Wednesday MLS Rewind: Earthquakes and Rapids clinch playoffs, Orlando City tops Crew, and more

Wednesday MLS Rewind: Earthquakes and Rapids clinch playoffs, Orlando City tops Crew, and more

Major League Soccer

Wednesday MLS Rewind: Earthquakes and Rapids clinch playoffs, Orlando City tops Crew, and more

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The Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes secured playoff berths on Wednesday night, posting impressive victories to their recent stretches without a postseason berth.

The Earthquakes defeated Los Angeles FC, 3-2, with Chris Wondolowski and Cristian Espinoza leading the way to a victory that improved Matias Almeyda’s side to 6-2-1 in its past nine matches since an awful 5-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids in September.

The Rapids booked their place in the playoffs with an impressive win on the road against the Portland Timbers. The victory was Colorado’s second straight and has Robin Fraser’s squad poised to make a push toward the top six in the West with a win in its regular season finale.

In the Eastern Conference, Orlando City moved into third place after beating the Columbus Crew, a loss that leaves the Crew vulnerable in their quest to maintain a place in the top four.

Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s MLS results:

Orlando City 2, Crew 1

(Mueller 27′, Michel 84′) – (Afful 56′)

Man of the Match

Mauricio Pererya was once again the maestro for Orlando City, helping set up both goals in the win.

Moment of the Match

Though it didn’t help the Crew win, Eloy Room’s jaw-dropping double-save in the 30th minute was easily the most memorable moment of the night.

Match to Forget

Aboubacar Keita did poorly on both Orlando City goals, and was the Crew’s worst defender on the night.

HIGHLIGHTS


Minnesota United 2, Fire 2

(Aja 64′, Lod 80′) – (Beric 17′, Pineda 52′)

Man of the Match

Robin Lod was workhorse for the Loons, contributing four tackles as a key contributor defensively,  while also boosting the attack, including the equalizer.

Moment of the Match

The Fire had a chance for a stoppage-time winner, but VAR overturned the late goal that could have sealed the win.

Match to Forget

Francisco Calvo found himself in no-man’s land on the Loons equalizer, leaving him to watch Lod score when he should have been the one marking Lod.

HIGHLIGHTS


Nashville SC 0, FC Dallas 1

(Hollingshead 19′)

Man of the Match

Ryan Hollingshead not only scored the winning goal, he also made a game-saving goal-line clearance to preserve the shutout.

Moment of the Match

Hollingshead’s goal-line clearance was even more impressive than his goal.

Match to Forget

Walker Zimmerman may be having a Best XI caliber season, but Wednesday was far from his best game. He kept Hollinghsead onside on his goal and nearly gave away another goal only to have Joe Willis bail him out with a big save.

HIGHLIGHTS


Timbers 0, Rapids 1

(Acosta 83′)

Man of the Match

Diego Rubio was active in the Rapids attack, and helped set up Kellyn Acosta’s winner, starting the sequence with an interception, then putting in impressive work on the build-up, including the excellent layoff pass for the assist.

Moment of the Match

The Rapids goal was a work of art, showing off Colorado’s ability to transition smoothly, and pass the ball well, with Acosta providing the classy finish.

Match to Forget

Diego Chara is normally very reliable, but he turned the ball over on the winning goal sequence, and failed multiple times to stop Colorado’s counter.

HIGHLIGHTS


Galaxy 1, Sounders 1

(Hernandez 78′) – (Ruidiaz 90′)

Man of the Match

Raul Ruidiaz never stopped working to bring the Sounders back, and delivered the last-minute equalizer.

Moment of the Match

Though it didn’t hold up as a winner, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez coming off the bench to score a goal was a special moment.

Match to Forget

There was plenty of blame to go around on the late Sounders equalizer, but Rolf Feltscher was especially poor on the sequence, losing an aerial challenge at the start before being beaten on the run by Jordan Morris, who provided the equalizing assist.

HIGHLIGHTS


Earthquakes 3, LAFC 2

(Atuesta OG 28′, Wondolowski 37′, Espinoza 72′) – (Blessing 23′, Rossi 90′)

Man of the Match

Cristian Espinoza was instrumental to another Earthquakes win, delivering a goal and assist, with his goal proving to be the game-winner.

Moment of the Match

The final whistle sparked an emotional scene for an Earthquakes side that climbed out from a horrendous run of results to rattle off a 6-2-1 record and secure its first playoff berth since 2017.

Match to Forget

Kenneth Vermeer didn’t have any outright howlers, but he failed to deal with any real Earthquakes threats, and should have done better on Espinoza’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS

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