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MLS Snapshots: FC Dallas 3-1 Fire | Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): When they’ve got 11 players on the field, the prospect of facing FC Dallas is downright frightening. Oscar Pareja’s side, which entered the weekend with a three-point lead in the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield races, held serve and protected that margin thanks to a 3-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Not only did FCD make it four wins in five games, but they did so in spectacular fashion, scoring a pair of highlight reel goals in the first half. Maximiliano Urruti finished the Fabian Castillo’s ridiculous rabona cross, and Mauro Diaz hit a pinpoint bomb. Which goal was most spectacular? Take your pick. You can’t go wrong.

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Three moments that mattered

23′ — Urruti heads home Castillo’s rabona cross — Castillo is probably ready for Europe was ready for Europe years ago.

41′ — Diaz fires from distance for 2-0 — Diaz is a beautiful, magical unicorn (when he’s healthy).

56′ — Barrios has a wide open net, but can’t finish — There are spectacular misses, and there is what Michael Barrios did in the 56th minute. Oh, my.

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Man of the match: Fabian Castillo

Goalscorers: Urruti (23′), Diaz (41′), Alvarez (90+1′), Rosales (90+2′)


The game in 100 words (or less): While FCD were (hardly) busy taking care of business in Frisco, Tex., the Colorado Rapids found themselves (somewhat) occupied in securing a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City in Commerce City, Colo. Playing once again without Jermaine Jones (with the USMNT world-beater on the field, Pablo Mastroeni’s side played its way to the Supporters’ Shield lead; without him, they had won just two of their last seven games), the Rapids somehow managed to improve upon their league-best goals-conceded mark (now just 13 in 19 games). The victory keeps the Rapids (37 points) three points back of FCD, while Sporting KC (28 points) remain fifth in the West with the Vancouver Whitecaps, a point behind in sixth, taking on Orlando City SC. The Portland Timbers would also leapfrog Peter Vermes’s side with a victory over the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of the MLS weekend ]

Three moments that mattered

65′ — Melia rushes out to deny Hairston — Tim Melia found himself sprinting off his line to close down Marlon Hairston’s path to goal in the 65th minute, saving the Rapids’ best chance of the night thus far.

78′ — Hairston curls one far post for 1-0 — Hairston’s second chance was much more difficult than his first, but it was the follow-up effort that found the back of the net.

90+2′ — Rubio hacked down in the box, no call — Sporting KC should have been awarded a penalty in the 92nd minute, but no whistle from referee Drew Fischer. Sometimes life be like that.

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Man of the match: Marlon Hairston

Goalscorers: Hairston (78′)

Report: Edinson Cavani set to join Inter Miami next summer

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Edinson Cavani is reportedly set to make a big splash in Florida.

According to Uruguayan journalist Alvaro Izquierdo, Cavani, 32, is set to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami next summer. The club will make their MLS debut next season.

The specifics of the supposed move are not know, but per the report from Izquierdo, Cavani will join Miami on a free transfer after his contract with PSG expires in June. Since joining in 2013, El Matador has been irreplaceable for the French giants, scoring over 160 goals and becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. This season, Cavani is off to a perfect start -scoring in the first two games of the Ligue 1 season.

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The striker is one of the first superstars linked to Miami, but the general vibe given off by owners Jorge Mas and Beckham is that the club will look to spend big – similar to Atlanta United, LAFC and LA Galaxy.

Miami has signed three players so far ahead of their 2020 MLS debut – Christian Makoun, Julian Carranza, and Matias Pellegrini all currently makeup the squad.

‘But hey this is MLS’: Wayne Rooney slams MLS’ travel arrangements

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Wayne Rooney is not a fan of MLS’ travel arrangements.

D.C. United lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in Canada, and had to fly back to the nation’s capital before prepping for a midweek showdown with visiting New York Red Bulls. To the 33-year-old Englishmen the trip should’ve taken six hours, not half a day.

MLS is notoriously known for the lack of charter flights it offers its teams, a mere four per season is the reported amount each team is allocated. Traveling on commercial flights has caused routine delays for a slew of team’s this season, with certain teams arriving only hours before the first whistle in some cases.

Players, however, will reportedly push for better travel in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not only for Rooney, but for the majority of professional athletes around the world, flying charter is customary.

Upon his arrival to D.C. in 2018, Rooney turned down first-class flights offered by the Black-and-Red, among other fine accommodations. “If you are going to be part of the team, you have to be part of the team,” Rooney said on his decision to reject first-class flights and private hotel rooms. “All in and do the same things. I don’t want special treatment — I wanted to be treated the same as the players. I’m part of this team.”

Rooney, despite being on his way out of D.C. to join Derby County in January, is certainly a part of the team.

He is also now a part of the complex fight for better travel in MLS.

Vela scores 24th, LAFC clinches playoff berth

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SANDY, Utah (AP) – Carlos Vela scored his MLS-leading 24th goal of the season, Tyler Miller had four saves and Los Angeles FC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night to clinch a playoff berth.

LAFC played a man down after defender Walker Zimmerman, who was shown a yellow card for time wasting in the 17th minute, was given a red for unsporting behavior in the 48th., Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera, who blocked two would-be goals in the first half, was shown a straight red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity on Vela, who then converted from the spot to make it 1-0 in the 64th minute.

Vela, whose 15 assists are tied with Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers for the league lead, broke the MLS record for combined goals and assists. Sebastian Giovinco’s had 22 goals and 16 assists for Toronto FC in 2015.

Miller has eight shutouts this season for LAFC (18-3-4), who have won four consecutive games and seven of their last eight dating to June 28.

Adama Diomande side-netted a rising right-footer to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute.

Salt Lake (12-10-4) had its six-game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins, snapped and allowed multiple goals for the first time since a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 1.

Lampard: ‘We need more personality’

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Frank Lampard‘s baptism of fire as Chelsea boss continued on Sunday, as the Blue coughed up a 1-0 lead and were lucky to draw at home against Leicester City.

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After being hammered at Manchester United in their opening PL game last weekend, then losing to Liverpool on penalty kicks in the Super Cup final in Istanbul on Wednesday, Chelsea started superbly against Leicester but only led 1-0 thanks to academy graduate Mason Mount scoring his first goal for the club.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports after the game, Lampard revealed he was not happy at all with the second half display and urged his young side to show more personality on the pitch.

“It was a really good start, fantastic, and we could’ve been two or three goals up. We were quick, bright, energetic, then we allowed Leicester back in the game and in the second half I was not very happy, we offered them too many chances on the counter attack,” Lampard said. “We can only look at ourselves. In all our matches I have been delighted in big passages of having the ball but we didn’t have enough angles or options to keep the ball moving. We have to have more personality, we saw that in midweek, but today we didn’t have that.”

The most disappointing thing for Lampard will be the way Leicester grabbed hold of the game in the second half.

Brendan Rodgers‘ side launched counter after counter as Jorginho and N’Golo Kante were overrun in midfield by James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, and both Maddison and Jamie Vardy should have won the games for the Foxes.

“You can attack, but still be in positions to not allow the counter-attack,” Lampard added. “I’m not here to play great attacking football and then concede counter-attack goals. We need to show more than we did. I was under no illusions that there would be moments like this. We have to work on the pitch on the things we can improve.”

Lampard is spot on with his assessment, but how does he change things?

The most obvious thing is that he needs his team to be more consistent. They’ve started their last three games fast but failed to make the most of big chances and have been made to pay for that with some sloppy passing in midfield.

It is still early days for Lampard in his first season as a PL boss, while many of his youngsters are also finding their feet in the top-flight. Chelsea’s fans will stay patient but the fact that have yet to grab a win shows there is plenty of work to do but the Blues have shown flashes of brilliance, usually at the start of games.

Having a consistent lineup is one thing, but Lampard now needs his players to be brave, show their personality and stand tall for the cause as he ushers in his new era. Too many of them went missing in the second half against Leicester at Stamford Bridge, which will be more than a little concerning for the Chelsea legend.