Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIPhotos.com
The Colorado Rapids became the eighth and final MLS team to qualify for the playoffs, and while Kansas City's loss on Saturday made their game against Los Angeles a formality, the Rapids still delivered an eye-opening thrashing of the Western Conference leaders, beating the Galaxy 3-1.
The Galaxy wasn't the only so-called MLS Cup contender to lay an egg in the next-to-last weekend of the regular season. The New York Red Bulls came out flat and were overrun by the Philadelphia Union, while the Columbus Crew needed a goal from goalkeeper Wil Hesmer to avoid an embarrassing loss to Toronto FC.
Two teams that do look ready for the playoffs are Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders. RSL disposed of red-hot FC Dallas, halting the visitors' 19-match unbeaten streak to finish unbeaten at Rio Tinto Stadium for the regular season. The Sounders made easy work of Chivas USA to push their winning streak to five matches.
Here is a rundown of the weekend's MLS action:
WEEK 29 SCOREBOARD
Seattle Sounders 2, Chivas USA 1. Steve Zakuani ran wild as the Sounders finally figured out how to beat Zach Thornton. Another loss for the Rojiblancos raises further questions about whether the club made a mistake hiring Martin Vasquez as head coach. HIGHLIGHTS
Chicago Fire 0, D.C. United 0. Brian McBride's final home game was a forgettable match, though it was good to see him receive the tribute he deserved. D.C. takes a road point as Ben Olsen continues to make his case to keep the head coaching job. HIGHLIGHTS
Toronto FC 2, Columbus Crew 2. TFC fans expressed their displeasure at how badly this season has gone by not showing up. Good thing considering the way they blew the lead in this one. For Columbus, scoring the late equalizer provided a boost, but the Crew can't be happy with its overall performance. HIGHLIGHTS
Philadelphia Union 2, New York Red Bulls 1. The Union out-hustled and out-played a flat Red Bulls squad in the first half, but then New York woke up in the second half and showed some of the ability that has the club in first place. Fred was Man of the Match after his game-saving goal-line clearance of a Juan Agudelo header. HIGHLIGHTS
New England Revolution 1, Kansas City Wizards 0. Jimmy Nielsen has been trumpeted all year as a standout, but he cost his team the result in the biggest game of the season. To be fair, the Wizards offense was as much to blame for not finishing chances. For New England, the win doesn't do much to ease the pain of a lost season. HIGHLIGHTS
Real Salt Lake 2, FC Dallas 0. RSL finishes unbeaten at Rio Tinto on the season and halts FC Dallas' 19-match unbeaten streak in the process. It's just one result, but it's tough to see FC Dallas beating RSL in a playoff series. Especially not without Kevin Hartman. HIGHLIGHTS
San Jose Earthquakes 0, Houston Dynamo 1. Raise your hand if this smells like the Earthquakes lost this one on purpose? Okay, so maybe that's a stretch, but the Earthquakes had better be careful not to head into the playoffs on a downward slide. For Houston, the win provides a glimpse of what could be in 2011, though a major roster overhaul seems likely. HIGHLIGHTS
Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 3. Omar Cummings did the damage as he exposed the Galaxy defense and gave the Rapids reason to believe they can make some noise in the playoffs. The Galaxy welcomed Gregg Berhalter back, but we are left to wonder if he can really stay healthy come playoff time. HIGHLIGHTS.
What did you think of this week's MLS action? Impressed with the Rapids' performance? Starting to worry about the Crew's late-season form? Think New York can hold on to first place in the East?
Share your thoughts below.