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Kick Off: Wins for Supporters' Shield contenders | Red Bulls sweep NYCFC | MLS Golden Boot race

Here are the 15 stories we're talking about this morning after a highly entertaining Week 23.


1. RED BULLS SWEEP NYCFC

The New York Red Bulls are three-for-three against New York City FC this season after a 2-0 win over their crosstown rivals (HIGHLIGHTS). With that score settled for now, the Red Bulls are turning their attention toward winning some silverware, but NYCFC are confident they are still improving.

2. GIOVANI, GALAXY EXTEND SOUNDERS' SLUMP

It perhaps summed up the Seattle Sounders' season so far: Chad Barrett gave the team a first-minute lead then injured himself in the celebration. His side went on to fall, 3-1, against the LA Galaxy (HIGHLIGHTS) Sunday afternoon, including a goal and an assist for Giovani Dos Santos in his MLS debut. Sounders coach Sigi Schmid lamented, "When it rains, it pours," while the sky seems to be the limit for the Galaxy.

3. ONE SHOT, ONE GOAL, THREE POINTS FOR D.C.

The Montreal Impact were understandably frustrated following their loss to Supporters' Shield leaders D.C. United (HIGHLIGHTS) on Saturday. They outshot the visitors 25-1 but still lost 1-0, as United set a new precedent for winning after recording just a single shot.

4. CAPS KEEP SCORING

The Western Conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps won in entirely different fashion, crushing Real Salt Lake, 4-0, on Saturday (HIGHLIGHTS). Caps head coach Carl Robinson praised his players for their desire to score, while RSL's Jeff Cassar was left to rue his decision to rest most of his regular starters for the upcoming US Open Cup semifinal at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

5. POLAR OPPOSITE PERFORMANCES FOR SKC & TFC

Speaking of Sporting KC, head coach Peter Vermes, on the other hand, couldn’t speak highly enough about his own team's display following their 3-1 win at Toronto FC on Saturday (HIGHLIGHTS). His counterpart, Greg Vanney, labelled the Reds' performance as “unacceptable.”

6. PHILLY & ORLANDO CITY PLEASED WITH A POINT

It’s not often you see both teams happy with a 0-0 draw, but that’s exactly what happened between Orlando City and the Philadelphia Union (HIGHLIGHTS) on Saturday, as a “tired and leggy” Orlando side were happy to take the point. and the Union were pleased by an improved defensive display ahead of their Open Cup semifinal on Wednesday vs. Chicago.

7. NO LUCK FOR THE QUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes are now winless in six games following a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo (HIGHLIGHTS), something they attribute partly to a complete lack of luck. Meanwhile, the Dynamo’s recent improvement in form has them once again aiming for a place in the playoffs.

8. KAMARA DOWNS RAPIDS

For the second game in a row, the Colorado Rapids scored first, and for the second game in a row, they went on to lose the game, this time falling 2-1 to the Columbus Crew SC (HIGHLIGHTS) on Saturday. Kei Kamara did all the damage for visiting Crew SC, and retook top spot in the Golden Boot standings. Columbus had not won in two games and were glad to nip any slump before it could begin.

9. TIMBERS GO BACK TO BASICS

The Portland Timbers now have a league-best 10 shutouts on the season following a 1-0 win on Friday vs. the Chicago Fire (HIGHLIGHTS) in which Caleb Porter took his side “back to basics.” While it was a tough loss for the Fire to take, they’ve already turned their attention to Wednesday’s US Open Cup clash with the Philadelphia Union.

10. RAPIDS ADD REINFORCEMENTS

The Colorado Rapids were the busiest team on Friday, selling Shane O’Neill to Cypriot side Apollon Limassol, then acquiring recently dismissed Orlando City defender Sean St. Ledger and picking up Honduran international Maynor Figueroa.

11. HERC WANTS MORE CREDIT

Herculez Gomez joined Toronto FC on Friday with a point to prove. The former US international will arrive once his Canadian visa is sorted.

12. CAPS MAKE MOVES

Prior to facing Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the Whitecaps kept busy in terms of transactions, signing Costa Rican international right back Jordan Smith on loan from Saprissa until the end of the season and also sending Erik Hurtado on a loan to Norwegian side Mjondalen.

13. CONCACAF CHANGES

CONCACAF has officially moved the date of the Confederations Cup playoff from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, still at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. In other CONCACAF news, it was announced that General Secretary Enrique Sanz has been let go.

14. CAMERON’S SUMMER BREAK

US international Geoff Cameron put in a strong display on Saturday as the English Premier League started up, but his Stoke City side lost to Liverpool. Speaking before Saturday’s matchup, the US international explained why he opted to skip this summer’s Gold Cup. Yet it seems Cameron’s philosophy is not one shared by fellow US international Timmy Chandler.

15. CELEBRITY PICK-UP

So here’s the scenario: You turn up for a game of 3v3 soccer in Austin, and your opponents turn out to be… Landon Donovan, Brian Ching and Stuart Holden. Good luck with that.

MLSsoccer.com Musts

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