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FOLLOW LIVE: Fire v. Union, Galaxy v. Sounders on a busy MLS Saturday

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11 games in a matter of hours, now that’s a busy MLS Saturday you don’t want to miss.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7.5 hours ]

Things kickoff with the New York Red Bulls hosting the New England Revolution, and comes to a close with a vital Western Conference showdown between the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy.

In between, the San Jose Earthquakes look to bounce back as they take on a struggling Sporting Kansas City, while Carlos Vela’s LAFC hope to widen the gap between them and the rest of the league.

Saturday’s full MLS schedule

New York Red Bulls v. New England Revolution — 7 p.m. ET
Montreal Impact v. FC Dallas — 7:30 p.m. ET
Columbus Crew v. Toronto FC — 7:30 p.m. ET
FC Cincinatti v. NYCFC — 7:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota United v. Orlando City — 8 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire v. Philadelphia Union — 8 p.m. ET
Sporting Kansas City v. San Jose Earthquakes— 8:30 p.m. ET
Houston Dynamo v. Colorado Rapids — 9 p.m. ET
LAFC v. Real Salt Lake— 10 p.m. ET
Vancouver Whitecaps v. D.C. United — 10 p.m. ET
LA Galaxy v. Seattle Sounders— 10 p.m. ET

Elliott’s header enough to edge Union past Dynamo (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): The Philadelphia Union are now unbeaten at home in their last five games and top the Eastern Conference table once again. It couldn’t have been done with Jack Elliott, however, who delivered a late header to seal the tree point for the Union. On the other hand, the Houston Dynamo have lost four straight (five, if you count the Leagues Cup), despite brining on proven goal-scorer Cristian Ramirez from LAFC before the transfer deadline. Wilmer Cabrera must find solutions fast before Houston’s season slips away.

Three moments that mattered

18′ — Przybylko, Union draw first blood —

He might not be talked about all that much, but Kacper Przybylko is, quietly, having a stellar season, scoring 10 times and assisting once in 18 games played this season.

As expected, he happens to have great chemistry with his teammates, too.

42′ — Ramirez scores in his Dynamo debut —

Sure, the Dynamo walked away empty handed Sunday night, but Christian Ramirez had a near-perfect debut, scoring from a DaMarcus Beasley assist.

Beasley is set to retire at the end of the season after a successful, 20-year career. But Houston still have plenty of games to play, and it’s not going to hurt to see these two linkup some more.

78′ — Elliott saves the Union from dropping two, valuable points —

With a chance to surpass Atlanta United as first in the East, it was Elliott to the rescue. The 23-year-old relied on some determination and luck, but he got the ball in the back of the net.

If the goal makes you the best in your conference, does it really matter? Nope, a goal is a goal.

Bedoya, Union deliver clear message after running past DC United (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): There is no one better in the Eastern Conference than the Philadelphia Union, at least that’s what the latest standings say. In front of their fans, it was the ideal scenario for Wayne Rooney and D.C. United to wiggle their way onto the first-place podium with the Union and Atlanta United, alike. Instead, it was Philadelphia bouncing back from last week’s 4-0 defeat to Montreal with a 5-1 shelling of D.C., powered by Marco Fabian’s brace. The Union’s record now stands at 42 points in 25 matches played.

Three moments that mattered

3′ — Bedoya sends a strong message after scoring — Union’s Alejandro Bedoya made sure to send a passionate message to Congress after he gave his team the early lead in the nation’s capital.

“Hey congress, do something,” he yelled into one of the field-level boom mics after scoring three minutes in. “End gun violence now.”

The message from the former USMNT midfielder came in the wake of the three mass shootings that happened this week in the United States.

52′ — Przybylko punishing United’s simple turnover — There’s nothing more head-scratching than a rudimentary turnover when you’re already down a player. Przybylko certainly made D.C. learn that the hard way.

70′ — Fabian records his first MLS brace — Four goals in his last five appearances: the Mexican is experiencing a good moment, to say the least.

MLS Wrap: What we learned

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There were many takeaways from a busy night of MLS matches. Here’s some of the biggest lessons we learned from the early slate of games.

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]


New England is good? New England is good

Most teams get a bump when there’s a coaching change, but few could have expected what we’re witnessing in New England over the last two months.

With a 4-1 win over a hapless Orlando City side, the New England Revolution improved to 11 games unbeaten and would qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs if the season ended today. That’s an incredible change in fortunes, considering the Revolution were dead and dusted just two months into the season under former coach Brad Friedel. For whatever reason, Friedel didn’t work out but hiring Bruce Arena has made the Krafts look like they made a brilliant decision.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt either that new signing Gustavo Bou has been terrific, Carles Gil has been outstanding in midfield and everyone has taken their games to another level. Antonio Delamea at centerback alongside Andrew Farrell have been lockdown, with Luis Caicedo and Wilfried Zahibo protecting in front of them. That’s allowed Edgar Castillo, Brandon Bye and the Revs attackers more freedom to attack.

The Revs are arguably the hottest team in MLS right now, and there’s no sign that they’ll slow down any time soon.


Union, Red Bulls miss out on chance to advance

The New York Red Bulls had a chance to stay ahead of New York City FC and even move ahead of D.C. United in the standings with a win on Saturday, yet they couldn’t capitalize in their match.

Defensive miscues led to the New York Red Bulls coughing up three goals in a surprising 3-2 win for the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. That’s left the Red Bulls in fifth-place, just one point above the red line and in danger of potentially dropping out of the playoff picture. With razor-thin margins, this defeat at home was a big black eye for the Red Bulls.

At the same time, the Union had a chance to extend its lead atop the MLS Eastern Conference. Instead, a shell-shocked Union got crushed, 4-0 by the Montreal Impact. New Impact signing Lassi Lappalainen scored a brace in his debut with the club, while Orji Okwonkwo scored again off an Ignacio “Nacho” Piatti assist. The Union backline of Matthew Real, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott and Ray Gaddis were completely overrun by the Impact’s speedy attack.


Seattle gets 3 big points on road

With Raul Ruidiaz out injured with a concussion and other nagging injuries to star players, the Seattle Sounders would have been happy to come away with just a point from its trip to Houston.

Instead, the squad will be bringing back all three.

There weren’t many quality chances, but Jordan Morris scored a wonderful goal, first looping the ball over two defenders into a goal-mouth scramble before finishing into the far corner. In addition to Morris’ goal, U.S. youth international and 16-year-old Danny Leyva started and went the full 90 in midfield for the Sounders, and was quite clean on the ball throughout.

With the win, the Sounders move for the time being into second place, though still 11 points back of Los Angeles FC.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

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Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.