DC United blanks Montreal Impact 3-0

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DC United blanks Montreal Impact 3-0

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Chris Pontius scored at the 45-minute mark of the first half and Robbie Russell and Hamdi Salihi added second-half goals and DC United blanked the Montreal Impact 3-0 Saturday night.

United (10-5-3) took sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference with 33 points as the New York Red Bulls (9-4-4) played to a 1-1 draw against Toronto.

United have won 6 of 8 overall and are unbeaten in their past nine home games.

The expansion Impact (5-10-3) managed just one shot on goal. Montreal has dropped 5 of 7 and is 1-8-1 in road games.

The teams appeared headed to halftime scoreless when Pontius took a pass from Dwayne De Rosario about 35 yards out.

Pontius started to his right just outside the box, quickly cut back to his left around a defender and beat goalkeeper Evan Bush to the far side for his ninth goal of the season.

It was De Rosario's league-leading 10th assist.

Bush was making his first appearance of the season in place of Montreal's regular goalkeeper, Donovan Ricketts, who started the team's first 17 games.

In the 50th minute, Robbie Russell scored his first goal of the year on a header from the center of the box off a free kick by Branko Boskovic.

Salihi closed the scoring, netting his fifth goal when he banged home a rebound off an Evans' save during injury time.

Both teams had good scoring chances early.

In the 11th minute, Montreal's Sanna Nyassi unloaded from outside the box and United's Bill Hamid was forced to make a diving deflection.

Bush returned the favor with a leaping deflection on a shot from about 40 yards by Maicon Santos in the 20th minute.

A season-high RFK crowd of 18,302 turned out despite the 92-degree temperature at kickoff.

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

NEW YORK – Bruce Arena is returning to coach the U.S. national soccer team, a decade after he was fired.

The winningest coach in American national team history, Arena took over Tuesday, one day after Jurgen Klinsmann was fired. The 65-year-old Arena starts work Dec. 1.

With the U.S. 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying, the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to spark a turnaround when the playoffs resume March 24 with a home game against Honduras.

"His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach," USSF President Sunil Gulati, who fired Arena in 2006, said in a statement. "I know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth straight FIFA World Cup."

Arena first took over as national team coach after the 1998 World Cup and led the U.S. to a 71-30-29 record.

"I'm looking forward to working with a strong group of players that understand the challenge in front of them after the first two games," Arena said in a statement. "Working as a team, I'm confident that we'll take the right steps forward to qualify"

A wisecracking Brooklynite known for blunt talk and sarcasm, he coached the University of Virginia from 1978-95, then led D.C. United to titles in Major League Soccer's first two seasons before losing in the 1998 final. He guided the Americans to the team's best World Cup finish since 1930, a 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals.

He was let go after the team's first-round elimination by Ghana in 2006. Arena coached the New York Red Bulls of MLS from July 2006 to November 2007, then was hired the following August by the Galaxy. He led the team to MLS titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Arena was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

RELATED: AFTER 18-MONTH DOWNWARD SPIRAL, KLINSMANN FALLS ON HIS OWN SWORD

Marquez's late goal lifts Mexico over US 2-1 in World Cup Qualifier

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USA TODAY Sports

Marquez's late goal lifts Mexico over US 2-1 in World Cup Qualifier

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Rafa Marquez scored on a header in the 89th minute, and Mexico beat the United States 2-1 Friday night in the Americans' first home loss in World Cup qualifying since 2001.

Miguel Layun put Mexico ahead in the 20th minute, but Bobby Wood tied the score in the 49th.

The U.S. dominated the second half before the 37-year-old Marquez, unmarked and drifting across the penalty area, got the back of his head on Layun's corner kick and lifted the ball over goalkeeper Brad Guzan.

Guzan lost the goalkeeper job to Tim Howard, who started at the last two World Cups. But Howard injured his right leg on a goal kick and was replaced in the 40th minute.

The U.S. had beaten Mexico four straight times by 2-0 scores in home qualifiers -- all at Columbus -- and the Americans had been 30-0-2 at home in qualifying since a 3-2 loss to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium in September 2001.