Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP

MLS: Techera’s hat trick; Gordon the hero (again) for Chicago

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Cristian Techera scored three second-half goals and the Vancouver Whitecaps overcame several defensive errors to tie the New England Revolution 3-3 on Saturday.

Techera completed the hat trick in the 74th minute off a pass from striker Yordy Reyna.

The Whitecaps (4-5-5) are winless in five games and have just one victory in their past nine matches (1-4-4). New England is 5-4-3.

Vancouver trailed 2-0 early in the second half.

Whitecaps defender Aly Ghazal had an own goal and made a poor pass that helped set up a goal by New England’s Teal Bunbury. Another Revolution goal came after defender Sean Franklin mishandled a ball.

Techera made it 2-1 in the 49th minute off a cross from Marcel de Jong. Russell Teibert set up Techera again two minutes later, with Techera scoring on a header after goalkeeper Matt Turner stopped the first shot.

Bunbury gave New England a 3-2 lead in the 59th minute after Ghazal’s weak pass was picked off.

Cristian Penilla also scored for New England.


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Alan Gordon broke a tie in the 82nd minute and the Chicago Fire beat Orlando City 2-1 on Saturday night.

Gordon settled Bastian Schweinsteiger’s cross with a couple of touches at 25 yards from goal and fired a rocket into the upper right corner past goalkeeper Joe Bendik’s outstretched hand.

Chicago’s Mohammed Adams was sent off in the 89th minute for violent conduct, but the Fire (4-6-2) held on from there, including six minutes of stoppage time, to end a two-game losing streak.

Orlando City (6-5-1) has lost three straight after winning six in a row.

Aleksandar Katai gave Chicago the lead on a free kick in the 13th minute.

Cristian Higuita tied it for Orlando City in the 28th minute, slotting a right-footed shot inside the far post after getting sprung free by Chris Mueller’s short pass to the right side of the penalty area.

Patrick McLain had four saves for his first MLS win.

Vancouver scorer sent off for celebrating penalty kick (video)

Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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Call it a walk-off for one.

Vancouver Whitecaps scorer Cristian Techera, sitting on a yellow card, put the British Columbian side up 1-0 on a penalty kick Friday night with 75 minutes gone against visiting Real Salt Lake.

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We’re not sure this one’s happened too many times in a close match, as it takes a special kind of thickness, but Techera then took his shirt off to celebrate his conversion of a spot kick and earned a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal.

Fortunately for Techera, Vancouver, and the paint on the walls of the ‘Caps locker room — would you want to anger Carl Robinson?!? — Vancouver scored again four minutes later to pick up all three points.

Techera didn’t even win the penalty; It was Nicolas Mezquida who sent the Uruguayan up for the attempt. Have to wonder what the celebratory huddle was telling Techera near the corner flag, aside from, “Dude, dude, DUDE…” and a variety of choice words.

MLS Snapshot: Whitecaps outlast RSL to go 3rd in jumbled West

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): Someone’s going to finish top of the Western Conference this season. By the competition rules of MLS, someone will finish the 34-game regular season in first place. No one’s saying the team to do so will be a “good” team, or whatsoever a threat to take MLS Cup from Toronto FC the Eastern Conference winner. Who knows, it might even be the Vancouver Whitecaps, who at no point during their entire existence the last two or three seasons have looked capable of stringing together three consecutive quality performances and establishing themselves as legitimate contenders. The first two-thirds of the 2017 season were merely more of the same for Carl Robinson’s side, with one gigantic exception: the West is extremely not-good this year. Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Real Salt Lake sends Vancouver third in the West, three points back of the Portland Timbers with three games in hand.

[ MORE: MLS Power Rankings — Week 26 | Weekend preview ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

29′ — Techera turns it in, past a flailing Rimando — Nick Rimando spent the last decade becoming/being the greatest goalkeeper in MLS history, but we all know Father Time is undefeated. We’ve seen him make this pretty routine save probably 300 times in his career. This time, he couldn’t get anywhere near it.

37′ — Ousted caught in two minds, tips ball into his own net — It’s tough to fault David Ousted here, as Yura Movsisyan presents the impossible choice of playing the cross or waiting for the impending header. So impossible, in fact, it’s tough to credit the goal to Movsisyan or Chris Wingert.

52′ — Waston slams home a rebound off the post — No one wants to see Rimando go out like this. I hate seeing it, you hate seeing it, everyone hates it. Heck of a finish from Kendall Waston, who’s not exactly the most composed player the world has ever seen.

55′ — Ousted makes a stunning, diving save — Justen Glad got up and get plenty of power on his header, but Ousted was eager to redeem his earlier blunder.

64′ — Reyna’s diving-missile header beats Rimando for 3-1 — There’s something so satisfying about a player flinging his entire body, head-first, at the ball and watching the back of the net bulge immediately thereafter.

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Man of the match: Bernie Ibini-Isei

Goalscorers: Techera (29′), Wingert (37′), Waston (52′), Reyna (64′), Beltran (83′)

New York Red Bulls 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps: BWP saves a draw

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
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  • ‘Caps nap road goal
  • Techera sent off in 71′
  • Return leg March 2

Kekuta Manneh and Bradley Wright-Phillips traded goals as the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls drew 1-1 in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday at Red Bull Arena.

Cristian Techera sent the ‘Caps down to 10 men in the 71st minute when he connected with a kick between Sal Zizzo’s legs.

A deft touch by Wright-Phillips set up Sacha Kljestan for a fifth minute chance, but two sliding Whitecaps helped pressure the captain’s shot wide of the near post.

Vancouver had a chance two minutes later when Alphonso Davies played Russell Teibert down the right wing, and the Whitecaps wide man curled a shot wide of the far post.

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The Whitecaps beat Luis Robles before halftime. Kendall Waston flicked a ball toward the net, and Kekuta used his head to turn the ball off Justin Bilyeu and behind Robles. 1-0, 39′.

A foul outside the 18 nearly saw Kljestan level it up with a 45th minute free kick.

Kljestan should’ve tied it up with a PK just after the break. He didn’t, barely chipping his Panenka attempt above shin level. Woof.

Wright-Phillips made it 1-1 in the 62nd minute, when Zizzo’s cross dropped at his feet. A quick reaction had the ball in the back of the net.

MLS transfer news: McCarty, Techera staying put in NY, Vancouver

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With the dead period that typically accompanies the holiday period during every Major League Soccer offseason now in the rearview mirror, MLS’s 20 front offices are beginning to reemerge from hibernation and make moves ahead of the 2016 season.

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A pair of hugely important player signings were reported and announced on Monday, as the Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls have reportedly inked club captain and midfield stalwart Dax McCarty to a brand new contract, while the Vancouver Whitecaps completed the permanent transfer of Uruguayan midfielder Cristian Techera.

The popular assumption was that the Red Bulls would do everything necessary to retain McCarty, whose contract was set to expire at the end of 2016, for the long-term after the 28-year-old enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 2015. With the Red Bulls winning the Shield last season, McCarty was chosen an MLS Best XI player in 2015. McCarty would have been eligible for MLS’s limited version of free agency at the end of the 2016 season.

[ MORE: Jordan Morris will turn pro, sign richest homegrown deal yet ]

Orlando City SC had often been linked to McCarty, who was born in Winter Park, Fla., 25 minutes outside of Orlando, since well before the Lions entered the league in 2015, but those rumors may now be put to rest once and for all.

Clear on the other side of the North American continent, the Whitecaps announced they made Techera’s transfer to the Pacific Northwest permanent after a successful loan spell in 2015. Targeted allocation money was used to pay the transfer fee for Techera’s move from River Plate Montevideo.

[ MORE: Gerrard thinks he’ll retire after 2016 season with LA Galaxy ]

Techera scored seven goals and set up five others (22 appearances, 17 starts) during his first season in MLS. Typically playing on the right wing, Techera formed one of the league’s most lethal outside duos, opposite Kekuta Manneh, for a Whitecaps side that finished second in the Western Conference in 2015.