Sounders finally find their winning ways
Alvaro Fernandez celebrates his goal for Seattle Sounders with Patrick Ianni
SEATTLE, Wa. ● The longest winless streak in club history came to an end on Saturday for Seattle Sounders FC as second-half goals from Alvaro Fernandez and Eddie Johnson handed the home side a 2-1 victory over another struggling team, the Colorado Rapids.
Seattle entered the contest on a nine-game winless run, while the defeat is the fourth in five games for the Rapids, who found themselves on the back foot for a large portion of Saturday’s match.
Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens was busy early on as he needed to make saves on both Fernandez and Johnson in the first 11 minutes.
The second half saw Seattle begin to take control and the Sounders finally went in front in the 52nd minute when Mauro Rosales drove a corner kick to the middle of the area for Fernandez, who sent a powerful header past Pickens from eight yards.
Fernandez missed a great chance to extend the lead when he got behind the defense and caught Pickens off his line, only to badly scuff his shot wide.
But Seattle doubled the lead in the 64th with Rosales once again playing provider as Johnson headed home his left-wing cross from six yards.
The Rapids pulled a goal back through Omar Cummings in the 79th minute when he made a run to the back post and got on the other end of a cross from Luis Zapata to volley the ball past goalkeeper Bryan Meredith.
And Colorado had the ball in the net again in the 85th minute, only for the goal to be called back for an offside decision.
The Rapids had one final chance to steal a point in stoppage time, but Martin Rivero fired over the net from the top of the box with a good look at goal.
The win was a big one for Seattle, but so too was the appearance of winger Steve Zakuani, who returned to action for the first time in over a year since suffering a broken leg as he entered the match as a substitute in the 86th minute.
Real Salt Lake 3, Portland Timbers 0
Alvaro Saborio scored three second-half goals to help Real Salt Lake earn a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
RSL (11-6-3) snapped a four-game winless streak. Salt Lake also snapped a three-game winless streak at its home stadium. Portland (5-8-4) lost its third straight road game and is still winless away from home this season.
Saborio broke a prolonged scoring drought for RSL in the 60th minute. Luis Gil crossed the ball up top to Kyle Beckerman. Then Beckerman floated a pass down to Saborio in the center of the box. Saborio headed in the ball to make it 1-0.
He came up with an even better goal two minutes later. Chris Wingert fired a pass deep into the center of the box. Saborio met the ball on the run and headed it past Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins to lift Salt Lake to a 2-0 advantage.
Chivas USA 0, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Joe Cannon earned his MLS-best eighth shutout of the season and Vancouver and Chivas USA played to a draw.
The match was physical and featured six yellow cards from referee Juan Guzman.
With the match confined to midfield, both teams struggled to generate scoring chances. But it was Cannon who was the most active of the two goalkeepers, making four saves.
Cannon’s finest moment came in the 73rd minute when the 37-year-old goalkeeper made a one-handed stop on a Paolo Cardozo free kick from the edge of the box.
FC Dallas 0, San Jose Eartquakes 0
FRISCO, Texas (AP) – Defenders Hernan Pertuz and Carlos Rodriguez each cleared shots off the goal line and Kevin Hartman made two spectacular saves in the final 10 minutes to preserve a tie for FC Dallas against San Jose.
The tie was the third in a row for FC Dallas (3-9-7), the Western Conference’s worst team, and extended their franchise-record winless streak to 13 games (0-7-6).
The result allowed San Jose (11-4-4) to maintain its spot atop the MLS overall standings and preserved the league’s best road record at 6-3-2.
After captain Ramiro Corrales was ejected in the 80th minute for his second yellow card within three minutes, San Jose was forced to finish the match with 10 men for the first time this season.
Sporting Kansas City 0, Houston Dynamo 0
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Sporting Kansas City moved back into a share of the Eastern Conference lead with a scoreless draw against the Houston Dynamo.
Sporting (10-5-3) has 33 points, tying them with idle D.C. United.
Houston (6-5-7) earned a road point and extended its unbeaten streak to three matches despite being outshot 17-7.
Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall made four saves and Sporting’s Jimmy Nielsen had two in earning their respective shutouts.