Saturday, December 27, 2014

MLS roundup: Red Bulls break drought at New England

(David Butler II/USA Today Sports)
(David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

FOXBOROOUGH, Massachusetts (AP) — Midfielder Eric Alexander scored his first goal of the season and the New York Red Bulls earned a rare 2-0 victory at the New England Revolution on Sunday in their final matches before Major League Soccer's two-week World Cup break. 

The Red Bulls had not won at New England in 17 attempts, but that looked set to change after Alexander headed in a cross in the 17th minute from the left wing by Lloyd Sam after Revolution goalie Bobby Shuttleworth was knocked to the turf in the scramble. 

Peguy Luyindula made sure of the drought-breaking win, scoring his third goal of the season in the 76th minute with a right-footed shot from atop the penalty box, spoiling New England's season-best crowd of 23,950. 

The Red Bulls improved to 18 points and sit in fifth place in the Eastern conference , while New England remained atop of the conference on 23 points despite falling to its second straight loss. 

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  • Erick Torres gave Chivas USA an early lead and Gyasi Zardes pulled the Los Angeles Galaxy even before halftime, as the Southern California rivals played out a 1-1 draw. 

    Torres scored his ninth goal of the season in the 20th minute, finishing a defense-splitting pass from Leandro Barrera, as Chivas took its first lead in the SuperClasico series since May 2012, its last victory, a span of six matches. 

    The goal was his 16th since he joined Chivas last July, giving him a share of the MLS record for Mexican-born players with former Chicago Fire star Cuauhtemoc Blanco. 

    The Galaxy nearly drew level seven minutes later, but Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy pushed Landon Donovan's chip off the right post, then leaped across his goalmouth to snag Marcelo Sarvas' header on the rebound. 

    Zardes scored in the 35th minute, jumping above two defenders to head home a chip from Sarvas.

    On Saturday, Seattle's Obefemi Martins scored twice before his first-half ejection, setting up the Sounders' 3-2 win at Chicago and extending their lead atop the MLS standings heading into the three-week World Cup break. 

    Their lead over nearest rival Real Salt Lake was stretched to seven points, as the Utah club was beaten at home by Portland. 

    Lamar Neagle added a third goal for Seattle in the 78th minute, with Chicago's Harry Shipp scoring his second of the game four minutes later, but the hosts could not find an equalizer. 

    Martins scored in the 31st and 38th minutes but was sent off after an altercation with the Fire's Benji Joya seconds after Shipp scored his first goal in the 41st minute. 

    Real Salt Lake failed to keep pace with the Sounders as they suffered their first ever home loss against Portland, beaten 3-1. 

    Fanendo Adi scored a pair of goals and captain Will Johnson converted a penalty for the Timbers. 

    Luke Mulholland scored the sole goal for RSL, who played without team captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando on World Cup duty with the U.S. national team.

    Real Salt Lake has suffered losses on consecutive weekends after going 12 matches unbeaten to start the season.

    Dallas ended a run of eight games without a victory by beating Colorado 3-2.

    Fabian Castillo scored in the 62nd minute and FC Dallas snapped an eight-game winless streak.

    The Texan club had failed to score more than one goal in a game during that skid but broke that sequence with first-half goals from Deshorn Brown and Zach Llloyd. Dallas led 2-1 at halftime, with Andres Escobar having scored for Colorado. 

    Jose Mari equalized for the Rapids in the 52nd minute but Fabian Castillo scored what proved the decisive goal in the 62nd minute with a classy effort, dribbling around one defender and then curling a 15-yard shot beyond the goalkeeper's reach. 

    Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark saved a Fabian Espindola penalty in second-half stoppage time to preserve a point for the Crew at D.C. United.

    The game was played at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., as part of a doubleheader with Spain's 2-0 win over El Salvador. A total of 53,267 tickets were sold for the twinbill.

    Columbus has won only one of its past 12 games while D.C. missed a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference, with the draw putting them one point behind leader New England. 

    Toronto's Jermain Defoe scored a 28th minute penalty and the Canadian club hung on for a 1-0 win over San Jose.

    The former Tottenham and England striker converted after Nick Hagglund was pulled down in the box.

    The Associated Press
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