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LAFC became the third MLS franchise to reach 50 points in its first season with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

By Associated Press
September 23, 2018

LOS ANGELES — Walker Zimmerman scored two goals and LAFC became the third MLS franchise to reach 50 points in its first season with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC (14-7-8) is unbeaten in its last six matches. It joins the 1997 Chicago Fire (56) and 2017 Atlanta United (55) as the only teams to reach 50 points in an inaugural season. The win moves LAFC into a tie for second in the Western Conference with Dallas with five matches remaining. The top two teams in each conference earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

''It's good to get to 50 points, but we had a team meeting where the goal is to get to 60,'' LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. ''We have five games left to get 10 points. Hopefully we can keep pushing ourselves as we go.''

Zimmerman came into the game with no goals this season but scored a pair off of Carlos Vela's corner kicks. The first came in the 41st minute when Zimmerman was in the center of the box and headed in Vela's cross to the top left of the goal past keeper James Marcinkowski in the 41st minute.

He added another in the 68th minute when he was unguarded in the middle of the box and headed the ball past Marcinkowski.

LAFC outshot San Jose 8-1. Tyler Miller made one save for his ninth shutout of the season. Marcinkowski had six saves in the loss for the Earthquakes (4-18-8).

New York Red Bulls 2, Toronto FC 0 

HARRISON, N.J. — Alejandro Romero Gamarra scored in the 70th minute and the New York Red Bulls all but knocked defending MLS champions Toronto FC out of playoff contention with a 2-0 victory Saturday night.

The Red Bulls (18-7-5) tied a franchise record for most wins and are a league-best 12-2-1 at home. Toronto (8-15-6) entered the game nine points out of sixth place and one of three teams chasing Montreal for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. TFC has won just two of its last eight league games, and has five remaining including a trip to Montreal on October 21.

Derrick Etienne added a goal in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, coming off his fifth career hat trick, assisted on the goal.

One of Toronto's better shots came in the 58th minute. Victor Vazquez floated the ball to Tosaint Ricketts, but his shot sailed over the crossbar. TFC forward Jozy Altidore left the game three minutes after halftime after injuring his right foot or ankle.

The Red Bulls won the last meeting 1-0 on July 1. Kemar Lawrence scored the lone goal in the 4th minute.

Atlanta United FC 2, Real Salt Lake 0 

ATLANTA — Julian Gressel had a goal and an assist to help Atlanta United beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night.

Gressel, who had five goals and nine assists as a rookie in 2017, has 14 assists this season, tied for second-most in MLS. The 24-year old chest-trapped an arcing cross from Miguel Almiron and, after one bounce, ripped a side-netter inside the far post to open the scoring in the 37th minute.

Hector Villalba blasted a left-footed half-volley, off a throw-in by Gressel, off the post and, after it ricocheted off the back of diving goalkeeper Nick Rimando, into the net in the 61st to make it 2-0.

Real Salt Lake (13-11-6), which had its four-game unbeaten streak -including three wins - snapped, had three chances in the final minutes: Atlanta's Brad Guzan stopped shots from Albert Rusnak and Kyle Beckerman and Joao Plata narrowly missed a left-footer.

It was RSL's second loss since July 14.

Atlanta United (19-5-6) has won five of its last six games has just one loss in its last 11.

Columbus Crew SC 2, Colorado Rapids 1 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Federico Higuain had a goal and an assist to help the Columbus Crew beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Saturday night.

Higuain rolled a left-footer into an open net to cap the scoring in the 57th minute. Milton Valenzuela, dribbling through the center of the box, had it deflected off his shin to a wide-open Higuain for the wide-open finish.

Gyasi Zardes slipped a left-footer from the top of the 6-yard box inside the post to give the Crew a 1-0 lead in the 17th. Justin Meram crossed it to Higuain at the top of the area, who first-timed it with the outside of his foot to Zardes for the finish past lunging goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Gashi ripped a free kick to make it 1-1 in the 26th minute. Enzo Martinez drew a foul against the Crew's Josh Williams and, before the Columbus defense got set, Gashi bent a shot over the head of the defenders into the far corner of the net.

The Crew (13-9-8) have won five in a row in Columbus, their longest home win streak since 2014.

Colorado (6-17-6) has lost five in a row and is winless since a 2-1 win over San Jose (4-18-8) on Aug. 11.

Colorado played a man down after Deklan Wynn was shown a red card in the 51st.

Columbus outshot the Rapids 22-3.

Orlando City SC 0, Houston Dynamo 0 

ORLANDO, Fla. — Joe Willis made four saves and Orlando City played to a scoreless draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

Orlando (7-18-4) was coming off back-to-back shutout defeats. The Dynamo (8-13-8) have just one win in their last 11 games, a 4-1 home victory over the Portland Timbers on Sept. 15, and haven't won consecutive games since late May.

Adam Grinwis made three saves for the Dynamo.

The Lions best chance came in the 47th minute. Yoshi Yotun floated a free kick to Sacha Kljestan, but Kljestan tried to shoot the ball off his knee and it went just right of the goal.

Houston had one of its better chances in the 57th. Grinwis came out to the 18-yard box and blocked Romell Quioto's right-footed shot. Alberth Elis then took the deflected ball and fired a shot right back at the goal, but defender Jonathan Spector dove in front of the ball and headed it behind the net.

Quioto's scored in the 14th minute, but after a review it was disallowed because Grinwis had enough control of the ball inside the 18 before Quioto took it away.

New England Revolution 2, Chicago Fire 2

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Cristian Penilla scored in the 70th minute and the New England Revolution kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-2 tie with the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.

The Revs (8-10-11) entered the game five points behind sixth-place Montreal in the Eastern Conference. They haven't lost in four consecutive games (1-0-3) and have five remaining including the season finale at home Oct. 28 against Montreal.

Chicago (7-18-4) is 1-0-1 after snapping a nine-game winless streak, a 4-0 rout of Orlando City on Sunday.

Penilla took several touches and spun around two defenders before firing his left-footed shot to the bottom left corner of the net. Juan Agudelo had the assist following a fast break.

Chicago took an early 1-0 lead when Aleksandar Katai stole the ball from one defender, tripped up a second inside the 18-yard box then fired his left-footed shot into the back corner of the net for his 11th goal of the season.

Scott Caldwell tied it for the Revolution in the 62nd minute, but Michael Mancienne's own goal put the Fire back on top 2-1 about five minutes later.

The teams tied 1-1 in Bridgeview on June 9.

Montreal Impact 1, New York City FC 1 

MONTREAL — Micheal Azira scored the tying goal for the Montreal Impact in the 27th minute in a 1-1 draw with New York City FC on Saturday night.

Montreal defender Rudy Camacho gave the visitors an early lead with an own goal.

Evan Bush made four saves for Montreal (12-14-4).

New York City FC is 14-8-8.

Minnesota FC 3, Portland Timbers 2

MINNEAPOLIS — Romario Ibarra scored two goals and Minnesota United beat the Portland Timbers 3-2 on Saturday night to snap a seven-game winless streak, including five losses.

Minnesota (10-16-3) hadn't won since beating Los Angeles FC 5-1 on July 22.

Ibarra, a 23-year old who joined the team on July 9 and came in with one goal in six MLS appearances, tapped home a pass from Darwin Quintero to open the scoring in the 18th minute. He ran onto a long, arcing feed from Fernando Bob, cut back to evade a defender and rolled it to Ibarra for the empty-net finish from the center of the area.

He side-netted a through ball from Quintero in the 36th and Michael Boxall put away a corner kick, that deflected off defender Liam Ridgewell, by Rasmus Schuller to make it 3-0 going into halftime.

Alvas Powell and Sebastian Blanco each scored in the second half for Portland (13-9-8). The Timbers are winless, with four losses, in their last six road games.

 

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