Discussing all four goal scorers from Saturday at Dicks Sporting Goods Park

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Four men got on the score sheet at Dicks Sporting Goods Park outside Denver. Clearly, the two Colorado forwards are happier tonight, as their team emerged with the victory that puts the Rapids so tantalizingly close to booking an official playoff spot. (If San Jose doesn’t beat Los Angeles on Sunday, then the Rapids are in.)

So even though the Whitecaps are surely a little bummed about being officially eliminated, there’s still something interesting of note for their goal-scorers on Saturday, too. We’ll start with them:

Vancouver Whitecaps’ forward Kekuta Manneh: The 18-year-old striker followed up on last week’s hat trick with yet another stunner, a beautiful shot from four steps outside the penalty area that was equal parts awareness and skill. Seriously, where was this kid just a little earlier in the season? Maybe if Martin Rennie had used Manneh a little more, he wouldn’t be wondering so hard tonight about his continued employment around BC Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps’ forward Camilo: Now that a third season is about to come and go without a shred of playoff success for the Whitecaps, they’ll be looking for anything to celebrate for 2013. A Golden Boot for Camilo would certainly qualify. Camilo has 19 goals, still one off the pace being set by Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio and Chicago’s Mike Magee (who had one each on Saturday to reach 20).

Yes, his goal Saturday was from the penalty spot – but so was Magee’s.

Colorado Rapids forward Deshorn Brown: The LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes is making a late push, but the Rapids’ young Jamaican striker probably wrapped up Rookie of the Year tonight with another goal and assist. That gives him a team-leading 10 goals and five assists, numbers that will be painfully hard to ignore for anyone serious about picking a rookie of the year. (And even if a voter doesn’t like Brown for some reason, Rapids’ midfielder Dillon Powers probably has as strong a case as Zardes.)

Colorado Rapids forward Gabriel Torres: I don’t reckon that any of us can imagine the disappointment every Panamanian player must have felt Tuesday down in Panama City as the World Cup dream crumbled hideously beneath the crushing weight of two late U.S. goals. And  yet Torres was able to put the tremendous heartbreak behind him and score two vital goals for his new club.

There was nothing wrong with the first goal from Torres, signed in August; that was a well-hit penalty kick.

But his second goal was an absolute stunner, a 77th-minute match-winner that Torres cannoned into the upper left corner.

Here are all five goals from all four goal scorers at DSG Park:

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WATCH: Video Assistant calls back Griezmann goal

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France and Spain used the Video Assistant Referee program on Tuesday in a friendly, and the French likely rue that decision.

Antoine Griezmann had an incorrectly allowed goal reverse for offside, while Gerard Deulofeu saw an initially ruled offside goal allowed upon review in Spain’s 2-0 win over France.

[ MORE: Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina ]

Here’s an example, as Griezmann’s barely offside goal was overturned in less than a minute (Both calls took less than a minute to decide):

At the risk of sounding like a caveman, I really don’t like these razor thin offside calls being subject to review.

When you consider the improbability of timing the moment of contact with the ball — how many times have you seen a freeze frame conveniently used to make a case? — it just seems to mess with the spirit of sport.

What do you think?

Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina in World Cup qualifying

AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano
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Argentina took steps backward Tuesday in its pursuit of a 2018 World Cup berth, on and off the field.

It started as Lionel Messi was suspended four matches for verbally abusing a referee in Argentina’s Friday win over Chile.

Then La Albiceleste made another move in reverse with a shocking 2-0 loss to Bolivia in La Paz. Argentina started Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, and Ezequiel Lavezzi on the bench in what many presumed to be an easy win.

[ MORE: Three keys for USA v Panama ] 

Juan Carlos Arce and Marcelo Martins scored as ninth-place La Verde picked up its third win of qualifying with a win over powerful Argentina.

The bad news kept coming for Argentina (and Everton), as Ramiro Funes Mori left the match in the 36th minute with injury.

Bolivia will finish the international break at least 10 points back of the playoff spot, while Argentina could finish as low as that fifth-place spot.

STREAM: CONCACAF tripleheader concludes with USMNT

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
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CONCACAF’s bottom three sides in the Hex standings look to make the table incredibly tight as World Cup qualifying finds three-straight matches on the docket beginning at 5 p.m. EDT.

Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Los Catrachos were creamed 6-0 by the U.S. on Friday, and return home hoping a wounded Costa Rica remains vulnerable. Honduras is dead last on goal differential, but three points would be huge and put them level with Los Ticos. Costa Rica won its first two matches before falling to Mexico on Friday.

Trinidad and Tobago vs. Mexico

El Tri has two wins and a draw from their first three Hex matches, and will be without Rafa Marquez on Tuesday. A win guarantees Mexico the top spot heading into the next round of matches in June. The Soca Warriors surprised some with their 1-0 win over visiting Panama on Tuesday. Mexico is a different class.

Panama vs. USMNT

Despite its miserable start, the U.S. can find itself as high as second with a win and help from Honduras. The injuries remain plenty for the Yanks, who are without Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood, Sebastian Lletget, and John Brooks. Panama has allowed just a single goal through three Hex matches, but also has only managed one.

AFC and Oceania wrap: Iran, New Zealand take next steps

Photo by Amin M. Jamali/Getty Images
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With CONMEBOL and CONCACAF serving as the main course later Tuesday, the morning and afternoon saw big World Cup qualifiers on the other side of the world.

[ MORE: Three keys for USA v Panama ] 

Asian qualifying

Iran is on the verge of qualification for Russia 2018 after Persepolis star Mehdi Taremi bagged his ninth international goal in a 1-0 home win over China.

Iran leads Group A by four points, but second-place South Korea and third-place Uzbekistan kept pace with 1-0 home wins of their own. Hong Jeong-ho scored in South Korea’s win over Syria, while Odil Ahmendov’s 65th minute free kick was enough to push Uzbekistan past Qatar.

The goalkeeping was… less than ideal.

Over in Group B, shutouts were the name of the game for high-powered hosts as well.

Japan stayed atop the group with a 4-0 win over Thailand, as a trio of players with Premier League experience — Maya Yoshida, Shinji Kagawa, and Shinji Okazaki — joined Gent’s Yuya Kubo on the scoreboard.

Saudi Arabia is level with Japan on points thanks to Yahya Al-Shehri’s post-halftime goal in a 1-0 win over Iraq, while Australia saw off United Arab Emirates thanks to goals from Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine and Ingolstadt’s Mathew Leckie.

That leaves Australia three points behind Saudi Arabia and Japan in the race for two of three automatic spots. The Socceroos hosts the Green Falcons in June before an August trip to Saitama in a pair of matches which will decide who goes directly to Russia and who has to win a pair of playoffs: One against the Group A’s third-place team and another against CONCACAF’s fourth place side.

Oceania qualifying

New Zealand took the next step in collecting Oceania’s berth in the intercontinental playoff with a 2-0 win over Fiji in Wellington. PEC Zwolle winger Ryan Thomas bagged a brace for the All Whites.

New Zealand will next face either Tahiti, Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea over two legs in late August and early September for the right to battle the fifth place CONMEBOL team for a World Cup berth. That could be Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, or even Colombia.

Tahiti hosts Papua New Guinea at 1 a.m. EDT Wednesday, and will be the odds-on favorite to face New Zealand with a win.