Roundup: All scores, recaps, highlights from MLS’s seven-match Saturday

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Sporting Kansas City 2-1 LA Galaxy

A statement game against a Galaxy team that came into the match eight-games unbeaten saw Sporing control the first hour, giving LA 30 minutes to pull back goals from Benny Feilhaber and Lawrence Olum. Robbie Keane did his best, finally breaking through in the 79th minute, albeit LA’s last chance of the game. After a convincing performance by Kansas City, the Galaxy’s streak is over.

Where the leaves them: Pending D.C. United’s match tomorrow, Sporting’s four points clear in the East. The Galaxy slide to fourth in the Western Conference.

New York Red Bulls 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes

The match ended as a missed opportunity for the Red Bulls when a lackluster performance couldn’t build on Bradley Wright-Phillips’ 33rd minute penalty conversion. Five minutes from time, a San Jose team that’d also failed to shine was blessed an open chance or Steven Lenhart near the penalty spot. The forward volley first goal of the season past Luis Robles to salvage a point for the visiting Earthquakes.

Note: Tim Cahill left this game in the 70th minute with an eye injury, though the problem did not appear serious.

Where this leaves them: The point allows New York to claim fourth in the East, while San Jose remains at the bottom of the Western Conference.

Columbus Crew 2-1 Montréal Impact

The slump is over! For the first time in eight games, the Crew are in the win column, and while it took a visit from the league’s worst team to do it, the three points count all the same. Thirty-five minutes in, after Marco Di Vaio’s opener, it didn’t appear as if that result would come, but thanks to two strikes from Bernardo Anor and another strong performance from goalkeeper Steve Clark, Gregg Berhalter’s team busted its slump.

Where this leaves them: Tiebreakers are all that keep the Crew out of a playoff spot, while Montréal is five points away from being able to climb out of the cellar.

Chicago Fire 1-1 Philadelphia Union

An often choppy match saw Jeff Larentowicz take advantage of some ridiculous marking to head home a corner in the 60th minute. Just before full-time, a controversial hand-ball call on Gonzalez Segares sent Sebastien Le Toux to the spot, where the Philadelphia veteran beat Sean Johnson to earn a draw.

Where this leaves them: Despite five wins in 21 games, Philadelphia is how sixth in the East. (Seriously, East: get your act together.) Chicago, three points back, remains in eighth.

FC Dallas 2-0 New England Revolution

The Revs run hits seven, with neither the defense nor attack able to dent in what’s becoming a season-defining swoon. After Andres Escobar put FCD up in the 29th minute, Tesho Akindele’s late tally provided the insurance, with the two-goal margin flattering a New England team that was out-shot 24-9 on the night.

Where this leaves them: New England is nearly out the playoffs, having slipped to fifth in the East. FC Dallas, on the other hand, has jumped to second in the West just as they’re about to get Mauro Díaz and Fabián Castillo back in the fold.

Houston Dynamo 2-2 Toronto FC

One week after giving up four in Toronto, Houston cut that total in half, though two goals allowed and a penalty conceded in the first 45 minutes saw the Dynamo blow two one-goal leads. After a second half defined by goalkeeping and Houston’s oppressive heat, the teams shared the spoils of a 2-2 draw.

Where this leaves them: The Dynamo stay ninth in the East, only four points out of a playoff spot. Toronto’s position holds steady, too, albeit at the other end of the standings (third).

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Matching the controversy in Chicago, a late whistle played a major role in Sandy, with Nat Borchers’ 71st minute challenge on Darren Mattocks earning Vancouver a disputed penalty kick. When the Jamaican converted into the left of Nick Rimando’s goal, the Whitecaps had a 1-0 lead. Eight minutes later, with what would have otherwise been the winning goal, João Plata claimed a point for RSL, handing the Whitecaps their second straight road draw.

Where this leaves them: Real Salt Lake is now tied on points with Dallas for second place, while Vancouver is part of the trio resting two points back.

Texas-born Dempsey at home 1 goal from record, 1 win from Final

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Clint Dempsey is back in his home state of Texas, one goal away from a national scoring record for the United States team that is one win from playing in another CONCACAF Gold Cup final.

The Americans play a semifinal game Saturday night against Costa Rica in a stadium synonymous with American football – the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, the Cotton Bowl and where the first College Football Playoff championship game was played three seasons ago.

That is only about 180 miles from Dempsey’s hometown of Nacogdoches.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

“It’s always great to be home and play in front of family and friends, especially for a big game,” Dempsey said Friday. “I have a lot of great memories of playing in Dallas as a kid, and I’m proud to represent Nacogdoches. Being from there made me who I am today.”

Dempsey, one goal from matching Landon Donovan’s American record of 57 national team goals, wasn’t part of soccer’s only Gold Cup games at the $1.2 billion AT&T Stadium.

In a 2013 semifinal game there when the Americans were on the way to their fifth Gold Cup championship, they beat Honduras 3-1. Donovan scored twice in that game – his 55th and 56th goals for the national team – and assisted on the other goal. About two months later, Donovan scored his final goal in a World Cup qualifier win over Mexico.

Within a week after Costa Rica beat the U.S. team 4-0 in World Cup qualifying last November, Jurgen Klinsmann was out as the U.S. coach and Bruce Arena was rehired to the position he had been fired from a decade earlier.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s super goal vs. Leicester ]

Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said Friday that Arena has seemingly had a positive impact on the U.S. team.

“They look more relaxed in terms of what they’re doing on the field,” Ramirez said through an interpreter.

This U.S. roster for the Gold Cup knockout rounds also is much different than the one that played in Costa Rica eight months ago – not just the change at coach. Only five players from that game that are set for this semifinal game – Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi.

“That’s in the past,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think about that game. … This is just another game. It’s another opportunity for us to see what we’re made out of.”

Altidore, Dempsey, Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, and goalkeeper Tim Howard were all added to the lineup before a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the quarterfinal on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Dempsey set up Eric Lichaj‘s goal in extra time before halftime to make it 2-0 against El Salvador. Dempsey also fed Gyasi Zardes for a breakaway, though that apparent goal didn’t count after he was ruled offside.

That game was Dempsey’s 135th appearance for the national team, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (157) on the U.S. list.

[ MORE: Why PSG’s Alexis-Neymar pursuit makes (relative) sense ]

Dempsey isn’t the only player with Texas ties with the U.S. team. Three players from FC Dallas, the MLS team that plays its home games about 40 miles away from the big stadium in Frisco, are on the roster: Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges and Jesse Gonzalez.

Acosta, the homegrown midfielder who turns 22 next week, was recently named to the MLS All-Star team. He was born in nearby Plano, Texas, and signed by FC Dallas five years ago.

“It’s definitely a proud moment, to get to represent my community, play before my friends and family,” Acosta said. “To be back in my hometown, I’m definitely excited about it.”

Notes: Costa Rica is trying to get to its first Gold Cup final since 2002, when it lost 2-0 to the Americans. “Obviously, we want to look for that reward, that happiness, and go after that,” Ramirez said. “We have a difficult team in front of us.” … The United States’ nine goals are the most in this Gold Cup, while Costa Rica has allowed only one in its four games.

Why PSG’s Alexis, Neymar pursuit fits in a (relatively) smart space

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Paris Saint-Germain’s run of four Ligue 1 titles ended last season, a campaign which also saw exciting league-winners Monaco go two rounds further into the UEFA Champions League.

Monaco looks set for a step back this season, with Bernardo Silva off to Man City and Tiemoue Bakayoko signing for Chelsea. Kylian Mbappe could join Monaco’s list of departures, and reports say Man City had a bid accepted for Benjamin Mendy.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

While Monaco is loading up on young talent again, PSG clearly sees its chance to surge back into the title seat and Les Parisiens may just make themselves European favorites as well if they can pry Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and Neymar from Barcelona.

That would be a South American trident nearly as potent as the one Neymar current shares with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi at Barcelona, and the Brazilian would not be second or third fiddle.

PSG has so far been relatively quiet this summer, with the addition of Dani Alves the lone new buy. Aside from money, how was Alves lured to Paris over Man City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola? The idea of a reunion with Neymar and several Brazilian mates — Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura — may’ve been enough and surely that conversation would’ve happened between the two Barca stars.

The French side has to make a big chance at some point soon, unless they’ve been able to unload their money bags and actually buy a fountain of youth. Thiago Motta is 34, Blaise Matuidi 30, Silva 32, and Edinson Cavani 30.

It’s calculated aggression from PSG to splash cash in hopes of rivaling Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barca in pursuit of the UCL title. The Neymar move weakens one of those rivals. If Marco Verratti isn’t part of a swap deal, the signings of Sanchez and Neymar would meet the Italian star’s ambitions well up the road.

De Boer: West Brom was out to injure Palace star Zaha

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No shrinking violet, new Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer was left fuming at West Bromwich Albion players following the PL Asia Trophy third place match on Saturday in Hong Kong.

While the focus could’ve been on Luka Milivojevic‘s gorgeous free kick (watch here), De Boer couldn’t get past the hard fouls aimed at his key attacker.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

West Brom gave away the free kick that led to the aforementioned goal by chopping down Zaha, and the foul was not an isolated incident.

From the BBC:

“They were looking for him, to injure him,” said De Boer.

“He’s one of the exciting players in the league. I don’t want to think he’d be out for two weeks or months.”

De Boer is no stranger to rough play, so this is not coming from a soft place. We doubt it’s going to change anything from Tony Pulis‘ men, though.

Chelsea hammers Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing (video)

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Chelsea struck twice early and Michy Batshuayi put the cherry on top as the Premier League champions cruised past Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing on Saturday.

The Blues started a lineup they’d use on any occasion in the PL, while Arsenal had unproven prospects Cohen Bramall and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the XI.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

Willian‘s quick goal put the Blues up 1-0 at the Bird’s Nest, and Batshuayi scored the second and third. Both were pretty classy, especially the second.

Marcos Alonso did the lion’s share of the work to produce the second chance for Batshuayi, who is threatening to carry over his fine late season form to this campaign. What a smash.