[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The MLS break could not come too soon for the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Western Conference leader, 6-1-1 in all competitions in the last four weeks and on the verge of clinching the 2011 Supporters' Shield, finally ran out of gas Tuesday night. The Galaxy fell, 2-0, to the New York Red Bulls in need of points to put distance between themselves and the teams chasing them for the final wild-card spot in the MLS playoffs.
Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry both scored and both hit the woodwork in a game the Red Bulls could have won by a greater margin.
The Galaxy was without the injured Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, who was preparing for international duty with Ireland and playing its ninth game in the last 30 days that included trips to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Back from a heel injury that kept him out of action for much of the summer, Rodgers scored his ninth goal of the season from point-blank range in the 32nd minute. Six minutes later, the burly Englishman hit the far post.
Henry made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when Rafael Marquez put the Frenchman clear and he chipped the ball over Donovan Ricketts off the far post and into the goal to tie D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario in the Golden Boot race with 14 goals.
Henry wasn't so lucky later in the second half when he picked up at errant pass from Galaxy sub Brian Jordan and broke in alone on Ricketts but fired his shot off the far post.
The win moved the Red Bulls into a tie with the Houston Dynamo with 43 points, three ahead of the Portland Timbers, which has a game in hand, and five ahead of D.C. United, which has two games in hand. New York finishes the MLS regular season against Eastern Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City Oct. 15 and Philadelphia five days later.
Galaxy is off until Oct. 16 when it faces Chivas USA in what shapes up to be a busy final week to the MLS season. It then heads to Honduras to face Motagua Oct. 20 in what is probably a must-win game in the Concacaf Champions League before returning to Houston, where it finishes the MLS campaign against the Dynamo three days later.