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MLS: Crew rests after disposing of Quakes
September 30th, 2002 4:06PM
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SHORE LEAVE: The Crew will have a few days to savor its two-game sweep of San Jose and rest up for the next round.

The other three series will be decided on Wednesday but Columbus can sit and watch after beating the Quakes, 2-1, for the second straight time.

Freddy Garcia scored his second goal in as many playoff appearances, and Brian McBride added the winner to take over the team's all-time playoff scoring lead. McBride (8 goals, 3 assists) moved one point ahead of former Crew striker Stern John (1998-99).

Jeff Cunningham earned assists on all four goals the team has scored in the playoffs.

In both games, Columbus disrupted the Quakes' attack with rugged tackles on Ariel Graziani and Landon Donovan. Graziani was seldom allowed to collect the ball and turn; Donovan was ''being kicked up into the air,'' according to Coach Frank Yallop.

The Crew seldom allowed Manny Lagos to run free in the box and in the first game was very zealous about shutting off Ian Russell's attempts to convert crosses at the back post.

GOAL GLUT: Despite conceding six goals in two games, top-seed Galaxy can close out its series with the Wizards at home Wednesday night in the Rose Bowl.

Kansas City kept the series alive Saturday night by blasting Los Angeles, 4-1, with goals from four different players. Preki and Eric Quill added assists to their goals.

L.A.'s only goal came right after Preki had bent in a free kick to make it 3-0. The goal also moved him into third place on the all-time playoff goalscoring list with nine.

Carlos Ruiz touched the ensuing kickoff to Chris Albright, who spotted Tony Meola well out from his goal and jogging with his back to the center circle. Albright lobbed the ball over Meola and into the net from about 55 yards.

In the first game, the Galaxy twice had to rally from one-goal deficits to force overtime and won, 3-2, when Ruiz scored his second goal of the game with a minute left.

Coach Sigi Schmid had been lauding his three-man back line of Danny Califf and Tyrone Marshall as man-markers and Alexi Lalas at sweeper, but the Wizards seem to have solved it. He must also be concerned about a passive midfield that has allowed the Wizards far too much space.

RAPID CHANGE: After watching Dallas rip his three-man back line to shreds in a 4-2 Burn win, Colorado coach Tim Hankinson instituted changes for the second game.

Midfielder Wes Hart came into the team at right back, and Ritchie Kotschau returned at left back with Stephen Herdsman and Robin Fraser keeping their places in the middle.

Out were midfielder Zach Kingsley and defender Rick Titus. The latter's comments a few weeks ago that ''Dallas is done'' had been posted in the Burn locker room.

The Rapids stayed alive in the series by winning, 1-0, on a Chris Carrieri goal with 12 minutes remaining.

Attitude had just as much to do with the result as tactics. Colorado outshot Dallas, 17-9, and Pablo Mastroeni and John Spencer led a far more tenacious effort than had been displayed in the Cotton Bowl.

BACK TO 'THE RAZOR': As Colorado had done, Chicago transformed itself dramatically after losing the first game.

The Fire overcame a one-goal deficit to beat New England, 2-1, and force a third game back at Gillette Stadium Wednesday night.

Midfielder Kelly Gray came into the squad after the 2-0 loss in game one. Jesse Marsch, Peter Nowak, Dema Kovalenko and Gray led a Fire onslaught that produced a 21-5 edge in shots.

Gray's pass found Razov for the winning goal in the 76th minute. Razov, who had put away a penalty to tie the game, 1-1, is tied with McBride for fourth on the all-time playoff list with eight goals.

Zach Thornton, whose weak punch provided Daniel Hernandez the opportunity to blast the second goal in the Revs' 2-0 win, did not have to make a save.

Revs' defender Carlos Llamosa will miss the decisive third game after receiving his second yellow card of the match in the final minute.

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