As Nelson Muntz might say, "Ha ha!" (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The Portland Timbers did the bare minimum to help their case in the wildcard race with their scoreless draw against the Philadelphia Union. While they started the week tied for tenth with the New York Red Bulls, the boys in green are now definitely on the outside looking in, but their hopes are still alive and well.
The weekend's results could have been better for the Timbers, but they could easily have gone much worse, as a number of wacky results around the league reminded fans that anything can happen. Well, anything except the Galaxy missing the playoffs.
And by the way, if you watch only one MLS highlight from the weekend, watch Chiumiento's goal for Vancouver. Superb.
Match reports after the joomp!Goats 0:3 DCs
DC United continued their strange dominance on the road with a 3-0 victory over Chivas USA. Both sides had many scoring chances, but only Charlie Davies found the back of the net -- and he did so three times.
With both sides tied at 31 points in the standings prior to the match, this was a huge match for both sides. So it's a wonder that Chivas' defense decided not to play. DC United created nearly all of their chances on counter-attacks, and Dan Kennedy was left hopelessly exposed every time. Each of Davies' goals was nearly identical -- Chris Pontius had the ball and an abundance of time on one side of the penalty area and crossed to Davies, completely unmarked on the other side. Chivas made it way too easy.
The win leaves Chivas behind the pack, while DC United leapfrogged ahead of New York and Portland to claim the 10th place spot.
Bulls 1:1 Caps
The New York Red Bulls made a shorthanded second half comeback to salvage a 1-1 draw at home against the worst team in MLS, the Vancouver Whitecaps. We hereby put our Cascadia rivalry aside to humbly thank the Whitecaps for the spoiling.
Davide Chiumiento had an impressive first half, repeatedly taking the ball behind the Red Bulls defense. In the 23rd minute he put one in off the crossbar on a magnificent, physics defying golazo. New York went down a man in the waning minutes of the first half when Jan Gunnar Solli pulled down Camilo Sanvezzo, preventing a sure scoring opportunity. Despite playing shorthanded in the second half, substitute Juan Agudelo equalized in the 68th minute.
The draw keeps New York level with Portland, both now below the playoff cut. Vancouver remain inevitably, irrevocably, Vancouver.
Quakers 2:0 Firemen
The San Jose Earthquakes beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 in what was for both sides a must-win match.
Chris Wondolowski was craving a goal from the opening whistle and got it in the 10th minute, volleying in a beautiful cross from Rafael Baca. Each side spent the next 35 minutes pounding the other's goal area, and keepers Jon Busch and Sean Johnson made several impressive saves for their respective teams. But the second half belonged very much to the Earthquakes and their constant pressure netted another goal, this one from Ramiro Corrales in the 69th.
The win gives the Earthquakes' slim playoff hopes a boost, but Chicago will now be depending on a whole mess of miracles to climb back into playoff position.
'Tings 3:0 'Mos
Sporting Kansas City gave the Livestrong crowd a vigorous performance, while Houston Dynamo's impotence on the road continued.
Teal Bunbury scored two for his side and CJ Sapong added a third, while Adam Moffat and the Dynamo did not trouble Jimmy Nielsen with a single shot on target. Dynamo's loss knocked them out of the Eastern top three, and they now cling to the top ten a mere 2 points ahead of New York and Portland. Sporting, meanwhile, continue their march to the top of the East and seem destined to claim it from the quickly crumbling Columbus Crew.
Stars 1:0 'Pids
The Los Angeles Galaxy became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, with a 1-0 victory Friday over the Colorado Rapids. The match's only goal came in the 35th minute when Galaxy forward Chad Barrett benefited from a blown offside call, passed across to Sean Franklin, who fed goalscorer Landon Donovan.
Flounders 1:2 Lakers
Despite persistent cries of YSA and other creative chants like "Can you hear Salt Lake sing, whoa, whoa!" the Seattle Sounders fell short against Real Salt Lake 2-1, in an ugly match marred by ridiculously bad officiating. Timbers fans watching the afternoon match got a healthy dose of schadenfreude from a Kasey Keller own goal and a missed penalty kick by Mauro Rosales, both contributing to The Floundering.
Revs 2:0 Cows
In a not at all dominating effort, the New England Revolution managed to defend their home turf and take three points from FC Dallas off a 15th minute goal from Shalrie Joseph. Rajko Lekic made the 2-0 victory stick, cleaning up an 85th minute corner kick. Dallas, now only a point ahead of RSL, barely cling to their standing in the top three.
Yellows 2:4 Reds
Toronto FC pulled off an unlikely drubbing of the Canaries at Columbus Crew Stadium, scoring four and putting the Eastern Conference leaders' goal differential below zero. Columbus maintains a tenuous hold on that first place spot, while Toronto further cement their first place standing among Canadian teams.
Join us next week, when we'll try desperately to portray the Flounders in a positive light (as long as they beat DC United).