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MLS Week 26: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/

The gap between the teams currently in the MLS playoffs and those teams chasing a playoff berth grew much wider this weekend as Toronto FC, Chicago and Kansas City all lost matches they needed to win.

The Seattle Sounders opened up a six-point hold on its playoff berth thanks to Blaise N'kufo's late game-winner to help Seattle beat the Fire. Chicago is now 12 points behind Colorado for the final MLS playoff berth.

San Jose also strengthened its hold on a post-season berth with a vital 3-2 win in Toronto. Chris Wondolowski's hat-trick has moved the Earthquakes into a tie for fourth place in the West, with two games in hand on Seattle.

Here is a rundown of this weekend's MLS matches:

Los Angeles Galaxy 0, New York Red Bulls 2

The Red Bulls' midfield dominates and the Galaxy's make-shift defense fails to keep New York from scoring a vital road win. New York closes the gap on Columbus for first place in the East as newcomer Mehdi Ballouchy impresses yet again. For Los Angeles, the attack is lacking a spark and Bruce Arena better find it before the playoffs begin. HIGHLIGHTS

Toronto 2, San Jose Earthquakes 3

TFC's already slim playoff hopes take a painful hit against an ever-improving San Jose side that has a legitimate MVP candidate in Chris Wondolowski, who notched a hat-trick. The Earthquakes are still within striking distance of FC Dallas for third place in the East, but with Dallas refusing to lose, fourth place might be San Jose's goal. HIGHLIGHTS

Philadelphia Union 3, Chivas USA 0

Guess who moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference? The Union, which continues to impress at PPL Park. Sebastien LeToux continues to make a case for MVP consideration while Chivas USA makes a case for a serious roster overhaul. HIGHLIGHTS

D.C. United 1, Houston Dynamo 3

The Dynamo's season is over but we did see some flashes of what Houston might do in 2011. As for D.C. United, the nightmare continues, but Andy Najar continues to be the bright spot for D.C. and a star in the making. HIGHLIGHTS

New England Revolution 2, Columbus Crew 2

New England blows a two-goal lead for the second time in a week while a clearly road-weary Crew side battle back to earn a road point that keeps Columbus in first place in the East. HIGHLIGHTS

Kansas City Wizards 1, FC Dallas 3

The battle of red-hot teams goes to FC Dallas, which scored a very impressive road victory. Milton Rodriguez continues to impress while the defense held up well against a streaking Wizards attack. Jeff Cunningham scores again and is looking like a very effective bench option for Dallas. HIGHLIGHTS

Chicago Fire 0, Seattle Sounders 1

The Fire's faint playoff hopes were likely buried for good after Blaise N'Kufo's late winner. Chicago's inability to create chances has been a problem all season and struck again here. Head coach Carlos De Los Cobos can't be long for the Fire coaching job, while Seattle looks poised to make a strong playoff run. HIGHLIGHTS

Real Salt Lake 1, Colorado Rapids 1

Rapids should be happy to take a point from Rio Tinto Stadium, but this one feels like a loss after surrendering Nat Borchers' last-minute equalizer. Earning a draw on the road without Omar Cummings is a good accomplishment for a Colorado side that has slipped down to the last playoff spot. HIGHLIGHTS


What did you think of this weekend's MLS action? Who impressed you the most? Which team's performance was the most disappointing? Think Wondolowski and LeToux deserve MVP consideration?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Blinders? WTF? I’m the guy looking at Toronto. You’re the guy “not expecting much” from KC at New York and then expecting KC to win a crunch match against the hottest club in the league.

    KC better win in New York, or they’re gonna be looking at an 11 point gap after Seattle stomps Toronto.

  2. It is not like Dallas is playing for zero-zero ties.

    They just dont lose. Last loss = May 20th.

    I don’t even remember back to May 20th.

    They play LA and SLC in the last four games. Those better be televised.

  3. Hey, I just remembered Alexi Lalas’ dig at FCD during the RBNY – LA break last week. He said something about how he cant see why everyone is making noise about Dallas, and how FCD simply found a way “not to lose”, but they “dont know how to win”. Anyone have a link to that bit of genius?

  4. Right, I think it was a joke about comments that people always make whenever there is ANY story about FCD. Hey Raymon, next time, you should put a :-).

    It was not “completely empty” as they have a ton of fields there so there may have been games going on, and probably a watching party too.

  5. I think the point is even if KC wins the game against seattle that KC has to win the game in hand. Even if that game is won they are still tied. Pretend Seattle wins 2 of its last 4 KC has to win 4 of 5. Bottom line if Seattle wins KC can’t catch them that is why you don’t look behind.

    When there is a tie like SJ and Seattle but SJ has games in hand that is different, because a tie is good enough

  6. Dallas makes fun of itself… its too easy.
    1. 4 fans show up
    2. Stadium named, Pizza Hut Park

    bottom line, they could win the UEFA champions league, and still no one would show up…

  7. FC Dallas looked good. Too bad Pizza Hut Park was practically empty on Saturday. Ha! I am missing people dissing Dallas supporters, where are you guys today?

  8. That’s good…you put the blinders on when you go to KC in two weeks and get your asses handed to you. KC has a game in hand on Seattle….that game will be a 6 pointer. Realistically, KC has two winnable road games sandwiched in between two playoff home games. Not expecting much from them in NY this week, but they have been good on the road lately, beating both LA and Columbus in their stadiums. If KC can grab a point or three this weekend, they are right back in the thick.

  9. Disagree with half your comment, SS. Agree there’s no point in worrying about folks behind us as long as we play well, but one of the main problems with the current playoff format is that there’s really no race beyond the race to get in. There’s so much parity that there’s just no abstract value in obtaining a higher seeding. To me it’s more about who’s rounding into good form as the season closes than it’s about overall record.

    For example, right now I’d much rather play the Galaxy than anyone seeded 2-5. And “catching” RBNY could very well land us Dallas in the first round. No freaking thank you.

  10. Wow just from the highlights that TFC-SJ game looked exciting! There have been lots of exciting and dramatic games in MLS the past couple weeks

  11. I’d much rather play New York than C-bus, but that wasn’t the point.

    There’s plenty of points left on the board and Sounders should focus on catching those ahead of them as opposed to worrying about those behind them.

  12. As a Sounders fan, I disagree somewhat—KC has looked dangerous, and similar to the Sounders, have pulled out some results in gritty fashion.

    Since they had two matches in hand, I was definitely looking over my shoulder at them. But now that they dropped a decision yesterday, we should be in good shape to retain the 8th spot.

    Toronto and Chicago haven’t done enough, obviously, to warrant any real concern.

  13. “The Seattle Sounders opened up a six-point hold on its playoff berth…”

    This is why I always laugh about all the ominous talk regarding “games-in-hand” possessed by squads sitting behind the 8th spot. About a month ago everyone was saying, “Yeah, Seattle’s in 8th, but look at all the games-in-hand the teams behind them have.”

    It’s one thing if we’re discussing the Supporters Shield and teams that have actually put up a good record over the course of the season. But when we’re talking about the 9th, 10th, and 11th place teams in a 16-team league, who cares? Toronto, Chicago, and KC have done nothing to make the Sounders look over their shoulders and worry about anything besides taking care of their own business.

  14. Hope not. Quakes are on 39 pts w/ 1 or 2 games in hand on everybody but Colorado. Chicago midweek should be just the ticket to further lock up our spot.

  15. Yes, there is nothing more appropriate than a question about Charlie Davies in a post about MLS Week 26. ~~rolls eyes~~

    I said it yesterday, but it I’ll say it again…LA won’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs. They don’t match up well against any of their potential first round opposition (FCD, Rapids, RSL). The West is a beast this year.


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