Major League Soccer – Week 28

by Michael Orr

wodEdson Buddle scored his league-leading sixteenth goal as Los Angeles Galaxy disposed of Philadelphia Union 1-0 at PPL Park on Thursday night. David Beckham assisted on the game’s lone goal as the Galaxy moved five points clear of Real Salt Lake for the best record in MLS. Beckham has been fantastic since his return from the achilles injury that kept him out of the majority of this season, scoring and assisting in the Galaxy’s hunt for the Supporters’ Shield (MLS regular season champions). Philadelphia are of course long out of the playoff picture, but did get to show off their beautiful new park on national television.

Chicago Fire bounced back from their thrashing at the hands of FC Dallas last weekend to take down Columbus Crew 2-0 at Toyota Park on Friday. Peter Lowry and Brian McBride scored for the Fire. Full points allow Chicago to jump Toronto for tenth place in the league, but results from the weekend have officially eliminated Chicago from the playoffs. The failure to pick up any points for Columbus leaves the Crew in second place in the Eastern Conference and no better than fourth in the larger playoff picture.

Saturday saw San Jose Earthquakes qualify for the playoffs with a 2-0 win away to ten-man DC United at RFK Stadium. Chris Wondolowski (pictured) scored twice after Jaime Moreno was sent off for United in the eighth minute. All three points from a wretched DC side were enough to secure no worse than an eighth place finish in the league and therefore qualify for the playoffs. At present San Jose are in seventh place but with a game in hand. United are dead last and in major need of rebuilding after this dreadful season.

Uruguayan international Álvaro Fernández scored twice for Seattle Sounders in a 2-1 away win over Kansas City Wizards, guaranteeing a playoff position for the visitors. The game at Community America Balllpark was probably the last chance for Kansas City to push for the playoffs as the Wizards sit in ninth place. Davy Arnaud pulled one back late for the home side but Fernández’s brace was enough to secure all three points and claim at least eighth place in the league. The Sounders are currently in sixth place, two points above San Jose, who hold a game in hand. Kansas City are nine points short of Colorado for the final playoff spot, all but requiring a perfect record the rest of the season to qualify for the post-season.

Second half goals from Jorge Flores, Jesús Padilla and Rodolfo Espinoza got Chivas USA easily past Toronto FC at the Home Depot Center, 3-0 on Saturday. Neither side are able to reach the playoffs this season, but the three points do pull Goats up from the dregs of the league to a slightly more respectable thirteenth place. Toronto are in eleventh place.

Milton Rodríguez and David Ferreira scored first half goals for FC Dallas in a 2-2 home draw with Colorado Rapids at Pizza Hut Park. Pablo Mastroeni and Jeff Larentowicz scored for the visitors, allowing Dallas to extend its astounding unbeaten streak to nineteen games. Of course shared points mean that Dallas did not make a move on either Los Angeles or Salt Lake, leaving them in third place in the west and in fifth place overall. The point was very valuable for Colorado, extending the distance between themselves and ninth place Kansas City to nine points. While not officially qualified for the playoffs, the Rapids won’t need much from their last few games to assure themselves of a date with LA Galaxy in the first round.

Saturday’s featured game ended as a nil-nil draw between Red Bull New York and Real Salt Lake at Red Bull Arena. The battle between the top team in the east and the second best team in the west ended all even, leaving both missing out on much needed points. Salt Lake rattled the post several times but simply could not find the net against New York, who themselves were surprisingly held without a goal. Salt Lake drop to five points behind Los Angeles in the Western Conference, though do have a game in hand. Red Bull were only able to add a single point to their tally in a week where Columbus lost. That leaves New York a point clear atop the Eastern Conference and in third place in the playoff table.

Finally, Sunday showcased two of the three worst clubs in the league in a prime-time game. Kheli Dube scored a brace to give New England Revolution a rare away win in a lost season, 2-1 over Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium. Dominic Oduro equalized after the Revs’ first goal but Dube hit his second in the 73rd minute to lead New England to three points. Houston remain in fourteenth place, now just a single point clear of the fifteenth place Revolution.

Position Team GD Points

Eastern Conference Table

  1. New York Red Bulls +8, 48
  2. Columbus +4, 46
  3. Kansas City -2, 33
  4. Chicago -2, 32
  5. Toronto FC -9, 31
  6. New England -17, 29
  7. Philadelphia Union -13, 28
  8. DC United -25, 21

Western Conference Table

  1. Los Angeles +19, 56
  2. Real Salt Late +23, 52
  3. FC Dallas +17, 50
  4. Seattle Sounders +4, 45
  5. San Jose +2, 43
  6. Colorado +10, 42
  7. Chivas USA -7, 28
  8. Houston -11, 27

Fixtures

Tuesday, October 12

  • Chicago v Kansas

Friday, October 15

  • Seattle Sounders v Chivas USA

Saturday, October 16

  • Chicago v DC United
  • Toronto FC v Columbus
  • Philadelphia Union v New York Red Bulls
  • New England v Kansas
  • Real Salt Lake v FC Dallas
  • San Jose v Houston
  • Los Angeles v Colorado

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