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August 25, 2012
Timbers snap skid, Impact blanks DC

Darlington Nagbe extended his scoring streak to three games, and started the Portland Timbers on the way to their first win since July 3, 2-1 over Vancouver on Saturday night.
Darlington Nagbe extended his scoring streak to three games, and started the Portland Timbers on the way to their first win since July 3, 2-1 over Vancouver on Saturday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
MONTREAL—Patrice Bernier had two goals and an assist as the Montreal Impact shut out DC United 3-0 Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo.

The win lifted expansion Montreal (12-13-3, 39 pts) to within a point of fifth-place United (12-9-4, 40) and playoff eligibility in the MLS East.

Bernier set up Italian striker Marco Di Vaio for the game-winning strike in the 24th minute, controlling a throw-in and lightly threading a pass through three DC defenders into the left side of the box for Di Vaio, who beat goalkeeper Bill Hamid from 10 yards. It was Montreal’s only shot of the half.

In the 50th minute, DC defender Brandon McDonald pushed Collen Warner from behind inside the penalty area, sending Bernier to the spot. The Canadian midfielder stutter-stepped to the ball before slotting it past Hamid to make the score 2-0.

United started the match without either scoring leader Chris Pontius or MLS co-assists leader Dwayne De Rosario in the lineup, and it showed. Both came in around the hour mark to give DC some life, but not enough to make a difference. In the 73rd minute, De Rosario took the ball deep into the left side of the box before crossing it through the six-yard box for Pontius, but former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins came up with the clutch save. Nine minutes later, Pontius was knocked backward into Perkins in front of the goal, causing the Impact netminder to bobble the ball. A DC player put it into the net, but the goal was disallowed when Pontius was judged to have fouled Perkins.

Meanwhile, DC’s frantic push forward opened the door for Bernier to complete his brace in the third minute of stoppage time, blazing downfield from Montreal’s side of midfield and by defenders Emiliano Dudar, Perry Kitchen and McDonald to beat Hamid in stride with a shot into the right inside netting.

COLUMBUS—Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta each scored twice as the Columbus Crew rallied from two goals down to edge the New England Revolution 4-3 Saturday night at Columbus Crew Stadium.

The Revolution, who had scored only three goals in their last seven games, roared to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Ryan Guy in the 16th minute and Jerry Bengtson seven minutes later. Guy ran on to Saer Sene’s pass back from the edge of the box and one-touched a shot past netminder Andy Gruenebaum from 24 yards. Bengtson collected a perfectly weighted through pass from Benny Feilhaber in the left channel, eluded Gruenebaum just outside the box, then calmly aimed a roller off the left post into the net for his second MLS goal.

But the Crew were quick to respond. Higuain buried the first of his two free kick goals in the 26th minute, a straight-on 28-yarder into the top corner after Stephen McCarthy fouled the Crew’s Eddie Gaven, and Arrieta knotted the score in the 32nd. The former Deportivo Saprissa striker collected a pass popped over the high New England back line by Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic and rifled a left-footed bullet from a tight angle into the roof of the net for his fourth MLS goal.

Higuain’s second set-piece strike, in the 43rd minute, left the Crew up 3-2 at halftime. The Argentine newcomer to MLS has made his presence felt with three goals and two assists in three appearances.

The Revs did not go quietly however. Lee Nguyen knotted the score 3-3 with an 81st minute penalty kick, but once again the New England defense fell short, surrendering the game-winner to Arrieta in the 86th. Second-half substitute Tony Tchani took a Josh Williams throw-in and bounced a through pass beyond the Revolution defense that Arrieta expertly half-volleyed past Matt Reis from fifteen yards.

The win keeps the Crew’s postseason hopes alive, leaving them seventh in the MLS East at 10-8-6 and 36 points, only four points behind fifth-place DC United with a game in hand. The Revolution (6-14-5, 23 pts) remain second from the bottom of the table.
Full story from New England Soccer News

HOUSTON—The Houston Dynamo kept their unbeaten streak at BBVA Compass Stadium alive, and Toronto FC got a rare point on the road as the two played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.

Will Bruin gave the Dynamo a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute, off a picture-book setup play started by Boniek Garcia, who received the ball at the bottom of the center circle, faked his way around a defender and threaded a pass into the box for Bruin, who split two defenders, took one touch and chipped the ball over netminder Milos Kocic on the bounce with the outside of his right foot.

Terry Dunfield equalized for the Reds in the 85th, darting to the top of the six-yard box for a pass from Darren O’Dea and sending a header glancing off the underside of the bar and into the net.

Houston remains third in the MLS East at 11-6-9 and 42 points. Toronto trail the conference field at 5-15-6 (21).

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Portland Timbers snapped an eight-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over slumping Cascadia Cup rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC at sold-out Jeld-Wen Field.

Darlington Nagbe put Portland on the board in the 41st minute, becoming the first Timbers player ever to score in three straight MLS games. Bright Dike, who had hit the post with a header in the 27th minute, fed the ball in from the right wing to Eric Alexander at the top of the penalty area. Alexander dished left to Jack Jewsbury, who poked it into the box for Nagbe, who got around his defender and sent a rising shot over netminder Joe Cannon.

Vancouver forward Kenny Miller leveled the score in first half stoppage time, after the Timbers failed to completely clear a controversial corner kick. The ball popped out of the box to Jay DeMerit, who found Miller open on the left side of the penalty area and put away his first career MLS goal.

Franck Songo’o saved the day for Portland in the 55th minute, bending a free kick toward the lower left corner of the net. Cannon misjudged the ball, which bounced into the goal.

Vancouver’s best chance to salvage a point came in the 74th minute, when Camilo caught ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts off his line, but defender Steve Smith blocked the ball out of the goalmouth. The Whitecaps finished the match shorthanded after Darren Mattocks was red-carded for striking Portland’s David Horst in the face as he was going up for a header.

The win, their first under interim coach Gavin Wilkinson, does not improve the Timbers’ playoff prospects, but raises their record to 6-13-6 (24 pts). Vancouver, winless in six road games, fall to 10-10-7 (37).

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-Simon Dawkins and Alan Gordon each scored twice, and Gordon added an assist, as the San Jose Earthquakes pounded the Colorado Rapids 4-1 Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Dawkins opened the scoring in the 11th minute, running onto Gordon’s cross-field setup pass and burying a shot from 19 yards, and completed his brace with a 17-yard half-volley in the 68th, giving the Quakes a 3-1 advantage.

Gordon netted the game-winner in the 43rd minute, after a yeoman effort by Rafael Baca, who took the ball deep down the left side, then threaded a pass across the top of the six-yard box, where Gordon finished with the outside of his right foot. In the 75th minute, Gordon capped the win with a low 12-yard shot past netminder Matt Pickens.

Tyrone Marshall spoiled ‘keeper Jon Busch’s clean sheet in the 54th minute, with a forceful six-yard header off Martin Rivero’s corner kick.

The Quakes (15-6-5) become the first team in the league to reach 50 points, while the Rapids fall to 8-16-2 (26).

CARSON, Calif.—Fredy Montero led the way with a hat trick and one assist, and Mauro Rosales set up three goals, as Seattle Sounders FC schooled Chivas USA 6-2 Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.

Montero set up Brad Evans for the first Seattle goal, ten minutes in, then collected the first of his three goals in the 27th. Evans made a run behind the defense, then cut the ball back to Rosales. Rosales, who had three assists, slid the ball to the loosely-guarded Montero, who had plenty of space to finish. Seven minutes later, Montero had his brace, running onto a ball from Rosales inside the 18 and finishing to the right post.

Montero provided the goal of the game in the 67th minute, taking a pass from Rosales into the box, cutting back as defender John Valencia slid through, then slotting the shot past Bobby Burling and inside the left post from the top right corner of the six-yard box.

Sammy Ochoa added a late header for the Sounders, and Ante Jazic completed the Goats’ humiliation with an own goal in stoppage time.

It made little difference in the long run, but Chivas had their first two-goal game since June 26, with Juan Agudelo converting a penalty kick after Jeff Parke’s handball in the 38th minute, and Miller Bolanos rifled a shot past netminder Michael Gspurning in the 64th.

Chivas falls to 7-10-6 with 25 points, 10 points out of a playoff spot, while the Sounders move level with RSL at 43 points, in second place behind San Jose with a 12-6-7 record.
Full story from LA Soccer News

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