Sunday, September 24, 2017

MLS: SKC, Five Stripes, Timbers Gather Key Home Sunday Wins; Citizens Clinch Playoff Berth

Three games were contested in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

At Kansas City, Kansas:

Daniel Salloi (18') and Diego Rubio (35') each scored a first-half goal as Sporting Kansas City held off the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1.

At Atlanta:

Hector Villalba (28') and Jeff Larentowicz (73') each scored once as Atlanta United blanked the visiting Montreal Impact 2-0.  The Five Stripes have garnered four wins and a draw in their first five contests at Mercedes Benz Stadium and have outscored opponents 19-3.

The Impact's defeat, coupled with New York City's 1-1 draw on Saturday with Houston, locked up an MLS Cup playoff berth for the Citizens.

At Portland, Oregon:

Diego Valeri scored twice (PK-15', 59'; he stretched his MLS-record streak for scoring in consecutive games to nine games) and Darren Mattocks once (29') as the Portland Timbers dominated visiting---and nine-man Orland City 2-0.

DV8 now leads MLS in goal scoring with a franchise single-season record 20.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1. x-Toronto FC (GP: 31; GD: +34; PTS: 62)
2. x-New York City FC (GP: 30; GD: +13; PTS: 52)
3.    Atlanta United FC (GP: 29; GD: +28; PTS: 49)
4.    Chicago (GP: 30; GD: +13; PTS: 48)
5.    Columbus (GP: 31; GD: +1; PTS: 47)
6.    New York Red Bulls (GP: 29; GD: +4; PTS: 42)
7.    Montreal (GP: 30; GD: -2; PTS: 39)
8.    New England (GP: 30; GD: -5; PTS: 38)
9.    Philadelphia (GP: 30; GD: 0; PTS: 36)
10.  Orlando City SC (GP: 30; PTS: -18; PTS: 35)
11.  DC United (GP: 30; GD: -22; PTS: 31)

x-Clinched playoff berth



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1.   Vancouver (GP: 29; GD: +7; PTS: 48)
2.   Portland (GP: 31; GD: +6; PTS: 47)
3.   Kansas City (GP: 29; GD: +14; PTS: 47)
4.   Seattle (GP: 30; GD: +5; PTS: 44)
5.   Real Salt Lake (GP: 31; GD: -6; PTS: 41)
6.   San Jose (GP: 30; GD: -20; PTS: 39)
7.   Houston (GP: 29; GD: +7; PTS: 39)
8.   FC Dallas (GP: 29; GD: -2; PTS: 38)
9.   Minnesota United (GP: 29; GD: -19; PTS: 32)
10. Los Angeles (GP: 30; GD: -21; PTS: 27)
11. Colorado (GP: 29; GD: -17; PTS: 26)

NOTES: With Portland and Kansas City level on points with 47, the Timbers have more wins than Sporting KC (13-12); with San Jose and Houston level on points with 39, the Earthquakes have more wins than the Dynamo (11-10).

CAF Champions League: Etoile du Sahel Oust Al-Ahli Tripoli, Advance To Semis

At Sousse, Tunisia:

Amr Marey scored twice (14', 47') on Sunday as Etoile du Sahel blanked visiting Al-Ahli Tripoli 2-0 in the second game of their CAF Champions League quarterfinal-round series and eliminated the Libyan club by that same score on aggregate.



The match-ups are set for the semifinal round of the CAF Champions League, with the opening contests set to be played on September 29-October 1 and the return matches to be contested on October 20-22.

The game-one hosts are listed first:

Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) vs. Al-Ahly (Egypt)

USM Alger (Algeria) vs. Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

CAF Champions League: Al-Ahly, USM Alger, Wydad Casablanca Advance To Semifinals; Defening Champs Mamelodi Sundowns Ousted

The quarterfinal round of the CAF Champions League continued on Saturday with three games.

At Rades, Tunisia:

Ali Maaloul (50') and Junior Ajayi (62') each scored once as Al-Ahly defeated Esperance de Tunis 2-0 on the road in game two and won their series 4-3 on aggregate.



At Algiers, Algeria:

A game-two 0-0 home deadlock with Ferroviario Beira was good enough for USM Alger as the Algerian club, with the aggregate score at 1-1, won their series on away goals.



At Rabat, Morocco:

After Salaheddine Saidi's goal in the 20th minute enabled Wydad Casablanca to outscore visiting Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in regulation in game two and level their two-match series at 1-1 on aggregate, and with overtime dispensed with, the Moroccan club, with Abdeladem Khadrouf, Achraf Bencharki, and Mohammed Ounajem converting their spot kicks,  won the penalty-kick shootout 3-2 to advance to the semifinal round and eliminate the defending champions.

MLS: Revs, DCU, Philly, Crew, Loons, Josh RSL, Caps Grab Saturday Wins

Eight games were contested on Saturday in Major League Soccer.

At East Hartford, Connecticut (due to scheduling conflict with New York Yankees):

Mauro Manotas' equalizer in the 16th minute lifted the Houston Dynamo to a 1-1 road draw with New York City.  Maximiliano Morales scored for the Citizens in the sixth minute.

At Foxborough, Massachusetts:

Kei Kamara scored the winning goal in the 86th minute as the New England Revolution knocked off visiting Toronto FC 2-1.

At Washington:

Patrick Mullins had a four-goal night (57', 60' ,68' 88') as DC United demolished the visiting San Jose Earthquakes 4-0.

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

Chris Pontius scored twice (10', 55') as the Philadelphia Union upended the visiting Chicago Fire 3-1.

At Columbus, Ohio:

Josh Williams scored the winning goal in the 67th minute as the Columbus Crew defeated the visiting New York Red Bulls 3-2.

At Minneapolis:

Christian Ramirez (24'), Miguel Ibarra (35'), Ethan Finlay (70'), and Abu Danladi (88') each scored once as Minnesota United dominated visiting (and slumping) FC Dallas 4-1.

At Sandy, Utah:

Jefferson Savarino (52') and Luke Mulholland (66') each scored once as Real Salt Lake continued their push for an MLS Cup playoff berth by blanking the visiting Seattle Sounders 2-0.

At Vancouver, British Columbia:

Yordy Reyna scored the winning goal in the 54th minute as the Vancouver Whitecaps tightened their hold on the top spot in the Western Conference standings (pending Sunday games for Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers) with their 2-1 home win over the Colorado Rapids.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

CONCACAF League: Santos, Olimpia Oust Panamanian Clubs, Advance To Final

Two games were contested on Thursday as the CONCACAF League's semifinal round came to a conclusion.

At San Jose, Costa Rica:

Kenny Cunningham scored the series-winning goal in the 88th minute as Santos de Guapiles defeated visiting Arabe Unido 1-0 in game two and ousted the Panamanian club by that score on aggregate.


At San Pedro Sula, Honduras:

Jose Murillo's goal in the 20th minute helped carry CD Olimpia to a 1-1 game-two home draw with Plaza Amador, more than enough for the Honduran club to finish off the visitors from Panama 8-2 on aggregate.



The CONCACAF League's two-game final is set to open on October 17-19 with the return match to be played on October 24-26, with the winner to advance to the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League.

Copa Libertadores: Stunning Game-Two Performance By River Plate Sets Up All-Argentinian Semifinal Series

The quarterfinal round of the Copa Libertadores  concluded on Thursday with two games.

At Buenos Aires:

Ignacio Scocco scored five----count 'em----five goals (8', 15', 19', 46', 57') while Enzo Perez added a pair (35', 66') as River Plate snapped to life in game two and nuked visiting Jorge Wilstermann 8-0 and more than easily overcame their series-opening 3-0 road defeat in finishing off the Bolivian club 8-3 on aggregate.


At Buenos Aires:

With Jose Sand (10') and Nicolas Pasquini (15') each scoring once during the first quarter-hour of regulation in game two, Lanus blanked visiting San Lorenzo 2-0 in the second match to square their all-Argentinian series at 2-2 on regulation.

With overtime dispensed with, Alejandro Silva Gonzalez, the aforementioned Nicolas Pasquini, Diego Braghieri, and Lautaro Acosta each converted a spot kick as Lanus won the penalty-kick shootout 4-3 to advance to the semifinal round.



The semifinal round is set to open on October 24-26, with the return contests set for the period between October 31 and November 2.

The game-one hosts are listed first:

River Plate (Argentina) vs. Lanus (Argentina)

Barcelona SC (Ecuador) vs. Gremio (Brazil)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SPORTING KC HOLD OFF RED BULLS, WIN FOURTH US OPEN CUP TITLE AND BERTH IN '19 CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

At Kansas City, Kansas:

Latif Blessing (25') and Daniel Salloi (66') each scored once as Sporting Kansas City laid claim to their third Lamar Hunt US Open Cup championship in the last six years (and fourth overall) by holding off the visiting New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Wednesday.

Sporting KC, by winning this game, qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League. 

MLS: Five Stripes Maul Galaxy; Impact Knock Off Reds In Toronto

Two games were played on Wednesday in Major League Soccer.

At Atlanta:

Yamil Asad scored twice (16', 20') as Atlanta United scored all their goals in the first half en route to demolishing the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 4-0 in a contest that saw both clubs reduced to ten men.

At Toronto:

Ignacio Piatti (10', 24') and Anthony Jackson-Hamel (47', 51') each scored twice as the Montreal Impact held off Toronto FC 5-3 on the road and handed the Reds their first home defeat of the season.

Copa Libertadores: Barcelona (From Ecuador), Gremio Advance To Semifinals

Two games in the quarterfinal round of the Copa Libertadores were contested on Wednesday.

At Santos, Brazil:

Jonathan Alvez scored the only goal of the match in the 67th minute as Ecuador's Barcelona SC, despite finishing the game with nine men, knocked off ten-man Santos 1-0 on the road in game two and won their two-match series 2-1 on aggregate.
 
At Porto Alegre, Brazil:

Lucas Barrios scored the game and series-winning goal in the 62nd minute as Gremio defeated visiting Botafogo 1-0 in game two and won their all-Brazilian series by that same score on aggregate.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Revs Can Coach

Assistant Tom Soehn will take over on an interim basis for the Revolution's final five regular-season games.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

CAF Champions League

Two games were contested on Sunday as the quarterfinal round of the CAF Champions League reached the midway point.

At Alexandria, Egypt (due to security concerns in Libya):

The opening match of the series between Libya's Al-Ahli Tripoli (designated the home club for this game) and Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

At Pretoria, South Africa:

Yannick Zakri scored the only goal of the match in the 71st minute as Mamelodi Sundowns defeated visiting Wydad Casablanca 1-0 in the opening game of their two-match series.


MLS: Andre Blake's Heroics Help Philly Gain Scoreless Draw With Red Bulls IN Jersey

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Goalkeeper Andre Blake came up with eight saves (seven of them in the first half) as the Philadelphia Union gained a 0-0 road deadlock with the New York Red Bulls in the lone Sunday Major League Soccer contest.



MLS STANDINGS:



EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1. x-Toronto FC (GP: 29; GD: +37; PTS: 62)
2.     New York City FC (GP: 29; GD: +13; PTS: 51)
3.     Chicago (GP: 29; GD: +15; PTS: 48)
4.     Columbus (GP: 30; GD: 0; PTS: 44)
5.     Atlanta United FC (GP: 27; GD: +22; PTS: 43)
6.     New York Red Bulls (GP: 28; GD: +5; PTS: 42)
7.     Montreal (GP: 28; GD: -2; PTS: 36)
8.     New England (GP: 29; GD: -6; PTS: 35)
9.     Orlando City SC (GP: 29; GD: -15; PTS: 35)
10.   Philadelphia (GP: 29; GD: -2; PTS: 33)
11.   DC United (GP: 29; GD: -26; PTS: 28)

NOTE:  With New England and Orlando City level on points with 35, the Revolution have won more games than the Lions (10-9).



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1.       Vancouver (GP: 28; GD: +6; PTS: 45)
2.       Portland (GP: 20; GD: +3; PTS: 44)
3.       Kansas City (GP: 28; GD: +13; PTS: 44)
4.       Seattle (GP: 29; GD: +7; PTS: 44)
5.       San Jose (GP: 29; GD: -16; PTS: 39)
6.       Real Salt Lake (GP: 30; GD: -8; PTS: 38)
7.       Houston (GP: 28; GD: +7; PTS: 38)
8.       FC Dallas (GP: 28; GD: +1; PTS: 38)
9.       Minnesota United FC (GP: 28; GD: -22; PTS: 29)
10.     Los Angeles (GP: 28; GD: -16; PTS: 27)
11.     Colorado (GP: 28; GD: -16; PTS: 26)

NOTES:  With Portland, Kansas City, and Seattle all level on points with 44, the Timbers have more wins (12) than Sporting KC and the Sounders (11 each); Sporting Kansas City have the superior goal differential vis a viv Seattle (+13, compared to the Sounders' +7); with Real Salt Lake, Houston, and FC Dallas level on points with 38, RSL have more wins (11) than the Dynamo (10) and Hoops (9).






Saturday, September 16, 2017

MLS: Loons, Fire, RSL, Quakes, SKC, Reds Grab Wins On Four-Draw Saturday

Ten games were contested in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

At Atlanta:

In front of an MLS-record 70,425 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Josef Martinez produced a hat trick (36', 55', 69') to help Atlanta United gain a 3-3 home draw with Orlando City after trailing by a goal on three separate occasions.  Dom Dwyer scored twice (10', 39') and Cyle Larin once (58') for the Lions.

At Vancouver, British Columbia:

Fredy Montero (15') and Tony Tchani (90'+2) each scored once as the Vancouver Whitecaps gained a 2-2 home draw with the Columbus Crew, whose goals---both of them---came in the 19th minute, courtesy of Ola Kamara and Kekuta Manneh.

At Montreal:

Abu Danladi scored the winning goal in the 89th minute as Minnesota United upended the Montreal Impact 3-2 on the road.

At Frisco, Texas:

FC Dallas and the visiting Seattle Sounders battled to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Bridgeview, Illinois:

Goals from Ian Harkes (OG-26'), Brandon Vincent (62'), and Nemanja Nikolic (PK-90') enabled the Chicago Fire to dominate visiting DC United 3-0.

At Kansas City, Kansas:

Diego Rubio scored twice (45', 57') as Sporting Kansas City downed the visiting New England Revolution 3-1.

At Commerce City, Colorado:

Dominique Badji's equalizer in the 88th minute lifted the Colorado Rapids to a 1-1 home draw with New York City.  Tommy McNamara notched one for the Citizens in the 19th minute.

At Sandy, Utah:

Jefferson Savarino scored the winning goal in the 61st minute as Real Salt Lake knocked off the visiting Portland Timbers 2-1.

The Timbers' Diego Valeri set a new MLS record by scoring at least one goal in eight consecutive games with his tally in the 47th minute.

At Carson, California:

Tosaint Ricketts scored twice (37', 76') as Toronto FC---despite being minus the services of the injured Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco---demolished the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-0 on the road.

At San Jose, California:

Danny Hoesen provided all the scoring with his goal in the 33rd minute as the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the visiting Houston Dynamo 1-0.

CAF Champions League: Two Draws As Quarterfinals Open

The quarterfinal round of the CAF Champions League commenced on Saturday with two games.

At Beira, Mozambique:

Fabrice Kanda's equalizer in the 89th minute enabled Ferroviario Beira to salvage a series-opening 1-1 home draw with USM Alger.  Oussama Darfalou scored for the Algerian club in the 63rd minute.

At Alexandria, Egypt:

Taha Yassine Khenissi (21') and Ghilane Chalali (48') each scored once as Esperance de Tunis gained a series-opening 2-2 road draw with Al-Ahly.  Abdalla El Said (PK-11') and Walid Azarou (67') produced the Egyptian club's goals.