Western teams reign, Cali Clasico delivers yet again

[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.

Goals: 27/8 GP (avg.: 3.38).
Video: Weekend Timeline

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.

Yes, really.

“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 Olsen.

“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.

Salinas Goal:

Gordon Goal:

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.

Barrett Goal:

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.

Perez Goal:

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.

Cascio Goal:

Saturday, June 29
D.C. United 0 Vancouver 1.

VAN: Camilo 48
Att.: 13,122.

Saturday, June 29

Sporting KC 3 Columbus 2.
KC: Kei Kamara (Soony Saad) 34
CLB: Jairo Arrieta (Federico Higuain) 48
KC: Claudio Bieler 50
CLB: Dominic Oduro 53
KC: Kei Kamara (Claudio Bieler) 80
Att.: 20,128.

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
Eastern Conference:

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:

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
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)

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. Seattle, NBCSN

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

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

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

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.
1 comment about "Western teams reign, Cali Clasico delivers yet again".
  1. Christopher Tallmadge, July 1, 2013 at 10:07 p.m.

    New England - pathetic scene compared to all the others - that club needs to get it's stuff together pronto

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