Osvaldo Martinez (center) scored two goals as visiting Club America defeated two-time defending Liga MX champion Leon on July 19, 2014 (Photo: Mexsport)
Sporting Kansas City scored twice in just over an hour to beat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, while Pachuca opened the 2014 Mexican Apertura season with a 1-0 win over Cruz Azul.
CONCACAF.com recaps the recent action from Major League Soccer and Liga MX’s representatives in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
(2014/15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
Eastern Conference-topping Sporting Kansas City (35 points) continued its good form with a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy (27 points) on Saturday. Goals by Benny Feilhaber (11’) on a free kick and Lawrence Olum extended the host’s unbeaten streak to six straight games. Ireland international Robbie Keane (79’) halved the deficit for LA, which saw its own unbeaten streak snapped at eight.
Surging D.C. United (34 points) remains one point back of Sporting Kansas City following a 3-1 win over Chivas USA (23 points) on Saturday. Eddie Johnson (25’) put the host in front from the penalty spot after Chris Rolfe was taken down inside the box. Johnson then turned provider in the 59th minute, heading down a free kick to set up Perry Kitchen for a 2-0 lead. Luis Silva (70’) then netted his fifth goal in five games to put the host comfortably ahead. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s bid for a clean sheet was thwarted late in the game, when Erick Torres (84’) converted from the penalty spot.
The Portland Timbers (24 points) scored twice in the second half to rally past the Colorado Rapids (27 points) on Friday. Jamaica international Deshorn Brown (16’) gave Colorado an early lead, but the host answered through Maximiliano Urruti (72’) and Diego Valeri (77’).
A late strike by Steven Lenhart (85’) on Saturday helped the San Jose Earthquakes (17 points) to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls (24 points). Bradley Wright-Phillips (33’) scored his league-leading 17th goal via a penalty kick after Lenhart was judged to have handles the ball.
Marco Di Vaio (35’) struck in the first half for the Impact de Montreal, but the two-time defending Canadian champion fell 2-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday. Bernardo Anor’s (56’, 75’) second-half brace propelled the host to victory.
(2014/15 CCL qualifiers in BOLD)
On Saturday, Matias Alustiza scored the lone goal in the first half to lift nine-man Pachuca (3 points) to a 1-0 win over current CCL champion Cruz Azul (0 points). Goalkeeper Jesus Corona got a piece of a cross by Daniel Arreola, but the ball caromed out to Alustiza (12’), who hammered it into the open net from eight yards. Arreola (77’) and Jorge Hernandez (83’) were ejected in the latter stages of the match after both were issued a pair of cautions.
Osvaldo Martinez struck for a first-half brace to lift Club America (3 points) to a 2-1 win over two-time defending champion Leon (0 points) on Saturday. His first in the 19th minute came after Oribe Peralta’s initial slide attempt was blocked by defender Juan Gonzalez. The 28-year-old netted his second goal in the 37th minute on a long-distance free kick that goalkeeper William Yarbrough saved, but his momentum carried him into his own net. Leon pulled a goal back through Mauro Boselli’s 86th minute penalty kick.