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Whitecaps stay undefeated while Impact, TFC remain winless

D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario, right, grabs Vancouver Whitecaps' Eric Hassli, of France, by the throat during an altercation after Hassli received a yellow card during the first half of an MLS soccer game in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday March 24, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Darryl Dyck/CP


VANCOUVER -- This time, Joe Cannon got full credit for the shutout.

The Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper helped his club remain undefeated after three games as they battled D.C. United to a 0-0 draw in Major League Soccer play Saturday night.

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Cannon preserved the deadlock with three outstanding second-half saves as the Whitecaps (2-0-1) recorded their third straight shutout before a crowd of 19,394 at B.C. Place Stadium.

"First half, it was kind of lonely," said Cannon. "Then the second half was much busier. I don't know what happened to our shape and why they got the chances they did. We were fortunate to come out with a result tonight."

Cannon was troubled that, despite playing its second game on the West Coast in seven days, D.C. appeared to want a win more than the Whitecaps in the final 10 minutes.

D.C. (0-2-1) recorded its first point in the young season. United's Canadian scoring star Dwayne De Rosario said his club delivered a much better effort than its previous two losses.

"It's a big point against a team that's doing very well right now," said De Rosario, a 33-year-old Toronto native. "If you look at the chances, I think we had better chances."

De Rosario said Cannon, with whom he won an MLS Cup in 2001 when they were members of the San Jose Earthquakes, was the difference in the game. Cannon secured the clean sheet by foiling De Rosario in the 84th minute, on a shot from close range.

"I went near-post," said De Rosario. "Cannon's a good 'keeper. He's very good at cutting the angles off. I thought I could beat him. I didn't really have much of an angle for the far post, because the defence was closing it down there. He made a great save with his right hand."

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This marks the first time in Vancouver's brief MLS history that it has recorded three consecutive shutouts. Last season, the Whitecaps only managed two in a row while recording a total of five.

Cannon has recorded two of the three Vancouver shutouts. The other was officially a team shutout after Cannon pulled himself out of last weekend's 1-0 win over Chivas USA in Carson, Calif., because of a quadriceps injury. He was replaced by backup Brad Knighton, who got credit for the win.

"I thought this week was a little bit more challenging, because I didn't get a full week of training in," said Cannon. "I kind of took the first two days off, and then it was light. But I was happy. I rested well and I felt really good out there today."

But Cannon and coach Martin Rennie were both disappointed the Whitecaps could not produce a win. Vancouver controlled most of the play in the first half, but struggled in the late going.

Rennie said it's important the Whitecaps are not allowing goals against. But they have to do better on the attack.

D.C. goalkeeper Joe Willis, who started because No. 1 Bilal Hamid was away playing for the U.S. under-23 team at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, was not credited with a single save on the night.

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"There's lots of room for improvement," said Rennie.

But, he added, the team has to take the single point as a positive.

Vancouver's primary concern was keeping the ball away from De Rosario, who topped the MLS scoring chart in 2011 with 16 goals and 12 assists while playing for three different teams — Toronto, New York and D.C. — and was named the league's most valuable player.

Eric Hassli had Vancouver's best scoring chance, in the 30th minute, as he headed a cross from Brazilian forward Camilo into the side of the D.C. net.

Soon thereafter, Hassli, who had several disciplinary problems last season, received a yellow card for a hard tackle on Maicon Santos. A scuffle ensued between Hassli and other D.C. players, but referee Kevin Stott maintained control.

Two minutes later, Santos took a yellow card for taking down Vancouver defender Alain Rochat.

Vancouver's defensive troubles began when they lost Rochat in the 57th minute after D.C. goalkeeper Willis inadvertently collided with the back of his legs following a Whitecaps corner kick. A Whitecaps spokesman said Rochat suffered a sprained left knee and his status is day to day.

In the 67th minute, Cannon made a sensational save as he stretched and got his arm on Hamdi Salihi's header off a corner kick. Whitecaps midfielder Davide Chiumiento then headed the rebound off the goal-line and out of harm's way.

"I didn't know who was there on the post," said Cannon. "So, whoever was there, thanks. I'll give him a kiss or something."

In the 77th minute, Cannon dove to stop a hard Danny Cruz shot from the side of the 18-yard box, setting the stage for his final big save of the night on De Rosario. But D.C. coach Ben Olsen had no complaints about his team's lack of goals.

"I felt that the fight was there, and the soccer was pretty good at times, too," said Olsen.

Notes: D.C. second-half substitute Chris Pontius was cautioned for a hard foul on Chiumiento in the 70th minute. ... The Whitecaps played without midfielders John Thorrington (quad) and Michael Nanchoff (heel) and striker Atiba Harris (knee). ... D.C. defender Dejan Jakovic of Toronto, recuperating from a groin strain, was listed as a substitute, but did not play. United midfielder Kurt Morsink (foot) and defender Ethan White (knee) were also out with injuries. ... Former Canadian national team goalkeeper Pat Onstad, a Vancouver native, is a D.C. assistant coach. ... United avoided travel fatigue by staying on the West Coast after playing in Los Angeles last weekend.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas, Columbus' top offseason acquisitions, scored and the Crew beat the expansion Impact.

Mirosevic converted in the 30th minute after Montreal defender Felipe Martins tackled Emilio Renteria on the right side of the box.

The goal came 11 minutes after Montreal's Jeb Brovsky was given a red card for an elbow to the back of the head of Mirosevic, the Chilean midfielder making his home debut.

Olman scored off a snap header from 6 yards in the 66th minute.

Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made a key stop on Martins in the 87th minute for Crew (1-1).

Montreal (0-2-1) remained winless.


TORONTO— Chris Wondolowski scored two goals and Shea Salinas added another, leading San Jose to the victory.

Wondolowski almost had the hat trick, but he hit the goal post from close range in the 87th minute.

Toronto (0-2) has never beaten San Jose (2-1) at home, going 0-2-3.

The opening goal came nine minutes in when former Toronto FC midfielder Sam Cronin found Wondolowski unmarked in the penalty box. The San Jose forward, whose six-game scoring streak was snapped last week against Houston, headed it past Milos Kocic.

Toronto began to put some passes together and Ryan Johnson had a chance in the 27th, but couldn't get a clean shot at the ball as a defender harassed him in the box.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass.— Saer Sene scored his first MLS goal on his first shot in the first minute of play, and the New England Revolution beat the Portland Timbers 1-0 on Saturday.

Sene, a native of France playing in just his second match for New England, converted a header 28 seconds into the game for the eighth-fastest goal in MLS history. Chris Tierney set it up with a cross from the left side.

It was the first goal of the season for the Revolution (1-2), who were shut out in each of their first two games. It also snapped an eight-match winless streak dating to last season.

Portland (1-1-1) had three good scoring chances during the first half, but Diego Chara's shot in the 13th minute went wide left and headers from Kris Boyd in the 25th and 31st minutes also sailed wide left of New England goalkeeper Matt Reis.

Reis, in his 15th MLS season, earned his 65th shutout and became just the sixth MLS goalie with 1,000 career saves.


BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — Dominic Oduro scored for the second straight game, leading the Fire to the win.

Rookie goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi collected his first shutout of the season, stopping four shots in the Fire's home opener.

Oduro scored with a well-placed header in the 28th minute. Midfielder Marco Pappa beat Philadelphia defender Chris Albright with a fake before feeding Oduro, who was about eight yards away when he sent a curling header past goalkeeper Zac MacMath low to his left side.

Philadelphia has lost its first three matches and scored only two goals. Gabriel Gomez had a pair of promising free kicks in the second half Saturday night, but Tornaghi was there each time.

The Fire (1-0-1) forced MacMath to make five saves.


SANDY, Utah — Casey Townsend scored the first goal of the season for Chivas USA in a victory against Real Salt Lake.

Townsend met RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando in midair, landing to find the ball at his feet in front of an open net in the 72nd minute.

Chivas (1-2) had enjoyed few opportunities to that point, though midfielder Peter Vagenas had forced Rimando to stretch out to deflect a point-blank volley early in the first half.

RSL dominated play for much of the rest of the match, but was unable to put many shots on target in front of a sellout crowd of 20,415 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The home team's best chance came in the 84th minute when Alvaro Saborio took a pass from Fabian Espindola, and sent a shot over the head of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy that hit the crossbar.

With reports from The Associated Press

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