MLS Rewind: Week 12
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
Sounders get help around the league as they continue to climb the standings.
The Sounders are gaining ground in the Western Conference standings and they got plenty of help over the weekend as they continued their six-match unbeaten streak.
The LA Galaxy split two games against Eastern Conference foes and Real Salt Lake toppled Chivas USA, but otherwise, no Western Conference team earned more than one point over the weekend as the Sounders jumped to sixth in the West, just one point behind the Colorado Rapids for the fifth playoff spot while still holding two games in hand over four of the five teams ahead of them.
LA started the week in dramatic fashion with a resounding 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Landon Donovan had a goal and two assists and Robbie Keane had a goal and an assist as the Galaxy got the benefit of a third-minute own goal to run them to an early lead. However, they couldn’t hold that momentum and on Sunday they dropped a 1-0 result to the New York Red Bulls when Tim Cahill scored a stoppage-time winner off a long-range free kick from Juninho. The resulting week put the Galaxy at 5-4-2 and fourth in the West. The Union bounced back with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday to improve to 5-4-3 while the Red Bulls jumped to 7-4-3 and lead the East.
In Vancouver, the Whitecaps hosted the Portland Timbers in the second match of the Cascadia Cup and first between the Whitecaps and Timbers. Vancouver took a first-half lead on Camilo’s team-leading third goal of the season. However, that lead slipped away when Will Johnson converted a penalty for his fifth goal of the year. Vancouver claimed another lead on a Gershon Koffie goal just two minutes later. It looked like the Whitecaps would hold on for their first win in the Cascadia Cup series in the MLS era, especially when Portland centerback Mamadou Danso was red-carded in the 81st minute, but short-handed Portland got an equalizer from Jose Valencia to finish with the 2-2 final. The Timbers are unbeaten in their last 10 matches at 4-0-6 and are now 4-1-7 overall and are now third in the West. Vancouver is 3-4-4 and eighth in the East.
At The Home Depot Center, Chivas USA continued their struggles with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake, who jumped to second in the West as they bounced back from a late loss to Montreal last week. Ned Grabavoy scored twice and RSL got goals from Joao Plata and Robbie Findley to improve to 6-5-2, trailing only FC Dallas in the West. After starting the season at 3-1-1, Chivas USA has stumbled to 3-6-2 and are at the bottom of the conference standings.
Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes got a second-half goal from Marvin Chavez to equalize with the Colorado Rapids. Former Sounder Nathan Sturgis got the Rapids on the board in the first half, but Chavez netted the leveler in the 78th minute to allow the Earthquakes to keep pace in the West. The Quakes now sit seventh at 3-4-6 while Colorado is fifth at 4-4-4.
In the East, Columbus and New England both earned shutout road victories and DC United ended their losing skid with a 1-1 draw against Sporting Kansas City. The Crew topped Toronto FC 1-0 and the Revs ousted the Houston Dynamo 2-0 for Houston’s second straight loss at BBVA Compass Stadium.