Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first hat trick in MLS gave the Galaxy a wild win over Orlando City while Seattle continued its hot streak with its win over NYCFC. 

By Associated Press
July 29, 2018

CARSON, Calif. — Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his first MLS hat trick, scoring the tying and go-ahead goals in a 4-minute span in the second in the LA Galaxy's 4-3 victory over Orlando City on Sunday night.

The 36-year-old Swedish star tied it at 3 in the 67th minute on a diving header off Ola Kamara's feed, then put the Galaxy in front in the 71st with a short hard kick after he headed down a rebound. He celebrated by ripping off his jersey.

Ibrahimovic has 15 goals this season, his first with LA.

The Galaxy (10-7-5) are unbeaten in nine games. Orlando City (7-14-1) has lost 12 of its last 13 games.

Ibrahimovic pulled LA even at 2 in the 47th with a leaping header off Giovani dos Santos's feed.

After dos Santos rang a shot off the crossbar in the 50th, Dominic Dwyer put Orlando back in front in the 54th with a header off Mohamed El-Munir's cross from the end line.

Orlando City took a 2-1 lead just before halftime on LA defender Michael Ciani's own goal. Ciani accidentally deflected Sacha Kljestan's center pass past goalkeeper David Bingham.

Cristian Higuita opened the scoring for Orlando in the 18th minute, connecting from close range. Dos Santos tied it in the 39th, firing a shot to the lower left side off an assist from Ibrahimovic.

Seattle Sounders 3, NYCFC 1

SEATTLE — Here go the Seattle Sounders once again recovering from an awful start to the season to make a summer run toward a playoff berth.

If only Cristian Roldan felt the Sounders were playing well during this run of three straight wins and six straight without a loss to get back into contention in the Western Conference.

''We're grinding out games, we're winning these games because we're playing good defense and we're scoring that one or two goals,'' Roldan said. ''That's the scary part. You think about six unbeaten and you think if we start playing well and like we're supposed to, we can go on a really long run.''

Roldan, Gustav Svensson and Harry Shipp all scored their second goals of the season, and the resurgent Sounders ended New York City FC's four-match win streak with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

Seattle completed a busy eight-day stretch with its third straight victory, picking up a crucial nine points in its attempt to rebound from a terrible first half to the season. Seattle hasn't lost since a June 30 setback to rival Portland.

''We put ourselves in a really big hole, so we need to collect points. I don't care where we collect them, how we collect them, we need to collect points because this team deserves to be in the playoffs,'' Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.

Roldan scored in the 36th minute making a smart run through the penalty area without going offside and finding himself on the end of Kelvin Leerdam's deflected pass. Roldan's right-footed shot beat Sean Johnson to give Seattle the early advantage.

Svensson doubled the lead in the 51st minute, beating Johnson from 25 yards out. Nicolas Lodeiro left the pass for Svensson making a late run and Johnson could barely get a hand on the strike. Shipp's goal in the 86th minute was the clincher after NYCFC's Jesus Medina scored midway through the second half.

The three goals allowed Seattle to finally crack the 20 goals for the season, becoming the last team in MLS to reach the mark. Lack of offense was behind much of Seattle's struggles the first half of the season, but has picked up in the past three games with the addition of new designated player Raul Ruidiaz to the lineup. Ruidiaz had the only goal in Seattle's 1-0 win at San Jose earlier in the week and was a constant threat against NYCFC without finding a goal.

NYCFC vaulted into second place in the Eastern Conference thanks to its four-match win streak and was trying to pull off the difficult task of winning on both coasts just a few days apart. NYCFC won at Orlando City on Wednesday, but was unable to do the same in Seattle. Medina's goal was his fifth of the season, but NYCFC struggled to create scoring chances.

NYCFC coach Domenec Torrent was unhappy with the scheduling that forced his club to play across the country just days apart.

''I was very proud of my players because it is not easy. I don't have to make an excuse about that - it's a fact,'' Torrent said. ''We have a big problem in MLS. If you want to play the balance in MLS, it's not fair in three days to play two games.''

NYCFC had gone 434 minutes until Roldan's goal, a span of more than four matches. The last goal NYCFC had allowed came in the 52nd minute of its 3-2 loss to Chicago on Jun 30.

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