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September 1, 2012
Crew moves up with win over Impact

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Columbus Crew moved up three places in the Eastern Conference standings with Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Federico Higuain brought the Crew back from the brink of disaster, setting up Chad Marshall’s 1-1 equalizer in the 80th minute and Emilio Renteria’s stoppage-time winner. The victory leaves the Crew at 12-8-6 with 42 points, lifting them over the sixth-place Impact and #5 Chicago and into the thick of the postseason hunt.

Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio opened the scoring in the 73rd minute, with a ten-yard shot from the right side. Sanna Nyassi started the play with a strong dribbling run down the left side from midfield. After splitting two defenders with a pass to himself at the top of the penalty area, the Ghaniain laid the ball back to Felipe Martins at the base of the arc. Martins in turn found De Vaio unmarked outside the six-yard box.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Marshall leveled the score with a diving header after Higuain lofted a 30-yard service into a goalmouth crowd. Marshall worked his way between defenders Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas to slip a shot inside the left post.

Renteria snatched the win with a glancing header in the third minute of stoppage time. Once again, Higuain did the heavy lifting, battling veteran Italian defender Alessandro Nesta down the left side, cutting back to make space, then chipping the ball into the box from off the top left corner of the penalty area. Renteria timed his jump perfectly to pop the ball into the net past netminder Troy Perkins.

Both goalkeepers had busy nights, with Andy Gruenebaum stopping five in the winning cause and Perkins turning away six.

KANSAS CITY, MO—Paulo Nagamura had a goal and an assist as Sporting Kansas City rallied past upset-minded Toronto FC 2-1 Saturday night at LIvestrong Sporting Park.

The Reds (5-16-6, 21 pts) stunned the Eastern Conference leaders – who had not come back from a halftime deficit all season – with a 44th-minute goal by Ryan Johnson. After a Kansas City turnover upfield, Richard Eckersley lofted a 40-yard pass into the penalty area for Johnson, who was completely unmarked and beat netminder Jimmy Nielsen one-on-one.

Johnson also hit the post in the 49th minute, a miss that turned out to be costly to point-starved TFC. Nagamura leveled the score 1-1 in the 61st minute, after defender Jeremy Hall cleared a free kick to the top of the box. Nagamura actually mis-hit the shot, which took a hard bounce and popped over a crowd of players in front of the goal and netminder Freddy Hall on its way into the net.

After Nielsen made a clutch save on Toronto rookie Luis Silva’s flashy half-volley in the 78th minute, Oriol Rosell delivered the game to Sporting with an 87th-minute goal, poking a left-footed shot through the Toronto defense and under Hall for his first MLS goal.

Sporting improves to 15-7-5 and 50 points, four points up on the idle New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference race.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.---Two of the worst teams in MLS, the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution, played to a lackluster 0-0 draw in front of 11,841 fans Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

The Union outshot New England 18-9 and forced Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis to make seven saves, but really didn't threaten to break the deadlock other than a header at the end of the first half by Amobi Okugo that clanged off the crossbar.

The Revolution didn't get their first corner kick until the 80th minute. Both teams are far off the playoff pace in the Eastern Conference, with the Union at 7-13-6 for 26 points, and the Revolution at 6-14-7 for 25 points.

The game was the first for Philadelphia Union Manager John Hackworth since having the interim label removed from his title on Thursday.
Fulll story from Philly Soccer News

CARSON, Calif.—It was far from their most impressive performance of the season, but the LA Galaxy did what they had to do to hand the reeling Vancouver Whitecaps FC their fourth straight loss, 2-0 Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.

Juninho and David Beckham took care of the Galaxy scoring, and netminder Josh Saunders did not face a single shot on goal on the way to his seventh shutout of the season.

In the 41st minute, Juninho put the Galaxy on the board with a clinical 22-yarder from the center of the field. Robbie Keane set the stage with an outside-of-the-foot tap pass from the right side. Juninho, unmarked, had time to settle the ball and tee up a perfect shot over netminder Brad Knighton that slipped just under the crossbar.

A flash of gamesmanship from Keane and David Beckham’s prodigious right foot combined to snatch a final goal for the Galaxy. Keane orchestrated a trip over the unfortunately positioned foot of defender Martin Bonjour in the 78th minute, setting up a Beckham free kick from just outside the left side of the arc. Beckham’s free kick cleared the six-man defensive wall and dipped under the crossbar in the 79th to double LA’s lead.

The Galaxy improve to 13-11-4 and 43 points, while the Whitecaps fall to 10-11-7 (37).
Full story from LA Soccer News

SANDY, Utah—After waiting out an 80+=minute lightning delay, Real Salt Lake snapped their four-game winless streak with a 1-0 win over DC United Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The result lifts RSL (14-10-4, 46 pts) into second place in the MLS West , while DC drops a spot to fifth in the Eastern Conference at 12-10-5 (41).

After only 3:15 – and a pair of lightning strikes close to the stadium – the teams were sent to the locker room for what turned out to be a one-hour and 24-minute weather delay. When play finally restarted, it took more than half the game for Will Johnson to net the deciding goal for RSL. At the left side of the penalty area, Ned Grabavoy backheeled the ball to Paulo Jr, who took it toward the end line and teed up a cross. The low screamer deflected off sliding defender Brandon McDonald and popped up into the six-yard box, where Johnson darted in past hesitant goalkeeper Bill Hamid and headed it home in the 49th minute.

One-time DC United netminder Nick Rimando shut down his former team with four saves, and got some help from the woodwork in the 28th minute, when DC’s Dwayne DeRosario cracked a 23-yarder off the left post.

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