October 6, 2012
Impact out; Wondo nets a hattrick
DC UNITED 1, TORONTO FC 0
|Fabian Espindola scored twice to lead RSL over the LA Galaxy 2-1.
Linda Cuttone/Sports vue Images
TORONTO—Hamdi Salihi was in the right place at the right time for DC United on Saturday, darting into the goalmouth just as Toronto FC netminder Milos Kocic let the ball slip through his hands and poking the ball into the net for a 1-0 DC win at BMO Field.
The 88th-minute game-winner temporarily lifted United (16-10-6, 54 pts) over both Chicago and the New York Red Bulls into second place in the MLS East. By the end of the day, United was in third place behind the Fire and within a Columbus Crew loss on Sunday of securing a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs.
Former TFC forward Maicon Santos set the game’s critical play in motion with a hard low shot from the upper right side of the penalty area in the 8th minute. It should have been an easy save for Kocic, but the ball slipped out of the Toronto ‘keeper’s grasp and ended up on the ground behind him, in the path of the onrushing Salihi.
DC netminder Bill Hamid needed three saves for the shutout, the most challenging of them coming in the 62nd minute, when he dove to stop a hard shot by Ryan Johnson.
The Reds’ epic winless streak not stands at 12 games, leaving them at 5-19-7 with a league-low 22 points.
CHICAGO FIRE 2, NEW YORK RED BULLS 0
HARRISON, NJ—Sherjill MacDonald scored in the 65th and 78th minutes to lift the Chicago Fire into a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls Saturday at Red Bull Arena, and into sole possession of second place in the MLS East with two games left in the season.
Saturday’s win, combined with a Columbus Crew tie or loss against conference leaders Kansas City on Sunday, would guarantee the Fire a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs.
MacDonald snapped the scoreless tie off a breakaway, charging into the penalty area with a half-step edge on defender Heath Pearce and coolly slotting the shot over rookie goalkeeper Luis Robles, who had come off his line and gone to ground. Chris Rolfe set the table with a pinpoint ball through the Red Bulls defense from just inside midfield.
MacDonald doubled the Fire lead off a through ball from Daniel Paladini, perfectly timing his break through the three-man Red Bulls back line and, while New York’s players screamed for an offside flag, again chipped the ball over Robles, this time 16 yards from goal.
While the Red Bulls gave Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson a few anxious moments, they put only one shot on goal, a header by Tim Cahill in the 57th minute that Johnson handled easily. The loss, coupled with DC United’s 1-0 win over Toronto FC earlier on Saturday, drops the Red Bulls to fourth place in the East at 15-9-8 (53 pts).
Full story from ChicagoLand Soccer News
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PHILADELPHIA UNION 1, NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 0
CHESTER, Pa.—Jack McInerney scored in the 73rd minute to give the Philadelphia Union a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution in a battle of Eastern Conference playoff washouts Saturday at PPL Park.
McInerney connected off a cross from Keon Daniel. Daniel played a free kick from the near side, almost from the corner flag. He curled the ball into the area and McInerney got behind Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to head the ball into the net.
Other than the goal, the Union created few chances in the game. Neither did New England, as the shots stood 12-9 in favor of the Revs, but only 3-2 in shots on goal. New England’s best opportunity was a sitter for Jerry Bengtson in the 29th minute that the Honduran international clanged off the left post.
The win was Philadelphia’s third in four games, and marked only the third time this season they have won back-to- back games. The Union, who were eliminated from playoff contention last weekend, improve to 10-15-6. The Revolution, one of two teams below the Union in the Eastern Conference standings, fall to 7-17-8.
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HOUSTON DYNAMO 1, MONTREAL IMPACT 1
HOUSTON—The Montreal Impact rallied to a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium, but the single standings point wasn’t enough to keep the expansion team alive in the Eastern Conference playoff chase, leaving only six teams jostling for the five available postseason slots.
Nyassi’s 66th-minute strike, off his own rebound after netminder Tally Hall blocked his initial attempt, countered Will Bruin’s go-ahead goal for the Dynamo in the 44th minute. Bruin put Houston on the board from just off the left post, off Caen Carr’s assist.
Brian Ching appeared to have delivered the win to Houston in stoppage time, popping a shot over the Montreal defense and into the net, but was ruled offside.
The result leaves the Dynamo fifth in the conference at 13-9-10 and 50 points, only two points ahead of sixth-place Columbus, who play on Sunday. The Impact are 12-16-4 (41) with two games left on the schedule.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 4, COLORADO RAPIDS 1
COMMERCE CITY, Colo.—Chris Wondolowski led the way with a natural hat trick and an assist as the San Jose Earthquakes routed the Colorado Rapids 4-1 Saturday night at frigid Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Wondolowski’s first goal, in the 11th minute, was the game-winner. He added to his lead in the MLS Golden Boot race with goals in the 51st and 83rd minutes, giving him 25 for the season, only two less than Roy Lassiter’s single-season record with two games left to play. The performance also made Wondolowski the Quakes’ all-time leading goal scorer, with 62.
Wondolowski helped put the Quakes on the board in the second minute, beating defender Marvell Wynne to Sam Cronin’s free kick and heading it to Marvin Chavez, who finished from the top of the penalty area. He used his chest to propel Rafael Baca’s cross into the net to make the score 2-0, and picked off a bad clearance and turned it back into the net to give San Jose a three-goal edge in the 51st.
Wondolowski completed his hat trick with a straightforward 17-yard shot.
Andre Akpan spoiled goalkeeper Jon Busch’s shutout bid in the second minute of stoppage time with a penalty kick after a red-card foul by Jason Hernandez.
San Jose (19-6-7, 64) retain their unassailable lead over Sporting Kansas City in the race for the MLS Supporters’ Shield. The Rapids fall to 9-19-4 (31).
REAL SALT LAKE 2, LA GALAXY 1
CARSON, Calif.—Fabian Espindola scored twice in a three-minute span to power Real Salt Lake to a 2-1 comeback win over the LA Galaxy Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
The win leaves RSL (17-11-4, 55 pts) with a five-point edge over the Galaxy for second place in the MLS West, at least until Sunday, when Seattle Sounders FC could drop the Galaxy (15-12-5, 50) to fourth place with a win over Portland.
The Galaxy didn’t go down easily, however, outshooting second-place RSL 11-4 through a breakneck first half and taking a 1-0 lead on Robbie Keane’s bouncing volley in the 17th minute off a crossfield setup pass from Juninho.
RSL put only three shots on goal before the intermission, but two of them were goals by Espindola. In the 25th minute, Javier Morales sent a ball toward the arc from high on the left side. Espindola dummied it through to Alvaro Saborio, broke into the left side of the box for the quick relay and beat goalkeeper Josh Saunders with a quick left-footer.
Three minutes later, Morales controlled a Salt Lake throw-in on the right flank and looped a pass into the box for Espindola, who, with his back to goal, nodded the go-ahead goal past Saunders and into the left inside netting.
The Galaxy kept up their relentless pressure through the remaining minutes, but were thwarted time and time again by RSL netminder Nick Rimando and his determined back line. The veteran ‘keeper picked off Sean Franklin’s open shot in the 29th minute and a riser from Mike Magee from the top right corner of the box in the 32nd. Defenders Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers blocked shots in the penalty area early in the second stanza. In the 58th minute, Olave blocked another Donovan shot outside of the penalty area to Juninho, whose follow-up was saved by Rimando.
Espindola, meanwhile, pursued a hat trick with back-to-back shots in stoppage time, but the first was blocked by Saunders, and the second by defender Omar Gonzalez.
Full story from LA Soccer News