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Friday June 14, 2024

Seattle’s Morris fires four, Crew hit Atlanta for six

By AFP
March 27, 2023

MIAMI: Sensational St.Louis City continued their record-breaking perfect start to their first Major League Soccer season with a thumping 4-0 win at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Jordan Morris scored all four goals as the Seattle Sounders won 4-1 at Sporting Kansas City while the Columbus Crew thrashed a depleted Atlanta United 6-1. Expansion team St.Louis became the first new side to win their opening four games last week and they extended that record with another hugely impressive display.

Nicholas Gioacchini opened the scoring for St. Louis with a left-foot finish in the 47th minute before Brazilian Joao Klauss took advantage of a sloppy giveaway from Pablo Ruiz to double the lead.

Klauss then fired in his fourth goal of the season with a first-time drive from the edge of the box before Swedish winger Rasmus Alm finished off a flowing attack to make it 4-0. MLS’s decision to play through the international break weakened several teams but Morris, not called up for the United States’ CONCACAF Nations League games, used the opportunity to fire a strong reminder of his quality.

After Kansas City had taken a fifth minute lead through William Agada, Morris slid in a low cross from Leo Chu to bring Seattle level in the 23rd minute. Chu was the provider again, nine minutes after the interval, slipping Morris in and the striker provided a clinical finish.

Sporting had defender Ben Sweat sent off for a second bookable offence in the 63rd minute and within six minutes the game was put beyond them. Morris completed his hat-trick, turning in a Nicolas Lodeiro cross from close range and then completed the rout with a header from another pinpoint Chu cross.

Atlanta United went into Saturday’s game at Columbus unbeaten and on a high after last week’s 5-1 mauling of Portland. But they were without seven first-team players, away on international duty, including Argentine World Cup winner Thiago Almada.

The Crew were 1-0 up at the break but ran away with the game in the second half with forward Christian Ramirez scoring twice. The Chicago Fire handed Inter Miami their third straight loss with Phil Neville’s side in free fall after winning their opening two games.

The Fire did it the hard way though, after going 2-0 up through goals from Chris Mueller and Carlos Teran. Miami fought back through a well-taken Franco Negri effort and a Nicolas Stefanelli header and the Florida side looked to have earned a point until a dramatic stoppage time winner for the Fire.

Veteran striker Kei Kamara, drilled home after being put in by Brian Gutierrez, finding the target for his 10th club in MLS. Last season’s runners-up, the Philadelphia Union continued their poor start with a 2-1 home defeat to Orlando City.

It was Philly’s second straight loss and their third in their opening five games, after goals inside the opening 10 minutes from Orlando’s Martin Ojeda and Ivan Angulo. Although Andres Perea pulled a goal back in the 24th, Union head coach Jim Curtin was left deflated by his team’s performance.

“We let ourselves down as a team by conceding two goals early. That’s unacceptable for us, especially in this building,” said Curtin, whose side won the Eastern Conference last year. “I know the expectations for the group at the start of the season have been very, very high and maybe we’re all trying to be perfect rather than just doing our job,” he said.