Tim Cahill, seen playing in Paris on Friday, saw his team lose 6-0 to France. In Australia's previous qualifier, the Socceroos lost 6-0 to Brazil. (Photo: Getty Images.)

Plenty of MLS players will get international duty before the season opens

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The MLS web site put together a list of players confirmed to have been called up for their countries for the upcoming FIFA fixture dates.

While the US and Mexico lists are yet to be finalized, there’s plenty of MLS players in the mix for country. Our own Steve Davis will let you know the implications of the increasing role of top-notch internationals in MLS play a bit later, but we’ll start with the basics here.

Tim Cahill is heading back to England, where the former Everton man will suit up for Australia in a fixture with Ecuador in London. Meanwhile, the English capital will play host to England and Denmark on the same date with Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe getting a country call.

Freak goalkeeper and No. 1 overall pick Andre Blake will be leaving Philadelphia to join five other MLS players in Jamaica camp for matches against Barbados and St. Lucia. Also in the fray will be Alvas Powerll of Portland, Michael Seaton of DC, Darren Mattocks of Vancouver, Deshorn Brown of Colorado and JeVaughn Watson of Dallas.

The Whitecaps will have Steve Beitashour suiting up for Iran as they host Guinea, while Soony Saad (KC) will be with Lebanon for its match against Thailand in a Group B Asian Cup qualifier.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar will leave his loan stop in Toronto for Brazil’s match in Johannesburg against South Africa, while Columbus has a pair of Costa Rican players among four MLS products leading their nation into a date against Paraguay. Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis join New York’s Roy Miller and Real Salt Lake’s Alvaro Saborio in San Jose.

Honduras matches up with Venezuela with Jerry Bengtson (New England), Victor Bernardez (San Jose), Martin Chavez (Colorad0) and Boniek Garcia (Houston) getting nods from the blue and white.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)