Harry Shipp

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Sounders beat Atlanta on goals from Ruidiaz, Shipp (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): While Los Angeles FC runs away with the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, the Seattle Sounders can call themselves the “best of the rest” of MLS… for now, at least. Sunday’s 2-1 victory over defending champions Atlanta United sent Brian Schmetzer’s side (35 points) into second place in the Western Conference as well as the single-table Shield race. LAFC, however, remain 11 points clear. Atlanta, meanwhile, remain third in the Eastern Conference, still six points back of first-place Philadelphia Union. Raul Ruidiaz and Harry Shipp grabbed Seattle’s goals on Sunday, sandwiching a Josef Martinez equalizer, all occurring during a 13-minute explosion of action. The Sounders have now won three of their last four games, while Atlanta have just one win from their last five (three losses).

[ MORE: Quakes smash Galaxy | LAFC thrash Dynamo ]

Three moments that mattered

58′ — Ruidiaz makes magic all by himself — There aren’t many players in MLS who could create this chance, let alone maintain their composure to put it away after the slaloming and the flicks.

65′ — Josef’s thunderous header levels it up — Martinez scores goals in so many different ways, including with his head despite being just 5-foot-6.

71′ — Shipp places a header of his own to make it 2-1 — While Martinez’s header was powered into the back of the net, Shipp’s was precisely placed off the (intentional) bounce to avoid a sea of outstretched legs.

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Man of the match: Raul Ruidiaz

Goalscorers: Ruidiaz (58′), Martinez (65′), Shipp (71′)

Shipp leads Seattle to easy home win vs. NYCFC

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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Occasionally it’s as easy as this: Seattle and New York City FC both played midweek before meeting Sunday in Washington.

But Seattle played in San Jose, a two-hour flight from home, while NYCFC played one day later and was in Orlando.

[ MORE: Mitrovic in, Rondon out at NUFC ]

The less rest and long trek were evident in the legs of the visitors, who did — for what it’s worth — wind up out-shooting the hosts 19-14.

Harry Shipp had a goal and an assist, and Gustav Svensson and Cristian Roldan also scored as Seattle Sounders rolled New York City FC 3-1 at CenturyLink Field.

Jesus Medina scored NYCFC’s lone goal.

Seattle is now five points back of sixth place in the West, while NYCFC fails to keep pace with East No. 1 seed Atlanta United.

MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-0 Real Salt Lake (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Brian Schmetzer’s side went through a similar beginning to the season in 2016, and the club went on to win MLS Cup. The Seattle Sounders will hope to duplicate that feat this season. Coming off a four-match winless run, the Sounders responded well at home on Saturday, knocking off Real Salt Lake behind Harry Shipp’s second goal of the season. Despite Nick Rimando’s best efforts — and his 22nd career penalty kick stop — RSL struggled to finish off numerous chances in the attacking third. Meanwhile, the other goalkeeper in the match was pretty stellar as well, with Stefan Frei making five saves of his own for the hosts.

[ MORE: BWP bicycle kick dazzles in Red Bulls draw ]

Three moments that mattered

39′ — Rimando stones Morris in front of goal — Nick Rimando has built up his reputation as a top MLS goalkeeper in his career, and this 1 v 1 situation showed why.

42′ — Shipp gives Sounders lead at HT — Sometimes you just need to take your shots and good things happen.

55′ — Rimando does what he does best… — Most teams clammer when conceding a penalty kick, but when you have Nick Rimando in goal chances are the shot-stopper will at least get a hand to it.

Man of the match: Stefan Frei

Goalscorers: Harry Shipp (42′)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

MLS Snapshot: Montreal Impact 1-3 New York City FC (video)

AP Photo/Kevin Hagen
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The game in 100 words (or less): New York City’s improbable run to the top spot in the Eastern Conference — and league-best points haul away from home — just keeps going and going, as Patrick Vieira’s side topped the fourth-place Montreal Impact, 3-1 at Stade Saputo on Sunday. David Villa, Jack Harrison and Frank Lampard provided the goals for NYCFC, their 13th (Golden Boot leader), third and fifth of the season, respectively. Tommy McNamara assisted on Villa and Harrison’s goals, giving the 25-year-old American midfield eight assists on the season (third-most in MLS). That’s six road wins for NYCFC this season (no other MLS side even has five), giving the side from the Bronx their 17th, 18th and 19th points away from on the season (FC Dallas are second with 13 away points). With the victory, NYCFC (33 points) are four points clear of the Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference table, while the Impact (26 points) hold steady in fourth.

[ MORE: Recapping Saturday night’s MLS action ]

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Villa gets behind, makes it 1-0 — Just a thought: You should probably keep Villa in front of you at all times. Victor Cabrera fell asleep for just a second, and that’s all it takes.

45+2′ — Harrison unleashes a beautiful curler for 2-0 — Harrison spun Ambroise Oyongo like a top, and it was only the second-best part of his stunning goal.

55′ — Shipp’s “shot” is not dealt with, finds pay dirt — That’s two flappy howlers in two weeks for Josh Saunders.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Tommy McNamara

Goalscorers: Villa (35′), Harrison (45+2′), Shipp (55′), Lampard (85′)

MLS Snapshots: RSL 1-1 Impact | Whitecaps 2-2 Rapids (video)

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP
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The games in 100 words (or less): With each passing week, the Western Conference playoff race seems to get less and less clear. While Real Salt Lake were busy settling for a come-from-behind 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact at Rio Tinto Stadium Saturday night, the Vancouver Whitecaps were busy not one, but two leads at home against the Colorado Rapids. With the above results accounted for, the logjam in the West sees five points separate five teams — RSL, LA Galaxy, Sporting Kansas City, Vancouver and Portland Timbers — from third to seventh, in that order. As ever, roll on, the insanity that is the Western Conference playoff race.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of the MLS weekend ]

Three Two moments that mattered

8′ — Rimando spills inside the six, Shipp puts it back — The last time anyone saw a Nick Rimando howler, the year was 1979 (roughly). Costly, nevertheless.

78′ — Mallace hacks Plata down in the box, Yura converts for 1-1 — There may be no penalty more obvious than the one given following Calum Mallace’s mistimed slide tackle on Joao Plata.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Victor Cabrera

Goalscorers: Shipp (8′), Movsisyan (79′)

Three moments that mattered

10′ — Waston heads home after a corner — 5-foot-9 Mekeil Williams should probably never find himself marking 6-foot-5 Kendall Waston. Just a thought.

59′ — Doyle equalizes from Gashi’s through ball — Gashi is a special player for a through ball like this. Oh my.

87′ — Watts commits a foul in the box, Techera converts — Give the referee a decision to make in this setting, and you can only blame yourself if he elects to give the penalty.

90+5′ — Sjoberg heads home in stoppage time — As close at the West will be at the end of the season, the Whitecaps will regret these two points dropped.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Kevin Doyle

Goalscorers: Waston (10′), Doyle (59′), Techera (87′ – PK), Sjoberg (90+5′)