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Football Americana Week 24: Sounders thrash Columbus

Irene, regardless of hurricane or tropical storm, knocked out a couple of East Coast games this weekend, but elsewhere there were goals galore.

Portland Timbers got the action underway, beating Chivas USA at home by a single goal. John Spencer's side certainly seem to have found their set-piece mojo again, with the goal arriving thanks once more to an Eric Brunner header from a corner.

The Goats were back on home soil over the weekend but the result was no different, Real Salt Lake benefiting this time from a 1-0 win after Alvaro Saborio rounded Dan Kennedy in the 11th minute to slot in an early winner. Juan Pablo Angel hit the crossbar and then Nat Borchers was sent off for Salt Lake a little over ten minutes later for hauling down Nick LaBrocca in a goalscoring position, but Chivas couldn't make their man advantage pay.

The performance of the week came from in-form Seattle Sounders, who stuck six past Columbus Crew with only two in return. Lamar Neagle's shot squirmed past Will Hesmer in the fourth minute and set the tone for a goalfest. Number two came from the spot courtesy of Mauro Rosales, who took the kick after a handball, and the third was volleyed in by Neagle (pictured) in just the 21st minute. After playing a big role in the first half it was Mike Fucito who grabbed number four, turning cleverly to score his first MLS goal of the year.

The second half was arguably marginally better for the Crew, and they pulled one back from the penalty spot through Jeff Cunningham, the penalty being awarded for Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's foul on Emilio Renteria and making him the standalone all-time top goalscorer in MLS. Neagle completed his hat-trick 20 minutes from time, cutting inside his full back and crashing a brilliant strike far beyond Hesmer and in off the crossbar - despite protests, it was a good foot over the line and the officials had no doubt. Josh Gardner's powerful free kick made it 5-2 but just a minute later he undid his good work with an unfortunate own goal.

Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes shared the points north of the border, drawing 1-1. Eric Avila's first half goal started to look like the winner until Chris Wondolowski got in on the act late on with a tap-in from Bobby Burling's flick-on.

Vancouver Whitecaps bagged an all-too-rare three points by beating Houston Dynamo at Empire Field. It took until the final five minutes for Shea Salinas to find the winning goal, but when it came it was a tidy finish at the end of a lovely passing move by the Caps.

First half goals from Dominic Oduro and Cory Gibbs secured a 2-0 home win for Chicago Fire over Colorado Rapids. Oduro poked in the first inside the first 20 minutes after out-pacing his markers, and Gibbs followed up before the break with close-range header that should have been defended much more effectively by the champions.

Sporting KC hosted FC Dallas but slumped to a 3-2 defeat after going down to ten men in the midst of a comeback. Kei Kamara gave them the lead by drilling home after a defensive error, and Omar Bravo made it two in the middle of the second half with a tap-in from Teal Bunbury's mis-hit effort. Daniel Hernandez scored a fortuitous goal for Dallas before Bunbury picked up his second yellow card to continue Sporting's collapse. Maicon Santos equalised with a header from Brek Shea's cross and the winner came from Bobby Warshaw in stoppage time, Shea again the provider for an almost identical goal.

Seattle's win takes them within three points of LA at the top of the West, although the Galaxy have a game in hand. Dallas are in third, while the Whitecaps pass the 20-point mark but stay bottom. In the East, nobody seems interested in topping the table. Despite their defeat, Columbus remain top by four points ahead of Sporting, and five ahead of Houston. Philadelphia have enough games in hand to go top.

You can see those tables here and watch all the action here.

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