MLS

Three-way tie atop the East in MLS after NYRB win, Union draw

By Sports Desk June 19, 2022

New York RB momentarily secured a three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating Toronto FC 2-0 on Saturday.

Goals from Lewis Morgan and Luquinhas secured the three points for NYRB, with Morgan scoring his seventh for the season, heading in from a corner in only the second minute.

Luquinhas assured the three points in the 56th, spectacularly chipping over Quentin Westberg from outside the penalty area after Tom Barlow was initially denied when put through one-on-one.

With only one win in their previous six games, the three points were critical for Gerhard Struber's side.

The Philadelphia Union could only secure a 1-1 draw at home to Cincinnati, meaning they join New York City on 26 points at the top of the Eastern Conference, but City are still to play on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids.

An Ercan Kara brace helped Orlando City move into fourth position in the East, backing up from Wednesday's draw in New England to beat Houston Dynamo 2-1.

They leapfrogged CF Montreal, who lost 1-0 to a ten-man Austin FC, following Maxi Urruti's goal in the 67th minute.

Elsewhere in the East, Chicago Fire defeated DC United 1-0 in the battle between the conference's bottom-placed teams, while Columbus Crew and Charlotte played out a 1-1 draw.

There were also stalemates at the top of the Western Conference, with Los Angeles FC and the Seattle Sounders managing a 1-1 draw, as well as Los Angeles Galaxy and Portland Timbers.

It allowed Real Salt Lake to move two points from LAFC, following their 2-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in Saturday's final game.

Salt Lake captain Marcelo Silva opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after Jefferson Savarino's flick-on from a corner, and Savarino doubled the margin in the 81st with a fine solo effort.

The Vancouver Whitecaps stayed within touching of the West's playoff spots, meanwhile, defeating FC Dallas 2-0.

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    Costa Rica produced a late smash and grab to beat Japan 1-0 on Sunday, giving themselves and Germany a potential route back into the World Cup in the process.

    A listless contest that looked set to become the sixth stalemate of the tournament so far finally produced something of note when Keysher Fuller curled a shot into the top-left corner with nine minutes remaining.

    Japan had largely been the better side, particularly in the second half, but Costa Rica took the lead with their first shot on target of the tournament.

    The result leaves both teams on three points heading into the final games, with Germany now in with a chance of progressing to the knockout stage with a win against Costa Rica in their final game whatever their result against Spain later on Sunday.


    The only real moment of note in a tentative first half came when Ritsu Doan fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box from the right, but there were no Japan players on hand to get on the end of it.

    Takuma Asano came on at half-time and the change nearly yielded an immediate impact as his touch to Hidemasa Morita 25 seconds into the second period led to the latter having the first shot on target of the contest, with Keylor Navas diving to his left to palm it away.

    Japan showed more intent to go and win the game in the second half, with Yuki Soma first cutting inside from the left and firing high and wide, before putting a free-kick from the edge of the box over the bar.

    The surprise moment came in the 81st minute though as a poor Japan clearance saw the ball come to Yeltsin Tejeda, who played in Fuller to shoot, with Japanese goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda getting stuck under the ball and failing to keep it out.

  • Ghana coach Addo always expected Son to make the grade Ghana coach Addo always expected Son to make the grade

    Ghana coach Otto Addo always anticipated Son Heung-min would go on to have a great career, as he hailed the South Korea captain's character and discipline.

    Korea face Ghana in their second World Cup Group H match on Monday.

    While Korea drew 0-0 with Uruguay, in a game that saw only one shot on target, Ghana lost 3-2 to Portugal in a thriller at Stadium 974.

    Son recovered from an eye injury to feature in Korea's opening game in Qatar, though the Tottenham forward is having to wear a protective facemask.

    And Addo, who worked with Son during his stint as a coach of Hamburg's youth team between 2009 and 2015, said he identified the attacker's potential early on.

    "We will try to stop every attacker. We did it well against Portugal, mostly," Addo said in a press conference on Sunday.

    "Son is a very good player, operates between the lines and has a very good shot. I had the pleasure to have him [when I was] under-19 coach at Hamburg.

    "Very good character, he's hard working, I really like his character, he is very, very disciplined, he became so good because he worked so hard for it.

    "This is what I hope for him, and expected. You can't predict everything, especially in youth players but I saw something in him, so I proposed him to the first team squad.

    "For sure, he did well there and has had a great career. I always wish him all the best, except for tomorrow.

    "I am happy for him that he's healthy again, or that he can play at least. We will stop him together as a team. This is what we tried to do against Portugal. It’s always about closing gaps, closing spaces and we do that together as a team."

    Defeat at Education City Stadium would condemn Ghana to an early exit, though a victory might lift them as high as second in the group by the end of the day, depending on the outcome of Portugal's meeting with Uruguay.

    Korea would move top of Group H with a win, and coach Paulo Bento is confident Son, who had just one attempt in the draw with Uruguay, will be fully firing.

    "Because he was recently injured and he was also adapting, trying to get used to wearing the mask," Bento said of Son's performance against Uruguay.

    "He needed to feel at ease with his team-mates and the opponents. From his viewpoint, I think the second game will be different, he's been able to play 90 minutes."

  • Foden 'best footballer England have', says Rooney after United States snub Foden 'best footballer England have', says Rooney after United States snub

    Phil Foden is "the best footballer England have", according to former Three Lions captain Wayne Rooney, who suggests the Manchester City star must be played at the World Cup going forward.

    The playmaker was an unused substitute during Friday's 0-0 draw with the United States, as Gareth Southgate's side missed the chance to seal top spot in Group B and progress to the knockout rounds.

    Having been overlooked to start in both of their matches so far, Foden was forced to watch from the sidelines as his side laboured to a point, prompting criticism from former England players Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville.

    Now Rooney, the Three Lions' all-time record goalscorer, has added his voice to the chorus of dissent over the 22-year-old's exclusion from a crucial encounter.

    "I found it very strange that Foden did not come on as a substitute against the USA," he wrote in his column for The Times. "Technically, he is the best footballer England have.

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    In a lacklustre performance without the energy and verve of their opening 6-2 win over Iran, England were kept out of danger at the back by another strong showing from Harry Maguire.

    Manchester United's club captain has been mostly overlooked at club level this season, but Rooney was effusive in his praise for the centre-back, who recovered from illness to feature against the United States.

    "[Maguire] was England's standout player on Friday," he added. "He had an excellent game against Iran.

    "[He is] showing the quality on the ball, sound defending and unmistakable threat at set pieces. That makes him so important to the team."

    England play their final Group B game against Wales on Tuesday, with Southgate's side looking to secure top spot ahead of the knockout rounds.

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