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Galaxy hammer Sporting KC; Zlatan: ‘I’m the best ever in MLS’

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LA Galaxy smashed Sporting Kansas City 7-2 on Sunday, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick then called himself the best player in MLS history.

Just a casual Sunday for Zlatan, then…

Ibrahimovic, 37, scored a hat trick as LA raced into a 7-1 lead after falling 1-0 behind early on as Felipe Gutierrez scored both of Sporting’s goals.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Ibrahimovic was typically humble after his hat trick which means he now holds the record for the highest scoring season in Galaxy history with 26 goals.

“I think I am the best ever to play in MLS. And that’s without joking,” Ibrahimovic said. “Scoring goals is easy, you just have to be like Zlatan and it’s coming.”

Zlatan is now two goals behind Carlos Vela in the race for the Golden Boot in MLS with four games remaining, and he’s now scored 48 goals in 52 games since arriving in MLS.

Joe Corona, Uriel Antuna and Sebastian Lletget grabbed the Galaxy’s other goals as they won for the first time in five MLS games to boost their chances of making the playoffs in the congested Western Conference.

With the defeat Sporting KC’s hopes of reaching the playoffs is all but over.

Check out the highlights in full below. It will take quite a while to sort through the nine goals, so set down and soak in Zlatan’s brilliance.

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

Inspired Timbers outdo SKC with last-minute goal (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less): A lot was on the line at Providence Park on Saturday night. Visiting Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers, separated only by three points prior to kickoff, were equally as desperate for a three points as the playoff race intensified. When the first whistle blew and the team’s got settled in, it was obvious that there was a lot at stake. Despite approaching the game in a conservative manner, Peter Vermes and Co. were destined to win a four straight – until a late Timbers surge occurred. Hampered with a a slew of officiating decisions going against them, Portland caught their first break when Jeremy Ebobisse struck late in the game. It would be turn out to be two in the final 10 minutes, though, as substitute Brian Fernandez delivered the game-winning goal for a Timbers that are now sixth in the West with six games to play. What a night in Portland.

Three moments that mattered

65′ — Feilhaber adds to his list of frame-worthy goals  — When it comes to scoring stunners, very few do it like Feilhaber.

83′ — Ebobisse levels the score — Just by the way Ebobisse decided to “celebrate,” one could tell last-minute magic was on the way.

90′+4 — Fernandez earns Portland valuable victory  — Brian Fernandez for the win, of course.

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Man of the match: Diego Valeri

Goalscorers: Feilhaber (65′), Ebobisse (83′), Fernandez (90’+4)

Sporting KC earn valuable win against Quakes (video)

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The game in 200 words (or less):  While the San Jose Earthquakes continue to drop in the playoff race, Sporting Kansas City are slowly creeping their way into contention after their 2-1 victory against San Jose. The Quakes, who have lost their last two games, are now sixth in the Western Conference and depending on the Portland Timbers’ result, can fall right above the red line. Surely, it’s not what Matias Almeyda desires, despite being the master of overcoming adversity. Peter Vermes’ side, on the other hand, is now six points out of the playoffs, a reachable distance with eight games left. The Quakes had the game in their hands in the first half, though, controlling the pace of the game. The home side’s finishing in the final 45 that got the job done, however. Moving forward, turnaround for both teams will have to be instantaneous as the Quakes travel to LAFC and Kansas City hosts Minnesota United, respectively.

Three moments that mattered

25′ — Wondolowski sets MLS record —

Whatever you do, don’t leave Wondolowski unmarked unless you want to get scored on.

48′ — Feilhaber rips it into the back of the net  —

Benny Feilhaber still has it, obviously.

73′ — Smith seals a massive victory for Sporting  —

Not who one expected to earn Kansas City three points, but soccer is all about surprises.

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Toronto FC snatch late draw v. Sporting KC

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TORONTO (CP) – The young Canadian duo of Jordan Hamilton and Ryan Telfer combined to provide a better ending than the way Toronto FC’s match was progressing against Sporting Kansas City on Friday.

Telfer’s pinpoint pass to Hamilton for an in-close goal in added time bailed out their team for a 2-2 draw at BMO Field. But the single point extended Toronto’s winless streak to seven outings (0-4-3) heading into the Gold Cup break.

Toronto (5-6-4) had been frustrated earlier in the game when on two occasions Kansas City was awarded two successful penalty kicks from Felipe Gutierrez after video reviews.But Hamilton’s goal in the 95th minute resulted in a single point.

“I was feeling that their defenders couldn’t keep up with me or Telfer,” said the 23-year-old Hamilton, a native of Scarborough, Ont. “Before that play, me and Telfer were a little too far apart. (Toronto head coach) Greg (Vanney) was screaming us from the sidelines to come closer together.

“As soon as we did, then (Alejandro) Pozuelo plays a great ball to Telfer and he squares a lovely pass and I’m just there to do my job.”

Telfer had been called up from the Canadian Premier League’s York9 to help short-handed Toronto. The home side was without United States internationals Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore as well as Canadians Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan. All four are on international duty ahead of the Gold Cup. Defenders Auro (hamstring) and Chris Mavinga (hamstring) also missed the match.

Both the 25-year-old Telfer, a native of Mississauga, Ont., and Hamilton were second-half substitutes. Their game-tying play only temporarily put a smile on Vanney’s face. He was still seething about the two video-review penalty kicks.

“I’m exhausted and it wasn’t because of my team,” he said.

Referee Fotis Bazakos was called upon by the video assistance referee to take a look at two possible fouls inside the box.

The second, a tripping foul to Toronto midfielder Nick DeLeon, resulted in Gutierrez’s penalty kick in the 73rd minute to break a 1-1 draw. DeLeon was yellow-carded for the play.

Kansas City snatched a 1-0 lead on a successful penalty kick from Gutierrez in the 25th minute. Toronto defender Drew Moor fouled Gerso on the edge of the 18-yard box.

Bazakos was summoned to the sidelines for a video review, and it was determined the foul occurred inside the 18-yard line. As a result, Kansas City was awarded a penalty kick.

“The first call was disgraceful, and that changes the game because we had the momentum,” Vanney said. “We were attacking their goal, we had them on the ropes and there is nothing more

“It was not a foul. There are a lot of hands on peoples’ chests. (Gerso’s) momentum was going. He was falling off balance and he wasn’t going to get back to the ball. If (Bazakos) thinks it was in the box, I don’t think he calls it.

“My frustration was once you set the standard you have to call it that way the rest of the game. But that wasn’t the case.”

Bazakos explained his view.

“We called the foul, but when he showed me the angle, I saw it was inside so that’s the mistake,” he told a pool reporter.

Toronto drew level late in the first half. DeLeon finished off a dandy passing play from defender Justin Morrow and Pozuelo, who enjoyed a strong game.

Kansas City (3-5-7) was missing Botond Barath, Krisztian Nemeth, Nico Hasler and Johnny Russell. They were all overseas for UEFA 2020 European qualifiers this weekend.

Toronto doesn’t play again until June 22 in Dallas because of the league’s Gold Cup break.