MLS roundup: Union, Sounders, Timbers get massive midweeks wins

AP Photo/Steve Dipaola
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A roundup of three Major League Soccer fixtures on Wednesday…

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Philadelphia Union 3-2 Columbus Crew SC

The current leaders of the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union (23 points), knocked off the defending East champions, Columbus Crew SC (14 points), to extend their table-topping lead to four points over the second-place-and-surging New York Red Bulls.

Chris Pontius scored one and made one for the Union, giving him five goals and four assists in his first season after seven with D.C. United. Ola Kamara continued his hot goalscoring form (four goals in his last two games) by scoring the opener in the 14th minute, but that was undone seven minutes later when Pontius struck from the edge of the penalty area for 1-1. Vincent Nogueira put the hosts ahead on 57 minutes — a lead they would never relinquish — before Fabian Herbers scored his first professional goal — the eventual winner — in the 84th. Cristian Martinez added a consolation goal for Crew SC in the 93rd minute, but it was nowhere near enough as Gregg Berhalter’s side remain ninth in the East just seven short months after appearing in MLS Cup 2015.

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D.C. United 0-2 Seattle Sounders

Jordan Morris has scored five goals in his last eight games for the Sounders, with Wednesday’s 79th-minute put-back being the eventual winner away to D.C. United. Joevin Jones added the second four minutes later, breaking a three-game losing skid for Sigi Schmid’s side.

With the victory, the Sounders briefly climbed above their Cascadia Cup rivals, the Portland Timbers, for seventh place in the Western Conference, but with the Timbers also winning on the night, Seattle remains ninth for the time being, just one point behind badly slumping Sporting Kansas City. D.C. hold steady in sixth in the East.

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Portland Timbers 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes

Liam Ridgewell scored the game’s only goal as the Timbers beat the San Jose Earthquakes at Providence Park in Wednesday’s nightcap. Diego Valeri provided the assist with the free kick to the far post, and the Englishman headed home back across the face of goal. As mentioned above, the victory keeps Portland ahead of Seattle, and push Caleb Porter’s side past Sporting KC for seventh place in the West, a single point behind the ‘Quakes for the sixth and final playoff place.