MLS Recap: Dynamo Reach Top of Western Conference Standings
HOUSTON (AP) — Alberth Elis and Vicente Sanchez each had a goal and an assist, and the Houston Dynamo blanked the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 on Saturday night.
Houston (10-7-7) joined Seattle and Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference standings by improving to 9-0-3 at home.
Elis got his head on a corner kick by Boniek Garcia to open the scoring with his seventh goal in the 21st minute. It was the Dynamos' league-leading 17th goal off a set piece.
Elis helped ice the game in the 86th minute with a nifty touch to get around a defender before Sanchez beat his defender and the goalkeeper to the centering pass for his first goal.
Sanchez gathered a loose ball just before it crossed the end line and centered it to Mauro Manotas for his eighth goal in stoppage time.
Tyler Deric had three saves for his fourth shutout.
San Jose (9-10-5) has lost five straight on the road and remains one point up on Vancouver for the final playoff spot.
Seattle 1, Kansas City 0
SEATTLE (AP) Clint Dempsey scored on a header in the 36th minute, and the Seattle Sounders stretched their unbeaten streak to eight games with a 1-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
The win lifted Seattle (10-7-7, 37 points) into a tie with Kansas City atop the Western Conference. Sporting (9-5-10, 37 points), which was coming off a penalty-kick shootout win against San Jose in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on Wednesday night, lost a nine-game MLS unbeaten streak and a club record-tying 13-game overall unbeaten run.
''It's confidence - that's what happens when you get on a streak like we're on,'' Dempsey said of Seattle's current 5-0-3 run. ''There are defining moments of the season when a team has to dig deep and show a lot of character. The moments that stand out to me are being 3-0 down versus New England and coming back and drawing that game, and being 3-0 down to D.C. United and coming back to win 4-3.
''I think those type of gut-check moments are when a team could fold, but we showed resilience and character. That helps with momentum.''
Dempsey's goal was his team-leading 10th of the season and third in the last two games.
After regaining control of the ball high on the right wing side, Jordan Morris took it toward the end line and floated a cross into the penalty area. Dempsey met it 8 yards in front of the net and headed it into the back right corner past KC goalkeeper Tim Melia.
''It was a great ball from Jordan. I just tried to get good contact on the ball and was able to do that,'' Dempsey said. ''It was perfect pace. I don't have to do much, just redirect it a little bit.''
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei picked up his fourth straight shutout, a club record. The Sounders extended their shutout streak to 400 minutes, breaking the club record of 379.
''A record like that is only achievable as a team,'' Frei said. ''There's offense and defense, and sometimes, people try to focus too much on dividing the teams into whatever players' roles are. But we think the goalkeeper is the first attacker, and the striker is the first defender. So we're all on the same page when we try to do something offensively and defensively.''
Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was not displeased with his team's play, despite not getting a result.
''I don't think we got worked over by any means,'' he said. ''We were good on the ball. The only area I didn't think we were good today was we really weren't dangerous in the final third. We didn't put a ton of pressure on them around the goal. Other than that, I thought our game was good. They had one chance, and they scored.''
The Sounders had not defeated Kansas City since the 2014 season opener, going 0-4-2 and getting outscored 9-1 since then, including a 3-0 loss at Kansas City on May 17.
Toronto 4, Portland 1
TORONTO (AP) Justin Morrow scored twice in the second half, helping Toronto FC beat the Portland Timbers 4-1 on Saturday night.
Victor Vazquez and Marco Delgado also scored for Toronto (13-3-8), which improved to 9-0-3 at home this season. The Reds are also unbeaten in six straight overall (3-0-3).
Alex Bono was working on a shutout before Diego Valeri scored in the 89th minute for Portland (9-9-7), which had its three-game unbeaten streak snapped.
The Timbers had an opportunity to jump in front in the 55th minute off a nice one-touch header from Darren Mattocks, but David Guzman put his shot, from just inside the area, over the bar.
TFC responded two minutes later. Morrow picked up a loose ball outside the area and put his left-footed strike over Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella for his fourth goal of the season.
Vazquez made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute by redirecting a Sebastian Giovinco cross past Attinella for his fifth of the season.
Morrow added his fifth of the season, and Toronto took a 4-0 lead in the 87th minute when Delgado picked up the loose ball off of Tosaint Ricketts run and found the back of the net for his second goal of the year.
''I don't think we can be happy with the way the game went in the first half today,'' Morrow said. ''We responded in the second half, but I think that was a character thing. We challenged ourselves, we spoke at halftime.
''I think there were a couple plays in the first half where we let ourselves down.''
Valeri finally got the Timbers on the board in the 90th minute, beating Bono from the area for his 13th of the season.
Both sides were forced to make early first half substitutions.
Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson appeared to injure his left hamstring in the 13th minute after pulling up while chasing a loose ball in the area. He tried to play through it, but was replaced by Attinella in the 18th minute.
The Reds lost Nick Hagglund in the 15th minute due to a left knee sprain. The defender was chasing down a Timbers attacker just outside the area when he fell awkwardly and caught his left leg underneath his body.
Jason Hernandez replaced Hagglund, who tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in May and was making just his second start since returning.
''It's a sprained knee, not the same extent as the last one,'' TFC coach Greg Vanney said. ''Hopefully a quicker turnaround, hopefully we got him before anything too serious.''
Saturday was the lone meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Timbers won the only contest last year 2-1.
Columbus 3, Chicago 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Justin Meram scored in the 73rd minute to help the Columbus Crew beat the Chicago Fire 3-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Meram, with the outside of his right foot, tapped home a cross by Waylon Francis to give Columbus (11-12-2) its first lead. Wil Trapp perfectly placed a long, arcing pass down the left side to Francis, who fed Meram at the top of the 6-yard box for the finish.
Michael de Leeuw gave the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, but Kekuta Manneh chipped a loose ball over the sliding Matt Lampson to tie it in the 18th. Ola Kamara capped the scoring in the 88th minute, converting from the spot after drawing a penalty on Lampson, who came well off his line to challenge Kamara on a breakaway.
Chicago (12-6-5) has lost three of its last four after an 11-match unbeaten streak.
New York 3, Orlando City 1
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Sean Davis assisted on the go-ahead goal and added an insurance goal in the 80th minute to lift the New York Red Bulls to a contentious 3-1 win over Orlando City on Saturday night.
There were four yellow cards and Orlando's Kaka was given a red card in the seventh minute of stoppage time.
Davis set up the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute, slotting the ball forward to Alex Muyl with Bradley Wright-Phillips beating goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the spot on the centering pass for the redirect and his 14th goal. Davis then took a throw-in from Kemar Lawrence, tapped it to his right and curled perfect shot from distance in the 80th minute.
Carlos Rivas, with an assist from Kaka, put Orlando up 1-0 with his fifth goal in the 18th minute but an own goal by Leo Pereira leveled the game in the 30th minute.
The Red Bull (12-9-2) have scored 12 goals and allowed just two in their last three home games after a slow start. Orlando City (8-10-6) has won only twice in its last 17 games.
Dallas 0, Colorado 0
FRISCO, Texas (AP) Tim Howard had six saves for the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas had a goal taken away by video review as the teams played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night.
The match was delayed nearly 90 minutes due to lightning in the area.
It was Howard's third shutout this season for Colorado (6-12-4), which is winless in its last 11 road matches - the third-longest such streak in franchise history - dating to last season.
Maximiliano Urruti had a goal disallowed after video review due to a foul committed by FC Dallas' Atiba Harris during the attacking phase leading up to the goal. It was the second match in a row that Dallas had a goal called back on video review, which was introduced in MLS beginning Aug. 5.
FC Dallas (9-5-8) is winless in its last three after a three-match win streak. It had a season-high 28 shots on Saturday.
Montreal 3, Philadelphia 0
CHESTER, Pa. (AP) Blerim Dzemaili scored two second-half goals, and the Montreal Impact beat the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on Saturday night.
Dzemaili scored the game-winner in the 69th minute, burying a deflection off of Daniel Lovitz's cross for his fifth goal.
Ignacio Piatti added his 10th goal in the second minute of stoppage time after Dzemaili was taken down by Union goalkeeper John McCarthy in front of the goal. Dzemaili wrapped it up four minutes later, finding the far post after a feed inside from Piatti.
Evan Bush had two saves for his fourth shutout.
Montreal (8-8-6), which allowed 14 goals in its previous four road games, moved into seventh place, five points behind Atlanta, while Philadelphia (8-11-5) dropped to ninth. The Impact only has four home games left and is just 1-7-3 on the road.
New England 1, Vancouver 0
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Teal Bunbury scored his fourth goal in five matches, helping the New England Revolution beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 on Saturday night.
Each of New England's seven wins has come at home. The Revolution (7-10-5) are 0-8-3 on the road.
Bunbury finished a nice passing sequence in the 53rd minute. Kelyn Rowe, near midfield, tapped a goal kick by Vancouver's Stefan Marinovic to Kei Kamara, who tapped it back to Rowe on the right side for the feed to a charging Bunbury just outside the 6-yard box.
Cody Cropper had two saves for his sixth shutout of the season.
Vancouver (9-8-4) had its three-game road unbeaten streak snapped.
New York City 1, Los Angeles 0
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Lewis and David Villa scored to help New York City FC beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 on Saturday night.
Sean Johnson had five saves in his fifth shutout of the season for New York City (13-7-4).
Lewis, a 20-year-old rookie, side-stepped a defender and then ripped a shot from just outside the box off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net to open the scoring in the 54th minute. It was his first MLS goal.
Villa, working against two defenders, jumped back to create space and then stepped left before rifling a long-range left-footer past Brian Rowe for his MLS-leading 18th goal of the season in the 73rd.
Los Angeles (6-12-5) outshot NYCFC 21-10. The Galaxy are winless, with seven losses, in their last eight games and have just one win since the end of May.