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Sporting KC loses to Sounders in playoff

— Nelson Valdez scored his first MLS goal in nearly a calendar year on a header in the 88th minute to give the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on Thursday night in the knockout round of the MLS Western Conference playoffs.

With Seattle pressing for a winner in the closing minutes of regulation, Joevin Jones’ cross found Valdez at the near post and his quick header easily beat goalkeeper Tim Melia.

It was Valdez’s first MLS goal since Oct. 28, 2015, against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the knockout round of last year’s playoffs. Valdez has had numerous chances during the season but finally got one in the net, even though it appeared on replay he may have been offside on the winning goal.

Seattle will face FC Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 1 of the two-leg series is Sunday in Seattle.

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