MLS

Columbus, Seattle record vital wins

Columbus Crew teammates celebrate scoring against Houston.
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Columbus won in its first match since firing its coach, defeating Houston on Wednesday to boost its MLS playoff chances, while Seattle shored up its position inside the top three in the Western Conference.

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Columbus' Justin Meram and Ryan Finley each had a goal and an assist as the Crew moved within five points of Houston and the final playoff-yielding position in the East.

Meram set up Finley's goal in the 47th minute then added his first of the season in the 74th. Finley also had a penalty shot blocked in the 50th.

Crew interim coach Brian Bliss won his first game after Robert Warzycha was fired Monday in his fifth season.

Seattle won 1-0 at home over Chivas to move equal second on points with Los Angeles in the West, five points behind overall leader Real Salt Lake.

Lamar Neagle scored off of a free kick by Marc Burch in the 24th minute and the Sounders hung on to record their sixth win in seven games.

Chivas has three draws and nine defeats in its past dozen away games.

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