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LAFC beat RSL on more late-game heroics; first in MLS to 10 points

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Their 2019 campaign is only four weeks old, but Los Angele FC are making a name for themselves as MLS’s new cardiac kids — masters of late-game drama — with another stoppage-time winner.

[ MORE: Young FCD side tops Rapids | Kljestan, Orlando down Red Bulls ]

After knocking off Sporting Kansas City courtesy of Adama Diomande‘s 94th-minute goal in Week 1, Bob Bradley‘s boys were at it again against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Just as they did against Sporting KC, LAFC fell behind in the first half only to pull level close to halftime and break visiting hearts with 90-plus on the clock. Damir Kreilach converted from the penalty spot in the 35th minute, but the advantage lasted barely five minutes before Diego Rossi equalized in the 40th.

[ MORE: Schalke issue injury update on USMNT’s Weston McKennie ]

Then, in the 91st minute, came the stunning winner from Rossi Carlos Vela  Diomande Christian Ramirez Lee Nguyen Walker Zimmerman(?!).

Whether or not the strike took a deflection or knuckled and swerved in a way that would make the world’s greatest strikers of the ball proud — even Bradley was noncommittal either way — is largely irrelevant.

With a 3W-1D-0L record through the season’s first month, Bradley and Co., have shown their debut MLS season was no fluke. In fact, they’ve made it abundantly clear that it was actually something of a disappointment and they are intent on reaching far greater heights in 2019.

MLS Preview: FC Cincinnati hosts first MLS match

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As we reach week three of the MLS season, exactly half of the league’s teams are still looking for their first win of the year, including FC Cincinnati, which hosts its first-ever MLS match.  Below, we’ll preview the top three upcoming matchups on tap this weekend in MLS:

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]


FC Cincinnati v. Portland Timbers — Sunday, 5 p.m. ET

Major League Soccer fully arrives in Cincinnati this weekend, as FC Cincinnati hosts its first ever MLS game. Like its previous two games, this one will be no easy task for the expansion side, as it hosts MLS Cup finalists, the Portland Timbers. It’s a reunion for Fanendo Adi, who left the Timbers last summer to join FC Cincinnati in a trade between the two clubs, but it’s also a big test for the Timbers. Amazingly, the Timbers are winless in 22 consecutive matches when Diego Chara is out. The Colombian was sent off in last week’s rout at Los Angeles FC, putting his team behind the eight ball early in the season.

Chicago Fire v. Seattle Sounders — Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

Suddenly, with the acquisition this week of Nicolas Gaitan, on paper at least, the Chicago Fire look like they can be a playoff squad. Veljko Paunovic’s side features Bastian Schweinsteiger dropping deep as a centerback, Dax McCarty patrolling midfield, and then Gaitan, Alexander Katai and Nemanja Nikolic and this team has the spine and talent to make a deep playoff run. They’ll get a chance to test themselves against a team always in the playoff picture, and one that’s benefitted by the return of Jordan Morris. After routing FC Cincinnati and soundly beating the Colorado Rapids how will the Sounders respond to its first road match of the season?

D.C. United v. Real Salt Lake — Saturday, 8 p.m. ET

This game may have gone under the radar in the past, but both of these teams have four points from two games and are off to a hot start in the 2019 MLS season. It’s a return to D.C. for Mike Petke, who helped D.C. United win MLS Cup in 2004, while it’s also a chance to see Wayne Rooney against one of the best pair in MLS history, Kyle Beckerman in midfield and Nick Rimando in goal. Real Salt Lake’s young, Homegrown-filled squad could surprise D.C. in Audi Field, unless Rooney and Luciano Acosta have something to say about that.

Full MLS Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Saturday

Chicago Fire v. Seattle Sounders – 1 p.m.

Columbus Crew v. FC Dallas – 2 p.m.

Houston Dynamo v. Vancouver Whitecaps – 3 p.m.

New York Red Bulls v. San Jose Earthquakes – 3:30 p.m.

Orlando City v. Montreal Impact – 4 p.m.

D.C. United v. Real Salt Lake – 8 p.m.

LA Galaxy v. Minnesota United – 10:30 p.m.

Sunday

New York City FC v. Los Angeles FC – 3 p.m.

FC Cincinnati v. Portland Timbers – 5 p.m.

Atlanta United v. Philadelphia Union – 7 p.m.

Toronto FC v. New England Revolution – 7:30 p.m.

Colorado Rapids v. Sporting KC – 9 p.m.

MLS, RSL legend Rimando announces 2019 will be final season

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Nick Rimando has done everything a goalkeeper could possibly do during his 19-year MLS career… except win the ever-elusive Goalkeeper of the Year award, of course.

[ MORE: 2019 Western Conference preview | Eastern Conference ]

Inarguably the greatest goalkeeper in league history — given the heights he reached at the position, both figuratively and literally; the way he revolutionized the position in MLS and made everyone rethink how a goalkeeper could look and play; and the longevity with which he did all of it — Rimando announced on Friday that the 2019 season, his 20th, will be his last. He will retire next winter at the age of 40.

Rimando, already the MLS record holder for career clean sheets, wins, saves, and appearances, is a two-time MLS Cup winner (2004, D.C. United; 2009, Real Salt Lake) and five-time All-Star (2011-2015). He was voted MLS Cup MVP in 2009. Two factors — his 5-foot-10 height, and the parallel careers of stalwarts Tim Howard and Brad Guzan — limited Rimando to just 22 caps for the U.S. men’s national team.

[ MORE: Predicting the 2019 MLS season | Growth is still the name of the game ]

While the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year award should be renamed in his honor, Rimando won the award despite setting the standard for MLS ‘keepers for nearly a decade.

Bayern signs American teenager Taylor Booth from Salt Lake

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich has signed American teenager Taylor Booth to its youth academy.

The German club said Thursday that the 17-year-old midfielder has signed a 3 +-year deal, switching from MLS club Real Salt Lake.

Booth is expected to play for Bayern’s Under-19 team for the second half of the season, but will first join the Under-23s at their winter training camp in Dallas.

[ MORE: Deadline Day done deals ]

“We see a lot of potential in Taylor,” said Jochen Sauer, the head of Bayern’s youth academy. “He is a talented young player, and we look forward to working with him to develop his talent further.”

Booth has represented the United States at both U19 and U17 level.

“I’m very happy with this next step in my career,” Booth said in a statement published by Bayern. “Being here in Munich at the FC Bayern campus and taking the next steps in my development makes me very proud.”

Bayern last week signed 18-year-old American defender Chris Richards on a long-term deal following his loan move from MLS side Dallas.

Canadian teen Alphonso Davis also completed his switch from the Vancouver Whitecaps.

More AP Bundesliga coverage: https://apnews.com/Bundesliga and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Sporting KC dispatches Real Salt Lake to advance in MLS playoffs

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Sporting KC did the necessary business early as they stormed Real Salt Lake 4-2 for a 5-3 aggregate victory, advancing Sporting KC to the Western Conference finals against Portland.

With a 1-1 aggregate scoreline from the first leg in Salt Lake City, Sporting KC came back home and scored twice in the opening 20 minutes to leave no doubt. Daniel Salloi picked up a double to lead the way, with Diego Rubio and Ilie Sanchez also on the scoresheet.

Rubio was the first to the back of the net, scoring 14 minutes in on an unselfish feed right in front of net by Felipe Gutierrez who probably could have scored himself. Next was Salloi five minutes later as Gutierrez sprung him free on net with a pinpoint through-ball.

After the break, Sebastian Saucedo and Damir Kreilach helped keep the game interesting as they pulled RSL back to within a goal each time, but Sanchez dispatched a Penenka penalty on 67 minutes and Salloi added the icing on the cake seven minutes deep into added time with a great goal after stealing a Brooks Lennon back-pass and touching expertly past Nick Rimando to give him an open net.

The game featured 35 combined shots between both teams, with 14 of those on target. Sporting KC will now take on Portland in the Western Conference finals after the Timbers advanced past Cascadia rivals Seattle on penalties back on Friday.