Victor Rodriguez

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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.

Seattle clinches unlikely playoff spot with win over Orlando

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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Say this for the Seattle Sounders: It’s not wise to write them off.

Brian Schmetzer’s men are going to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the 10th straight season after beating Orlando City 2-1 in Florida on Wednesday.

[ MLS: Rooney scores another wonderful goal ]

The Sounders still have an outside look at finishing as high as third in the West, which is wild considering the start of their season.

Seattle lost its first three matches and had a whopping 12 points through 15 games.

They then kicked off a sparking 13-2-2 run which included a nine-match winning streak.

Not a bad goal from Victor Rodriguez, either:

Sounders finish off Dynamo to set up MLS Cup rematch

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The game in 100 words (or less): MLS Cup 2017 will be a rematch of MLS Cup 2016 — same two teams, same venue, hopefully not the same boring final. Toronto FC booked their place by narrowly knocking off Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday, a day before the Seattle Sounders soundly defeated the Houston Dynamo, 3-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate, to claim a second straight Western Conference championship. The finalists will meet at BMO Field — where Seattle knocked off Toronto last year — on Saturday, Dec. 9. Victor Rodriguez scored the early goal that, for all intents and purposes, put the tie to bed. Clint Dempsey and Will Bruin chipped in with a second and third on the night, respectively, as Seattle native Brian Schmetzer watched his side cruise into next weekend’s

[ MORE: MVP favorites Valeri, Villa headline 2017 Best XI ]

Three moments that mattered

22′ — Bruin sets up Rodriguez, and it’s 3-0 — Ladies and gentlemen, Will Bruin, the play-making no. 10.

57′ — Dempsey taps home a perfect ball from Jones — It’s a shame Joevin Jones will be leaving MLS on a free transfer this winter.

66′ — Martinez sees red for violent conduct — What Tomas Martinez does here isn’t so much violent or dangerous, as it is bafflingly stupid and unnecessary. The stupidity is so nearly deserving of the sending-off on its own.

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Man of the match: Will Bruin

Goalscorers: Rodriguez (22′), Dempsey (57′), Bruin (73′)

MLS Snapshot: Sounders get much-needed win over reeling FCD

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The game in 100 words (or less): FC Dallas’ epic collapse is so nearly complete, if only Real Salt Lake or the San Jose Earthquakes could capitalize and boot Oscar Pareja’s side from the playoff places. Fortunately for the Hoops, while they were busy taking a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of the defending champion Seattle Sounders, RSL and San Jose each dropped points (all three for RSL; two for the Quakes). Heading into the final week of the regular season, FCD’s fate is no longer in their own hands, as they currently sit seventh in the Western Conference, behind San Jose on wins. Seattle, meanwhile, have moved into third, a point ahead of Sporting Kansas City and behind the Portland Timbers on wins. Victor Rodriguez, Will Bruin (twice) and Lamar Neagle did the damage on Sunday, helping Seattle end a poor run of results (just one win in seven games) as their 13-game unbeaten run (from June to September) became a distant memory.

[ MORE: MLS at Week 33 — all about playoff places, positioning ]

Three moments that mattered

31′ — Rodriguez slots past Gonzalez to make it 1-0 — Assist by Clint Dempsey, textbook finish by Rodriguez.

64′ — Bruin pokes home a rebound for 2-0 — Dempsey’s shot was saved by Gonzalez, but he couldn’t hold onto it and Bruin pounced quickly.

67′ — Bruin slots home after a terrible giveaway — Matt Hedges needs it to be the offseason… like, three months ago.

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Man of the match: Will Bruin

Goalscorers: Rodriguez (31′), Bruin (64′, 67′), Neagle (90+2′)

Sounders hope to sign Rodriguez; Jones will go to Darmstadt

Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images
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TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) Spanish midfielder Victor Rodriguez is training with the Seattle Sounders in the hopes the club can sign the 28-year-old later this week.

Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey said Monday that the club is hopeful it can complete the transaction before the close of the summer transfer window next week. Rodriguez most recently played for Sporting Gijon in La Liga 2, the Spanish second division. Rodriguez spent time as a youth in the FC Barcelona academy.

[ MORE: Acosta to Europe this window? ]

Lagerwey said the club has scouted Rodriguez extensively and jumped at the opportunity to try to add him to Seattle’s roster for the second half of the MLS season.

Lagerwey also confirmed that defender Joevin Jones will join German club Darmstadt following the conclusion of the MLS season. Lagerwey said the club tried to lock up Jones to a long-term contract but Jones’ desire was to play overseas.