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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.

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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

New-look Rapids trounce thin Sounders (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  What the Colorado Rapids could have been if they had appointed Robin Fraser earlier this season. Sure, the Western Conference is no walk in the park, but there are currently very few teams playing as inspired as the Rapids. A longtime forgotten assistant, Fraser has brought hope to Commerce City by doing what both Anthony Hudson and interim Conor Casey couldn’t do: empower the youth. In his first game at the helm, 22-year-old Jonathan Lewis scored the first double of his young career. On Saturday, Andre Shinyashiki recorded his own in the Rapids’ 2-0 win over a depleted Seattle Sounders, who were 10 players short due to international duty. Regardless, Colorado, for a second week in a row, put on a commendable performance with their newfound proactive scheme. The new era is certainly welcomed at Dick’s Sporting Good Park, regardless if the Rapids’ playoff chances are long out the window.

Three moments that mattered

41′ — Shinyashiki puts Colorado ahead  — There aren’t many rookies playing better than the 22-year-old.

70′ — Shinyashiki records a double — Seven goals this season for the Rapids forward.

86′ — Stefan Frei with the point-blank save — This has to be the Save of the Week.

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Man of the match: Andre Shinyashiki

Goalscorers: Shinyashiki (41′), Shinyashiki (70′)

Sounders hold off Galaxy in seven-goal thriller (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  The seven-goal spectacle between the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy was just as enthralling as the neck-and-neck playoff race both team’s are in. In fact, the game pretty much had it all: a brace, a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and, of course, a late game-winning goal. Galaxy never had the lead, having to play from behind and tying it up in three different occasions. Ibrahimovic scored his 23rd of the season, while Uriel Antuna and Jørgen Skjelvik pitched in one each. The true difference maker featured on the home side, however. Cristian Roldan, registering only his second brace in his career, inspired the Sounders’ crucial victory that has them two points clear (46) of third-place San Jose Earthquakes (44) with six regular season games remaining. Nothing is set in stone yet, but at the very minimum, Seattle can feel like they’re one foot in the playoffs. The Galaxy, however, will play a lead role in this season’s Decision Day, if they continue their recent ways.

Three moments that mattered

45′ — Ruidiaz breaks deadlock — The Peruvian with some early foreshadowing of what was to come.

66′ — Zlatan uplifts Galaxy’s hopes — Ibrahimovic now has 23 goals in the same number of appearances this season.

89′ — Roldan earns Seattle three, precious points — With a playoff race as tight as the Western Conference’s, Roldan’s  two-goal performance couldn’t come at a better time.

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Man of the match: Cristian Roldan

Goalscorers: Ruidiaz (45′), Roldan (55′), Ibrahimovic (66′), Antuna (75′), Morris (77′), Skjelvik (81′), Roldan (89′)

Sounders overturn poor run, outlast rival Timbers in victory (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  After a 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers, the Cascadia Cup belongs to the Seattle Sounders, and so do three points. Having not won in the last four, the three points, although not hoisted like the cup following the game, are sweeter than any silverware. Seattle, with seven regular-season games left to play, need every point they can get to remain second behind a historic LAFC. Raul Ruidiaz, scoreless throughout the aforementioned run, proved to be the difference, with one goal and assist throughout the night. The Timbers, who hang on by a thread in the playoff race, fell back on Diego Valeri’s genius in the second half, but it wasn’t enough this time around. They remain in the seventh spot with 37 points.

Three moments that mattered

10′ — Cristian Roldan opens the scoreline — Awkward assist from Ruidiaz, simple tap-in from Roldan.

60′ — Ruidiaz makes it 2-0  — Chances are Ruidiaz will score inside the box on a first-time strike.

54′ — Valeri gives Portland life — We’ve seen him do better before, but Valeri likes to show up against the Sounders.

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Man of the match: Raul Ruidiaz

Goalscorers: Roldan (60′), Ruidiaz (47′), Valeri (54′)

Ibrahimovic scores twice, 10-man Galaxy ties Sounders 2-2

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Carson, Calif. (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in each half and the LA Galaxy tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Saturday night despite playing nearly the entire match down a man.

The Galaxy’s Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute for the denial of obvious goal opportunity.

Ibrahimovic tied it at 1 for the Galaxy (13-11-2) with a header in the 45th minute. In the 65th minute, he was taken down by Kim Kee-hee while going for a header in the area and converted the penalty, making it 2-1 with his 20th goal of the season.

LA defender Jorgen Skjelvik scored an own goal in the 82nd minute when he inadvertently deflected goalkeeper David Bingham’s attempted clearance into the Galaxy net.

Raul Ruidiaz opened the scoring in the 42nd minute for the Sounders (11-8-7). Harry Shipp hustled to round up a loose ball and fed it to an open Ruidiaz, who slotted it home.