Monday, October 7, 2013

MLS table tightens as playoffs near

Supporters Shield leader Red Bulls clinch; Sounders, RSL, KC close

                                         (Courtesy of Rob Tringali)

Can't get any better than this.

There were some beauties scored in Vancouver-Portland's draw, a last-minute equalizer in Harrison, N.J. and downright beatings in Los Angeles and Denver.

But Alvaro Saborio could arguably be the hero of the weekend as his Real Salt Lake Side--down to 10 men for much of the match--pulled off a draw at home against FC Dallas that kept its hunt for the Supporters Shield alive with two rounds left. The quiet Costa Rican fought off the Texan club's defenders on his own to work for his 11th goal of the campaign.

The result kept Salt Lake atop of the West, one point above Seattle Sounders and two ahead of Portland Timbers. For Seattle, a 5-1 romp at the hands of Colorado Rapids represents their worst-ever loss in their short-lived MLS history. A goal by Colorado within 15 seconds and two within 10 minutes didn't help matters. Four goals in the first half pretty much sealed it.

The L.A. Galaxy demolished a hapless Chivas U.S.A. 5-0 with braces from--who else?--Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, as both L.A. and Colorado try to lock in their respective playoff tickets, the last two.

In the East, Sporting Kansas City, 1-0 winners in Columbus, did their best to keep up with leaders New York Red Bulls. It wasn't anything spectacular in Ohio but three points is three points, good enough to have them two points behind the Red Bulls and four ahead of Houston Dynamo, where K.C. will visit Wednesday. Should be a fun one in Texas.

And yes, we already saw what Camilo accomplished in an earlier post with that cracker of a goal for Vancouver Whitecaps against Portland but we can't forget what Darlington Nagbe did for the Timbers to open up the match.