Orlando City notched their first win in seven MLS fixtures, while New England Revolution’s late-season surge continued.
Adrian Winter scored twice for Orlando in their 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, while New England cruised past Toronto FC by the same scoreline to register their fifth consecutive victory.
Orlando winger Brek Shea made his first appearance since June after missing 11 games with a groin injury and the United States international made a critical impact in the final half-hour, teeing up Bryan Rochez to regain the lead for the hosts after Krisztian Nemeth’s equaliser for Sporting.
The result kept Orlando’s bid for the MLS play-offs alive as they rose to 32 points, level with sixth-placed Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference, although just outside the top six due to one less win.
Orlando started brilliantly with Winter scoring his first goal for the Florida-based club when he got his head on Luke Boden’s free-kick in the third minute.
Sporting levelled the match in the 59th minute when Nemeth got past a couple of opponents and blasted the ball into the top corner but the home side led again within seven minutes, as Shea broke clear on the left before cutting back for Rochez to convert from six yards.
Winter wrapped up Orlando’s win – just their second in 12 games – with a sharp finish with 18 minutes remaining, while Sporting lost Dom Dwyer to a red card in the 87th minute.
Further up the Eastern Conference standings, the Revolution moved within two points of leaders New York Red Bulls.
New England surged to the MLS Cup last season only to lose 2-1 in extra time to LA Galaxy, with Jay Heaps’ men winning nine of their last 11 matches to reach the play-offs.
The Revolution appear to be on a similar trajectory in 2015 too, with Lee Nguyen inspiring New England’s win over Toronto – stretching their unbeaten run to seven matches.
After an own goal from Damien Perquis put the Revolution in front in the fourth minute, Nguyen teed up Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe – with Robbie Findley’s 55th-minute effort for Toronto splitting the latter two goals.
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