[MLS REWIND: Week 18] The balance of power in MLS tilted toward the west after four of five interconference games played last
weekend favored that side of the country, and thus so did the top three teams in the Supporters’ Shield race.
Colorado pulled off perhaps the most impressive result, rallying twice to beat the Eastern Conference-leading
Impact, 4-3, in Montreal. FC Dallas pulled out a 2-2 tie in Philadelphia, Vancouver departed RFK Stadium with a 1-0 defeat of D.C. United, and Real Salt Lake triumphed in Toronto by the same score.
New England held up Eastern pride with a 1-1 away tie, albeit a point gained against lowly Chivas USA at StubHub Center.
About four hundred miles to the north, the annual
Quakes-Galaxy fireworks game at Stanford Stadium sparked yet another thriller, this one captured by San Jose, 3-2, after it had fallen behind by two goals and gone down to 10 men.
“So many things happened, I can’t really remember everything,” said interim head coach Mark Watson, who won his
“home” debut after replacing Frank Yallop three weeks ago. “But our guys kept pushing 'til the end. It was amazing to see, but I’m not
surprised, because I know the kind of guys we have in the locker room.”
The RSL locker room is a happy place after a fourth straight league win lifted it atop the overall standings
with 33 points at 10-5-3. Next in line with 30 apiece are Western Conference foes FC Dallas (8-3-6) and Portland (7-1-9). The fourth and fifth spots are taken, respectively, by Montreal (9-4-2, 29
points) and New York (8-6-4, 28 points).
GORDON GASHES THE GALAXY. Like many of his San Jose teammates, Alan
Gordon labored through a rough start to the season. Suspended three games for barking a homophobic slur and working his way back from injury, he’d yet to score a goal this season heading
into the 52nd regular-season meeting Saturday night between the Quakes and Galaxy, one of his former teams.
Second on the Quakes to Chris
Wondolowski with 13 goals last year, Gordon replaced Steven Lenhart in the 64th minute and scored with a header four minutes later to cut a 2-0 deficit
in half. San Jose’s Goonie magic seemed to have dissipated when defender Victor Bernardez departed with his second caution in eight minutes, but Watson
simply went with three in the back and pushed three up top with another forward, rookie Adam Jahn, to devastating effect.
After the Galaxy botched
a few opportunities to increase its lead, Shea Salinas – who’d already been denied by a sharp Carlo Cuducini
save – finally bettered the keeper in the 92nd minute by pouncing on a deflected header Cuducini couldn’t collect. Gordon capped a repeat of last year’s 4-3 comeback win at the same
venue by heading home Sam Cronin’s cross in the 93rd minute and a frenzied sellout crowd of 50,028 erupted in celebration.
RED BULLS REBOUND. Losers of their last three games, including a 4-2 Open Cup defeat to New England and a 3-0 MLS setback in Philadelphia last weekend, the Red Bulls put
another dent into Houston’s season on Sunday by downing the Dynamo, 2-0, with goals by a pair of ex-RSL players, Fabian Espindola and Johnny Steele.
Eric Alexander’s deftly weighted through ball sent in Espindola to score near the hour mark
and Steele’s strike in the final minutes wrapped up the points. Counting a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup, Houston is scoreless in its last four games.
In the other
Eastern Conference showdown played last weekend, Sporting Kansas City beat Columbus, 3-2. Kei Kamara, who is making up for lost time after missing the first two
months of the season on loan to Norwich City, got the winner in the 80th minute with his second goal of the game.
BEN GOES BALLISTIC. Vancouver beat
D.C. United, 1-0, with a Camilo penalty kick and a possible PK denied in stoppage time, which triggered a blistering postgame press conference rant from head coach Ben
“I pushed guys to the limit with three games and the [U.S. Open Cup], and they gave it to me today,” said Olsen, who proceeded to rip referee Matthew Foerster. “They gave me everything they had. And the joker in the middle did not do a good job. He failed those guys. He failed the guys in the locker
room, my guys that put their heart out there.”
Foerster whistled for a penalty kick after United keeper Bill Hamid had dived at the feet of
Vancouver’s Matt Watson and clearly pushed the ball away before Watson tripped over the keeper’s outstretched arms. The contact seemed purely
incidental, but Foerster pointed to the spot. Camilo put away the penalty to give the ‘Caps a 1-0 lead.
A second controversial incident again involved Hamid. He came upfield for a
stoppage-time corner kick and headed it diagonally. It brushed ‘Caps defender Brad Rusin’s arm but Foerster ignored United’s appeals.
“They’re easy calls,” said Olsen. “I’m not asking him to be a super referee. I’m not. I’m asking him to make the right call. If Bill Hamid touches the
ball and his follow-through tends to trip the guy, it’s not a PK. If the ball hits a guy’s hand in the box right in front of the referee, it’s a PK.”
STUNNER AT STADE SAPUTO. Colorado scored the latest winner in its history -- the 96th minute -- to beat the Impact. Tony
Cascio’s goal spoiled the first two MLS goals scored by Montreal’s Daniele Paponi and snapped a three-game losing streak. Marco Di Vaio failed to score in a home game for the first time this season.
MLS REWIND, Week 18: Sunday, June 30 New York 2 Houston 0. NY: Fabian Espindola (Eric Alexander) 60 NY: Jonathan Steele (Thierry Henry) 88 Att.: 25,483.
Saturday, June 29 San Jose 3 LA Galaxy 2. LA:
Marcelo Sarvas (Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan) 20 LA: Hector Jimenez (Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan) 65 SJ: Alan Gordon (Shea Salinas) 68 SJ: Shea Salinas 92+ SJ: Alan Gordon
(Sam Cronin) 93+ Red Card: San Jose -- Victor Bernandez 77. Att.: 50,028.
Saturday, June 29 Chivas USA 1 New England 1. CHV: Laurent Courtois
(Tristan Bowen) 18 NE: Chad Barrett (Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell) 88 Att.: 7,319.
Saturday, June 29 Philadelphia 2 FC Dallas 2. PHI: Amobi Okugo (Sheanon Williams) 20 DAL: Walker Zimmerman (Michel) 24 PHI: Aaron
Wheeler (Sheanon Williams) 87 DAL: Blas Perez (David Ferreira) 97+ Red Card: FC Dallas -- Je-Vaughn Watson 68. Att.: 18,212.
Saturday, June 29 Montreal 3 Colorado 4. COL: Atiba Harris (Dillon Powers) 23 MON: Hassoun
Camara 38 MON: Daniele Paponi (Marco Di Vaio, Alessandro Nesta) 42 COL: Dillon Powers (Nathan Sturgis) 59 MON: Daniele Paponi (Davy Arnaud, Felipe Martins) 72 COL: Deshorn
Brown (Chris Klute) 77 COL: Tony Cascio 96+ Att.: 20,383.
Saturday, June 29 D.C. United 0 Vancouver 1. VAN: Camilo 48 Att.: 13,122.
Saturday, June 29 Toronto FC 0 Real Salt Lake 1. RSL: Yordany Alvarez
(Olmes Garcia, Tony Beltran) 45 Red Cards: Toronto FC -- Doneil Henry 79; Real Salt Lake -- Tony Beltran 79. Att.: 20,841 ------------------------------------------------------------ MLS
STANDINGS: Eastern Conference: PTS TEAM W-L-T +/- 29 Montreal 9-4-2 27/21 28 New York 8-6-4 25/22 26 Philadelphia 7-5-5
27/26 26 Sporting KC 7-5-5 23/17 23 Houston 6-6-5 19/18 ----------------------------- 21 New England 5-5-6 19/14 20 Columbus 5-7-5 21/21 18 Chicago 5-7-3 15/21 12 Toronto FC 2-8-6 13/21 9 D.C. United 2-12-3 8/27 Western Conference: PTS TEAM W-L-T +/- 33 Real Salt Lake 10-5-3 27/16 30 FC Dallas 8-3-6 27/22 30 Portland 7-1-9 28/16 25 Vancouver 7-5-4 26/24 24 LA Galaxy 7-7-3 25/21 ------------------------------- 23 Colorado 6-7-5 21/22
21 Seattle 6-5-3 19/17 21 San Jose 5-7-6 18/27 12 Chivas USA 3-10-3 15/31 ------------------------------------------------------------ MLS LEADING
SCORERS: G PLAYER (TEAM) 10 Mike Magee (Los Angeles/Chicago) 10 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal) 10 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
9+1 Camilo (Vancouver) 8+1 Dominic Oduro (Columbus) 8+1 Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC) 6+1 Blas Perez (FC Dallas) 6 Will Johnson (Portland) 6 Robert Earnshaw (Toronto
FC) 6 Thierry Henry (New York)
MLS SCHEDULE, Week 19: Wednesday,
July 3 7 pm ET Toronto FC vs. Montreal 8:30 pm ET Chicago vs.
San Jose 9 pm ET Sporting KC vs. Vancouver, Univision Dep. 10 pm ET Seattle vs. D.C. United 10 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia
Thursday, July 4 9 pm ET FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA 9:30 pm ET Colorado vs. New York 10:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs. Columbus
Saturday, July 6 7:30 pm
ET New England vs. San Jose 9 pm ET Houston vs. Philadelphia 11 pm ET Vancouver vs.
Sunday, July 7 3 pm ET Chicago vs. Sporting KC,
ESPN 5 pm ET Columbus vs. Portland 7 pm ET Montreal vs. Chivas USA 9:30 pm ET Colorado vs. D.C. United 10:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas
MLS SCHEDULE, Week 20: Friday, July 12 7:30 pm ET Philadelphia vs. Chivas USA
Saturday, July 13 7 pm ET New York
vs. Montreal 7:30 pm ET New England vs. Houston 8:30 pm ET Sporting KC vs. Toronto FC 9 pm ET FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake 10:30 pm ET San Jose vs. Seattle 11 pm ET Portland vs. LA Galaxy, NBCSN
Sunday, July 14 7 pm
ET Vancouver vs. Chicago
MLS SCHEDULE, Week 21: Wednesday,
July 17 9 pm ET Colorado vs. New England 10:30 pm ET Chivas USA vs. Toronto FC
Saturday, July 20 4 pm ET Seattle vs. Colorado Toronto FC vs. New
York 7 pm ET Montreal vs. FC Dallas 7:30 pm ET Columbus vs. New England Philadelphia vs.
Portland 8:30 pm ET Chicago vs. D.C. United 10 pm ET Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting KC 10:30 pm ET LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver
MLS SCHEDULE, Week 22: Saturday, July 27 2 pm ET Toronto FC vs. Columbus 7 pm ET D.C. United vs. New England Montreal vs. Sporting KC New York vs. Real Salt Lake Vancouver vs. Philadelphia, Univision Dep. 8 pm ET Houston vs. Chicago, NBCSN 9 pm ET Colorado vs. LA Galaxy 10:30 pm ET San Jose vs. Portland Sunday, July 28 11 pm ET Seattle vs.
Chivas USA, Univision Dep.