AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

MLS Snapshot: Sounders get much-needed win over reeling FCD

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The game in 100 words (or less): FC Dallas’ epic collapse is so nearly complete, if only Real Salt Lake or the San Jose Earthquakes could capitalize and boot Oscar Pareja’s side from the playoff places. Fortunately for the Hoops, while they were busy taking a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the defending champion Seattle Sounders, RSL and San Jose each dropped points (all three for RSL; two for the Quakes). Heading into the final week of the regular season, FCD’s fate is no longer in their own hands, as they currently sit seventh in the Western Conference, behind San Jose on wins. Seattle, meanwhile, have moved into third, a point ahead of Sporting Kansas City and behind the Portland Timbers on wins. Victor Rodriguez, Will Bruin (twice) and Lamar Neagle did the damage on Sunday, helping Seattle end a poor run of results (just one win in seven games) as their 13-game unbeaten run (from June to September) became a distant memory.

[ MORE: MLS at Week 33 — all about playoff places, positioning ]

Three moments that mattered

31′ — Rodriguez slots past Gonzalez to make it 1-0 — Assist by Clint Dempsey, textbook finish by Rodriguez.

64′ — Bruin pokes home a rebound for 2-0 — Dempsey’s shot was saved by Gonzalez, but he couldn’t hold onto it and Bruin pounced quickly.

67′ — Bruin slots home after a terrible giveaway — Matt Hedges needs it to be the offseason… like, three months ago.

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Man of the match: Will Bruin

Goalscorers: Rodriguez (31′), Bruin (64′, 67′), Neagle (90+2′)

MLS Snapshot: Sounders labor, without stars, to win over Dynamo

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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The game in 100 words (or less): International call-ups have left the Seattle Sounders without a recognized goalscorer, as both Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris are in U.S. national team camp. Thus, a severely blunted attack labored for the majority of Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at CenturyLink Field, until someone (Cristian Roldan) finally connected a cross (Seattle attempted 25 on the night) to someone (Will Bruin) inside the penalty area. It came in the 69th minute, and it was Seattle’s first shot on target in the game. The victory boosts Seattle up to sixth place in the Western Conference, ahead of San Jose Earthquakes on tiebreakers, and give Brian Schmetzer’s side three wins from their last four games. Houston, meanwhile, see their dreadful away form (just one draw from seven games) continue, as they fail to overtake Sporting Kansas City for the top spot in the West.

[ MORE: USMNT draws Venezuela | Player rating | Three things ]

The only moment that mattered

69′ — Bruin finally breaks through — Finally, with their 900th cross of the game (22nd, actually), Seattle connect one inside the box, and Bruin makes no mistake from there.

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Man of the match: Gustav Svensson

Goalscorers: Bruin (69′)

MLS (late-night) roundup: HOU hammer CLB; MTL blow late lead to SEA

Photo credit: Houston Dynamo / Twitter: @HoustonDynamo
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With two MLS Saturday afternoons/evenings officially in the books, only 32 more to go…

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Houston Dynamo 3-1 Columbus Crew SC

If you don’t know about the #BabyDynamo, it’s time you familiarize yourself with Wilmer Cabrera’s young (average age of attacking players used on Saturday: 23.4), attack-minded (five goals scored through two games) side. Erick (no longer “Cubo”) Torres has two goals in two games after his stunner completed Saturday’s rout of Columbus; Romell Quioto is the early leader in the clubhouse for Newcomer of the Year after bagging his second in two games; and Alberth Elis looked far more comfortable in his second MLS game, tallying his first goal since arriving in the offseason.

Ola Kamara notched Columbus’s consolation goal, his first of 2017, late into second-half stoppage time.

Montreal Impact 2-2 Seattle Sounders

Seattle’s MLS Cup hangover continued, for 60 minutes at least, as Montreal raced out to a comfortable 2-0 lead on the hard, bouncy artificial playing surface at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Ignacio Piatti’s inch-perfect through ball set up Matteo Mancosu for the game’s opening goal in the 17th minute, but it Piatti’s individual effort, racing 50 yards with the ball at his feet before firing past Stefan Frei from 20 yards out, six minutes after halftime which stole the spotlight until very late on.

Jordan Morris went down to win a penalty for Seattle with fewer than 10 minutes remaining in the second half, and Nicolas Lodeiro converted to make it 2-1. Montreal held their slender margin deep into stoppage time, but Will Bruin, having entered the game just eight minutes earlier, turned home a loose ball from five yards out to snatch the defending champions’ first point of 2017.

[ MORE: MLS (afternoon) roundup — Chicago’s on Fire; Giovinco injured ]

San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

From 2-0 down after 17 minutes, to a man up after 23 minutes, to 3-2 up after 79 minutes — just like that — San Jose are level with Houston for the Western Conference’s top spot.

Erik Hurtado and Nicolas Mezquida put the visitors ahead early on, but David Ousted got himself sent off for taking down Chris Wondolowski in the open field, and the comeback was on. Wondolowski pulled one back just after the half-hour mark, before notching the assist on Nick Lima’s first MLS goal nine minutes after halftime, and Anibal Godoy made it 3-2 with 11 minutes of regular time remaining.

Sporting Kansas City 0-0 FC Dallas

With FCD opting to field a largely second-team squad (CONCACAF Champions League semifinal first leg on Wednesday), Sporting KC enjoyed over 68 percent of the game’s possession, as the defending Supporters’ Shield winners — average age of 14 players used on Saturday: 24.1 — proved too well-drilled and disciplined to allow a clear-cut scoring chance all night. Oscar Pareja leads the “play your kids” movement, and with very good reason: they’re an extremely talented, mature bunch.

Elsewhere in MLSAFTERNOON ROUNDUP

Chicago Fire 2-0 Real Salt Lake
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Colorado Rapids
Philadelphia Union 2-2 Toronto FC

Storm Bruin in Seattle: Sounders acquire Dynamo forward for allocation money

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Fresh off of their first MLS Cup title in their young history in the league, the Seattle Sounders are prepping to defend their crown in 2017.

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On Friday, the Sounders acquired Houston Dynamo forward Will Bruin from the Western Conference side in exchange for an undisclosed amount of Target and General Allocation Money.

The 27-year-old Bruin netted 50 goals in his six seasons with the Dynamo, which included the forward notching double-digit goal totals in three of those seasons. Bruin played a role for the Dynamo in two runs to the MLS Cup final, however, both attempts fell short in 2011 and 2012 when the club fell short to the LA Galaxy.

The move gives the Sounders another strong attacking option to compliment MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez as the team goes for back-to-back championships in 2017.

MLS Snapshot: New York Red Bulls 4-3 Houston Dynamo (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): First things first, let’s get this out of the way: the New York Red Bulls are an utter disaster at the moment. More specifically, the Red Bulls’ defense is an out-of-control dumpster fire which was, somehow, stabilized after injuries to both starting center backs in Saturday’s truly memorable 4-3 victory over the Houston Dynamo (three injuries in all, all hamstrings, all before the 55th minute) at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, picking up their first point of the 2016 season in the process. In fairness to the defenders of RBNY, just about every defender on the field had an absolute shocker (whiffs on simple clearances galore – below videos), but it’s the home side that are the defending Supporters’ Shield winners and expected contenders for the Shield and MLS Cup this season. The loss of Matt Miazga has hit him hard, and Gideon Baah is…well, he’s taking a while to settle in, and it’s something to keep an eye on for the rest of the season. But, for now, scroll on down and click the Play button on all of the below videos. Breathe it all in, for Chicago Fire 0-0 Columbus Crew SC, it wasn’t.

[ MORE:Previewing the rest of MLS Week 3 ]

Three Four Five Six moments that mattered

22′ — Kljestan puts RBNY on the board for first time this year — When you’ve gone scoreless for the first 202 minutes of the season, you don’t really care about style points so much as finally getting off the mark. DaMarcus Beasley will care about that shocking whiff on the clearance, but Kljestan and the Red Bulls will take it all day long.

35′ — Bruin gets in behind, lifts it over Robles for 1-1 — Speaking of shocking whiffs by a defender, check out Kemar Lawrence as the last man back against Will Bruin. That’s, uh, sub-optimal, to say the least.

41′ — Bruin slots home with ease for 2-1 — Speaking of spectacular whiffs on clearances by a defender, check out Ronald Zubar as the only man standing between Bruin, the ball and the goal. That’s, uh, truly horrific.

65′ — Alex finishes far post after beautiful build-up — Boniek Garcia and Leonel Miranda worked a beautiful one-two to spring the latter into space atop the Red Bulls’ penalty area. Garcia fed Alex Lima a bit more centrally, and the Brazilian finished with precision to hit back two minutes after Mike Grella equalized for RBNY.

77′ — Felipe’s stunner makes it 3-3 — No words. Just watch.

83′ — Felipe curls in a free kick for 4-3 — Again, no words. Just watch. Take it all in. Bask in the terri-brilliance that is, was and forever shall be this game. (ALTERNATE ANGLE)

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Man of the match: Felipe Martins

Goalscorers: Kljestan (22′), Bruin (35′, 41′), Grella (63′), Alex (65′), Felipe (77′, 83′)