Nikolic brace sends Chicago into Eastern Conference lead


AP

Published 10:38 p.m. ET July 1, 2017 | Updated 12:53 a.m. ET July 2, 2017

BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (AP) — Nemanja Nikolic scored two early goals, pushing his MLS-leading total to 16, and the Chicago Fire beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 on Saturday to take the Eastern Conference lead.

The Fire has won four straight and are unbeaten in their last 10 as it surged past Toronto FC into the Conference lead.

Arturo Alvarez and Michael de Leeuw also scored for the Fire, which saw Bastian Schweinsteiger leave the game in the second half with what appeared to be a problem with his right hip.

Chicago has 37 points, two ahead of Toronto. Vancouver remained on 21 points.

EARTHQUAKES 2, GALAXY 1

STANFORD, CalifORNIA (AP) — Shea Salinas came off the bench and scored a stoppage time winner to give San Jose a last-gasp victory over Los Angeles.

Salinas, substituted into the game just past the hour mark, put in a strike from the right side for his first goal of the year and a victory before 50,617 fans at Stanford Stadium.

The Earthquakes (24 points) were playing their first game under Chris Leitch, the former player who made his MLS coaching debut after the team fired head…

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