[MLS] Picking Saturday's Three Stars out of eight games that featured some incredible goals and numerous heroics isn’t an easy task, but on the last weekend before MLS takes a two-week World Cup break there were some deserving candidates who stood out.
1. JOVAN KIROVSKI (Los Angeles)
It’s really not fair to single out just Kirovski, as he was merely the spearhead of a fearsome Galaxy attack that stampeded Houston, 4-1, at Home Depot Center. Still, he did score in the first minute on a cross from Sean Franklin and netted again 20 minutes later on another Franklin feed after Houston had equalized. His work and well-timed runs created space as the Galaxy netted twice more. Kirovski left the match in the 70th minute to hearty congratulations from his teammates and a huge ovation by the crowd, which celebrated the unbeaten Galaxy’s 10th win in 12 matches this season.
2. MARCO PAPPA. (Chicago)
Though the Fire attack repeatedly cut open the MLS expansion team, Philly fought stubbornly before losing, 2-1. Pappa tested keeper Chris Seitz with a fierce, close-range shot the goalie turned away with a superb save, and struck the crossbar with a left-footed free kick. Pappa got the winner in the 74th minute after another tremendous Seitz save when he intercepted a terrible clearance and nailed a low shot past the goalie. The combination play of Patrick Nyarko, Baggio Husidic, Brian McBride and Pappa helped Chicago post its first win since April 24.
3. NICK RIMANDO (Real Salt Lake).
The former D.C. United keeper shut out his former team as Real Salt Lake came out of RFK Stadium with a point. He got down low in the fourth minute to tip a low, skidding shot by Clyde Simms out for a corner kick with an attacker on his doorstep, and in the 16th minute thwarted Stephen King, who had split two opponents on the dribble, on a hard, rising shot. Rimando also got a bit lucky when he came out to challenge as King lined up a point-blank shot he somehow blasted off-target.
-- Brek Shea (Dallas), two goals;
-- Sean Franklin (Los Angeles), two assists;
-- Seth Stammler (New York), left-footed 25-yard blast for game-winning goal.