Mauro Manotas

Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images

Fernandez scores on debut to snare Portland point in Texas

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Brian Fernandez scored on debut to lead the Portland Timbers in a 1-1 draw with the Dynamo in Houston on Wednesday.

Portland moves to 3-6-2 on the year, while Houston remains fourth despite moving onto 20 points.

Houston led on a 40th minute goal from Mauro Manotas, and Timbers boss Giovani Savarese turned to his new record signing in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Derby County reaches playoff final ]

A dozen minutes later, Sebastian Blanco hit this dime to Fernandez, who arrived from Necaxa last week.

The 24-year-old Argentine picked up where he left off in Liga MX, where he scored 18 times in 32 matches.

CONCACAF Champions League: Houston advances; No miracle for TFC

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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One Major League Soccer team is out, and another has moved on following a day of CONCACAF Champions League second legs which included a lightning delay, frigid temperatures, and a frenetic end in Texas.

[ MORE: Tuesday’s PL match recaps ]


Toronto FC 1-1 (1-4 agg.) Independiente

There was a school of thought that Toronto FC could come back from its 4-0 deficit given the quality of its club, presuppositions about the Panamanian visitors, and the cold weather in Ontario.

And it was 1-0 at halftime through Jordan Hamilton, but Toronto, well, let’s just say Laurent Ciman is a much better player than this:

Houston Dynamo 2-1 (3-1 agg.) Guastatoya

The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champs had to work for their spot in the quarterfinals, and they also had to wait.

Delayed more than two hours due to lightning in Texas, the Dynamo gave their 1-0 advantage back to the visitors via a 72nd minute Aaron Navarro goal.

But Mauro Manotas scored twice in eight minutes to push the Dynamo into the next round.

Houston Dynamo win 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup

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Mauro Manotas’ first half goals were enough to lead Houston Dynamo to their first Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title.

The home Dynamo bested the visiting Philadelphia Union 3-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday, handing the Union a third USOC Final loss since 2014.

Philadelphia saw an own goal from Auston Trusty in the 65th minute.

[ MORE: Premier League Club Power Rankings ]

The ball was in each goal twice in the first four minutes, but only the latter counted on the score board.

Philadelphia’s Fafa Picault headed over Joe Willis, but was offside.

At the other end, Alberth Elis’ cutback pass from the touch line was missed by Philly’s Jack Elliott and Andre Blake, with Manotas stooped to nod the opener into the goal.

He’d score another in the 25th, dribbling down Main Street to drive a low left-footed shot past Blake, off the post, and into the goal.

Top-seeded Timbers ousted, at home, by road-woeful Dynamo

Photo credit: Houston Dynamo / @HoustonDynamo
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The game in 100 words (or less more): One by one, the trendy, higher-seeded favorites are falling away in the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs — same as the postseason has ever been. Sunday saw the Eastern Conference’s 2-seed, New York City FC, bow out at the hands of 5th-seeded Columbus Crew SC, not long before the Western Conference’s top-seeded Portland Timbers fell victim to 4th-seeded Houston Dynamo. Having secured a 0-0 draw in the first leg down in Houston, Caleb Porter’s side entered Sunday’s second leg with a decided advantage — Houston won just once away from home all season, and managed just 10 points in total from 17 tries. After Dairon Asprilla put Portland 1-0 ahead in the 39th minute, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the 2015 champions would move on to face the defending champs, their Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders, in the West finals beginning on Nov. 21. Alas, Dylan Remick, a former Sounder himself, made it 1-1 just four minutes later, and Mauro Manotas delivered the final blow 13 minutes from full-time to propel Wilmer Cabrera’s side into the final four. In their 12 seasons of existence, Houston have been to the playoffs eight times, reached the conference finals seven times, appeared in MLS Cup four times, and won it twice.

[ MORE: 3 keys to Sunday’s 2nd legs ]

Three moments that mattered

39′ — Asprilla fires home the opener — Diego Valeri played the ball wide to Vytas, who lofted it into the box. Asprilla was quickest to react when the cross was a bit too deep, and the Colombian hit an unstoppable ball past Joe Willis.

43′ — Remick smashes home a loose ball for 1-1 — Tomas Martinez played the free kick into the box, Jalil Anibaba headed it down, and Remick smashed it past Jeff Artinella to put Houston ahead on away goals.

77′ — Manotas hits a slow bouncer past Attinella for 2-1 — Insurance.

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

Man of the match: Juan Cabezas

Goalscorers: Asprilla (39′), Remick (43′), Manotas (77′)

MLS: FCD really missed the playoffs; LA finish dead last

Photo credit: Houston Dynamo / Twitter: @HoustonDynamo
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FC Dallas 5-1 LA Galaxy

The standings: FC Dallas finish 7th in the West; LA Galaxy finish bottom of the West, and all of MLS

The game: It was too little, too late for FC Dallas, who on Sunday managed just their second win during the months of August, September and October. That’s a stretch of 15 games which saw last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners tumble out of the West’s playoff places and ultimately finish seventh, behind the San Jose Earthquakes on the wins tiebreaker. Roland Lamah scored twice on the day, to go with single tallies from Mauro Diaz, Matt Hedges and Michael Barrios. Oscar Pareja’s side began the season with treble aspirations for a second straight season (the Hoops also won the U.S. Open Cup in 2016), but will be watching this year’s playoffs from the comfort of their own couches. On the other hand, 2017 could have been worse — say, FCD could have been LA, who finished last in MLS for the first time ever. Sigi Schmid, should he remain in the job next season, has quite the rebuilding task on his hands. Let us not forget: LAFC arrive in March.

[ MORE: MLS at Week 34 — it all comes down to this ]

The goals

2′ — Cian heads home an early opener Things started brightly for LA.

37′ — Lamah gets a lucky bounce, pulls FCD level — Right place, right time for Lamah, who’s endured quite the rough first season in MLS.

41′ — Hedges cleans up the mess, and it’s 2-1 — Clement Diop couldn’t hold on after making the initial save, and Matt Hedges was more than ready for the rebound.

49′ — Lamah makes it 3-1 — The rout has officially begun.

68′ — Barrios adds to LA’s misery with a fourth — LA’s 2017 season was over in May (maybe June, if we’re being kind). Every one of these defenders is on a beach right now.

73′ — Diaz makes it 5-1 from the spot — The season just will not end for LA.

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

Man of the match: Roland Lamah

Goalscorers: Cian (2′), Lamah (37′, 49′), Hedges (41′), Barrios (68′) Diaz (73′ – PK)


Houston Dynamo 3-0 Chicago Fire

The standings: Dynamo clinch the West’s 4-seed; Fire clinch the East’s 3-seed

The game: No one wanted to win the West, just like no one ever really wanted to claim a home game in the knockout round. In the end, the Houston Dynamo beat Sporting Kansas City to the 4-seed and the right to host the two sides’ opening-round game this week. Leonardo, Romell Quioto and Mauro Manotas bagged the goals for Wilmer Cabrera’s side which finishes the regular season unbeaten in its last six game (three wins). Chicago, recently resurgent, lose for just the second time in eight games, but in doing so fail to take advantage of New York City FC’s Decision Day draw with Columbus Crew SC. A win would have sent Chicago second in the East, allowing them a week’s rest and preparation before the start of the conference semifinals. Instead, they’ll host the New York Red Bulls this week.

[ MORE: MLS at Week 34 — it all comes down to this ]

The goals

2′ — Leonardo heads home from a long throw — They don’t have to be pretty (especially on Decision Day), which is good, because this one was anything but.

68′ — Quioto goes it alone to make it 2-0 — At some point, someone should probably drag Quioto to the ground rather than let him carry the ball 40 yards into the penalty area. It never happened, and Richard Sanchez couldn’t make the save.

75′ — Manotas adds the insurance a few minutes later — Andrew Wenger’s cross found Manotas at the back post, and the finish was easy for the Colombian.

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

Man of the match: Leonardo

Goalscorers: Leonardo (2′), Quioto (68′), Manotas (75′)