Week 27 in Major League Soccer kicked off in Denver where Colorado Rapids blasted Philadelphia Union 4-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as an Omar Cummings brace by the quarter-hour had the home side rolling.
The score ran to 4-0 with Wells Thompson and Quincy Amarikwa scoring second half goals before young Jack McInerney pulled one back for the visitors in injury-time. Colorado’s three points, combined with a San Jose loss, push the Rapids up to sixth place where they are just three points shy of New York on the playoff table. Philadelphia are still mathematically involved in the playoff race, but in reality are just about finished, twelve points shy of Seattle and San Jose.
Speaking of San Jose Earthquakes, their hopes of climbing into a more preferable playoff position took a major hit behind a Freddie Ljungberg hat-trick. Chicago Fire routed the Earthquakes 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium, with Ljungberg providing all of the necessary firepower.
San Jose are still in eighth place, comfortably above Kansas City for that final playoff position, but the advantage of having two games in hand has been wasted in disastrous fashion. Chicago are still unlikely to reach the playoff, currently ten points behind San Jose, but perhaps the three away points can buoy the Fire and power a late-season charge.
After Dwayne De Rosario’s opener at Qwest Field, Seattle Sounders rattled off three unanswered goals, ultimately defeating Toronto FC 3-2. Steve Zakuani and Blaise Nkufo scored within five minutes of each other to quickly take the lead back from Toronto before Sanna Nyassi finished off the visitors with his goal just before the hour. Chad Barrett scored two minutes from time to pull one back for the visitors but it was not enough to even share points. The failure to secure even a single point leaves Toronto nine points short of the final playoff position. Seattle move up to sixth place and are just four points below fifth place Columbus.
Sébastien Le Toux scored again for Philadelphia Union, giving the home side a 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo at PPL Park. Le Toux’s 40th minute equalizer came in response to Andrew Hainault’s 12th minute opener for the visitors. Both sides have been eliminated from qualifying for the playoffs.
Colorado Rapids suffered a disastrous loss at home to last place DC United on Saturday, 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Danny Allsopp got the United goal just before half-time and amazingly the score stood. Colorado are vying for a more favorable playoff position and have been battling San Jose and Seattle for quite some time. Losing to the league’s worst team, at home no less, leaves the Rapids a single point ahead of San Jose for seventh place while the Earthquakes have a game in hand. Clearly all is not lost for Colorado, but such a poor result this late in the season is not a good sign heading into the playoffs.
The top spot in the Eastern Conference changed hands again as Columbus Crew drew San Jose Earthquakes at Columbus Crew Stadium. The nil-nil score line was a good result for the visitors but a frustrating one for Columbus. Shared points leaves Columbus a point behind New York and drops the Crew to fifth place in the overall playoff table. San Jose will be happy with an away point from Columbus are now find themselves just a point behind Colorado, with a game in hand.
Milton Rodríguez, Marvin Chávez and Jeff Cunningham all scored for FC Dallas in an easy 3-0 home win against Chicago Fire at Pizza Hut Park. The hottest club in the league stretched their unbeaten streak to eighteen games and have now moved within two points of the best record in MLS. Cunningham’s second half penalty moved him into a tie for the all-time goal scoring record, a mark he is sure to beat before season’s end. For Chicago, the result is a strange one considering their own 3-0 rout away to San Jose on Thursday. The Fire still have a very slight chance of qualifying for the playoffs, but following up a big win with a terrible loss has probably realistically ended those hopes.
Álvaro Saborío kept Real Salt Lake among the top two clubs in the league with his 84th minute winner away to New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Nat Borchers scored on 68 minutes for the visitors but an 82nd minute goal by Kenny Mansally equalized for the home side. Saborío scored just two minutes later to restore order to the world and keep the league’s top team from losing to one of the worst. Salt Lake are just two points shy of LA Galaxy.
Red Bull New York took over the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 home win against Kansas City Wizards at Red Bull Arena. Dane Richards scored in the sixth minute and the score held, leap-frogging New York past Columbus for fourth place in the league playoff table. Though they were never expected to win, the loss for Kansas City damages their playoff hopes leaving them seven points short of eighth place.
And in Sunday’s SuperClásico, Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Chivas USA 2-1 at the Home Depot Center. Edson Buddle scored the opener on 24 minutes and David Beckham (pictured) scored the second after another quarter-hour. Former Galaxy forward Alan Gordon pulled one back on 63 minutes for the Goats but it was not enough to overcome the Buddle-Beckham combination. Eddie Lewis was sent off in the 76th minute, but the late man advantage did little to bring Chivas closer to sharing points. The Galaxy move back into the league’s top position while their city rivals remain rooted at the bottom of the table.
- New York Red Bulls
- Kansas City
- Toronto FC
- Philadelphia Union
- New England
- DC United
- Los Angeles
- Real Salt Lake
- FC Dallas
- Seattle Sounders
- San Jose
- Chivas USA