Major League Soccer – Week 30

by Michael Orr

beckhamA Chris Wondolowski hat-trick on Wednesday night gave San Jose Earthquakes an easy 3-0 win over Chivas USA at Buck Shaw Stadium. San Jose leap-frog Colorado for seventh place by taking all three points from sorry Chivas. Amazingly, Wondolowski’s treble came in the game’s final forty-five minutes, scoring from the spot on 55 minutes and from the run of play in the 59th and 72nd minutes.

Red Bull New York completed their season atop the Eastern Conference with a 2-0 home victory against New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena. Dane Richards’ 17th minute goal was enough for New York but Joel Lindpere added an injury-time goal as insurance, keeping Red Bull clear of Columbus in the East.

On Saturday, Houston Dynamo got goals from Geoff Cameron and Cam Weaver to take down Seattle Sounders 2-1 at Robertson Stadium. James Riley’s opener for the visitors was equalized by Cameron in the first half with Weaver’s winner coming just moments after half-time. The three points did very little to improve what was a difficult season in Houston, but it did prevent Seattle from jumping up to fifth place. As a result, the Sounders finish in sixth place.

Álvaro Saborío scored two goals after the 90th minute to earn a 2-2 draw for Real Salt Lake against Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids, who led from Omar Cummings and Conor Casey goals, were moments away from winning their first Rocky Mountain Cup since 2006. But a freak play involving goalkeeper Matt Pickens and Saborío gave Salt Lake a chance in the 90th minute. A tackle in the box on a free kick sent Saborío to the spot in the 94th minute where he slammed home the equalizer, sharing points and retaining the Rocky Mountain Cup. Failure to take all three points left Colorado two points shy of Seattle for fifth place, a position the Rapids would have taken over had they won, given their goal differential. Salt Lake finish the season with the second best point total in the league, three points short of Los Angeles.

A Dwayne De Rosario second half brace got Toronto FC a 3-2 come-from-behind win away to DC United in the final game of the season. Jaime Moreno scored from the spot for DC, a fitting end to his career, and allowed him to exit as the league’s all-time leading goalscorer. Neither side was particularly close to making the playoffs though.

Kansas City Wizards blasted San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 to close out their time at Community America Ballpark. Birahim Diop’s hat-trick was more than enough to overcome a disappointing San Jose side who stood gain greatly by winning in Kansas City. Instead, the Earthquakes finish the season in eighth place, when sixth had been possible with three points. On the bright side for San Jose, Chris Wondolowsi scored his league-leading eighteenth goal to steal the Golden Boot from LA’s Edson Buddle. Wondo’s nine goals in the final six games of the season were just enough to pip Buddle.

Brian McBride scored in his final game and Chicago Fire crushed Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center, 4-1. Freddie Ljungberg, Calen Carr and Baggio Husidić also scored for Chicago in a strange game that featured no goals before the 40th minute. Giancarlo Maldonado’s second half goal was the only consolation for the home side who endured a poor season, losing eighteen games and finishing only ahead of DC United.

Sunday saw Columbus Crew finish their regular season with a win, 3-1 over Philadelphia Union at Columbus Crew Stadium. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Emilio Rentería and Andrés Mendoza sent the home side to an easy 3-0 score before Sébastien Le Toux scored on 87 minutes to pull one back for Philadelphia. That goal was enough to give Le Toux the league’s scoring title, with 14 goals and 11 assists. Columbus, by finishing second place in the Eastern Conference, will have the league’s fourth playoff position.

And Los Angeles Galaxy won the 2010 Major League Soccer Supporters’ Shield in the league’s very last regular season game by coming from behind to defeat FC Dallas 2-1 at the Home Depot Center. Atiba Harris scored the opener for Dallas in the 22nd minute but was equalized by David Beckham (pictured) on 33 minutes. Juninho won the game and the league for Los Angeles by scoring just one minute after half-time. The Galaxy needed at least a draw to win the Supporters Shield for the third time, with a loss dropping the famed side to a runner-up position for the second consecutive season. Juninho’s winner eked out the league title and meant that Salt Lake’s bizarre draw on Saturday was ultimately pointless. And after eighteen consecutive games without a loss, Dallas close the season by losing to Salt Lake and Los Angeles. No shame for the visitors, but it does not bode well for potential playoff meetings in November.

Position Team GD Points

Eastern Conference Table
New York Red Bulls +9, 51
Columbus +6, 50
Kansas City +1, 39
Chicago -1, 36
Toronto FC -8, 35
New England -18, 32
Philadelphia Union -14, 31
DC United -26, 22

Western Conference Table
Los Angeles +18, 59
Real Salt Late +25, 56
FC Dallas +14, 50
Seattle Sounders +4, 48
Colorado +12, 46
San Jose +1, 46
Houston -9, 33
Chivas USA -14, 28

Playoff Seedings

East 1 – New York Red Bull
East 4 – San Jose Earthquakes

East 2 – Columbus Crew
East 3 – Colorado Rapids

West 1 – Los Angeles Galaxy
West 4 – Seattle Sounders

West 2 – Real Salt Lake
West 3 – FC Dallas

Fixtures

Thursday, October 28

  • Colorado Rapids v Columbus Crew

Saturday, October 30

  • FC Dallas v Real Salt Lake
  • San Jose Earthquakes v New York Red Bull

Sunday, October 31

  • Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles Galaxy