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MLS Review: Whitecaps regain top spot, Melia inspires Sporting

Vancouver Whitecaps regained pole position in the Western Conference, while Sporting Kansas City snapped their losing run with a 0-0 draw at Portland Timbers.

Two of the Whitecaps’ leading forwards struck in a four-minute blitz from Vancouver as they accounted for Colorado Rapids 2-0 on Wednesday, with Carl Robinson’s men leapfrogging LA Galaxy into first position in the West’s standings.

The win took the Whitecaps to 48 points, two ahead of the Galaxy, who host Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Sporting (43) moved up to fourth, just one point behind third-placed FC Dallas.

Vancouver had lost two of their past three MLS games but made it four consecutive victories at BC Place Stadium thanks to goals from Uruguayan pair Octavio Rivero and Cristian Techera, bringing the Rapids’ three-game winning streak to an end.

After a goalless first half, Rivero – the Whitecaps’ leading scorer this season – notched his 10th goal of the campaign with a header from Techera’s 73rd-minute cross.

Techera moved to six goals for the 2015 campaign – joining Kekuta Manneh in joint second in the club’s scoring table – when he doubled the hosts’ lead in the 77th minute, finishing with his second shot in the space of a few seconds after the Rapids failed to clear the ball from their defensive area.

The Timbers’ clash with Sporting also remained 0-0 at the interval, but Portland went close to breaking the deadlock soon after half-time with Fanendo Adi’s header forcing visiting goalkeeper Tim Melia into a full-length save.

Melia was in inspired form, while at the other end Graham Zusi hit the post for Sporting, but the Timbers were the dominant force – not that they could find a way past KC’s gloveman.

The 29-year-old finished with seven saves, including a low stop on Maxi Urruti’s stoppage-time header.


Thu 10 Sep, 2015
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