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MLS WEEK 30 WRAP: D.C. United ties Wizards to earn playoff spot
October 27th, 2003 7:10PM

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By Ridge Mahoney, Senior Editor

Chicago and the Metros used backups and suffered heavy defeats on the final weekend; the Rapids scored three but gave up four; D.C. got back into the playoffs by tying Kansas City; the Crew went out with a bang by scoring a meaningless six; and did the Galaxy plant seeds of doubt by tying the Quakes, 1-1, in San Jose?

VETERANS ON TARGET: After a three-year absence, D.C. United got back into the playoffs by tying Kansas City, 1-1, to render the Crew's victory over Chicago meaningless. Hristo Stoitchkov scored the equalizer after Preki had given Kansas City the lead.

STAT: At age 40, Preki finished as the league's top scorer with 12 goals and 17 assists for 41 points. FACT: He is the first player to top the scoring table twice.

GARBAGE TIME: With their sights set on the playoffs, a few MLS teams sent out subpar squads for the final regular season games.

The Metros rested at least half of their starters and surrendered homefield advantage by falling to the Revs, 5-2. Pat Noonan scored a hat trick to lead New England, which finished in second place, three points ahead of the Metros.

STAT: Noonan wound up second in rookie scoring, to Chicago's Damani Ralph, with 10 goals and seven assists; seven of those goals came against the Metros. FACT: The Revs finished the season on a seven-game (6-0-1) unbeaten run; the Metros were winless in their last four (0-3-1).

Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Columbus that included the first MLS goal by Dipsy Selolwane. Brian McBride and Edson Buddle each got two for the Crew in what turned into a 6-2 rout.

FACT: Columbus scored all six of its goals after halftime, which is an MLS record for goals in a half. STAT: McBride finished with 12 goals, his highest total since the 17-goal campaign of his rookie year.

CALIFORNIA CLASSICO: After beating the Quakes last week, 3-0, with perhaps its best 90-minute effort of the season, Los Angeles went up to Spartan Saturday and came away with a 1-1 tie.

Both teams rested a few starters. Alejandro Moreno scored his third goal against San Jose in two games for a 1-0 lead but Jamil Walker equalized in the 80th minute.

STAT: The teams tied in the season series, 1-1-2. FACTS: Walker's goal ended the longest scoreless streak in Quakes' team history at 402 minutes, but San Jose failed to win any of its last four games.

TEXAS FOUR-STEP: The Burn concluded a miserable season by blasting Colorado, 4-3, with goals from three different players -- Bobby Rhine, Toni Nhleko, Chad Deering -- plus an own goal.

John Spencer scored twice for the Rapids, who took a 1-0 lead but then surrendered four straight goals before rallying late.

STAT: Spencer matched his 2001 output of 14 goals. FACTS: The Rapids ended the season in a six-match winless skid. Under interim coach Colin Clarke, the Burn won two of six games. Matt Crawford got the Rapids' third goal, his first in MLS.

MLS: Game summaries (Oct. 25-26)

Oct. 25 in Foxboro, Mass.
NEW ENGLAND (12-9-9, 45 pts) 5 METROSTARS (11-10-9, 42 pts) 2.
Goals: Noonan (Ralston) 41, Fabbro (Ralston, Kamler) 45, Noonan (Fabbro) 51, Ralston (Kamler) 65, Noonan (Kamler, Cancela) 68; Lisi pen.58, LeBlanc 69.
Att.: 12,492.

Oct. 25 in Washington D.C.
D.C. UNITED (10-11-9, 39 pts) 1 KANSAS CITY (11-10-9, 42 pts) 1 (OT).
Goals: Stoitchkov (Convey, Namoff) 57; Preki (Talley) 17.
Att.: 19,797.

Oct. 25 in Southlake, Texas
DALLAS (6-19-5, 23 pts) 4 COLORADO (11-12-7, 40 pts) 3.
Goals: Rhine (Gbandi) 19, own goal 22, Nhleko 31, Deering 39; Spencer (Henderson) 18, Spencer (Henderson, Chung) 52, Crawford (Carrieri) 85.
Att.: 8,913.

Oct. 25 in San Jose
SAN JOSE (14-7-9, 51 pts) 1 LOS ANGELES (9-12-9, 36 pts) (OT) 1.
Goals: Walker (Faria, De Rosario) 80; Moreno (Jones, Elliott) 56.
Att.: 16,282.

Oct. 26 in Columbus
COLUMBUS (10-12-8, 38 pts) 6 CHICAGO (15-7-8, 53 pts) 2.
Goals: McBride(Cunningham, Martino) 49, Cunningham (Buddle) 54, McBride (Garcia) 67, Buddle (Garcia, McBride) 74, Buddle (Paule, Traeger) 85, Garcia (Traeger, Hejduk) 90; Selolwane (Bolanos) 3, Marsch pen. 25. Att.: 19,404.



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