Seattle Sounders

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Sounders beat Atlanta on goals from Ruidiaz, Shipp (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): While Los Angeles FC runs away with the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, the Seattle Sounders can call themselves the “best of the rest” of MLS… for now, at least. Sunday’s 2-1 victory over defending champions Atlanta United sent Brian Schmetzer’s side (35 points) into second place in the Western Conference as well as the single-table Shield race. LAFC, however, remain 11 points clear. Atlanta, meanwhile, remain third in the Eastern Conference, still six points back of first-place Philadelphia Union. Raul Ruidiaz and Harry Shipp grabbed Seattle’s goals on Sunday, sandwiching a Josef Martinez equalizer, all occurring during a 13-minute explosion of action. The Sounders have now won three of their last four games, while Atlanta have just one win from their last five (three losses).

[ MORE: Quakes smash Galaxy | LAFC thrash Dynamo ]

Three moments that mattered

58′ — Ruidiaz makes magic all by himself — There aren’t many players in MLS who could create this chance, let alone maintain their composure to put it away after the slaloming and the flicks.

65′ — Josef’s thunderous header levels it up — Martinez scores goals in so many different ways, including with his head despite being just 5-foot-6.

71′ — Shipp places a header of his own to make it 2-1 — While Martinez’s header was powered into the back of the net, Shipp’s was precisely placed off the (intentional) bounce to avoid a sea of outstretched legs.

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

Man of the match: Raul Ruidiaz

Goalscorers: Ruidiaz (58′), Martinez (65′), Shipp (71′)

FOLLOW LIVE, MLS Sunday: Seattle v. Atlanta, Red Bulls v. NYCFC

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This weekend’s slate of MLS action is set to end with a bang with two games on Sunday, featuring four sides all comfortably occupying playoff places in their respective conference.

[ FOLLOW: Sunday’s MLS action ]

First up, Seattle Sounders host Atlanta United at CenturyLink Field. Seattle currently sits fourth in the Western Conference, just two points out of second, while Atlanta has clawed its way back from a poor start to the season and occupies third place in the East, also two points out of second.

Then, it’s the first (of two) Hudson River Derbies of 2019: New York Red Bulls host New York City FC. One point separates the two sides heading into Sunday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena — NYCFC are fifth, just one point out of third and three points out of second (prior to Atlanta’s result); Red Bulls are sixth, two points out of third. Red Bulls lead the all-time series, 6W-2D-4L.

Sunday

Seattle Sounders v. Atlanta United — 4 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls v. New York City FC — 6:30 p.m. ET

Hit the link above to follow along with the scores today, and check back on PST for full recaps of each game.

USMNT’s Johannsson aiming for move to Pacific Northwest?

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Is everyone’s favorite Icelandic-Alabamian coming to the Pacific Northwest?

A Werder Bremen-centered site says American striker Aron Johannsson is looking to Seattle as his next stop following an injury-riddled time with the Bundesliga side.

[ MORE: USWNT beats Spain ]

Johannsson, 28, would trade Bremen’s green for the rave green of Seattle this summer, having played just 30 times since transferring from AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie.

The 19-times capped USMNT striker has four goals on his international resume, and was last seen as an unused sub in 2016 World Cup qualifying losses to Costa Rica and Mexico.

He played just three minutes in the top flight this season with ankle problems.

Seattle’s injury problems make taking a flier on Johannsson interesting, especially if it’s a short-term or prove-it deal. A similar import, Terrence Boyd, has done very little of consequence for Toronto FC but carried intrigue as well.

Johannsson might provide more bang for the buck.

Two for Taidir as Montreal beats Seattle, moves into second (video)

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Don’t bother the Montreal Impact with things like traditional stats and the absence of their talisman.

They’re apparently going to just keep on winning.

[ MORE: USMNT player ratings ]

The Impact are now second in the Eastern Conference with 27 points — albeit having played MLS’ most matches — despite carrying a minus-7 goal differential and missing serial MVP candidate Ignacio Piatti for all but five matches.

Then again, Saphir Taidir has seven goals on the season, two of them in a 2-1 defeat of visiting Seattle on Wednesday.

The Sounders are going in the other direction, losers of three-straight and officially winless on their four-match road swing. Victor Rodriguez converted a penalty for Seattle’s lone goal.

Sixteen-year-old Danny Leyva debuted for Seattle in the loss, and the Sounders were without Cristian Roldan due to USMNT duty. Montreal did not have Daniel Lovitz for the same reason.

U.S. Open Cup: Sounders host Timbers, 4th-tier side draws Galaxy

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National Premier Soccer League side Orange County FC will travel an hour of distance but a gulf in class when it meets LA Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup’s fourth round.

The fourth-tier side knocked off USL side Las Vegas Lights in the third round, is the only club remaining in the tournament which plays outside the United States’ top two tiers.

[ U-20 WC: Weah leads U.S. win | Norwegian bags 9 ]

Well-traveled USMNT veteran Paul Caligiuri managed OCFC, and as a fun aside knocked off Eric Wynalda’s Las Vegas.

There are five all-MLS matches in the fourth round, including a Cascadian match-up between Portland and Seattle.

Here is the full list:

Columbus Crew SC vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC — June 11, 7 p.m. ET

New York Red Bulls vs New England Revolution — June 11, 7:30 p.m. ET

Charleston Battery vs. Atlanta United — June 11, 7:30 p.m. ET

Minnesota United FC vs Sporting Kansas City — June 11, 8 p.m. ET

Houston Dynamo vs Austin Bold FC — June 11, 8 p.m. ET

Saint Louis FC vs. Chicago Fire — June 11, 8:30 p.m. ET

Real Salt Lake vs LAFC — June 11, 9 p.m. ET

San Jose Earthquakes vs Sacramento Republic FC — June 11, 10:30 p.m. ET

NYCFC vs North Carolina FC — June 12, 7 p.m. ET

D.C. United vs Philadelphia Union — June 12, 7 p.m. ET

FC Cincinnati vs Louisville City FC — June 12, 7:30 p.m. ET

FC Dallas vs OKC Energy FC — June 12, 8 p.m. ET

Memphis 901 FC vs. Orlando City SC –June 12, 8:30 p.m. ET

Colorado Rapids vs New Mexico United — June 12, 9 p.m. ET

LA Galaxy vs Orange County FC –June 12, 10:30 p.m. ET

Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers — June 12, 10:30 p.m. ET