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USOC: Sporting KC, Union join Timbers in quarterfinals

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A quick recap of Saturday’s action in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16…

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news | Sunday’s schedule, streams ]

Sporting Kansas City 3-2 FC Dallas

The 2017 Open Cup winners survived and outlasted the 2016 winners at Children’s Mercy Park, thanks to a brace from Daniel Salloi, and a serious contender for USOC Goal of the Tournament from Yohan Croizet which came just one minute before the end of regular time.

Dallas raced ahead of a frantic, haphazard Sporting KC side after just 18 minutes when Carlos Gruezo tapped home Michael Barrios’s chipped effort over goalkeeper Adrian Zendejas; but Salloi drew Sporting level just before halftime with his first of the night, poaching a tap-in of his own off Ike Opara in the 43rd minute.

Salloi’s second came 20 minutes into the second half, moments after shifting inside from the left wing and unloading from the edge of the box. Roland Lamah made it 2-2 in the 77th minute, though, capitalizing on a scramble in the box that saw Sporting unable to boot the ball clear on multiple occasions. 12 minutes later, Croizet went a long way toward quieting a few of his critics after a rough start to his time in MLS.

Sporting will face the winner of Monday’s clash between Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United.

Philadelphia Union 2-1 New York Red Bulls

Philadelphia joined Sporting and the Portland Timbers (winners over the LA Galaxy on Friday) in the quarters with a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium.

Haris Medunjanin unleashed a rocket from distance and Cory Burke slotted past Luis Robles, in the 52nd and 61st minute, before Bradley Wright-Phillips pulled a goal back for the Red Bulls in the 77th.

Philadelphia will face the winner of D.C. United versus Orlando City SC (Wednesday) in the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere in USOC fifth round

Portland Timbers 1-0 LA Galaxy (Friday)

Remaining USOC fifth round schedule

Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United (Monday)
D.C. United vs. Orlando City SC (Wednesday)
Louisville City vs. Nashville SC (Wednesday)
Atlanta United vs. Chicago Fire (Wednesday)
Los Angeles FC vs. Sacramento Republic (Wednesday)

Sporting KC reclaim West’s top spot with 4-1 win over MNUFC

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Sporting Kansas City lost their hold on the Western Conference’s top spot barely 24 hours ago, and Peter Vermes’ side is already already back on top after throttling Minnesota United to the tune of 4-1 on Sunday. Daniel Salloi’s ascendancy to MLS stardom continued, as the 21-year-old opened the scoring with a stunning strike from 22 yards out (his 4th of the season, to go with 4 assists) in the 9th minute. It was 1-1 just two minutes later before the floodgates opened and Sporting KC made it 3-1 before halftime. Diego Rubio added a late insurance goal The victory pushes Sporting back to within one point of Atlanta United (29 points) in the Supporters’ Shield race and extends their unbeaten run to five games (three wins), while Minnesota have lost three of their last five games and eight in total on the season.

[ MORE: USMNT throws away HT lead, loses 2-1 in Dublin ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Salloi turns into acres of space, makes it 1-0 — Forced in the center forward spot in Khiry Shelton’s absence, Salloi brought a different dimension to the SKC attack _ a directness and eye for goal — that’s been absent since Dom Dwyer’s best days in Sporting blue.

35′ — Wan Kuzain scores his first SKC goal to make it 2-1 — A night to remember 19-year-old Wan Kuzain, dubbed “the Malaysian Messi” in his homeland and forced into his second appearance in as many game by an early injury to Yohan Croizet.

81′ — Rubio slots home from a tough angle for 4-1 — It’s been a tough year for Rubio, who lost the starting center forward spot in the preseason and has played very little through the first three months, but he took his one chance — with his weaker left foot — very well.

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Man of the match: Cristian Lobato

Goalscorers: Salloi (9′), Mears (11′), Wan Kuzain (35′), Lobato (38′), Rubio (81′)

FOLLOW LIVE: SKC aim to reclaim West’s top spot vs. MIN

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Sporting Kansas City were knocked from their perch atop the Western Conference on Saturday, as FC Dallas (26 points) topped Los Angeles FC to take over the top spot which Sporting KC (25) had held for much of the season.

[ FOLLOW: Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United to end the MLS weekend ]

Peter Vermes’ side’s first chance to reclaim supremacy in the West comes on Sunday with ninth-place Minnesota United visit Children’s Mercy Park.

With Johnny Russell away on international duty for Scotland, Cristian Lobato has been called into the starting lineup alongside Daniel Salloi, who’s starting up top for Khiry Shelton, and Gerso Fernandes.

Hit the link above to follow along throughout the afternoon, and check back with PST for coverage after the final whistle.

SKC, Crew SC play to 0-0 draw; VAR steals the show (again)

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The game in 100 words (or less): Nothing ruins a good game of soccer more than controversies involving the referee — and now that VAR is active within MLS, yet another failure of the video-review system to correct the most “clear and obvious” of wrong decisions. There is no longer any rhyme or reason in deciding whether or not to utilize what could be a very helpful tool. Check the third video further down this page to comprehend the absurdity of VAR in Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw with Columbus Crew SC on Sunday. As for the actual soccer which was played, Tim Melia made one save to deny Gyasi Zardes with a point-blank header early in the first half, and a second to deny Zardes rom the penalty spot just before halftime. Despite being a back-and-forth affair between the league’s second- and third-place teams with a chance to take the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race, there were just six shots on target in total and genuine scoring chances were few and far between.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT hosts Bolivia in shadows of World Cup hype ]

Three moments that mattered

43′ — Zardes wins a PK, but Melia makes the save — Melia was responsible for giving away the penalty kick, and he more than made up for it by denying Zardes moments later.

45+6′ — Higuain puts studs into Espinoza, sees red — Originally not called a foul, changed to a red card following video review. On the softer side of red cards (just an opinion).

59′ — Martinez takes a swing at Sinovic, but no video review — At this point, it’s just time to disband the entire VAR experiment. It’s turned MLS into a clown show and an embarrassment. Signed, someone who was initially in favor of VAR, assuming MLS would utilize it properly.

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

Man of the match: Tim Melia

Goalscorers: None

FOLLOW LIVE: West leaders SKC host East’s 2nd-best Crew SC

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City host Columbus Crew SC, the Eastern Conference’s second-place side, at Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday with both sides capable of overtaking Atlanta United for top spot in the Supporters’ Shield race.

[ FOLLOW: SKC vs. Crew SC in top-of-the-table clash ]

Sporting KC, who are unbeaten in three straight and have lost just once since opening day (11 games), lead expansion side Los Angeles FC in the West. Meanwhile, Crew SC enter Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash unbeaten in their last six games (four wins) and trail the league leaders from Atlanta by a single point.

Hit the link above to follow along throughout the afternoon, and check back with PST for coverage after the final whistle.