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MLS Sunday Rewind: LAFC rebounds with win over Timbers, SKC tops shorthanded Loons, and more


Los Angeles FC needed a turnaround performance after a recent slump and delivered one at home against a tough opponent in the Portland Timbers.

Bob Bradley’s men put up four goals in a 4-2 rout of the Timbers, halting a two-match losing streak and helping LAFC edge ahead of the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference standings.

Sporting Kansas City also halted a recent run of poor form, ending a four-match winless slide with a 1-0 win over a shorthanded Minnesota United squad. Adrian Heath trotted out a lineup missing several first-team players, and the result was a Loons performance devoid of the exciting soccer the team had played in consecutive wins before Sunday.

The Galaxy saw their four-match winning streak halted by another team in desperate need of some redemption in the San Jose Earthquakes. Fresh off an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Seattle Sounder, the Earthquakes kept the Galaxy off the scoreboard in a goal-less draw.

Here’s the full rundown of Sunday’s MLS action.

Sporting KC 1, Minnesota United 0

(Russell 80′)

Sporting Kansas City dominated much of the game against Minnesota United, but it took an impressive pass on a late goal for them to come out with the victory.

The winning goal came in the 80th minute and it was the result of a fantastic long pass from Graham Zusi. Zusi lofted a feed over the entire Loons defense onto the feet of Johnny Russell, who was through on goal and slotted the easy finish into the back of the net.

SKC had their fair share of chances amongst their 21 total shots. Russell had their best chance at another goal in the 66th minute when he had a wide open net from the top of the penalty area, but Bakaye Dibassy was in the right place at the right time to clear the shot off the line.

Minnesota never had anything resembling a scoring chance at any point. They did manage six shots on the night, but none really tested Tim Melia.

Man of the Match

Graham Zusi’s assist on the game’s lone goal was more than enough, but he also had a solid night defensively and providing width in the SKC attack.

Moment of the Match

The Zusi pass to Russell was a thing of beauty and gave SKC a well deserved win.

Match to Forget

Hassani Dotson is too important to Minnesota right now to be as invisible as he was out there.

Whitecaps 2, Impact 4

(Bair 7′, Camacho OG 66′)-(Okwonkwo 15′, Taider PK 45+1′, Piette 51′, Quioto 60′)

The Impact went down early, but managed to score four consecutive goals in a thorough victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

All four of Thierry Henry’s starting attackers scored in this one. Orji Okwonkwo leveled the score in the 15th minute by banging home a rebound off a Romell Quioto shot off the post. Saphir Taider gave them the lead from the penalty spot right before halftime.

Samuel Piette’s first MLS goal came in the 51st minute when he bolted into the penalty area to get on the end of a Taider cross.

Montreal got another boost in the 57th minute when Lucas Cavallini picked up a second yellow card, earning him an early shower. It didn’t long for the Impact to capitalize on the numbers advantage as Quioto managed to put one inside the posts at the hour mark.

Vancouver actually got off to the right start in this game despite the poor result. Theo Bair opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a nice shot from a tight angle with two defenders on him. That would be it for Whitecaps chances, however, as Montreal really controlled the rest of the game. Their only other goal was an own goal off Rudy Camacho in the 66th, but it wasn’t nearly enough to get them back in the game.

Man of the Match

Samuel Piette scored his first career MLS goal, assisted on another, and was everywhere the Impact needed him to be.

Moment of the Match

The Whitecaps were still in the game despite Cavallini’s yellow card, but they were out of it quite suddenly when Piette doubled Montreal’s lead.

Match to Forget

Lucas Cavallini didn’t play like Vancouver’s big offseason signing. He picked up two yellow cards before the hour mark and wasn’t much of a force before then.

LAFC 4, Portland Timbers 2

(Kaye 37′, Rossi 41′, Wright-Phillips 45+1′, Musovski 90+5′) (Williamson 25′, Ebobisse 45+2′)

The LAFC attack woke up from its recent slumber to put up a four-spot on the Timbers and halt its recent two match slide and give its fans some relief after a run of four losses in five matches.

The evening didn’t start well for the home side, with Eryk Williamson finishing off a beautiful passing sequence by the Timbers that ripped apart the LAFC defense in the 25th minute.

LAFC equalized in the 37th minute when Mark Anthony-Kaye latched onto a corner kick that Bradley Wright-Phillips flicked with a header.

Diego Rossi gave LAFC the lead by completing an intricate passing sequence with a clean finish in the 41st minute. The two teams traded goals just before halftime, with Bradley Wright-Phillips finishing from close range before Jeremy Ebobisse responded a minute later by heading home a long cross from Jorge Villafana.

LAFC held onto the 3-2 halftime lead and added an insurance goal late via second-half substitute Danny Musovski.

Man of the Match

Mark Anthony-Kaye scored a goal, recorded a late assist and also delivered a key pass in the buildup to another goal to edge out teammate Bradley Wright-Phillips for this nod.

Moment of the Match

Diego Rossi’s goal was an excellent sequence for LAFC, showing off the passing and movement and Rossi’s clinical finish.

Match to Forget

Portland’s Chris Duvall had a rough 45 minutes, including being beaten on Rossi’s goal, which led to him being replaced at halftime.

San Jose Earthquakes 0, LA Galaxy 0

The hottest team in the league faced a team coming off the worst loss of the season and the end result was a stalemate in San Jose as the Earthquakes and Galaxy ended up goal-less at Avaya Stadium on Sunday night.

The Earthquakes were coming off an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders and responded with a much better defensive display, limiting the Galaxy to just two shots on goal all night.

The Galaxy saw their four-match winning streak halted, though their defense will gladly take the shutout on a night when they limited the Earthquakes to just two shots on goal.

The most promising attacking moments came from the Galaxy, with Efrain Alvarez rattling the post with a left-footed shot from long range.

Man of the Match

Nick Lima was given the rare start at his natural right back position and he responded by helping contain the red-hot Cristian Pavon.

Moment of the Match

Efrain Alvarez’s left-footed blast in the 42nd minute rattled the right post and provided a glimpse of the young midfielder’s potential.

Match to Forget

Ethan Zubak was largely invisible for the LA Galaxy in what will likely be one of his final starts now that Chicharito Hernandez is returning to action.

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