Galaxy dooms Quakes; Red Bulls score fastest MLS goal ever

[MLS REWIND: Week 34] While one Western Conference playoff spot is officially still up for grabs, only by a mathematical miracle can the Quakes get in. A 0-0 tie Sunday night at StubHub Center clinched a playoff spot for the Los Angeles Galaxy (15-11-7, 52 points) as well as the Seattle Sounders (15-12-6, 51 pts.), leaving fifth place Colorado (14-10-9, 51 pts.) three points ahead of the Quakes (13-11-9, 48 pts.) and virtually uncatchable because of the second tiebreaker, goals scored. ... Tim Cahill scored the fastest goal in MLS history -- seven seconds -- and the New York Red Bulls went on to win, 3-0, at Houston and retake the lead for the Supporters' Shield. The Red Bulls can win their first trophy in 18 years in MLS with a win Sunday against Chicago at home in their regular-season finale.

Sunday ...

By beating FC Dallas at home next weekend, the Quakes could tie Colorado in points and wins, the first tiebreaker, if the Rapids lose at Vancouver. But since the Rapids hold a 12-goal edge in the second tiebreaker, having scored 45 goals to San Jose’s 33, the Quakes remarkable surge (10-5-3) under interim Coach Mark Watson is destined to fall just short.

Despite the Quakes’ much more desperate mindset, the teams tied in shots, 13-13, and the Galaxy won the possession battle, 56-44 percent. Yet the Quakes generated more corner kicks, 7-4, and got some good looks at goal.

Galaxy keeper Jose Penedo denied Steven Lenhart and Chris Wondolowski flying deflections of their headers, Wondolowski’s sliding effort to touch home a ball lofted into the six-yard box just missed, and referee Baldomero Toledo ruled a hard shoulder challenge by Sean Franklin that knocked down Shea Salinas in the penalty area to be legal.

The Galaxy closes out the regular season at Seattle next Sunday. A tie would leave Seattle with a fourth-place finish and a wild-card slot. The Quakes will finish with a winning record no matter what, a commendable accomplishment given their 3-6-6 record after 15 games, but a playoff miss would be their fourth in the last six seasons.

DYNAMO IN DIRE STRAITS. Since it left San Jose for Houston after the 2005 season, the Houston Dynamo has won two MLS Cups and reached the playoffs each year. But that streak is in jeopardy following a stunning 3-0 triumph by the Red Bulls at BBVA Compass Stadium. Tim Cahill, Ibrahim Sekagya and Bradley Wright-Phillips scored as New York (16-9-8, 56 pts.) took over the lead in the Supporters’ Shield race and kept Houston (13-11-9, 48 pts.) in sixth place with one game to play.

A crowd of 22,345 gathered to honor veteran forward Brian Ching, who has announced his retirement at the end of the season and received a huge ovation when he came through the tunnel into view in the 22nd minute. (Ching wears No. 22 for the Dynamo.)

Yet by then the home team was down, 1-0, victimized by Cahill’s goal seven seconds after the opening kickoff, the fastest goal in MLS history. Dax McCarty received the ball in his own half and lofted a long ball Cahill headed into space, then lashed into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.

Houston dominated the stats, outshooting the Red Bulls, 20-5, but never got on the board. More than an hour after scoring, Cahill came off and his replacement, Wright-Phillips, tacked on a third goal 10 minutes after Sekagya had punished the Dynamo defense for not clearing a corner and heading home in the 65th minute.

The result kept five teams in the hunt for three Eastern Conference playoff spots behind New York and Sporting Kansas City: Montreal (49 points), Chicago (49), New England (48), Houston (48), and Philadelphia (46).

Since none of the five contenders play each other on the final weekend, the race is still wide-open. Only Montreal and Philly play on Saturday, thus the five slots won’t be decided until the regular season concludes Sunday, though an Impact win at Montreal does clinch a spot and Philly must win its home finale against SKC to have any chance.

Saturday ...

On another night of dramatic swings, only two teams, Portland and Real Salt Lake, who played to a 0-0 tie, clinched playoff berths, leaving nine teams in contention for the six remaining spots.

The Timbers and Real Salt Lake ended up playing to a 0-0 tie thanks in large part to the work of Nick Rimando in the RSL goal. The result sent Portland to the playoffs for the first time in three seasons in MLS, while RSL will return to the postseason for the sixth year in a row under Coach Jason Kreis.

New England and Colorado bolstered their playoff hopes with dramatic 3-2 wins over Columbus and Vancouver, respectively, that eliminated both losers, while Mike Magee's cheeky Panenka was the difference as Chicago stayed in the playoff zone with a 1-0 win over Toronto FC.

The Revs twice blew leads before prevailing over the Crew on Diego Fagundez's team-high 13th goal of the season.

In Colorado, the Rapids came back from 1-0 but then blew a 2-1 lead before Panamanian Gabriel Torres scored his second goal of the game for a 3-2 win over the 'Caps that moved them into a three-way tie for third place in the Western Conference, just two points out of first place.

SOUNDERS SLIP UP AGAIN. In recent months, Seattle had a slew of games in hand that made it the favorite for the Supporters' Shield, but FC Dallas' 2-0 win over the Sounders Saturday extended their losing streak to four games and extinguished their regular-season title hopes. Montreal, on the other hand, ended its slide with a 2-1 comeback win over Philadelphia.

Brazilian set up Matt Hedges for the first goal and scored the second in Schellas Hyndman’s final home game as Dallas head coach.

Montreal, on the other hand, ended its slide with a 2-1 comeback win over Philadelphia Saturday afternoon. Goals from Marco Di Vaio and homegrown player Karl Ouimette gave the Impact its first win in seven games.

Di Vaio, who announced earlier in the week he'd return in 2014, took over the scoring lead with his 20th goal of the season until Mike Magee matched him with a Panenka from the penalty spot in Chicago's game against Toronto FC still in progress.

Friday ...

Dom Dwyer
, who helped Orlando City win the USL PRO title earlier in the year, scored in the seventh minute and the goal held up for a 1-0 win over D.C. United that moved Sporting Kansas City temporarily back into the lead for the Supporters' Shield.

Perry Kitchen coughed up the ball outside the D.C. area, allowing Dwyer to score the easiest of goals. D.C. United finished its road campaign without a win.

MLS WEEK 34, Results:
Sunday, October 20
Los Angeles 0, San Jose 0.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo.
Att.: 25,418.

Sunday, October 20
Houston 0 New York 3.
NY: Tim Cahill  (Dax McCarty) 1
NY: Ibrahim Sekagya (Peguy Luyindula) 65
NY: Bradley Wright-Phillips 75
Att.: 22,345.

Cahill Goal:

Saturday, October 19

Portland 0 Real Salt Lake 0.
Att.: 20,674.

Saturday, October 19
Chicago 1 Toronto FC 0.
CHI: Magee (pen.) 64.
Att.: 19,869.

Magee Goal:

Saturday, October 19
Colorado 3 Vancouver 2.
VAN: Kekuta Manneh (Daigo Kobayashi) 32
COL: Gabriel Torres 41
COL: Deshorn Brown (Clinton Irwin) 51
VAN: Camilo 75
COL: Gabriel Torres (Deshorn Brown) 77
Att.: 18,103.

Torres' Goal #2:

Saturday, October 19

New England 3 Columbus 2.
NE:  A.J. Soares (Kelyn Rowe) 32
CLB: Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld) 59
NE: Chris Tierney 69
CLB: Aaron Schoenfeld (Dominic Oduro) 71
NE: Diego Fagundez (Andy Dorman, Dimitry Imbongo) 76
Att.: 26,548.

Saturday, October 19
Montreal 2 Philadelphia 1.
PHI: Fabinho (Kleberson) 29
MTL: Marco Di Vaio (Danny Arnaud, Felipe) 64
MTL: Karl Ouimette (Justin Mapp) 84
Att.: 18,993.

Saturday, October 19
FC Dallas 2 Seattle 0.
FCD: Matt Hedges  (Michel) 65
FCD: Michel 87
Att.: 15,017.

Friday, October 18
Sporting KC 1 D.C. United 0.
SKC: Dom Dwyer 7
Att.: 18,932.

Dwyer Goal:

Wednesday, October 16
LA Galaxy 1 Montreal 0.
LA: Kofi Opare (Gyasi Zardes) 68
Att.: 13,320.
Eastern Conference:

56 (33) *New York 16-9-8 53/39
55 (33) *Sporting KC 16-10-7 45/29
49 (33) Montreal 14-12-7 50/48
49 (33) Chicago 14-12-7 45/47
48 (33) New England 13-11-9 48/38
48 (33) Houston 13-11-9 39/40
46 (33) Philadelphia 12-11-10 41/42
41 (33) Columbus 12-16-5 42/45
26 (33) Toronto FC 5-17-11 29/47
16 (33) D.C. United 3-23-7 21/57
*Clinched playoff berth.

Western Conference:
54 (33) *Portland 13-5-15 49/33
53 (33) *Real Salt Lake 15-10-8 55/40
52 (32) *LA Galaxy 15-11-7 52/37
51 (33) *Seattle 15-12-6 41/41
51 (33) Colorado 14-10-9 45/35
48 (32) San Jose 13-11-9 33/41
45 (33) Vancouver 12-12-9 50/45
44 (33) FC Dallas 11-11-11 47/50
26 (32) Chivas USA 6-18-8 29/60
*Clinched playoff berth.
20+1 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal)
20+1 Mike Magee (LA Galaxy/Chicago)
19+1 Camilo (Vancouver)
15 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
13+1 Diego Fagundez (New England)
13+1 Dominic Oduro (Columbus)
11 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
11 Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
11 Federico Higuain (Columbus)
11 Blas Perez (FC Dallas)

MLS WEEK 35, Schedule:
Wednesday, October 23
9 pm ET
Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, October 26
3 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Sporting KC NBCSN
4 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Univision Dep.
5:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. FC Dallas NBCSN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland

Sunday, October 27
1:30 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Houston NBC
4 pm ET
Columbus vs. New England
5 pm ET
New York vs. Chicago UniMas
8 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Colorado
9 pm ET
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy ESPN
2 comments about "Galaxy dooms Quakes; Red Bulls score fastest MLS goal ever".
  1. Gus Keri, October 21, 2013 at 9:26 a.m.

    It's strange. Every game has at least one team playing for something (Supporters' shield or play-off place) except the markee game between LAG and Seattle. The question is: why not playing all the games at the same time? By Sunday 5 pm, RBNY could be the winner of the SS before touching the ball.

  2. Albert Harris, October 21, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

    Gus: The answer is television. MLS is still not a powerful enough sport that they can dictate to the networks regarding starting times. For that matter, none of the major sports in the USA can do that. Otherwise the world series baseball games would start at 7:05 so they wouldn't be finishing after midnight with me asleep on the couch.

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