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Rapids surprise Galaxy to nab road draw

Alan Gordon’s header with 15 minutes left salvaged a draw for the LA Galaxy against the Colorado Rapids.

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D.C. United off to best start ever after beating Crew

D.C. United grabbed a pair of first half goals to benefit from a solid defensive performance and down the Columbus Crew.

Agudelo-Davies-Bunbury Revs-Red Bulls 2015 (USA Today Images)

Davies, Bunbury push Revs past Red Bulls

The New England Revolution prevailed over the undermanned New York Red Bulls on Saturday night in a rematch of last year’s MLS Eastern Conference final series.

Rapids surprise Galaxy to nab road draw

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Photo by Kelvin Kuo / USA Today Sports

By MARK HORNISH

CARSON, Calif. — Perhaps thinking a game against a last place team was a chance to rest his veterans, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena waited until deep into the second half to send out his starting lineup.

Alan Gordon and Stefan Ishizaki combined three minutes after coming on to rescue a point for the defending champions against the Colorado Rapids, 1-1, before 16,676 on a beautiful, balmy Southern California night.

Gordon scored his goal in classic fashion, muscling both Rapids center backs out of the way before beating goalkeeper Clint Irwin with a sharp header to the far post off a curling Ishizaki corner kick in the 75th minute.

Colorado played an aggressive, high-pressure game throughout the night, and were rewarded in the 41st minute. Gabriel Torres stole a deflected pass and found himself alone in on goal, with midfielder Rafael Garcia his only pursuer. Torres banged home the breakaway goal and gave Colorado an unlikely advantage heading into halftime.

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Timbers squander chances in scoreless draw with Whitecaps

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Photo by Jaime Valdez / USA Today Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

PORTLAND, Ore. — A penalty kick and the return of Diego Valeri weren’t enough to help the Portland Timbers best their Cascadia Cup rivals in a rematch Saturday.

In their second matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps this season, the Timbers were again winless despite having the lion’s share of chances, forced to settle with a 0-0 draw at Providence Park.

The Timbers squandered a chance to take an early lead when Darlington Nagbe knocked a penalty kick off the woodwork in the 31st minute. Alvas Powell struck Pa-Modou Kah’s arm on a cross in the box, drawing the call, but Nagbe’s low rolling shot bounced off the right post, even as he had goalkeeper David Ousted diving the wrong way.

Valeri, the Timbers’ top scorer the past two seasons, made his first appearance of the year after an ACL tear in October, replacing Ishmael Yartey in the 52nd minute. He tried a volley two minutes after coming on, his first shot of the year, but it was blocked. Valeri slid into a Jorge Villafana cross in the 78th minute that rocketed just wide.

“I thought possession-wise, build-up wise, we were very good,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “I thought we created enough to score. You’re not going to create a ton when a team sits like they did, but we created enough to score.”

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Cosmos embrace playing in Brooklyn and compare surface to current home

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By RYAN TOLMICH

For over a century, the attractions of Coney Island have provided entertainment for the city of New York. From the famous Cyclone and Wonder Wheel to the hod dogs at the original Nathan’s, Coney Island has long had a flavor all its own.

On Saturday night, the area had an attraction unfamiliar with the theme parks of yesteryear: soccer.

The New York Cosmos played their first home game in the borough of Brooklyn Saturday night, taking down Ottawa Fury FC, 1-0, at MCU Park in Coney Island.

Away from the friendly confines of Hofstra and Shuart Stadium for the first time, the Cosmos’ foray into Brooklyn provided a new experience, one that head coach Giovanni Savarese was quick to embrace.

“I think it was an exciting night to play in Brooklyn in a stadium that was an interesting set-up with all of that stuff going around,” Savarese said.

“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, if it happens again, to be able to play in this place again.” Continue reading »

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Keita winner against Scorpions keeps Armada undefeated at home

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Photo by Jacksonville Armada FC

By AARON CRANFORD

Thanks to a heroic stoppage-time winner from Jacksonville Armada FC substitute Alhassane Keita, the defending champion San Antonio Scorpions remain winless five weeks into the NASL Spring Season.

The two took jabs at each other in the opening moments, as Marcos Flores assisted Pascal Millien in the third minute, giving Armada FC the early lead.

However, once again, the NASL offered fans a splendid goal, and this time, it came from the effort of Omar Cummings. The forward found the immediate answer in the eighth minute for the Scorpions after hitting an acrobatic scissor-kick, which found its way through many Armada FC defenders.

After two halves of physical play, which saw a total of eight yellow cards dished out on the night, the decider finally came in extra time, and Keita was the man of the moment in Jacksonville. Continue reading »

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Silverbacks hold Strikers to preserve 0-0 draw on the road

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Photo by Fort Lauderdale Strikers

By ADAM TROXTELL

The Atlanta Silverbacks exited their game against Fort Lauderdale Strikers with a point on Saturday, thanks in big part to Steward Ceus.

Ceus’ four saves preserved the shut-out on a night when the Strikers looked slightly better in attack. The result leaves the teams locked on seven points each in the middle of the NASL spring season table.

The Silverbacks defense pitched in with two blocked shots to keep the Strikers quiet in front of a home crowd. While they produced six shots of their own, two on target, it was difficult to look dangerous in a conservatively played game. Continue reading »

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D.C. United off to best start ever after beating Crew

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Photo by Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports 

By CLIFF STARKEY

WASHINGTON — The month of April was very kind to both D.C. United and Columbus Crew.

Both teams were undefeated through the last four weeks. Columbus’s attack has been scintillating. D.C. United started a season better than ever in franchise history.

For the Columbus Crew, April had to end sometime.

First half goals by Fabian Espindola and Sean Franklin gave D.C. United a 2-0 win Saturday night at RFK Stadium, where they now haven’t lost in sixteen consecutive games.

As expected, the Crew began the game on the front foot, hoping to ride the offensive wave the team had enjoyed over the last few weeks. However, D.C. United’s defense was up to the task, preventing Columbus’ attack from ever fully developing. Despite not seeing many clear opportunities on goal, Columbus did have a number of corner kick opportunities early on.

D.C. United had them right where they wanted them.

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Davies, Bunbury push Revs past Red Bulls

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Photo by Greg M. Cooper / USA Today

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Their regional rivalry is usually reason enough to pay attention to games between the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls; however, Saturday’s match at Gillette Stadium was also a meeting of two squads riding extended unbeaten streaks.

The host Revolution got the upper hand early on a ninth-minute header from Charlie Davies, and led the rest of the way in a 2-1 win over the Red Bulls in font of 18,296. The Revs copied their efforts from last season’s Eastern Conference final series to take an early-season advantage.

Davies scored the go-ahead goal off of a right side in-swinger from emerging right back London Woodberry, diving to get in front of Red Bulls defender Matt Miazga and powering his header past Luis Robles.

The hosts made it 2-0 in the 60th minute on a finish by Teal Bunbury, but the lead-up was the impressive part. Davies, Juan Agudelo, Scott Caldwell and Lee Nguyen all had a touch on the ball in the seconds before Bunbury banged it inside the right post. Continue reading »

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Novo nets for RailHawks in draw with Rowdies

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Photo by Rob Kinnan / Carolina RailHawks

By AARON CRANFORD

CARY, N.C. — While Carolina RailHawks forward Nacho Novo continues to shine in 2015, the Tampa Bay Rowdies remained strong and resilient to force a 1-1 draw in front of 4,042 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park.

After sitting out the previous two games for the RailHawks with a nagging groin injury, Novo took little time to find his scoring boots as he grabbed his third of the season. He is tied with San Antonio Scorpions forward Omar Cummings for the league lead. He was quick to point the finger, though, at Tiyi Shipalane, who made the play happen.

“I think we should play more out to him,” Novo told reporters after the draw. “I think we made one pass over, and he made that one-on-one, and this where the goal is coming from, but then after, we just stopped playing for him. From what I watch, we should play more on him, sharper, so he can get one-on-one because always he’s looked dangerous.”

The Rowdies found the equalizer almost 10 minutes after Novo’s opening goal when Georgi Hristov combined with Martin Nunez, who drilled the ball into the back of the net. Although both sides created a flurry of chances for themselves, neither could find a second on the night.

Late in the second half, Hristov was sent packing after receiving a straight red card. The assist-man looked to step on the head of RailHawks midfielder Wells Thompson. Wven with the one-man advantage, the Cary side could not find the crucial game-winner at home. Continue reading »

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