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MLS Weekend Preview: LA Galaxy hits to road to visit NYC

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Coming off an impressive win against the defending Western Conference champions, the LA Galaxy hit the road to face New York City FC in the league’s highest-profile game of the week.

There are plenty of other storylines to follow in week two of the MLS season, including whether LAFC and Columbus can keep their positive momentum and whether TFC gets back to its league winning ways.

Here’s a look at our preview for MLS Week 2:


LA Galaxy at New York City FC — 5 p.m. Sunday

Behind first half goals from new striker Ola Kamara and midfielder Romain Alessandrini, the new-look Galaxy held on for the win against the Portland Timbers, while New York City FC went into the Cauldron in Kansas City and wiped out Sporting KC, 2-0.

Working in NYCFC’s favor on Sunday is the announcement that Alessandrini will miss the upcoming match at Yankee Stadium with a hamstring injury, but at the same time NYCFC will be without starting centerback Maxime Chanot after the French-born defender was red carded in the opener. Either way, it should be an exciting game, with Giovani Dos Santos and Kamara attacking on one side and Maxi Moralez, Jesus Medina and David Villa on the other.

Los Angeles FC at Real Salt Lake — 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Diego Rossi spoiled the weekend for Seattle while bringing the crowd to life at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles to give the expansion club a dream 1-0 win to start the year.

But Real Salt Lake did some spoiling of their own last week, holding on for a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas. Now back home, and with Mike Petke’s side looking as dangerous as ever, RSL can make their mark as a team to watch out for in the west. Fun fact: This will be Bob Bradley‘s first trip to the Rio Tinto Stadium as an MLS coach.

Columbus Crew at Montreal Impact — 1:00 p.m. Saturday

The Crew kick off the MLS weekend slate for the second week in a row and are coming off a massive win at rival Toronto FC, in which Gyasi Zardes looks a natural in the black and gold. Pedro Santos also looked dangerous out wide and Columbus is showing early signs that it can be a legit contender this year.

The Impact, under Remi Garde’s management, fell on the Pacific Coast at Vancouver last weekend but back home at Stade Saputo, they’ll have a better shot. Look for Saphir Taider and Ignacio Piatti to combine in the middle of the park and lead to dangerous attacks.

Full schedule (all times EDT)
Columbus at Montreal — 1 p.m. Saturday
Colorado at New England — 1:30 p.m. Saturday
LAFC at Real Salt Lake –3:30 p.m. Saturday
Sporting KC at Chicago — 6 p.m. Saturday
Vancouver at Houston — 6 p.m. Saturday
Portland at New York Red Bulls — 7 p.m. Saturday
Minnesota at Orlando — 7:30 p.m. Saturday
D.C. United at Atlanta — 3 p.m. Sunday
LA Galaxy at NYCFC — 5 p.m. Sunday

Video: Mbappe taps home to give France first blood

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The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.

[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]

Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.

The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.

The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.

American referee Geiger accused of asking for Portugal kit

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Morocco’s World Cup journey will conclude after the group stage, but the African side isn’t pleased with how their second match transpired on Wednesday against Portugal.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran sees equalizer ruled off ]

The Moroccans have lodged a complaint with FIFA against referee Mark Geiger — an American who has become one of the most well-known officials in Major League Soccer.

Geiger was alleged to have asked Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his jersey at halftime of the 1-0 win over Morocco, to which Geiger has categorically denied the claims.

FIFA released the following statement on the matter:

The claims stemmed from Morocco player Nordin Amrabat, who addressed the matter in an interview following the match.

“I don’t know what [Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Amrabat said. “I’ve been just told by Pepe that in the [first half], he asked if he could have his shirt. Come on, man. What are we talking about? … We are at the World Cup, not a circus here.”

Geiger returned to action on Thursday as video assistant referee for the Denmark-Australia match, which included an important alteration in a call that led to an Australia penalty kick.

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.