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Final

Kick Off: Several teams post statement wins, Jermaine Jones saga finally comes to close

Here are the top 15 stories everyone's talking about this morning:

1. WELCOME TO THE REVOLUTION

The Jermaine Jones transfer saga is finally at an end, with the US international joining the New England Revolution on an 18-month deal thought to be worth more than $5 million. ESPN's Alexi Lalas revealed the news during halftime of the Timbers vs. Sounders match, as well as the manner in which Jones' fate was decided. Read all about what it means for the Revs and how the Fire are taking the outcome.

2. SOUNDERS BACK ON TOP

Away from the Jones news, the league's highest-profile rivalry proved to be another exciting affair, as the Seattle Sounders opened up on the Portland Timbers to claim a 4-2 win (watch highlights here).  The game may have been closer than the score indicates, but Timbers coach Caleb Porter knows that doesn’t matter.

3. BEAST OF THE EAST?

D.C. United came out on top in the battle for first place in the Eastern Conference following a convincing 3-0 win over Sporting Kansas City (watch highlights here) on the road. However, while Peter Vermes was busy tearing into his defense, Ben Olsen knows there’s still plenty of work to do.

4. BWP: RECORD BREAKER

While Bradley Wright-Phillips set a new scoring record in the New York Red Bulls' 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact (watch highlights here), it was very much the Thierry Henry show. The Impact, on the other hand, will now hope for their revenge when the two sides meet in the Champions League.

5. CREW REDISCOVER THEIR FORM

The Columbus Crew seem to have turned a corner following another impressive victory, this time beating the Houston Dynamo 3-0 (watch highlights here). Even Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear had to admit, “They played pretty well, and you give them credit for that.”

6. GONZALEZ BIG MOVE

What makes the Crew ‘s win over the Dynamo even more impressive is that they did it without Giancarlo Gonzalez after Gregg Berhalter confirmed the club will be transferring the Costa Rican international to Italian side Palermo for what Berhalter described as the largest fee for a defender in MLS history. It seems the Crew already have plans for how to spend their share of it, as well.

7. GHOSTS OF THE PAST

The past came back to haunt Toronto FC, as former player Robert Earnshaw scored against them on his Chicago Fire debut. TFC were already unsettled before the game, having lost two starting defenders, and another former player, Quincy Amarikwa, capitalized to score a late goal and earn a 2-2 draw for the Fire (watch highlights here).

8. TRADE-IN

The Chicago Fire may have missed out on Jermaine Jones, but they were still involved in another trade over the weekend, sending Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Chivas USA in exchange for allocation money.

9. UNION’S BIG STATEMENT

As the Philadelphia Union attempt to force their way into the playoffs, their cause was helped immensely by Andrew Wenger’s star performance in a 4-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes (watch highlights here), a result that leaves the Quakes winless in four and searching for answers.

10. DALLAS TRIUMPH OVER ADVERSITY

FC Dallas are now unbeaten in 10 games following a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake (watch highlights here), a feat made even more impressive after playing a large part of the game with 10 men following a controversial red card for striker Blas Perez. As for RSL, Jeff Cassar summed it up when he stated, “We just weren’t good enough.”

11. NGUYEN’S BACK AT IT

As the New England Revolution try to turn things back around, Lee Nguyen once again played difference-maker in his side's 1-0 win over Chivas USA (watch highlights here), a result that leaves the Goats winless in six and scoreless in five.

12. GALAXY CATCHING UP

The LA Galaxy put in a convincing display in their 2-0 home win over the Vancouver Whitecaps (watch highlights here), with Robbie Keane playing a big part in both goals, whether he meant to or not. However, with just two wins in their last 10 games, Carl Robinson admits the Whitecaps “need to go back to the drawing board.”

13. AMERICANS ABROAD

It was another mixed weekend for US exports, as Brad Guzan kept a shutout in the most dour game imaginable, while Tim Howard conceded two goals in the final 10 minutes of his match. Julian Green was an unused sub for Bayern Munich, while Jozy Altidore came on late in Sunderland’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

14. STOKE’S AMERICAN BLUES

While Geoff Cameron once more failed to make an appearance for Stoke City over the weekend, the US international was at least part of the match-day squad this time. However, it looks to be the end of the road for his fellow American teammate, with reports suggesting Stoke are again looking to loan out Brek Shea.

15. IS NOW THE TIME?

In USL PRO, things continue to take shape, with future MLS side Orlando City opening up a six-point lead at the top thanks to a 3-2 victory over the second-place Richmond Kickers. As for another USL PRO team, is it really now or never for the Sacramento Republic in terms of their MLS hopes?

MLSsoccer.com Musts

Armchair Analyst:  Jones reactions and Week 24 thoughts

FC Dallas’ Tesho Akindele undecided on international future

You Make The Call: Did Blas Perez deserve a red card?

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