Greg Wahl-Stephens/AP
September 20, 2014


PORTLAND, Ore. — Advantage, Timbers. Fanendo Adi scored twice, Diego Valeri added a goal and an assist, and Donovan Ricketts had his fourth shutout in Portland's 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday. The Timbers (9-8-12) moved two points ahead of Vancouver (8-9-13) for the fifth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Both teams have five games left.

"The team that won this game would be in the driver's seat. So we control our fate," Portland coach Caleb Porter said. "If we take care of business in the next five, we're going to be in the playoffs. But we've got some work to do still."

Said Vancouver coach Carl Robinson: "There's 15 points to play for there. We're chasing them now. So the ball's in their court." Valeri opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Jorge Villafana received a pass on the left wing off a quick restart and sent a pinpoint cross to the penalty spot, where Valeri volleyed his shot past goalkeeper David Ousted for his ninth goal of the season. "I don't know if there's anything more I can say about him," Porter sad about Valeri.

"In my opinion, he's one of the best players in the league, if not the best player." Robinson was equally complimentary. "He had a big impact on the game," Robinson said. "You need your players to have big impacts on games in certain areas, and today probably, he was key to them winning the game."

Adi scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season in the second half. The first came in the 66th minute, after Valeri's  steal and pass sent Adi in one-on-one on Ousted. Adi struck again four minutes later from inside the penalty area off Darlington Nagbe's  assist. "He was a beast. And he's going against two of the strongest guys in the league, in O'Brien and Watson," Porter said about Adi. "Those guys are a tough matchup, but I thought, at times, he manhandled them." The crowd of 20,814 gave Portland its 66th consecutive sellout since joining MLS in 2011.


HARRISON, N.J.— Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his third hat trick of the season to help the New York Red Bulls beat the Seattle Sounders 4-1 on Saturday night.

Wright-Phillips leads the MLS Golden Boot standings with 24 goals and has five regular-season games left to break the MLS record of 27 held by Roy Lassiter and Chris Wondolowski.

Wright-Phillips scored in the opening minute for New York (10-8-11). Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo's shot was blocked, but Wright-Phillips was there to clean it up at the 29-second mark. Lloyd Sam was tripped on his way to goal in the 53rd minute and Wright-Phillips converted the ensuing penalty kick. Less than two minutes later, Wright-Phillips sent home a cross. He was replaced by Tom Cahill in the 58th, and Cahill scored 7 minutes later

Clint Dempsey entered the game in the 60th minute and scored 2 minutes later for Seattle (17-8-3).


SANDY, Utah — Joao Plata scored the first of Real Salt Lake's four goals in a 13-minute span in a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids 5-1 on Friday night.

Salt Lake (13-6-10) swept the three-game series with Colorado (8-14-7) to earn the Rocky Mountain Cup trophy.

Salt Lake trailed 1-0, but responded with three goals in five minutes.

Plata sent a well-placed ball into the upper right corner in the 32nd minute off a backheel pass by Ned Grabavoy. Salt Lake added a corner kick goal a minute later and Chris Schuler cleaned up a free kick in the 37th. Real got an own goal by Colorado goalkeeper Joe Nasco in the 45th. In the second half, Carlos Salcedo capitalized on a failed clearance in the 63rd.

Colorado's Jose Mari rolled in a shot from distance in the 21st minute, catching goalkeeper Nick Rimando off-guard. The Rapids' Nick LaBrocca was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount by MLS prior to the game.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Federico Higuain scored on a free kick in the 48th minute and the Columbus Crew ended the New England Revolution's five-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory Saturday night.

Ethan Finlay won the free kick for the Crew (10-9-10), drawing a yellow card from Darrius Barnes. Higuain then curled it around the Revolution's wall into the upper-right corner for his 10th goal of the season. Bobby Shuttleworth blocked Higuain's penalty kick in the 85th minute to keep New England (13-13-3) within a goal, but the Revolution failed to capitalize with a tying score in the final minutes. The Crew moved alone into the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Philadelphia Union, who tied the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.


CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — The Philadelphia Union held the Houston Dynamo without a shot on goal in a scoreless draw Saturday night.

Vincent Nogueira sailed a free kick from just outside the box wide in the 89th minute, and Pedro Robiero hit the post in stoppage time for the Union. Unbeaten in their last six, the Union are two points behind Columbus, which beat New England 1-0 on Saturday night, in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Union and Dynamo have met three times this season, drawing both games at Philadelphia. The Dynamo won 2-0 in Houston. Houston (9-13-6) extended its undefeated streak against the Union to six games, with four wins and two draws.


MONTREAL — Jack McInerney and Dilly Duka scored in the final 10 minutes to give the Montreal Impact a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

The Impact (6-17-6) are last in the Eastern Conference and were officially eliminated from the playoffs after victories from Columbus and New York. San Jose (6-12-10) is eighth in the Western Conference. McInerney got his eighth of the season and his first since June 29 in the 81st minute. The ball went to Marco Di Vaio from a corner kick and the veteran striker's curling shot needed a diving save from Jon Busch. McInerney was standing on the doorstep and the rebound went off his body and into the net. In the 88th, Di Vaio fed Duka near the San Jose area. He cut inside and put a shot between two defenders in off the far post for his third of the season.

Chicago (5-7-16) tied the MLS record, set in 2011, with its 16th draw of the season.
Quincy Amarikwa gave Chicago the lead in the 16th minute. He settled a cross with his chest, took two touches to elude the defense and bent in a shot. Amarikwa was clipped inside the box in the 30th minute and Jeff Larentowicz converted the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.

Luis Silva's penalty kick put D.C. (14-9-6) on the board in the 39th minute to snap United's two-game scoreless streak. Silva evened the match at 2 in the 54th minute when he sent a free kick from distance. D.C. took its first lead at 3-2 in the 68th minute.

Watson's game-tying shot from distance ricocheted off a defender and landed in the back of the net.


CARSON, Calif. — Alan Gordon headed in Robbie Keane's cross in the 84th minute to break a tie in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 2-1 comeback victory over FC Dallas on Saturday night.

The Galaxy (15-5-9) clinched a playoff spot and moved to a first-place tie with the Western Conference rival Seattle Sounders for the MLS lead.

Keane made a nifty stutter move just outside the 18-yard box to get space for the assist.

Gordon had just entered the game in the 75th minute as a substitute for Gyasi Zardes.

Keane tied it in the 62nd minute. Zardes stripped FC Dallas defender Victor Ulloa in the middle of the box and fed Keane for his 15th goal of the season.

Blas Perez opened the scoring for FC Dallas (13-10-6) in the 54th minute with a header off Andres Escobar's cross.


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