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MLS Rewind: Earthquakes trounce Revs, Dynamo and Crew move into first place

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                                                       Photo by ISIphotos.com

Somebody stop the Earthquakes.

San Jose and it’s revamped squad trounced the New England Revolution, 4-0, on Saturday, adding more momentum to an improbable playoff push and adding another team to an already crowded playoff chase.

While San Jose was working on escaping the West cellar, Houston took over first place in the West with its 4-3 win against Real Salt Lake, putting up a four spot on the toughest defense in the West.

In other Saturday action, D.C. edged Chicago, 1-0, spoiling Brian McBride’s debut, Colorado defeated Kansas City, 2-1, and Columbus halted streaking FC Dallas, 2-1, to move into first place in the East.

The performance of the day went to San Jose, which trounced a New England squad playing without midfielder leader Shalrie Joseph (serving a red card suspension). Ronnie O’Brien came into the match with just one goal on the season but delivered a two-goal, one assist performance in the San Jose rout.

The win moves the Earthquakes within four points of a four-team pack chasing the league’s final two playoff spots. San Jose is still last in the league in points but is riding a four-match unbeaten streak.

Houston took over the West lead with its 4-3 win against Real Salt Lake, as three unanswered goals in the first half proved too much for RSL to overcome. With a two-point lead and a game in hand, the Dynamo doesn’t look likely to relinquish that lead as the defending MLS Cup champions start thinking three-peat.

The Brian McBride era in Chicago ended with a loss as the former U.S. national team star came on as a halftime substitute in the Fire’s 1-0 loss to D.C. A first-half strike from Fred was enough to help D.C. end a recent skid and push D.C. United into sole possession of fourth place in the East.

In Columbus, Jeff Cunningham scored his 100th career MLS goal but it was Guillermo Barros Schelotto who set up a pair of second-half goals to give the Crew a 2-1 victory and push Columbus into first place in the Eastern Conference.

Lastly, Colorado posted its first win in a month in a 2-1 victory against struggling Kansas City. Newly-acquired Cory Gibbs earned the start, helping the Rapids limit KC to Michael Harrington goal of a deflected Preston Burpo save.

What do you think of Saturday’s results? Stunned by San Jose’s rout? Think RSL is about to slide back to reality? Shocked to see the Columbus Crew in first place? Wondering how long it will take for Brian McBride to start making an impact with Chicago?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. RPH, look at what Ives said:

    “three unanswered goals in the first half proved too much for RSL to overcome”

    RSL was up 2-1, then Houston scored 3 goals to finish out the half, while RSL didn’t score again until the 2nd half. The fact that Houston scored 3 in a row in the first half without RSL scoring any between those 3 is the definition of “three unanswered goals in the first half.” The fact that RSL was only able to score 1 more in the second half and thus still lost is the definition of “too much to overcome.”

    I agree that the wording was not obvious (I myself paused and then reread it), but it is correct.

    What I think is the interesting story of the game is that the 2nd and 3rd best defenses in the league were in a shambles. RSL seemed to really miss Olave, and for the Dynamo Eddie Robinson’s return seemed more bumbling confusion than relief. Hopefully Eddie’s just rusty and will shape up for Wednesday’s game.

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  2. NE has a game in hand on CLB. That said, Columbus has some great talent that’s finally putting itself together after several years of learning.

    However, what’s going to happen if Columbus starts to sustain any real injuries? They’ve got very limited depth at the CAM or defensive position.

    Finally – has anyone ever won the MVP and not made the All-Star Team? GBS for MVP!

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  3. Uhhhh . . . was I the only one watching the RSL-Houston game? There were not “three unanswered goals in that game. In fact, it wasn’t until Houston scored their third goal that they took the lead.

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  4. Yeah RSL was without a couple players. But I don’t care if it was a loss. I thought the big thing was whether or not they had the offense to score on the road and they proved that against a Houston defense that has become very stingy.

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  5. RSL about to slide back to reality? They could have crumbled against Houston last night, but instead they hung tough and only lost by a point. Houston had a couple amazing shots and that was the difference.

    I think it’s about time you and every one else realize that RSL is one of the best sides in the league and they’re gonna be this way for a good time to come. This is the first full year under Kreis and Lagerway and a good indication of the direction the franchise is headed.

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  6. Ives,

    Don’t read too much into the RSL defensive debacle. They were without 3 of their starting defensive players: Olave, Kovalenko and Joy.

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  7. unrelated, but solid Arena article for ESPN. the only thing i disagree with is that it could be his last chance. regardless of how poorly he does with LA, his resume will still be strong enough to get him another MLS coaching job.

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  8. Ives, I have a random unrelated question. Kasey Keller has signed for Seattle next year. Does that mean that he is taking this year off? Or is he going to play somewhere in Europe this year? Or on loan?

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  9. That fourth goal of the Dynamo might have been the best build up goal this year. At least 9 quality passes before the finish. If Kamara could finish worth a flip, they would of had 7.

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  10. Actually now that I re-read my original comment, I’m sorry I didn’t make it clearer what I was referring to. Sorry to be unclear.

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  11. @Modibo

    My comment was that McBride looked a step slow and out of synch at the Olympics, not in Chicago. So jet lag should have had nothing to do with it.

    Prior to watching him in the Olympics, I thought he would be a very big impact player for the Fire. Watching him in the Olympics however, made me pause for a second. Frankly, I was surprised that he made no impact on the field for the Olympic team.

    Clearly the international level there is going to be a cut above MLS, but perhaps the expectations for McBride in MLS are higher than what he can actually deliver. The guy is 36 after all.

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  12. Even early in the year, the Quakes played better than they were given credit for. Poor finishing killed them, but they were rarely blown out. The first home game against Chicago set the pattern: they created more chances, missed them, played good defense, but gave up one goal. Lost 1-0.

    The changes they made retooled the offense, addressing the problem. I am not at ll shocked at how they are playing. It may be too late (two games against Houston are a problem) but they could sneak in. I do know this: you don’t want to play us.

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  13. If McBride looked slow and out of synch to some, it could be because it was his fourth game in, what, ten days? And he’s coming from halfway around the world so he’s got to still be jetlagged (arrived Thursday), has had one practice with the Fire, and knows only 2 or three of his new teammates (Rolfe and Thorrington), at least that he could name. I was surprised by how much McBride came back to help win the ball in the midfield, actually – much more than Herron, with his vaunted movement that invariably keeps him very high in the offensive end.

    Nyarko and McBride made a good combo. Nyarko was somewhat lucky to get on the field, seeing as the Fire was obligated to play Frankowski on Polish Night at TP. At one time, the Fire had Franek, Blanco, McBride, Mapp, Rolfe and Nyarko on the field at once. That’s a lot of offensive potential, if you consider the international role that those players have played or could play for their countries. The key words are potential and could, however; Blanco, McBride and Franek have proved themselves, but how much do they have left? And Mapp and Rolfe may not have as much potential as they were once thought to; how far will Nyarko go? Hopefully they gel well in the second half of the season for the Fire.

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  14. Im not that surprised with the SJ result. Shalarie Joseph is sooo soo good. Its ridiculous how he controls a match for the Revs. That team would fall apart without him.

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  15. Also curious to know how serious Reis’ injury is. That could be a big impact to NE down the stretch — and could open up the opportunity for other Eastern conference teams to push NE down the chart.

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  16. Following McBride’s performance at the Olympics, I’m actually suspect of how much he’ll contribute to Chicago and when. He really looked a step slow and out of synch with our other players and the game.

    That said, I think a tandem of McBride and Nyarko could work for Chicago. In any case, I’m surprised that Nyarko didn’t start. He seems to add another dimension to the Chicago attack.

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