Soccer: Fabian Espindola's penalty kick fails in draw
Landover, Md. • Steve Clark stood firm to save Fabian Espindola's penalty kick in second-half stoppage time and preserve the Columbus Crew's 0-0 draw with D.C. United on Saturday night.
The shutout, just Columbus' third of the season, prevented United (6-4-4) from leaping above the New England Revolution into first place in the Eastern Conference.
Columbus (4-5-6) finished the season series against United with a win and two draws. The Crew won just once in its last 12 matches overall.
Clark saved the penalty simply by remaining upright.
Espindola attempted to fake the goalkeeper into a dive, and then chipped his kick straight at Clark, who caught it easily for his third stop of the game.
Referee Hilario Grajeda awarded the kick after he ruled that Columbus defender Bernardo Anor handled the ball inside the penalty area.
Columbus earned the draw despite missing injured leading scorer Federico Higuain (hamstring) and Costa Rican World Cup call-ups Waylon Francis and Giancarlo Gonzalez.
The Crew were also without forward Alvaro Rey, who was acquired Friday from Toronto FC for Dominic Oduro.
United, which was without suspended midfielder Perry Kitchen, lost striker Eddie Johnson in the 58th minute to an apparent injury to his right leg.
Columbus created more of the second-half chances.
In the 55th minute, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid dove left to block Anor's firm, low strike before Ethan Finlay fired his rebound effort well high.
Later, D.C. defender Bobby Boswell deflected Ben Speas' shot from the right just inches outside the left post.
United almost got a break when Columbus defender Tony Tchani nearly deflected a cross into his own goal.
But on the other end, Hamid pushed away Adam Bedell's strike in the 83rd minute after Finlay found Bedell from the right side.
Clark appeared to take down D.C.'s Steve Birnbaum inside the penalty area in the 89th minute, but Grajeda didn't rule a foul.
Clark then dove to his right to save Jared Jeffrey's low shot early into stoppage time, and shortly after stopped Espindola.
FC Dallas 3, Rapids 2 • In Frisco, Texas,Fabian Castillo scored in the 62nd minute and Dallas snapped an eight-game winless streak with a win over Colorado.
Dallas (6-7-3) had failed to score more than one goal in a game during its skid.
Castillo took possession of the ball near midfield and dribbled around Rapids defender Drew Moor before curling a left-footed volley from 15 yards and into the right corner of the net.
Colorado's Jose Mari had tied at 2 in the 52nd minute after he angled a header into the left corner of the net from inside of 6 yards.
Zach Loyd gave Dallas a 2-1 lead in the second minute of first-half stoppage time.
Andres Escobar tied the game 1-1 in the 33rd, eight minutes after Deshorn Brown scored for the Rapids (6-5-4).
Whitecaps 3, Union 3 • In Chester, Pa., Pedro Morales scored his team-best sixth goal on a penalty kick in the 81st minute and Vancouver stretched its unbeaten streak to seven with a draw against Philadelphia.
Conor Casey scored twice and Sebastien Le Toux added a goal for the Union, who scored three times in an eight-minute span of the second half to take a 3-2 lead.
Casey has four goals in the last two games for the Union (3-7-6).
Toronto FC 1, Earthquakes 0 • In Toronto, Jermain Defoe scored on a penalty shot and Toronto entered the World Cup break with a victory over San Jose. Defoe's goal came in the 26th minute, awarded when Nick Hagglund was pulled down in the box. The former Tottenham Hotspur star stepped up and sent the ball to the far left corner.
Sounders 3, Fire 2 • In Bridgeview, Ill., Obefemi Martins scored twice before his first-half ejection, Lamar Neagle added the winner and Seattle earned its league-high 10th victory, beating Chicago.
The Sounders (10-3-2) stopped Chicago's unbeaten streak. The Fire (2-4-8) had tied their last two matches.
Seattle midfielder Neagle scored on a screened shot from the left side to make it 3-1 in the 78th minute. EASTERN CONFERENCE
W L T Pts GF GA
New England 7 4 2 23 21 16
Sporting K.C. 6 5 4 22 21 14
D.C. 6 4 4 22 18 14
Toronto FC 6 4 1 19 15 13
Columbus 4 5 6 18 18 18
Houston 5 9 2 17 16 29
New York 3 5 6 15 20 22
Philadelphia 3 7 6 15 22 27
Chicago 2 4 8 14 22 25
Montreal 2 6 4 10 11 22
W L T Pts GF GA
Seattle 10 3 2 32 32 23
Real Salt Lake 6 2 7 25 25 21
Colorado 6 5 4 22 21 18
FC Dallas 6 7 3 21 26 26
Vancouver 5 2 6 21 25 20
Portland 4 4 7 19 26 25
Los Angeles 4 3 4 16 15 10
San Jose 4 5 4 16 15 14
Chivas USA 2 7 4 10 13 25
Columbus 1, Real Salt Lake 1, tie
Colorado 0, Chicago 0, tie
Sporting Kansas City 2, Houston 0
Toronto FC 1, San Jose 0
D.C. United 0, Columbus 0, tie
Philadelphia 3, Vancouver 3, tie
FC Dallas 3, Colorado 2
Seattle FC 3, Chicago 2
Portland 3, Real Salt Lake 1
New York at New England, 3 p.m.
Chivas USA at Los Angeles, 6 p.m.