Saturday kickaround

August 31, 2013

Joao Plata celebrates Javier Morales’ bicycle kick goal for Real Salt Lake, the MLS Supporters’ Shield leader. (NBC Sports Network)

*Real Salt Lake solidified its hold in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race with a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Friday night. (RSL has, however, played three or four more games than its closest pursuers, Montreal and Los Angeles.)

Javier Morales scored an exceptional individual goal …

… but I love the ball movement on this one:

*A poor decision by referee Fotis Bazakos cost Toronto FC a victory over the New England Revolution. Click here to watch (and listen) to the controversial play at BMO Field.

*Post reporter Mary Beth Sheridan visited with Bob Bradley, Egypt’s American coach, in Cairo.

*American defender Oguchi Onyewu, 31, is a free agent after reaching agreement with Sporting Lisbon to terminate his contract. His next step is unclear. In anticipation of another move, Gooch said this summer he would like to remain in Europe rather than sign with MLS. If the big money remains out there for him, he would stay overseas. If not, MLS could enter the mix this winter. The MLS roster deadline for this season is just 13 days away.

Besides, would Onyewu even be eligible to join MLS right away since his contract was not terminated until after the league’s international window closed Aug. 8? He did, however, become a free agent before the European window closed this weekend, allowing him to move to some countries. Yes, it’s complicated.

*Orlando City scored three goals in the first 19 minutes and held off the Charleston Battery, 3-2, to advance to next weekend’s USL Pro final in front of 8,912 at the Citrus Bowl. Orlando, the No. 2 seed, will face the winner of Saturday night’s semifinal between the top-seeded Richmond Kickers and the No. 5 Charlotte Eagles (7 p.m. ET, www.uslnation.com).

*Jake Pace scored on a header in the 86th minute as second-ranked Maryland capped a night of comebacks to draw at Stanford, 3-3, in the season opener. Patrick Mullins (41st minute) and Schillo Tshuma (55th) also scored for the Terps, who trailed 2-0 in the first half. A moment before Pace’s equalizer, the Cardinal hit the crossbar on a penalty kick.

On Sunday, Maryland will cross the bay to visit California-Berkeley, which upset third-ranked Georgetown, 2-0, on Friday night. The Hoyas, College Cup runners-up last season, will next face Stanford.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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Steven Goff · August 30, 2013