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Atlanta Surge Relegates Impact to 4th

A brief round-up of Wednesday night’s MLS action

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Atlanta’s Josef Martinez celebrates his goal from the penalty spot, last night in Vancouver.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United in 2019, may not be playing the free-flowing style of Tata Martino, but the more pragmatic Frank De Boer has found a winning formula.

It’s all about the ‘Fives’: five straight wins and five successive clean-sheets for The Five Stripes!

They frustrated the Whitecaps for most of the evening, but kept former Impact ‘keeper Max Crepeau busy on the the break, never moreso in the 59th minute, forcing the ‘keeper into a triple save in the 59th minute. The damage had already been done however, Whitecaps conceding their MLS-high 7th penalty of the season, converted by Josef Martinez on 29 for the game’s only goal.

Atlanta move up to 3rd in the East, the Whitecaps remain a point behind the play-off line in the West.

Toronto FC continue to struggle at BMO Field. Their point last night from a 0-0 stalemate with DC United , who went top in the East, was their first in three home games.

Injured again, Jozy Altidore (heel) was sorely missed, and despite 70% possession and forcing Bill Hamid into 12 saves, TFC was unable to break down DC, who left Rooney, Acosta and Arriola on the bench until the second-half.

Toronto remains a solitary point above the play-off line.

MLS: D.C. United at Toronto FC
Busy man - Bill Hamid kept Toronto FC at bay last night ...
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Houston and Seattle kept their unbeaten home records in tact in the West. Houston led Portland Timbers 1-0 through Mauro Manotas’ 40th min opener, but Timbers introduced new club record signing Brian Fernandez on 65 and it took him only 12 minutes to make his mark, sliding the equalizer past Joe Willis on 77, to complete the scoring.

The Fernandez move had been held up by paperwork, but Timbers fans will be claiming it’s been worth the wait. The Argentine scored 18 goals in 32 appearances in Liga MX for Necaxa.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Houston Dynamo
Brian Fernandez - took only 12 mins for his debut goal to arrive.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Timbers, who’ve played all 11 games this season away from home, lie two points below the play-off line in the West. With their new signing now on board and a rash of home games in their new stadium to come, they’ll be feeling good about things.

Seattle produced a ‘run of the mill’ victory (2-1) over Orlando, although things ended up much closer in the end after Chris Mueller pulled a goal back for the visitors on 75.

Sounders consolidate second-place in the West, just two points behind early pace-setters, LAFC, with the same number of games played.