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MLS Week 29: A Look Back

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Photo by Michael Janosz/

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:


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.


  1. RSL still is in the hunt for the CCL, Supporter’s shield, and the MLS Cup.

    and to one of the original posts had RSL not started its second team against Colorado their is no way they would have gotten a tie in Salt Lake.

  2. As much as guys on here with the CONCACAF Champions League was a big deal, it is not.

    No one has ever said anything about “double” or “treble” or any other math using the CCL in the U.S. because no U.S. team has ever won that “league” since it’s inception a whopping two years ago.

    If you are going to impugn the reputation of the U.S. Open Cup, at least be realistic about the competitions you are comparing it to.

  3. I agree with Brennan about the lack of prestige in the US Open Cup. You win 4 games and get a trophy and are supposed to consider it up there with the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, and CCL? There’s nothing prestigious about an MLS team beating a couple MLS teams during a scattered, mid-season “tournament”. It’s nothing like the FA Cup where you have hundreds of clubs and the FA Cup game is a low team’s game of the year. It means much more to the low teams than the high end teams. It may be a big deal for some amateur team that gets to compete in the US Open Cup, but I don’t find it very impressive if an MLS team (or most USL teams) wins the USOC.

    (SBI- “It’s nothing like the FA Cup where you have hundreds of clubs and the FA Cup game is a low team’s game of the year.” Um, actually that’s exactly what the U.S. Open Cup is like.)

  4. No, that’s not really the case at all. THE double has consisted of the U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup for years. I’m not sure why this is news to you actually. I’ve never heard of anyone lumping the Supporter’s Shield or the CCL in there. Like I stated before, the Supporter’s Shield isn’t even a trophy, so really, you’re just making up your own doubles and trebles.

    I think the original point of your post (“You Seattle fans should quit trying to make the US Open cup worth something.”) was to somehow trash Sounders fans for having the gall to take the U.S. Open Cup seriously.

    You should be thanking Seattle fans for finally making the U.S. Open Cup final a big event.

  5. Most teams take the CCL serious after the group stages. I don’t think you get what I’m saying though. In England (Since that’s what we are referencing) a team would never brag about winning “The Treble” unless it was the EPL Championship, FA Cup, and Champions League. Now a team might say they won “A Treble,” but “THE Treble” has a different definition. I am saying Sounders can win “A Double”(any two trophies in a season, hell a Super Liga trophy would give you a double) but would consider “THE Double” any two parts of “THE Treble” and IMO “THE Treble” is the winner of the CCL, SS, and MLS Cup since in my opinion those are the 3 most prestigious trophies an MLS team can win. Now maybe your opinion is different, and if it is I respect that.

  6. I was at the RSL game Saturday and was more than impressed with how they shut down one of the better players in the league in Ferreira. Is it safe to say that RSL has one of, if not the best/deepest midfields in the league?

  7. I guess your right Hopper Sounders aren’t the only ones who care about it, that explains why teams field the entire bench for these games, and anyone but Sounders have a hard time breaking 3000 attendence. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of the US Open cup, and really do wish it was bigger, but for now the hardcore MLS fans ought to see the cup for what it really is: an insignificant road bump for teams trying to win real trophies.

    (SBI-Last time I checked CONCACAF Champions League games also had empty seats and reserve players playing in them, so how is that different? Just admit that you don’t care for the tournament and accept the fact that it isn’t just people in Seattle who do respect it.)

  8. Perhaps we have conflicting opinions. I agree winning the Open Cup and MLS Cup is worthy of “a” double, but generally when I think of “the” double or “the” treble it consists of MLS Cup, SS, CCL.

    And I completely disagree with the arguement “well England does it this ways so we should too!”

    (SBI-The argument wasn’t about England specifically. It applies to ANY country in Europe, or anywhere. I simply offered England as an example, not a validation. The domestic cup is considered double or treble worthy in any country I can think of. You’re in the very small minority who wouldn’t consider a U.S. Open Cup a legitimate part of a double or treble.)

  9. Wow. How wrong you are. The US Open Cup has always been considered a major trophy in American soccer. Haven’t you heard people discussing the 98 Chicago Fire team that won the double (MLS Cup and US Open Cup)? So it ain’t just Seattle fans. The Supporter’s Shield isn’t even a trophy.

  10. The Treble in MLS is the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, and CCL championship. Any combination of those 3 would give you a double. You Seattle fans should quit trying to make the US Open cup worth something.

    (SBI-Sorry Brennan, but how in the world can you dismiss the U.S. Open Cup as not being “eligible” for a treble? That makes zero sense. It’s the equivalent of the FA Cup, which is every bit a part of any double or treble in England. If Seattle wins MLS Cup, they will have absolutely won a double.)

  11. Honestly the only league I can think of that is “faster” is the EPL ..and maybe the Bundesliga. Serie A is definitely not faster ( not arguing the higher quality, thats obvious)… FMF league is slower, it can eve be argued that La Liga is slower paced as well. Slow paced does not mean low quality obviously.

  12. MLS needs to fire the ref from the Houston SJ game, Kennedy. Cam Weaver put his boot through Jon Busch’s face and didn’t get a card, much less a foul called.

  13. In other news, Ives begrudgingly has to mention the Colorado Rapids, and reluctantly must post a picture of them on his website.

  14. to increase speed, call more fouls and give out more cards. Physical play lowers games speed, just ask anyone about to play Arsenal.

    (this is well known to US Soccer, and they are trying to move up and down the ladder in the US promoting less physical play and more technical play. I wish them good luck, but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon)

  15. Thanks for the sarcasm.

    I did not ask Ives to do anything besides give me his opinion.

    The reason I asked the question was because, I think there are too many older players that are not very good in this league.

    I just think MLS should give younger players coming out of college more opportunities, rather than giving it to the same older veterans that are not very productive or fast.

  16. TIVO the match then watch in FF.

    Seriously though, there are several reasons for the slower pace when compared to other (European leagues). A few points:

    – Less talent/young league
    – Wider range of elevations/climates
    – Greater average travel distances

  17. hey Ives, Got a question.

    I love the MLS and watch at least couple of games a week. But I just hate the fact how slow the play of MLS is. Is there anyway MLS can pick up the pace and play a little faster?

  18. In the last month, on the road, the Rapids have tied RSL and Dallas, and beaten the Galaxy. I think they’ll be a handful for an 8th seed.


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