the top left corner of the six-yard box. The ball rebounded to the top of the penalty area, where Saborio sent a perfectly-placed chip glancing off the underside of the bar and into the net.
Saborio’s replacement, Paulo Junior, got in the last word for RSL, in the 80th minute. Espindola notched his third assist of the game on the play, feeding the ball through three demoralized Chivas defenders for the young Brazilian, who coolly placed a shot into the right side of the net.
Miller Bolanos provided the most serious threats to RSL netminder Nick Rimando, forcing four first-half saves including an 18th-minute screamer that Rimando palmed over the bar and an off-balance effort in the 36th that the ‘keeper touched just right of the post.
Full story from LA Soccer News
DC UNITED 1, PORTLAND TIMBERS 1
PORTLAND, OR---Bright Dike scored his second goal in his last two matches to give the Portland Timbers a 1-1 tie with DC United in front of 20,438 fans at Jeld-Wen Field Saturday night.
DC took the lead on a 60th-minute penalty kick by Chris Pontius, after defender David Horst handled Perry Kitchen’s cross into the box. It was his 12th goal of the season.
Dike scored his fourth goal of the season in the 79th minute, on a cross from Steven Smith that was deflected by DC midfielder Marcelo Saragosa. Dike beat DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid to knot the score at 1-1.
Portland moves to 7-15-9 for 30 points in the MLS West while DC is 15-10-6 for 51 points and remain fourth in the East.
FC DALLAS 3, SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 3
SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Steven Lenhart scored a pair of late goals, and Alan Gordon added a goal and an assist, as the San Jose Earthquakes rallied to a 3-3 tie with FC Dallas Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Blas Perez matched Lenhart’s brace for Dallas, and Matt Hedges scored once.
Gordon gave the Earthquakes a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute, off Sam Cronin’s assist.
Fourteen minutes later, the Hoops equalized. Jackson played a ball from the right side into the penalty area. Perez stepped in front of a defender and sent the ball to the far post. Perez added his second of the game in the 72nd minute. David Ferreira settled a failed clearance at the left edge of the penalty area and chipped a perfect ball in front of the goal, where Perez finished with a header.
But the Quakes, who are notorious for scoring in the final 30 minutes, did it twice against Dallas, marking the 36th and 37th times this season they have done so. Just 11 minutes after Dallas took the lead, on a play started by goalkeeper Jon Busch, Gordon laid the ball off for Lenhart, who put a left-footed shot past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
In the 88th minute, Dallas took the lead again, when Hedges charged in on the rebound of a shot by Daniel Hernandez, but San Jose had the last word. Deep into stoppage time, Justin Morrow sent a ball into the penalty area. Gordon headed back toward the far post, where Lenhart was there to meet it with a header to tie the game.
San Jose, still looking to clinch the Supporters Shield and the Western Division crown, improve to 18-6-7 for 61 points. FC Dallas is now 9-12-9, 37 points, still looking up at the fifth playoff spot in the west.
Full story from Dallas Soccer News