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FOLLOW LIVE: Timbers v. DC United, Galaxy v. Sporting KC on a busy MLS Sunday

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Five games with playoff implications on the line, now that’s a MLS Sunday you don’t want to miss.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7 hours ]

Things kickoff with the Portland Timbers hosting D.C. United, and comes to a close with a vital Western Conference showdown between Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy, who look to jump back into a playoff position.

In between, the Real Salt Lake look to remain second in the Western Conference as they travel to Allianz Field to take on an inconsistent Minnesota United, while the Seattle Sounders hope to jump ahead of RSL in the standings as they host the New York Red Bulls.

Sunday’s full MLS schedule

Portland Timbers v. D.C. United — 3 p.m. ET

Toronto FC v. Colorado Rapids — 5 p.m. ET

Minnesota United v. Real Salt Lake — 5:30 p.m. ET

Seattle Sounders v. New York Red Bulls — 6 p.m. ET

LA Galaxy v. Sporting Kansas City — 10 p.m. ET

Loons’ Toye reportedly sent off for spitting on opponent

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FC Dallas’ wild 5-3 defeat of Minnesota United ended in disappointing fashion, as in-form Loons youngster Mason Toye made headlines for ugly reasons in Texas.

Toye, 20, was kept off the score sheet in the loss, but put his name in the discipline column when he reportedly spit on Reggie Cannon.

[ MORE: Schweinsteiger scores winner ]

Cannon, who had scored in the game and was playing with strep throat, was given a yellow card for taking off his spit-garnished shirt and attempting to remove the stain.

“I wasn’t angry – well obviously, I was angry but I wasn’t fighting with the refs,” Cannon said. “No, I got spit on. It was snot and everything on my shirt, so I took it off to wipe it off.”

Well, presumably that yellow will be rescinded.

It’s difficult to see the incident on the video, which shows Toye grow frustrated as FC Dallas players doing their level best to stop the striker from placing the ball at midfield and restarting play following a stoppage time goal from the hosts (It’s no excuse for spitting, but what took the officials so long to get in the mix. Were they watching “Braveheart?”).

There’s the unique chance to see Minnesota boss Adrian Heath react to being told his player spat on someone around the 1:18 mark of this video, as the manager asked the sideline reporter what happened and it doesn’t take much to lip read the response.

Seems like Minnesota won’t have its talented young striker for a while. Will his suspension include the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in Atlanta later this month?

MLS Wrap: What we learned

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The first-ever “Hell is Real” Derby, a back-and-forth battle in Seattle, and an eight-goal fest between Dallas and Minnesota: Saturday’s early slate of games had it all. Here’s what we learned from the jam-packed action.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

New England, Seattle split points

In the first game of the weekend, the Seattle Sounders and the New England Revolution set the bar high, putting on a show with six goals and three lead changes in their 3-3 draw. But spectacle aside, neither Bruce Arena nor Brian Schmetzer will be pleased with missing out on two, vital points.

Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil keep paying dividends for a Revs team that is night and day to what they once were under Brad Friedel. The Revs’ discipline and work ethic appears to improve as the weeks go by. It’s small details on the defensive side that is costing them points, however. With nine games to go and a playoff bid far from secured, Arena has no choice than to address the elephant in the room.

With a clear path to surge as the second best in West, splitting points was arguably worse for the Sounders, who’ve picked up a meager point in the last three home games. Talk about missing out on home-field advantage.

 


Toronto fail to jump above playoff line 

Toronto FC, healthy and all, had the pristine opportunity to jump above the red line in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando, however, had other things in mind.

A goal from substitute Benji Michel was enough to earn a draw for James O’Connor’s side, who found themselves outpossessed and outshoot throughout the stretch of the game.

And despite not reaping the benefits from their control, there was a silver lining for The Reds. Patrick Mullins, who joined from the Columbus Crew this summer, opened his scoring account, finishing a ball that was set on not leaving the box.

Toronto (33 points) sit one point behind Montreal and New England, while Orlando (30 points) stand right behind the Canadian side in the Eastern Conference table. Dropping points for either side from here on out will hurt, there’s no way around it.


 

So far, the “Hell is Real” Derby lives up to the hype

MLS has a new derby, and it lives up to its name and hype.

The “Hell is real” Derby between the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati got off to a dramatic start with league newcomers scoring two in 23 minutes. Darren Mattocks and Emmanuel Ledesma gave FC Cincy and their supporters every reason to believe that the first derby – which happened to be Ron Jans coaching debut – was theirs.

But then Gyasi Zardes answered with one of his own from the spot.

And then in the 62nd minute, Pedro Santos did this:

A stunning rocket from at least 20 yards out, it marked the Portuguese’s seventh goal of the season. He leveled the score and salvaged his team a point, but, most importantly, the Designated Player let everyone know that Ohio’s rivalry is as competitive and entertaining as they get.

 


 

Dallas and Minnesota partake in a wild game

Not having picked up three points at home since early July, FC Dallas were in a dire need to overturn that as they hosted red-hot Minnesota United.

They did it in soul-stirring fashion, edging Adrian Heath’s side 5-3 at home. Poor defending came in bunches, specifically from the Loons, causing for six lead changes and a red card with minutes to spare. It was the type of environment that was destined to give someone the opportunity to stand out.

With the score level, Dallas Homegrown Brandon Servania delivered, scoring a brace in less than ten minutes and giving his side the three points.

Dallas are now seventh in the Western Conference, only three away from second-place Seattle. The West cannot be overlooked.

Toye leads Minnesota United into U.S. Open Cup Final

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The biggest stars for Portland and Minnesota showed up, but it’s a young man making a name for himself who came up with the winner in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Thursday.

Darwin Quintero and Bryan Fernandez traded goals, but Mason Toye’s goal was the difference as Minnesota United clinched a berth against Atlanta United in the final.

[ MORE: PST’s PL preview roundtable ]

Toye, 20, scored his sixth goal in under 1,000 minutes with the Loons this season, a classy bit of finishing behind the back line.

The 7th overall pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, Toye didn’t score in 18 appearances last season.

The Indiana University and New York Red Bulls Academy has been quite good, and has to be on the radar of Gregg Berhalter ahead of January camp (and perhaps clubs overseas as well if he finishes how he’s started the season).

The final will be Aug. 27 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Late penalty hands Minnesota United win over Timbers (video)

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Minnesota United and a visiting Portland Timbers were set to split points following a tepid back-and-forth bout, but fate had a different outcome in mind.

Two minutes into stoppage time, following VAR review, Ethan Finlay converted from the spot, propelling the Loons to second in the Western Conference with 38 points – edging the Quakes and Sounders only on a tiebreaker.

The call made by referee Chris Penso will make the rounds, as many can argue Timbers’ defender Larrys Mabiala had limited space to move his arms away from Ike Opara’s headed ball, though.

Fair call or not, the Loons faithful had every reason to sing “Wonderwall” after securing three, crucial points ahead of a what will be a tight playoff push in the West.