Texan pride came to the fore in MLS on Saturday, as FC Dallas extended their Western Conference lead over LA Galaxy.
Both Dallas and Houston Dynamo triumphed at home, with the former cruising past Portland Timbers 4-1, while the latter defeated Galaxy 3-0.
Those results saw Dallas, who lead the West, increase their advantage over second-placed LA (34) to four points, while Oscar Pareja’s side have two games in hand on the Galaxy.
Dallas made it five straight wins and six matches without defeat in MLS thanks to a first-half double from Michael Barrios.
The Colombian forward capped off a 12th-minute counter-attack to give Dallas the lead against Portland – Barrios starting and finishing the move that began with his lay-off in the Timbers’ attacking half.
Barrios made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute when his shot from the edge of the area looped over Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey thanks to a deflection.
In the second half at Toyota Stadium, Kellyn Acosta curled a 69th-minute shot inside Kwarasey’s right-hand post, while Mauro Diaz converted a late penalty to complete Dallas’ scoring.
Fanendo Adi added a consolation goal from the penalty spot for the Timbers.
In Houston, the hosts struck twice in the opening half-hour to overcome the reigning MLS champions.
Steven Gerrard started his MLS career with a goal in Galaxy’s 5-2 win over San Jose Earthquakes last week but the former Liverpool skipper cut a frustrated figure in his second league match for LA as Dynamo ended a two-game losing run in all competitions.
Brad Davis was central to Houston’s strong start, setting up Will Bruin in the ninth minute and then scoring himself from 20 yards after 26 minutes.
Leonel Miranda completed Dynamo’s victory in style, chipping Brian Rowe with two minutes left, as Houston rose to eighth in the West with 27 points.
Elsewhere, Toronto FC completed a magnificent comeback away to Columbus Crew to draw 3-3, with Jozy Altidore’s 89th-minute penalty securing a point for the Canadian club.
New England Revolution claimed a 2-2 draw at Chicago Fire, while Seattle Sounders suffered a third loss in a row, going down 1-0 to Montreal Impact.
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