Union tied for first in the East

A drab 0-0 tie against the Seattle Sounders was enough to return the Philadelphia Union to the top of the Eastern Conference, level on points with DC United.

The point Philadelphia gained left the Union and DC United tied on 24 points, but Philadelphia has the better goal difference.

The draw snapped a three-game winning streak for the Union who had got the better of FC Cincinnati, the New England Revolutions and Toronto FC.

In turn DC United were falling to the Houston Dynamo, 2-1 at the BBVA Compass Stadium.

Wayne Rooney gave the visitors the lead just after the half time break only to see Memo Rodriguez and Thomas McNamara score a minute apart later in the half.

Rooney had the easiest of chances when he opened the scoring, turning in a Ulises Segura cross at the far post.

Rodriguez equalized with a shot that it appeared goalie Bill Hamid in the DC United net should have saved although there was little the United keeper could do with the second as McNamara arrive to bundle home a bouncing cross from Adam Lundqvist.

Next Saturday the Union will return to action when they host the Portland Timbers at the Talen Energy Stadium.

That's also the venue the following Wednesday when the Western Conference cellar dwellers, the Colorado Rapids, arrive in town.

Meanwhile DC United travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro to face the New England Revolution, and new manager Bruce Arena, also on Saturday and then host the Chicago Fire four days later.

Seattle are 12/1 to win the MLS Cup this season, with Los Angeles FC 3/1 and DC United 10/1.

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LA make it three in a row

LAFC continue to set the pace atop the Western Conference following a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.

Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi were on target for the hosts as LAFC stretched their lead over the Seattle Sounders to five points in the standings, although LAFC have played one more game than their rivals. Eduard Atuesta found Vela with a sweet throughball to open the scoring as LAFC, 3/1 to win the MLS Cup, moved the ball well just outside the box before the Mexican forward finished smartly. Rossi added a second after a video review in the second half.

These two teams are back in action on Sunday when they meet at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco as fifth-placed Dallas attempt to gain some ground on the Sounders, the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo ahead of them in the Western Conference standings.

Seattle have a tough match-up on Saturday as they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union, who are in second place in the Eastern Conference. The Sounders are undefeated in their last five outings although three have been draws. The Houston Dynamo have a home game, but face the challenge of Wayne Rooney and DC United, who currently top the Eastern Conference by a point over Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy will fancy their chances against a Colorado Rapids side that are winless in 11 matches and sit firmly in the cellar in the Western Conference.

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Atlanta win in Vancouver

Atlanta United may have started the season off slowly, but the defending MLS champions have hit a rich vein of form in recent weeks.

Wednesday Atlanta made it five consecutive clean sheets with a 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.

Josef Martinez scored from the penalty spot for the only goal that Atlanta would need in a victory that set an MLS record for shutouts in a row.

The win also pushed Atlanta up to third in the Eastern Conference, even on points with the Montreal Impact and trailing only DC United and the Philadelphia Union in the standings.

Sunday Atlanta will be in New York to take on the Red Bulls, with the visitors 9/5 to win the game and 11/1 to do so by a 1-0 scoreline.

Meanwhile, DC United was also in action and moved into first place in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Union.

There was no scoring in the match between Toronto FC and the visitors, but DC United will likely be happy with the point and their elevation to the top spot in the East.

Top spot in the Western Conference belongs to LAFC, who host FC Dallas on Thursday in the only game on the MLS slate.

Dallas is currently fifth in the standings behind LAFC, the Seattle Sounders, the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo.

The visitors have lost two in a row, to the Red Bulls and the Dynamo, and failed to win in their last three outings – having drawn at home to the San Jose Earthquakes at the end of April.

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DC United visit Toronto FC

Wayne Rooney and DC United can move into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday when they take on Toronto FC at BMO Field.

Tied with the Philadelphia Union on 23 points, with both teams having played 12 games so far this campaign, DC United lead the Montreal Impact in third, New York City FC in fourth and Atlanta United FC and Toronto FC in fifth and sixth respectively.

The visitors come into the game in Toronto having won both of their previous games in the month of May, defeating Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew SC.

Struggling mightily when Rooney joined the team towards the end of last season, DC United made a late push to make the playoffs before being knocked out in the opening round by the Crew on penalties.

DC United are 4/1 to win the game, with Toronto 8/13 and the draw priced at 3/1.

The defending MLS champion Atlanta United FC are also in action on Wednesday when they travel to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps.

Atlanta stumbled badly out of the gate to start this season, but can move into third in the Eastern Conference table ahead of Montreal should they get the better of Vancouver.

Atlanta has kept a clean sheet in their four previous games over the Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and last time out against Orlando City SC, and faces a Whitecaps side that has won two in a row and is undefeated in three.

Also on the slate are the Houston Dynamo entertaining the Portland Timbers while Orlando City FC joins Atlanta in the Pacific Northwest when they play the Seattle Sounders.

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Atlanta on the rise

The defending MLS champions, Atlanta United, moved up to fifth in the Eastern Conference on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Orlando City at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Pity Martinez scored his first goal for Atlanta, 12/1 to win the MLS Cup, to with an absolute screamer of a left-foot shot 13 minutes into the opening half and that was all that United would need to post a fourth straight clean sheet.

Since losing to FC Dallas three weeks ago, Atlanta have defeated the Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and now Orlando without conceding a goal.

Martinez, the former River Plate star, has struggled early in his MLS career, as has the rest of the Atlanta side. The Philadelphia Union, DC United, the Montreal Impact and New York City FC all currently sit ahead of Atlanta in the Eastern Conference, but the quartet will no doubt be looking over their collective shoulders in the next couple of weeks.

DC United were also in action on Sunday and also secured a 1-0 victory as they defeated Sporting Kansas City at Audi Field.

Paul Arriola scored the only goal of the game after the visitors failed to close down Wayne Rooney in midfield. The former England international found Arriola who moved inside onto his right foot and curled an 18-yard shot past Tim Melia in the Kansas City goal.

DC United join the Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference once more with 23 points. Both teams have played 12 games in the season, while Atlanta have only played 10.

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Union edge Toronto FC

The Philadelphia Union moved into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference on Saturday with a 2-1 triumph over Toronto FC at BMO Field.

A tantalizing cross from Kai Wagner in the 24th minute led to the opening goal as Philadelphia striker Fabrice Picault and Toronto defender Chris Mavinga arrived at the same time.

The latter was ultimately credited with an own goal, as Quentin Westberg in the Toronto goal had no chance.

Alejandro Pozuelo equalized early in the second half with a well taken free kick, but the Union would not be denied as Jamiro Alvarenga played a nice give and go with Kacper Przybylko for the final margin of victory.

Since losing to the Los Angeles Galaxy a month ago, Philadelphia have been undefeated with victories over the Montreal Impact, FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution along with Saturday's triumph. The Union also drew with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Sunday DC United can draw even with Philadelphia on points when they welcome in Sporting Kansas City to Audi Field in Washington DC.

Sporting Kansas City are second bottom of the Western Conference, tied with the Portland Timbers, with only the winless Colorado Rapids below them in the standings.

Colorado's futility continued on Saturday as they lost 3-2 to Real Salt Lake at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver.

With the LA Galaxy up next Sunday, followed by the Columbus Crew and the Union, it may be a while before the Rapids get their first win of the campaign.

Philadelphia are 14/1 to win the MLS Cup this season with LA Galaxy 7/1 and DC United 9/1.

Union are 10/11 to win next Sunday's clash with Seattle Sounders 12/5 and the draw is 3/1.

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DC toothless without Rooney

The value of Wayne Rooney to DC United was fully on display on Tuesday evening at Audi Field when the hosts drew 0-0 with the Montreal Impact.

Without Rooney in the line-up, suspended because of his red card against LAFC, DC United could not muster a single shot on the Montreal goal.

Rooney, the former Manchester United and Everton star, was instrumental in the late charge of DC United into the postseason last year and their quick opening to the campaign this year.

The point gained leaves United all alone in second place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the Columbus Crew.

Toronto FC and the Philadelphia Union are a point back in third and fourth respectively with Toronto having only played four games so far this season.

Montreal's point gives the Impact eight points in six games and sees the club in seventh place in the Conference.

FC Cincinnati, who are fifth and Orlando City sitting in sixth also have eight points, but a better goal difference in the early going.

This weekend DC United will travel to Colorado to face the Rapids while the Impact has a tough ask when the Columbus Crew are the visitors to Saputo Stadium.

Wednesday the Seattle Sounders were due to be in action against the Rapids.

However a rapidly developing blizzard situation, saw Seattle return home to prepare for their game over the weekend against Toronto FC. The game between Seattle and Colorado has been rescheduled for early September.

DC United are 11/8 to win their next game at Colorado. The Rapids are 9/5 while the draw is 5/2.

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Sounders host the Rapids

The Seattle Sounders will look to make it two wins in a row to start the MLS season when they welcome in the Colorado Rapids to CenturyLink Field on Saturday.

Seattle spotted expansion franchise FC Cincinnati a goal through Leonardo Bertone in the 13th minute of their season opener last weekend before rolling over the visitors 4-1.

Jordan Morris scored twice and Kelvin Leerdam and Raúl Ruidíaz also got the better of Przemyslaw Tyton in the Cincinnati net in what was the largest winning margin of the opening week.

Over in Colorado the Rapids got their campaign underway with a 3-3 draw against the Portland Timbers in what was reliably reported as the coldest game in MLS history.

In a game more reminiscent of England in the 70s, than the modern game where matches are rarely held in such weather, the two teams played while snow fell and accumulated on the field.

Andre Shinyashiki was on hand for the hosts in stoppage time at the Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City to level proceedings at three to give the ten-man Rapids a point.

Three other teams in the Western Conference also picked up opening weekend victories.

Minnesota United FC, who coincidently held the previous record for the coldest MLS game, the LA Galaxy and LAFC got the better of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City respectively and this week will take on the San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and the Timbers with the latter on Sunday.

Seattle are 9/20 to beat Colorado on Sunday, with the Rapids 13/2 and the draw priced at 16/5.

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Galaxy with opening day victory

Zlatan Ibrahimovic nodded in from close range on Saturday as the Los Angeles Galaxy got their MLS season off to a winning start as they defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1.

Former Philadelphia Union forward C.J. Sapong made his debut for the Fire and scored the opening goal early in the second half after a terrible mix up in the LA defense.

However the Galaxy bounced back through a Daniel Steres header before Zlatan claimed the points for the hosts.

Most notable was the debut for LA of 16-year old Efrain Alvarez who set up the Steres goal and was also involved in the attack that led to the eventual winner.

The Galaxy will head to Dallas next weekend to face FC Dallas and will entertain Minnesota United FC and the Portland Timbers through the end of the month.

Meanwhile the newest MLS franchise, FC Cincinnati made their debut with a 4-1 defeat to the Seattle Sounders.

Cincinnati got on the board first with a fine goal from Leonardo Bertone before the Sounders proved predictably too strong for the debutants.

Also victorious on the day were Minnesota United FC 3-2 over the Vancouver Whitecaps; the Montreal Impact edged the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 and Toronto FC defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-1.

The rest of the games finished in draws and Sunday there will be two games on the slate when DC United hosts Atlanta United while Sporting Kansas City travels to LA to play LAFC.

LA Galaxy are 11/2 to win the MLS Cup with Atlanta United 6/1 and Chicago Fire 66/1.

Ibrahimovic is 7/2 to be the top scorer in the tournament with Wayne Rooney of DC United 9/1.

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Rooney ready for MLS challenge

Former England captain Wayne Rooney has completed a move to MLS outfit DC United, ending his second spell with Everton after just one season.

The 32-year-old forward has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with United, ending his Premier League career with 208 top-flight goals to his name.

He also netted a national team record 53 goals in 119 appearances for England, while also enjoying a lengthy trophy-laden stint with Manchester United, where he won the Premier League five times and the Champions League in 2008.

However, Rooney says he is now ready for a new challenge and has promised to do all he can to make his time Stateside a success.

He told his new club's official website: "Moving to America and MLS fulfils another career ambition for me. I have the hunger to be a success here and will give DC 100 per cent – as I have always done for every team I have ever played for.

Meanwhile, DC United general manager Dave Kasper has backed Rooney to bring some much-needed leadership characteristics to his new team, as well as his undoubted quality.

He added: "Wayne is undoubtedly one of the best players in Premier League history and his goalscoring record for club and country speaks for itself.

"He is a world-class player and he elevates those around him, both through his work ethic and winning mentality."

Meanwhile, Everton are 6/1 to finish in the top six in the Premier League enxt seaosn, with Arsenal priced at 1/5 and Leicester City 7/1.

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