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St. Louis extend perfect MLS start, Seattle’s Morris fires four

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Miami (AFP) – The sensational St. Louis City continued their record-breaking perfect start to the inaugural season of Major League Soccer with an impressive 4-0 win at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Expansion team St. Louis became the first new team to win their first four games last week, and they extended that record with another hugely impressive performance.

Nicholas Gioacchini opened up St. Louis with a left footed shot in the 47th minute before Brazil’s Joao Klauss capitalized on a sloppy giveaway from Pablo Ruiz to double the lead.

Klauss then scored his fourth goal of the season with a first shot from the edge of the box before Swedish winger Rasmus Alm completed a flowing attack to make it 4-0.

Elsewhere, Jordan Morris scored all four goals in the Seattle Sounders’ 4-1 win at Sporting Kansas City, while the Columbus Crew defeated a struggling Atlanta United 6-1.

MLS’s decision to survive the international break weakened several teams but Morris, who was not called up for US CONCACAF Nations League games, took the opportunity to make a strong reminder of his quality.

After Kansas City took the lead through William Agada in the fifth minute, Morris slipped a low cross from Leo Chu in the 23rd minute to equalize for Seattle.

Nine minutes after the break, Chu was the assist again as he put Morris in goal and the striker made a clean finish.

Sporting had defender Ben Sweat sent off for a second bookable offense in the 63rd minute and within six minutes the game was over them.

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Morris completed his hat-trick by converting a Nicolas Lodeiro cross from close range, then completed the escape with a header from another pinpoint Chu cross.

Atlanta United went unbeaten and on a high going into Saturday’s game at Columbus after beating Portland 5-1 last week.

But they were without seven first-team players who were on international duty, including Argentina world champion Thiago Almada.

The Crew were 1-0 up at the break but ran away with the game in the second half, with striker Christian Ramirez scoring twice.

MLS Cup winners LAFC were buoyed by the quick return of Gabon’s Denis Bouanga, who scored the winner in a 2-1 win over Dallas.

Timothy Tillman put LAFC ahead in the third minute, but Dallas – reduced to 10 men after Ema Twumasi was sent off in the 35th – drew level with Nkosi Tafari’s karate kick in the 73rd minute.

After seeing Carlos Vela’s penalty attempt bounce off the crossbar, LAFC finally secured victory in the 84th when Bouanga’s shot from a hard angle on the left edge of the box was deflected off defender Sebastien Ebeagha’s leg into the Dallas goal.

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Freefall

The Chicago Fire handed Inter Miami their third straight loss, with Phil Neville’s side in free fall after winning their first two games.

However, The Fire made it the hard way after taking a 2-0 lead through goals from Chris Mueller and Carlos Teran.

Miami fought back with a well-placed shot from Franco Negri and a header from Nicolas Stefanelli, and the Florida side looked deserving of a point until a dramatic stoppage-time winner came for the Fire.

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Veteran striker Kei Kamara drilled home after being fielded by Brian Gutierrez and found the target for his 10th club in the MLS.

Last season’s runners-up the Philadelphia Union continued their poor start with a 2-1 home loss to Orlando City.

It was Philly’s second straight loss and their third in five games, after goals within the first 10 minutes from Orlando’s Martin Ojeda and Ivan Angulo.

Despite Andres Perea scoring in the 24th round, Union head coach Jim Curtin was disheartened by his team’s performance.

“I know the expectations from the group were very, very high at the start of the season and maybe we’re all trying to be perfect instead of just doing our job,” Curtin said.

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