Houston Dynamo 1 – Chicago Fire 1
(Clark 33′, Oduro 43′)
With the way the results in the Eastern Conference shook out this weekend, not getting the full three points was a major blow for Chicago, who see their playoff hopes still alive but a bit more on life support. Neither team looked like they wanted to push for the full three points from the get-go anyway. Chicago, keeping an eye on Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final, held out at least three healthy starters but did start on-fire (no pun intended) Dominic Oduro. The speedy striker notched his twelfth goal of the season by beating Bobby Boswell in a foot race (insert joke here) and equalizing after Colin Clark had put the Dynamo ahead ten minutes earlier. When Oduro was pulled early in the second half, the Fire essentially conceded the draw. For Houston, their inability to not get three points in this match is disconcerting, as they sit in a wild card spot for now but only have a lead of three points ahead of 11th place Portland.
Toronto FC 1 – New York Red Bulls 1
(Koevermans 50′, Henry 88′)
I said earlier this week that this match, more so than the Dallas and Portland games, would be the true test of whether New York was a contender in the East. So what can we gleam from this match? Thierry Henry can carry this team to a certain point, but that point may not be enough. The Red Bulls looked lackluster in this match for the entire first half until the Koevermans goal snapped them out of their funk. At that point, Henry became a real threat to Toronto although it took quite a nice goal from him to actually tie the game. Their next match (Tuesday against Los Angeles) will not be any easier, as LA is looking to clinch the Supporters’ Shield, so NY may rue the missed opportunity.
Seattle Sounders 2 – New England Revolution 1
(Fagundez 35′, Montero 36′/48′)
The story of this match for New England was the first start and the second goal for 16 year-old Diego Fagundez. The youngster scored off a corner kick and honestly provided the only spark on offense for the Revolution in this match. The Sounders quickly equalized and Montero added the game-winner twelve minutes after, but honestly Seattle could have won by more. A Milton Caraglio chance was ruled offside early in the match, and Montero’s quest for a hat trick was thwarted by Matt Reis in the 58th minute with a goal line save. In a bad sign for Chicago, Seattle also rested a number of its starters for Tuesday’s final but still was able to get all three points (albeit against a weaker opponent).
Colorado Rapids 1 – FC Dallas 0
Was this match more about Colorado or FC Dallas? The visitors have now not won a game in any competition since August 27 and despite outshooting the Rapids 11-8, they could not find that elusive equalizer. Brek Shea again had his moments of playing well, but did not score like he did earlier in the season. Despite have 46 points and sitting firmly in the playoffs now, the possibility exists of Dallas falling out of the playoffs. Colorado, who is also in playoff position but could slip out if their play continues to slip, got a very valuable win. Drew Moor scored in the second time in as many games. I’d be curious to hear from fans of either team: did Colorado win this game or did Dallas lose it?
Los Angeles Galaxy 2 – Real Salt Lake 1
(Espindola 45′, Barrett 59′, Borchers [OG] 72′)
First the good news for RSL: Javier Morales returned and played eighty minutes, which is incredibly important for a playoff run. The goal also came off a free kick earned late in a first half where the Galaxy looked to have more chances. However, it was the Galaxy who came away with the win after some excellent second half play. The first goal came off some confused play between Jamison Olave and Nick Rimando, which allowed Barrett to grab a too-easy goal. The second was just a the result of too much Galaxy pressure and a bad attempt at a block by Borchers. Incredibly, this match was the first time the Galaxy had trailed at halftime this season, and with a win over the Red Bulls on Tuesday they can clinch the Supporters’ Shield.
San Jose Earthquakes 1 – Sporting Kansas City 1
(Wondolowski 85′, Bunbury 86′)
What was for the most part a slow game turned very interesting late in the second half with two capped U.S. internationals providing goals within seconds of each other. Wondo found the back of the net seemingly against the run of play as KC had become more aggressive in the second half, and looked to the home crowd to be the winner. However, on the subsequent kickoff, C.J. Sapong found Teal Bunbury with an excellent pass which he converted for an equalizer. For a team that looked to have dropped their late game heroics habit, it was nice to equalize but a win would have helped them more strongly secure the first seed in the East.
Columbus Crew 2 – DC United 1
(Woolard 37′/OG 48′, Gaven 60′)
Columbus snaps its six match winless streak with some help from DC and a returning friend with a 2-1 victory. Despite the Crew dominating possession DCU struck first on a nifty Daniel Woolard flick on goal off a free kick. But Woolard would even the game early in the second half when, trying to clear the DC zone, he redirected a loose ball into the net. Twelve minutes later, Eddie Gaven, who had been out for the past two months, headed a cross past Bill Hamid for the game winning goal. Dwayne De Rosario looked slow and tired in this match, likely from his knee contusion suffered Thursday and the number of minutes he’s played. When he’s having an off game, Charlie Davies and (when he plays) Joseph Ngwenya need to step up for DC; neither did on Sunday.
Portland Timber 1 – Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Kenny Cooper spoiled the opening of BC Place and kept Portland in the thick of the playoff race with a nice goal midway through the first half. Vancouver had plenty of chances in this match, but a combination of missed opportunities and Portland hunkering down prevented them from winning their new-home opener. As it stands, the ‘Caps are on pace for the fewest wins in an MLS season. Portland, meanwhile, moves into a tie on points with New York but fall behind on a tiebreaker. Actually winning on the road bodes well for Portland, which has some critical away matches to close out the season.
Chivas USA 1 – Philadelphia Union 1
(Mapp 59′, Angel 90′)
Similar to Chicago/Houston, this match helped one team’s playoff position while keeping another one on life support. Juan Pablo Angel rescued the Goats with a very late header off an assist by Michael Lahoud. Chivas now sits four points out of a playoff spot while Philadelphia is tied for second in the East. As much attention as Dwayne De Rosario has received for his improved play on a new team, if he is an MVP candidate does that also make Angel one? The statistics aren’t as good but if you judge it strictly on value to a team, it’s hard to argue against him, as he has provided the offense for their late push.