Friday, October 24, 2014

MLS: Stoppage-Time Goal Lifts Fire To Home Victory, Spoils Dominic Kinnear's Finale As Dynamo Head Coach

At Bridgeview, Illinois:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, Florent Sinama-Pongolle scored the winning goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time as the Chicago Fire came from behind to upend the visiting Houston Dynamo 2-1 in the season finale for both clubs, ruining the finale for Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear, who's leaving to take over as head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes next year.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

CONCACAF Champions League: Sporting KC Falls To Saprissa In Costa Rica; Eliminated From Tournament; Club Lion Overpowers Isidro Metapan On Final Night Of Group-Stage Play

Group-stage play in the CONCACAF Champions League concluded on Thursday with two games.

Group Two:

At San Jose, Costa Rica:

Heiner Mora (22') and Ariel Rodriguez (46') each scored a goal as Deportivo Saprissa blanked visiting Sporting Kansas City 2-0 and snatched the Group Two title and a berth in the quarterfinal round.

FINAL GROUP TWO STANDINGS:

1. Deportivo Saprissa (GP: 4; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
2. Sporting Kansas City (GP: 4; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
3. Real Esteli  (GP: 4; GD: -6; PTS: 2)

Deportivo Saprissa, by scoring more away goals in head-to-head competition with Sporting Kansas City (1-0), won Group Two and advanced to the quarterfinal round.

Group Seven:

At Leon de los Aldamas, Mexico:

Jose Ruiz (55', 65') and Yamilson Rivera (81', 89') each scored twice in the second half as Club Leon broke open what was at halftime a scoreless stalemate and demolished visiting Isidro Metapan 4-0 in the tournament finale for both clubs.

FINAL GROUP SEVEN STANDINGS:

1. CS Herediano (GP: 4; GD: +7; PTS: 10)
2. Club Leon (GP: 4; GD: +4; PTS: 7)
3. Isidro Metapan (GP: 4; GD: -11; PTS: 0)

CS Herediano advanced to the quarterfinal round.



Here are the match-ups for the quarterfinal round two-game series (set to start in the Spring of 2015) with the game-one hosts listed first.

LD Alajuelense (Costa Rica) vs. DC United (United States)

Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) vs. Club America (Mexico)

CD Olimpia (Honduras) vs. CS Herediano (Costa Rica)

Pachuca (Mexico) vs. Montreal Impact (Canada)



Here are the match-ups for the two-game series in the semifinal round, with the game-one hosts listed first:

Pachuca-Montreal Impact winner vs. Alajuelense-DC United winner

Olimpia-Herediano winner vs. Saprissa-Club America winner

Slated for later in the Spring is the two-match final for a berth in the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup.




Europa League: Group Stage At Midway Point

Group-stage play in the Europa League reached the midway point on Thursday with 23 games.

Group A:

At Villarreal, Spain:

Luciano Vietto scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 57th minute as Villarreal dominated visiting FC Zurich 4-1.

At Monchengladbach, Germany:

Ibrahima Traore scored twice (11', 67') as Borussia Monchengladbach made mince meat of visiting Apollon Limassol 5-0.

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. Villarreal (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 7) 
2. Borussia Monchengladbach (GP: 3; GD: +5; PTS: 5)
3. Apollon Limassol (GP: 3; GD: -8; PTS: 3)
4. FC Zurich (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 1)



Group B:

At Turin, Italy:

Cristian Molinaro (35') and Amauri (58') each delivered a goal in Torino's 2-0 home blanking of HJK Helsinki.

At Bruges, Belgium:

Victor Vazquez delivered the stoppage time equalizer (90'+2) that enabled Club Brugge to salvage a 1-1 home draw with FC Copenhagen.  Daniel Amartley scored for the Lions in the 89th minute.

GROUP B STANDINGS:

1. Torino FC (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
2. Club Brugge (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 5)
3. FC Copenhagen (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 4)
4. HJK Helsinki (GP: 3; GD: -7; PTS: 0)



Group C:

At London:

Harry Kane delivered a hat trick (13', 76',81') and Erik Lamela added a double (30', 66') enabled Tottenham Hotspur to smother visiting Asteras Tripoli 5-1.

At Belgrade, Serbia:

Four different goal scorers, starting with Veli Kavlak in the 18th minute, each tallied once as Besiktas went to the Serbian capital and demolished Partizan Belgrade 4-0.

GROUP C STANDINGS:

1. Besiktas (GP: 3; GD: +4; PTS: 5)
2. Tottenham Hotspur (GP: 3; GD: +4; PTS: 5)
3. Asteras Tripoli FC (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 4)
4. Partizan Belgrade (GP: 3; GD: -6; PTS: 1)



Group D:

At Glasgow, Scotland:

Stefan Scepovic (73') and Stefan Johansen (79') each tallied once as Celtic held off visiting FC Astra Giurgiu 2-1.

At Wals-Siezenheim, Austria:

Alan Carvalho produced a hat trick (14', 45', 52') as FC Red Bull Salzburg doubled up visiting Dinamo Zagreb 4-2.

GROUP D STANDINGS:

1. Celtic FC (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
2. FC Red Bull Salzburg (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
3. Dinamo Zagreb (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 3)
4. FC Astra Giurgiu (GP: 3; GD: -6; PTS: 0)



Group E:

At Estoril, Portugal:

Yuri Zhirkov scored the winning goal in the 80th minute as Dynamo Moscow defeated Estoril 2-1 on the road.

At Eindhoven, Netherlands:

Nikolaos Karelis' equalizer in the 87th minute lifted Panathinaikos to a 1-1 road draw with PSV Eindhoven.  Memphis Depay scored for the hosts in the 44th minute.

GROUP E STANDINGS:

1. Dynamo Moscow (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
2. PSV Eindhoven (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
3. Estoril (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 3)
4. Panathinaikos (GP: 3; GD: -3; PTS: 1)



Group F:

At Milan, Italy:

Inter Milan battled visiting Saint-Etienne to a 0-0 stalemate.

At Kiev, Ukraine:

Muarem Muarem scored the only goal of the match in the 21st minute as Qarabag FK blanked FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0 on the road, becoming the first club from Azerbaijan to win a UEFA group-stage contest.

GROUP F STANDINGS:

1. Inter Milan (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 7)
2. Qarabag FK (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 4)
3. Saint-Etienne (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 3)
4. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 1)



Group G:

At Rijeka, Crotia:

Andrej Kramaric delivered a hat trick (63', 71', PK-76') as HNK Rijeka defeated visiting Feyenoord Rotterdam 3-1.

At Liege, Belgium:

Sevilla held home-standing Standard Liege to a 0-0 stalemate.

GROUP G STANDINGS:

1. Sevilla (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 5)
2. Standard Liege (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 4)
3. HNK Rijeka (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. Feyenoord Rotterdam (GP: 3; GD: -3; PTS: 3)



Group H:

At Krasnodar, Russia:

Kevin De Bruyne scored twice (46', 80') as VfL Wolfsburg defeated FC Krasnodar 4-2 on the road.

At Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France:

Everton held hosts LOSC Lille Metropole to a 0-0 deadlock.

GROUP H STANDINGS:

1. Everton (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 5)
2. VfL Wolfsburg (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 4)
3. LOSC Lille Metropole (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 3)
4. FC Krasnodar (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 2)



Group I:

At Bratislava, Slovakia:

David Lafata (56'), Tiemoko Konate (61'), and Ladislav Krejci (81') delivered the goals in Sparta Prague's 3-0 road domination of FC Slovan Braitislava.

At Bern, Switzerland:

Guillaume Hoarau (52') and Leonardo Bertone (90'+2) each scored once as BSC Young Boys blanked visiting Napoli 2-0.

GROUP I STANDINGS:

1. Sparta Prague (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 6)
2. BSC Young Boys (GP: 3; GD: +5; PTS: 6)
3. Napoli (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
4. FC Slovan Bratislava (GP: 3; GD: -10; PTS: 0)



Group J:

At Aalborg, Denmark:

Nicolaj Thomsen scored twice (39', 90'+1) as Aalborg BK dominated visiting Dynamo Kiev 3-0.

At Bucharest, Romania:

Raul Rusescu scored twice (17', 46') to power Steaua Bucharest past visiting Rio Ave 2-1.

GROUP J STANDINGS:

1. Steaua Bucharest (GP: 3; GD: +5; PTS: 6)
2. Dynamo Kiev (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
3. Aalborg BK (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 6)
4. Rio Ave (GP:3; GD: -5; PTS: 0)



Group K:

At Barysaw, Belarus:

Dynamo Minsk settled for a 0-0 home draw with Guingamp.

At Thessaloniki, Greece:

Juan Manuel Vargas scored the only goal of the match in the 38th minute as Fiorentina defeated PAOK FC 1-0 on the road.

GROUP K STANDINGS:

1. Fiorentina (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 9)
2. Guingamp (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 4)
3. PAOK FC (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 3)
4. FC Dinamo Minsk (GP: 3; GD: -8; PTS: 1)



Group L:

At Trabzon, Turkey:

In the lone Thursday Group L contest, Trabzonspor, with goals from Mustapha Yatabare (54') and Kevin Constant (87') blanked visiting Lokeren 2-0.

GROUP L STANDINGS:

1. Legia Warsaw (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 9)
2. Trabzonspor (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
3. Lokeren (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 3)
4. FC Metalist Kharkiv (GP: 3; GD: -3; PTS: 0)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CONCACAF Champions League

Two games were played in the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday.

Group One:

At San Pedro Sula, Honduras:

Edder Delgado scored twice (3', 64') as Real Espana closed out Champions League play with a 3-2 home win over Pachuca.  The Mexican club had already clinched the Group One title and a quarterfinal-round berth.

FINAL GROUP ONE STANDINGS:

1. Pachuca (GP: 4; GD: +9; PTS: 9)
2. CSD Municipal (GP: 4; GD: -4; PTS: 4)
3. Real Espana (GP: 4; GD: -5; PTS: 4)

Pachuca won Group One and advanced to the quarterfinal round.



Group Three:

Connor Lade's equalizer in the 85th minute lifted the New York Red Bulls, already eliminated from the tournament, to a 1-1 home draw with the knockout-stage-bound Montreal Impact.  Jack McInerney scored in the 71st minute for the guests.

FINAL GROUP THREE STANDINGS:

1. Montreal Impact (GP: 4; GD: +3; PTS: 10)
2. New York Red Bulls (GP: 4; GD: +1; PTS: 5)
3. CD FAS (GP: 4; GD: -4; PTS: 1)

The Montreal Impact won Group Three and advanced to the quarterfinal round.

MLS: RSL Blank Goats, Climb To Third Place In West

At Sandy, Utah:

Goals from Alvaro Saborio (PK-36') and Kyle Beckerman (74') carried Real Salt Lake to a 2-0 regular-season concluding home win over Chivas USA in the lone Wednesday Major League Soccer contest.  The win put RSL in third place in the Western Conference standings, ahead of FC Dallas. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando added to his all-time MLS shutout record with his 115th clean sheet.  As for the Hoops, they must defeat Portland at home on Saturday to nail down third place and avoid the opening round fourth vs. fifth-place playoff game.

UEFA Champions League, Group D: Dortmund Too Much For Gala In Istanbul; Comeback Win For Gunners In Brussels

The midway point of action from the UEFA Champions League's Group D was reached on Wednesday with two games.

At Brussels, Belgium:

Kieran Gibbs (89') and Lukas Podolski (90'+1, shown here) delivered the goals in the final minutes as Arsenal came from behind to upend RSC Anderlecht 2-1 on the road.

At Istanbul, Turkey:

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice (6', 18', that's him wearing #17, celebrating after the game) as Borussia Dortmund demolished Galatasaray 4-0 on the road.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP D STANDINGS:

1. Borussia Dortmund (GP: 3; GD: +9; PTS: 9)
2. Arsenal (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
3. RSC Anderlecht (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 1)
4. Galatasaray (GP: 3; GD: -7; PTS; 1)

UEFA Champions League, Group C: Leverkusen Blank Zenit; Eagles Hold Hosts Monaco To Scoreless Draw

Action from Group C of the UEFA Champions League reached the midway point on Wednesday with two games.

At Leverkusen, Germany:
Leverkusen top Group C after sinking Zenit
Giulio Donati (58') and Kiriakos Papadopoulos (63', seen here celebrating with teammates) produced the goals as Bayer Leverkusen shut out visiting Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-0.

At Fontvieille, Monaco:
Subašić helps Monaco make their point against Benfica
AS Monaco and visiting SL Benfica battled to a 0-0 stalemate. Here, we see the Eagles' Lisandro Lopez battle Monaco's Dimitar Berbatov.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP C STANDINGS:

1. Bayer Leverkusen (GP: 3; GD: +3; PTS: 6)
2. AS Monaco (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 5)
3. Zenit Saint Petersburg (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 4)
4. SL Benfica (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 1)

UEFA Champions League, Group B: Galacticos Leave Liverpool Red-Faced At Anfield; Late Goal Carries Ludogorets Past Basel

Two games were played on Wednesday as Group B action in the UEFA Champions League reached the midway point.

At Sofia, Bulgaria:
Ludogorets late show downs ten-man Basel
Yordan Minev scored the only goal of the match in the opening minute of second-half stoppage time as Ludogorets Razgrad defeated visiting FC Basel 1-0.  That's him celebrating after scoring his game winner.

At Liverpool, England:
Ronaldo, Benzema silence Anfield in Madrid stroll
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo (23') and Karim Benzema (30', 41', that's him celebrating with teammates after his second score) enabled Real Madrid to dominated Liverpool 3-0 on the road.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP B STANDINGS:

1. Real Madrid (GP: 3; GD: +8; PTS: 9)
2. PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 3)
3. Liverpool (GP: 3;GD: -3; PTS: 3)
4. FC Basel (GP: 3; GD: -4; PTS: 3)

UEFA Champions League, Group A: Mattress Makers Too Much For Malmo; Legend Knock Off Juve At Home

Group stage play in the UEFA Champions League reached the midway point on Wednesday with eight games, two of them being contested in Group A.

At Madrid:

Five different goal scorers each delivered a tally, beginning with Koke in the 48th minute (shown here beating goalkeeper Robin Olsen and defender Erik Johansson) as Atletico Madrid blasted open a contest that was scoreless at halftime and demolished visiting Malmo FF 5-0.

At Piraeus, Greece:
Roberto denies Juventus as Olympiacos win again
Pajtim Kasami scored the only goal of the match in the 36th minute (he's shown here celebrating after scoring) as Olympiacos knocked off visiting Juventus 1-0.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP A STANDINGS:

1. Olympiacos (GP:3; GD: 0; PTS: 6)
2. Atletico Madrid (GP: 3; GD: +5; PTS: 6)
3. Juventus (GP: 3; GD: 0; PTS: 3)
4. Malmo FF (GP: 3; GD: -5; PTS: 3)

Europa League: Legia On The Brink Of Advancing

Group L:

At Kiev, Ukraine:

In the lone Wednesday Europa League contest, Ondrej Duda scored the only goal of the match in the 28th minute as Legia Warsaw placed themselves on the verge of advancing to the knockout stage with their 1-0 road win over FC Metalist Kharkiv.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CONCACAF Champions League: Olimpia, Club America, Alajuelense Advance to Quarterfinals; Cruz Azul, Comunicaciones, Timbers Eliminated; DC United Blank Tauro FC In Panama

The final week of CONCACAF Champions League group-stage play commenced on Tuesday with four games.

Group Four:

At Panama City, Panama:

Conor Shanosky scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute as DC United, who had already locked up the Group Four title and a berth in the quarterfinal round, defeated Tauro FC 1-0 on the road to clinch a top-four seed in the Round of Eight.

FINAL GROUP FOUR STANDINGS:

1. DC United (GP: 4; GD: +5; PTS: 12)
2. Waterhouse FC (GP: 4; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
3. Tauro FC (GP: 4; GD: -7; PTS: 0)

DC United won Group Four and clinched a berth in the quarterfinal round.



Group Five:

At Tegucigalpa, Honduras:

Antony Lozano scored twice (4', 54') as CD Olimpia defeated the visiting Portland Timbers 3-1 and won Group Five due to head-to-head away goals.

FINAL GROUP FIVE STANDINGS:

1. CD Honduras (GP: 4; GD: +6; PTS: 9)
2. Portland Timbers (GP: 4; GD: +10; PTS: 9)
3. Alpha United (GP: 4; GD: -16; PTS: 0)

CD Honduras, due to the head-to-head road-goal advantage (2-1), won Group Five and advanced to the quarterfinal round.



Group Six:

At Alajuela, Costa Rica:

Armando Alonso's goal in the second minute proved to be enough for Alajuelense as the hosts salvaged a 1-1 home draw with Cruz Azul and won the Group Six title and a berth in the quarterfinal round.

FINAL GROUP SIX STANDINGS:

1. LD Alajuelense (GP: 4; GD: +1; PTS: 6)
2. Cruz Azul (GP: 4; GD: +2; PTS: 5)
3. Chorrillo FC (GP: 4; GD: -3; PTS: 4)

LD Alajuelense won Group Six and advanced to the knockout stage.



Group Eight:

At Mexico City:

Oribe Peralta scored both goals (34', 51') in Club America's 2-0 Group Eight-clinching home victory over CSD Comunicaciones.

FINAL GROUP EIGHT STANDINGS:

1. Club America (GP: 4; GD: +16; PTS: 10)
2. CSD Comunicaciones (GP: 4; GD: +5; PTS: 7)
3. Puerto Rico Bayamon FC (GP: 4; GD: -21; PTS: 0)

Club America won Group Eight and advanced to the quarterfinal round.

UEFA Champions League, Group H: Luiz Adriano's Quintuple Helps Shaktar Deliver A Fist Beating (Frontier Style, Of Course) To BATE; Dragons Top Visiting Athletic

Two games were played on Tuesday as UEFA Champions League Group H action reached the halfway point.

At Barysaw, Belarus:
Luiz Adriano leads Shakhtar parade at BATE
Luiz Adriano scored five---count 'em---five goals (PK-28', 37', 40', 44', PK-82', that's him celebrating after scoring one of them)---four of them in the first half---as Shaktar Donestsk destroyed FC BATE Borisov 7-0 on the road. 

At Porto, Portugal:
Quaresma the Porto hero as Athletic fall short
Ricardo Quaresma scored the winning goal in the 75th minute (that's him celebrating afterward) as FC Porto defeated visiting Athletic Bilbao 2-1.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP H STANDINGS:

1. FC Porto (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 7)
2. Shakhtar Donetsk (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 5)
3. FC BATE Borisov (GP: -12; PTS: 3)
4. Athletic Bilbao (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 1)

UEFA Champions League, Group : Blue Tuesday At Chelsea, Schalke Rack Up Home Wins

Group G action in the UEFA Champions League reached the midway point on Tuesday with two games.

At Gelsenkirchen, Germany:
Schalke see off Sporting with late penalty
Eric Choupo-Moting delivered the winning goal with his successful penalty kick in the third minute of second-half stoppage time as Schalke defeated visiting Sporting CP 4-3.  Here's the Royal Blues' Chinedu Obasi, celebrating with his teammates and the coaching staff after having leveled the match for the hosts in the 34th minute.

At London:
Chelsea set new club record with Maribor win
Eden Hazard closed out the scoring with his late second-half double (PK-77', 90') as Chelsea scored thrice in each half in their 6-0 home annihilation of NK Maribor.  Here's the wily oldtimer Didier Drogba celebrating with teammates after he successfully converted a penalty kick in the 23rd minute for the Blues (his first goal for Chelsea since converting his winning shootout spot kick in the 2012 final against Bayern Munich).

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP G STANDINGS:

1. Chelsea (GP: 3; GD: +7; PTS: 7)
2. FC Schalke 04 (GP: 3; GD: +1; PTS: 5)
3. NK Maribor (GP: 3; GD: -6; PTS: 2)
4. Sporting CP (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 1)

UEFA Champions League, Group F: Tuesday Wins For Barca, PSG

Two games were played in Group F of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

At Nicosia, Cyprus:
Cavani ensures Paris patience pays off at APOEL
Edinson Cavani scored the only goal of the match in the 87th minute as Paris Saint-Germain defeated APOEL FC 1-0 on the road.  That's him (left) with APOEL's Joao Guilherme.

At Barcelona:
Irresistible Barcelona brush Ajax aside
Neymar (7'), Lionel Messi (24', that's him, celebrating), and Sandro Ramirez (90'+4) each scored a goal as Barcelona defeated visiting Ajax Amsterdam 3-1.

AFP/Getty Images photos

GROUP F STANDINGS:

1. Paris Saint-Germain (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 7)
2. Barcelona (GP: 3; GD: +2; PTS: 6)
3. Ajax Amsterdam (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 2)
4. APOEL FC (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 1)

UEFA Champions League, Group E: Second-Half Goals Enable Horses To Erase Two-Goal Deficit, Gain Draw With Guests Citizens; Bayern Run Roughshod Over Roma In Italy

Eight games were played on Tuesday as group-stage play in the UEFA Champions League resumed.  Two of those contests took place in Group E.

At Khimki, Russia:
CSKA comeback thwarts City
Goals from Seydou Doumbia (65', that's him [left] celebrating here with teammates) and Bibras Natkho (PK-86') enabled CSKA Moscow to come back from a two-goal deficit and gain a 2-2 draw with visiting Manchester City.  Sergio Aguero (29') and James Milner (38') delivered the scoring for the Citizens.

AFP/Getty Images photo


At Rome:

Arjen Robben scored twice (8', 30', that's him celebrating with teammates after his opening tally) as Bayern Munich scored five goals in the first half en route to a 7-1 road demolition of AS Roma.

AFP/Getty Images photo

GROUP E STANDINGS:

1. Bayern Munich (GP: 3; GD: +8; PTS: 9)
2. AS Roma (GP: 3; GD: -2; PTS: 4)
3. Manchester City (GP: 3; GD: -1; PTS: 2)
4. CSKA Moscow (GP: 3; GD: -5; PTS: 1)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

MLS: Crew Knock Off Red Bulls On Road; Sounders Erase Two-Goal Deficit, Gain Road Draw With Galaxy, Stay In Driver's Set For West Title And Supporters Shield

Two games were played in Major League Soccer on Sunday.

At Harrison, New Jersey:

Aaron Schoenfeld scored twice (17', 80') and Ethan Finlay once (34') as the Columbus Crew defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-1 on the road in a battle of playoff-bound clubs.

At Carson, California:

Clint Dempsey (69') and Lamar Neagle (72') each scored a goal three minutes apart for the Seattle Sounders, who battled back from a two-goal deficit to gain a 2-2 road draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy and maintain, thanks to more wins than Los Angeles, the lead in the races for both the Western Conference title and the Supporters' Shield.  Baggio Husidic (45'+1) and Marcelo Sarvas (50') each delivered a goal for the Galaxy.



MLS STANDINGS:

EASTERN CONFERENCE:

1.    y-DC United * (GP: 33; GD: +15; PTS: 58)
2.    x-New England (GP: 33; GD: +4; PTS: 52)
3.    x-Kansas City (GP: 33; GD: +9; PTS: 49)
4.    x-Columbus (GP: 33; GD: +9; PTS: 49)
5.    x-New York (GP: 33; GD: +3; PTS: 47)
6.    z-Philadelphia (GP: 33; GD: +1; PTS: 42)
7.    z-Toronto FC (GP: 33; GD: -9; PTS: 41)
8.    z-Houston (GP: 33; GD: -18; PTS: 39)
9.    z-Chicago (GP: 33; GD: -11; PTS: 33)
10.  z-Montreal (GP: 33; GD: -20; PTS: 27)

NOTE: With Sporting Kansas City and Columbus level on points with 49, SKC have more wins than the Crew (14-13).



WESTERN CONFERENCE:

1.    x-Seattle* (GP: 33; GD: +13; PTS: 61)
2.    x-Los Angeles* (GP: 33; GD: +34; PTS: 61)
3.    x-FC Dallas (GP: 33; GD: +12; PTS: 54)
4.    x-Real Salt Lake (GP: 33; GD: +13; PTS: 53)
5.       Vancouver* (GP: 33; GD: +1; PTS: 47)
6.       Portland (GP: 33; GD: +7; PTS: 46) 
7.       Colorado (GP: 33; GD: -18; PTS: 32)
8.       Chivas USA (GP: 32; GD: -31; PTS: 30)
9.       San Jose (GP: 33; GD: -14; PTS: 30)

NOTE:  With Seattle and Los Angeles level on points (61), the Sounders have more wins (19-17), with Chivas USA and San Jose level on points (30), the Goats have more wins than the Earthquakes (8-6).

y-Clinched conference regular-season title

x-Clinched berth in MLS Cup Playoffs

*-Clinched berth in group stage of 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League

z-Eliminated from playoff contention



Saturday, October 18, 2014

MLS: Reds Miss Playoffs Again After Impact Gain 1-1 Draw In Toronto (Crew Clinch Playoff Berth And Whitecaps Lock Up CCL Berth As Result); DC United Lock Up Eastern Conference Title And CCL Berth; Hoops, Philly Win

Five games were on the Saturday Major League Soccer schedule.

At Toronto:

Felipe Martins' equalizer in the 39th minute lifted the nine-man Montreal Impact to a 1-1 road draw with ten-man Toronto FC.  Warren Creaville scored in the 20th minute for the Reds, whom for the eighth consecutive season, failed to make the MLS Cup Playoffs (they're still awaiting their playoff debut).  The draw locked up the final available Eastern Conference playoff berth for the Columbus Crew---and a CONCACAF Champions League berth for next season to the Vancouver Whitecaps, who assured themselves of being the Canadian MLS club with the highest point total.

At Commerce City, Colorado:

Blas Perez converted a penalty kick for the only goal of the match in the 55th minute as FC Dallas climbed into third place in the Western Conference standings following their 1-0 road win over the struggling Colorado Rapids.

At Chester, Pennsylvania:

Pedro Ribeiro scored the winning goal in the 71st minute as the Philadelphia Union knocked off visiting Sporting Kansas City 2-1.

At Washington:

Chris Pontius (31') and Eddie Johnson (53') provided the scoring as DC United locked up their first Eastern Conference regular-season title since 2007 by holding off the visiting Chicago Fire 2-1.  The win also locked up a berth in next season's CONCACAF Champions League for DC.

At Santa Clara,California:

In the San Jose Earthquakes' final home match at Buck Shaw Stadium (they move to a new soccer-specific facility a mile away next season), they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Vancouver Whitecaps, who now hold a one-point lead over Portland for the final Western Conference playoff berth with one game remaining. A victory at home next Saturday over struggling Colorado would lock up that playoff berth for the Whitecaps, whom because of Toronto's home draw with Montreal, locked up a berth in the group stage of next season's CONCACAF Champions League (their debut appearance).

Friday, October 17, 2014

MLS: A Six-Save Night For Nick Rimando Carries RSL To Scoreless Road Draw With Timbers

At Portland, Oregon:

In the lone Friday Major League Soccer contest, goalkeeper Nick Rimando made six saves to help Real Salt Lake gain a 0-0 scoreless deadlock on the road against the Portland Timbers.

RSL, who already locked up a playoff berth, find themselves two points ahead of FC Dallas for third place in the Western Conference standings while the Timbers, now with one regular-season match left (next Saturday at FC Dallas), find themselves level with Vancouver for the Western Conference's fifth and final playoff berth (which Portland technically holds due to superior goal differential).  The Whitecaps will visit already-eliminated San Jose Saturday night in the Earthquakes final game at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, California.