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Loons win! and the rest of the fifth week of the MLS season

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Caleb Porter asks sideline reporter Julie Stewart-Binks to send New England a predictably smug message.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Stop the presses, Minnesota United won. Yes, the Loons of Minnesota, not Scotland (though they won too) beat Real Salt Lake 4-2. Don’t look now, but home games still matter. Houston Dynamo crushed New York Red Bulls, but the Orange’s spot in the standings is all about home cooking. Their three wins are all at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Columbus Crew SC also took advantage of their friendly confines. The Crew are at the top of the East after beating Orlando City 2-nil. They are now second in the Shield standings. Every home team took points, even the Vancouver Whitecaps - who won because Fredy Montero is now their golden god.

TFC have five road points, while Atlanta and Dallas each have four.

Portland Timbers lead the Shield, still. ESPN’s Julie Stewart-Binks said during the match “Caleb Porter came over to me three times and said ‘you can tell the New England bench that we are not going to be making any subs. They are chasing the game and waiting for us. So tell them we are not going to be making any changes.’” The Timbers drew 1-1 after New England scored in the 84th minute. Porter did not make a sub, despite having the lead and then giving it up. New England’s subs were at 57’, 69’ (nice), and 90’+1’. Their subs worked out.

Seattle and Atlanta played to a 0-0 draw.

Highlights of the Week

When you sign Bastian Schweinsteiger you do it for headers

Justin Meram felt he couldn’t travel to help Iraq during World Cup qualifying last week. His saved energy was Orlando’s pain.

Cubo Torres doesn’t believe in braces.

Check this out

Kids, never be Marcelo Sarvas.

Kids, do be Romain Alessandrini. This may be pandering, but it’s also awesome.

Race for the Shield

Portland and Columbus both have 10 points, with the Timbers holding the first tie-breaker (wins, GD, GF). Five other teams are a good week’s results from the top.

Race for the West

Timbers, still. Both Texas teams are a single good result away from the lead. Seattle is currently sixth, but even lowly RSL could break the red line bubble next weekend. That’s a sign of how early it is in the year as most teams are \four matches into their season. A few are at three and others are at five.

Next week’s TV games (all times Pacific)

4/4 at 7 PM Pachuca host FC Dallas in CCL action

4/5 at 7 PM Vancouver Whitecaps host UANL Tigres in CCL action

4/8 at 1 PM D.C. United host New York City FC on UniMas

4/8 at 7:30 PM San Jose Earthquakes host Seattle Sounders on Q13 Fox and Univision-Seattle

4/9 at 1 PM Orlando City hosts New York Red Bulls on ESPN

4/9 at 4 PM Sporting KC hosts Colorado Rapids on FS1