Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com
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.