MLS roundup for Week 8
though by distinctly different means -- to round out Week 8 of the MLS season. The New England Revolution used late heroics to keep their unbeaten streak alive, the Los Angeles Galaxy overcame a man disadvantage to keep their perfect home record, and FC Dallas kept their offensive juggernaut rolling along.
A late goal gave the Revolution a 2-2 draw at the MetroStars, while the Galaxy snatched a 2-1 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes. FC Dallas exploded for four goals in the second half on Sunday to hammer Chivas USA 5-2.
Also Saturday, the Columbus Crew put an end to their four-game losing streak, a Frankie Hejduk double giving them a 2-0 victory against Real Salt Lake. Christian Gomez also hit for a double as D.C. United held off the Kansas City Wizards 3-2, and the Chicago Fire knocked off the Colorado Rapids 2-1.
At Giants Stadium, the 10-man MetroStars had seemed to have overcome their disadvantage and put an end to the Revolution's undefeated run to start the campaign -- until Taylor Twellman again came to the rescue.
Twellman had given the Revolution the lead after just six minutes. Pat Noonan collected a Steve Ralston ball played down the right flank before curling in an early cross that Twellman knocked home inside the far post with a sublime first-time strike. But the home side responded just 10 minutes later, a neat bit of juggling from Amado Guevara able to find Tim Ward in the corner, who spun and drove a low cross into the area that Eddie Gaven stabbed home.
MetroStars striker Abbe Ibrahim -- making his first MLS start -- was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 66th minute. Yet it was the Metros who responded, Mike Magee driving in a low cross from the right corner that John Wolyniec slid to bang home off his knees in the middle of the goal area.
But the Revolution weren't going to let their hot start slip away, and a minute from the end, substitute Khano Smith teased in a cross from the left flank that Twellman lunged forward to power home, heading it off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
At The Home Depot Center, the California Clasico got off to a quiet start until Jovan Kirovski hit home with a long-range shot that took a deflection or two on its way to goal (39).
But just after the hour, rookie Galaxy center back Ugo Ihemelu was sent off for a second yellow card, and it took the Earthquakes just six minutes to equalize, new acquisition Mark Chung curling in a perfectly-placed cross from the right where Ronald Cerritos came in at the near post to jab home.
Yet the Galaxy came back to claim the full three points, substitute Naldo da Conceicao freed on the right before looping a cross back to the spot where Peter Vagenas steamed in to drive a thumping header and keep the Galaxy perfect on their home ground.
On Sunday in Carson, FC Dallas exploded for four second-half goals as they shredded the Chivas USA backline. The scoreline was level entering the break: Aaron Pitchkolan having given FCD a dream start after just 31 seconds, redirecting a Ramon Nunez shot with the slightest of touches for his first professional goal before Chivas USA's Hector Cuadros equalized from the penalty spot (19).
But it was all FC Dallas after the break. Carlos Ruiz put the Hoops in front when he turned on Chivas defender Douglas Sequeira and lashed home a low shot from the edge of the area (48), then three minutes later Ronnie O'Brien again hit the back of the net with a long-range bomb, this one from all of 25 yards.
Isaac Romo pulled Chivas a goal back just two minutes later when he headed home a neat cross from Cuadros from the heart of the box. Yet FC Dallas killed off the game with two more goals, Eddie Johnson collecting a square pass from Pitchkolan before sending in a low shot off goalkeeper Martin Zuniga, before Ecuadorian international Roberto Mina completed the scoring in stoppage time when he chipped home into an unguarded goal after Zuniga had come off his line to knock the ball away from Ruiz after he had burst through unchecked.
At Crew Stadium, it was a night for the defenders as the home side put an end to their losing streak and recent defensive woes all in one night.
Both goals came from set pieces as the Crew suffocated the Real attack. In the 14th minute, center back Chad Marshall was desperately unlucky not to score his first MLS goal, powering a header off a free kick that Real 'keeper D.J. Countess could only palm off the underside of the bar. The ball came back down on the fallen 'keeper and Hejduk slipped in to poke it the final couple of inches.
Hejduk had no doubt when he hit for his second in the 37th minute, Simon Elliott whipping in a cross from the left on a well-worked short corner to find the U.S. international unmarked in the center of the area, and he sent his header just inside the right-hand post.
At RFK Stadium, the second rematch of MLS Cup 2004 had a little more excitement than the first, the game bursting to life over the final hour.
Jaime Moreno put D.C. United in the lead in the 29th minute when he converted from the penalty spot after Alecko Eskandarian was pulled back by Jose Burciaga Jr. in the area. But the Wizards leveled the match just after the hour when a Chris Klein rolling cross from the right corner was unfortunately turned into his own goal by United rookie center back Bobby Boswell.
But United responded in short order through Gomez's pair. In the 69th minute, Eskandarian flighted in a cross that Moreno knocked down for Gomez to bang home just before a heavy collision with Wizards 'keeper Bo Oshoniyi. Then Freddy Adu latched onto the ball in midfield and set off on a juking run through the Wizards before laying it off to Gomez who coolly slotted home (80).
The Wizards caused some tense moments for the finale, United 'keeper Nick Rimando spilling a cross just after a tremendous save, and Scott Sealy banging home from close range (88). The home side were then left a man down when Josh Gros was sent off, but they survived the final moments.
At Soldier Field, coming off a pair of 3-0 loss at home, the Fire completely dominated the opening 45 minutes but had only one goal to show for it, a nice angled finish by Andy Herron after he cutback to gain some space in the area (13).
Then just after the break, the Rapids answered through a wonderful goal, a nifty one-two between Alain Nkong and Jeff Cunningham finished off by the Cameroonian international after dancing through a couple of defenders (49). But the Fire scored the eventual match-winner just six minutes later, Lubos Reiter looping the ball overhead for Herron to knock down into the path of Thiago, and he made no mistake in slotting home past Colorado 'keeper Joe Cannon from inside the area.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.