MLS Roundup: DC and NE wins congest the East, Seattle thumped

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What a weekend in Major League Soccer. The best part: Only one tie (though of course it featured the Tying Timbers).

Philadelphia Union 0-1 DC United: Even a new formation couldn’t help Philly’s struggling offense, and Chicago’s offload of Chris Rolfe and his salary continues to reap dividends for DC, which surged into second place in the Eastern Conference after the midfielder’s 6th minute goal. Could United be for real?

Montreal Impact 0-3 Sporting KC: Seventy-three minutes of 10-man ball is not a recipe for beating the reigning MLS champions, and Sporting took care of business after Collin Warner received an early red card. Two goals came courtesy of Dom Dwyer, while Paolo Nagamura also found the back of the net. Montreal is not clicking under Frank Klopas so far, while KC is tied atop the East.

New York Red Bulls 4-5 Chicago Fire: Chicago has a win! Chicago finally has a win! The good Shipp, Harrison, buried his first three MLS goals as it looked like the Fire were going to make a mockery of the Red Bulls in New York, but the hosts came charging back thanks to Bradley Wright-Phillips. He added a league-best eighth and ninth goals on the night, but couldn’t bring New York all the way back.

Columbus Crew 0-1 Vancouver Whitecaps: Super-early-season darlings Columbus lost again at home, where their record fell to 1W-2L-2T. The villain in this one was Erik Hurtado, who netted his first MLS goal for Carl Robinson’s surging club. It was Vancouver’s first win on the road.

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 FC Dallas: Oscar Pareja and FC Dallas red-hot opening slate has fizzled into four straight losses, and perhaps San Jose will start to get a bit more respect after this triumph that saw just 45 minutes of even play. No Mauro Diaz did not help — nor will it — as Dallas tries to find answers. Meanwhile, San Jose has pulled into fifth-place after the tough, congested start that included CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Portland Timbers 1-1 Los Angeles Galaxy: Who had the Portland Timbers as the team with the West’s worst record in mid-May? The traditionally-tying Timbers caught a major break to even get one point, as a takedown of Juninho on a breakaway could’ve easily been the penalty attempt to make it 2-0. Both markers came in stoppage time, as Diego Valeri scored at the death to cancel out Robbie Keane’s fifth goal of the year.

Colorado Rapids 1-3 Chivas USA: Break up the Goats. Chivas USA is technically out of the basement again after substitute Martin Chavez scored twice in the second half to lift the visitors. Erick Torres was solid again with a goal and assist, and Dan Kennedy lost his shutout late when Deshorn Brown scored in stoppage time.

New England Revolution 5-0 Seattle Sounders: Diego Fagundez took nine games to score his first of the season, but picked up two as New England picked apart Seattle to the tune of a 4-0 halftime lead. Bobby Shuttleworth was fantastic as the Sounders tempted the frame several times early, but Sigi Schmid will regret many missed chances.

Houston Dynamo 2-5 Real Salt Lake: The story could’ve been Mark Sherrod’s first two MLS goals, but instead it’s about a dicey red card to Servando Carrasco and Javier Morales finding his goal-scoring boots. Morales netted a hat trick, with two in the first 17 minutes and an 89th minute penalty kick. RSL led 3-1 at halftime on the way to a comfortable 5-2 win at BBVA Compass Stadium, its first ever at Houston.

STANDINGS

Eastern
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Sporting KC 9 5 2 2 14 6 8 3-2-0 2-0-2 17
New England 10 5 2 3 14 10 4 3-1-0 2-1-3 17
D.C. 9 4 2 3 13 11 2 3-1-1 1-1-2 14
Houston 11 4 2 5 15 19 -4 3-1-2 1-1-3 14
New York 11 3 5 3 18 17 1 2-2-1 1-3-2 14
Columbus 10 3 3 4 10 11 -1 1-2-2 2-1-2 12
Toronto FC 7 3 0 4 7 9 -2 1-0-2 2-0-2 9
Chicago 9 1 6 2 17 18 -1 0-3-1 1-3-1 9
Philadelphia 11 1 5 5 10 14 -4 1-3-1 0-2-4 8
Montreal 9 1 3 5 7 17 -10 1-2-2 0-1-3 6
Western
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Seattle 11 7 1 3 22 19 3 4-0-2 3-1-1 22
Real Salt Lake 10 5 5 0 21 12 9 2-2-0 3-3-0 20
FC Dallas 11 5 1 5 20 19 1 4-0-2 1-1-3 16
Vancouver 10 4 4 2 16 12 4 3-1-1 1-3-1 16
Colorado 10 4 3 3 11 12 -1 2-1-2 2-2-1 15
San Jose 9 2 4 3 10 11 -1 2-3-1 0-1-2 10
Los Angeles 7 2 3 2 8 6 2 1-0-1 1-3-1 9
Chivas USA 10 2 3 5 12 19 -7 1-1-3 1-2-2 9
Portland 10 1 6 3 13 16 -3 1-5-0 0-1-3 9

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Josef Martinez scores 2 more in win, including sensational solo work

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Josef Martinez scored his 25th and 26th goals of the MLS season, and if he challenges his MLS record of 31, he may also stare down soccer royalty.

The Venezuelan striker scored two more on Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of FC Cincinnati in Ohio to give him goals in 15-straight league contests.

He now has 76 goals in 80 MLS games, which is good.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

On the season, he’s six goals shy of matching the Major League Soccer record he set with last season’s 31 regular season goals.

According to MLSSoccer.com, he’s six games shy of tying Lionel Messi’s world record for consecutive league matches with a goal.

Even that’s a little tricky: Messi scored in 21-straight games in which he was eligible for selection, but 19-straight before missing two matches for injury. In that remarkable run of 21, he also had a run of six-straight braces.

It’s not really worth it to attempt to compare the two streaks: If Martinez gets to 21 (or even 19), it’s amazing stuff and worth celebrating on a worldwide level. Everyone has a bad game every now and again, but Martinez still finds the score sheet in ’em.

Look at the magician’s tricks he used for this one, including a back heel first touch and two freeze-frame cut moves. That’s not even mentioning the finish.

USWNT announces final matches of World Cup-winning year

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CHICAGO (AP) The Women’s World Cup champion U.S. team will wrap up 2019 with matches against Sweden and Costa Rica.

U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that the U.S. will face Sweden in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 7 and Costa Rica in Jacksonville, Florida, on Nov. 10.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

The team is wrapping up its World Cup victory tour next month with matches against South Korea on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and on Oct. 6 in Chicago.

Coach Jill Ellis is stepping down following the match in Chicago after leading the team to a pair of consecutive World Cup titles.

The United States is 15-1-2 this year and currently riding a 14-game winning streak.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Mane to get big raise, Liverpool contract through 2025

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Liverpool’s Senegalese sensation looks set to stay at Anfield deep into his 30s.

Sadio Mane is in talks with the Reds hierarchy over a new deal that will run through 2024-25, and pay him more than $15 million per season.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

Mane, 27, currently has a deal through 2023, but surely wouldn’t mind a raise. And Liverpool will be happy to tie him down on Merseyside a bit longer.

He’s scored six times in seven matches this season, also grabbing an assist. That’s on a better pace than his 26 goals and five assists over 50 appearances in 2018/19.

Mane has 70 Premier League goals at the moment. Do you tip him to eclipse 100 while still at Anfield? 125?

Europa League preview: Man Utd, Wolves, Arsenal begin group stage

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The Europa League begins its group stage on Thursday, with the three Premier League combatants taking on clubs from Kazakhstan, Portugal and Germany.

Manchester United’s kids are gonna get some playing time when Astana visits Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Teenager Mason Greenwood and 21-year-old Axel Tuanzebe will start, and Sergio Romero will be between the sticks.

[ MORE: Champions League wrap ]

And the Manchester Evening News notes that Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could also start at Old Trafford, meaning the veterans in the fray will be quite important.

Enter Fred, the forgotten $68 million man from Shaktar Donetsk. The 23 minutes he played last week versus Leicester City account for his lone time on the pitch this season.

Here’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

“I’m sure we’ll see more and more of Fred. We spoke about it earlier, he’s had some great games in midfield with Scott against PSG and Arsenal, for example, and we’re just waiting for that to flourish.”

Fred had an odd record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season, barely in the squad when the team started hot but trusted against PSG and Barcelona in the Champions League.

Speaking of little-used midfielders, Arsenal boss Unai Emery is getting a little grief for leaving Mesut Ozil behind for the Gunners’ trip to Germany for a big match with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ozil made his first start of the season in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Watford at the weekend, playing 71 minutes and departing with the club up 2-1.

So why not even bring him abroad? Rest.

“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday,” Emery said, via The London Evening Standard. “My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11 and after that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.”

Sokrastis Papastathopoulos is also out, having played a big role in the embarrassing performance at Watford.

There have been tough times for Wolves as well, who sit in the relegation zone after five matches of the Premier League season.

They’ve been quite good in Europa League, though, dispatching a pair of minnows before winning both legs against Serie A side Torino.

Why the inconsistency? It’s not fixture congestion, according to Ruben Neves:

“I don’t think fatigue has anything to do with it, Neves said, via The Birmingham Mail. “We’re all top players, we’re used to it, we’re used to playing a lot of games in quick succession. I don’t think the Europa League has (anything) to do with our position in the Premier League. Obviously, we haven’t had the start that we’ve wanted, but it’s been a beautiful journey into the Europa League. This is a historic moment for Wolves and we’re going to do our best in this competition.”

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in Portugal to meet Braga, one of three tricky opponents in Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava.

Full slate

12:55 p.m. ET
CFR Cluj v. Lazio
LASK v. Rosenborg
Getafe v. Trabzonspor
PSV Eindhoven v. Sporting Lisbon
Basel v. Krasnodar
APOEL Nicosia v. Dudelange
Copenhagen v. Lugano
Standard Liege v. Vitoria SC
Qarabag v. Sevilla
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Arsenal
Rennes v. Celtic
Dynamo Kiev v. Malmo

3 p.m. ET
Wolfsburg v. Oleksandriya
Espanyol v. Ferencvaros
Rangers v. Feyenoord
Porto v. Young Boys
Slovan Bratislava v. Besiktas
Borussia Monchengladbach v. Wolfsberg
Partizan v. AZ Alkmaar
AS Roma v. Istanbul Basaksehir
Gent v. Saint-Etienne
Manchester United v. Astana
Wolves v. Braga
Ludogorets Razgrad v. CSKA Moscow