MLS: Week 12 recap

fielding the youngest starting team in league history -- stunned the previous solo overall best Los Angeles Galaxy with a last-minute goal in a 2-1 victory. The Chicago Fire, also dealing with a slew of absences, drew 1-1 at home with the San Jose Earthquakes despite seeing another penalty saved, and D.C. United ended the Columbus Crew's long unbeaten run with an impressive 3-1 victory.

In Denver, Kreis scored for the second consecutive week as he continues to round into playing shape following a serious knee injury last year. The Burn original put his team ahead just after halftime, when he sent a sublime chip over Rapids goalkeeper Joe Cannon from just inside the penalty area. The strike put him into a tie with Roy Lassiter, who played with four different clubs from 1996-2002, with 88 goals.

But just two minutes later, Colorado pulled level with a quality goal from Chris Henderson, after Rey Angel Martinez controlled a long pass from Antonio de la Torre and found Henderson with a cross that Dallas 'keeper Jeff Cassar couldn't handle. The Rapids were left with 10 men when Darryl Powell was sent off with three minutes remaining for a second bookable offense, then captain John Spencer was shown a red card for a post-match altercation with an assistant referee.

At Gillette Stadium, the Wizards remained unbeaten through the first four games of their five-match road swing and showed the absence of regular Josh Wolff to international duty wouldn't affect them, as rookie Matt Taylor came off the bench to score two goals.

Davy Arnaud drove home a rebound of a swerving Francisco Gomez shot that Revs 'keeper Adin Brown failed to hold (41) to give Kansas City a first-half lead, then seven minutes after coming on, Taylor finished off a fine counter when he tapped home from close range (70).

A diving header from Clint Dempsey, his third goal of the season, gave the Revolution life when he pulled a goal back four minutes later. But the Wizards sent the home side to a third consecutive defeat and kept them mired with the league's worst overall record when Taylor finished off another counter with a clinical strike from just inside the area three minutes into stoppage time.

At The Meadowlands, nine players -- including eight regular starters -- lost to injury and international duty meant MetroStars coach Bob Bradley was forced to start the youngest first XI in league history. Bradley's team averaged 22 years, 138 days, surpassing by four months the team he started a week ago in San Jose -- which was nearly two full years younger than any previous team in MLS history.

One of those 'kids' -- defender Kenny Arena, son of U.S. national team manager Bruce -- was credited with his first professional goal when a corner kick deflected off him in the penalty area scrum to give the Metros a first-half lead (42).

Just two minutes after the break Andreas Herzog equalized from the penalty spot after Jeff Parke was whistled for a handball on a cross, a decision that was bitterly protested by the MetroStars. But 19-year-old Mike Magee scored the match-winner just before the clock ticked over to the final minute, powering home a header past Galaxy substitute 'keeper Dan Popik.

At Soldier Field, the home-standing Fire were also missing five regulars to international duty. But Nate Jaqua shook off an injury to start and then put his team ahead after just seven minutes, slotting home from close range after strike partner Ante Razov chested down a cross in the box.

But the Earthquakes pulled level in the second half when Brian Ching headed goalward from a corner kick for his league-leading seventh goal of the season, the final touch applied by Fire defender Evan Whitfield just before it entered the net.

Then five minutes from the end referee Alex Prus whistled a penalty kick. Just as in the 2003 MLS Cup Final, Razov stepped up to take it, and just as last November, Quakes 'keeper Pat Onstad made the save. The visitors held on for the draw despite seeing Jeff Agoos sent off for two yellow cards in short order after the penalty was called.

At RFK Stadium, D.C. United put on their best performance of the season and kept things tight in the Eastern Conference, Alecko Eskandarian scoring twice (his first since the season opener) as the home side rolled to victory with three first-half goals.

Jaime Moreno tapped in a low cross from Ronald Cerritos after just six minutes, then Eskandarian hit twice in 10 minutes with a pair of marvelous goals. He finished a nifty tic-tac-toe passing sequence in the left side of the area when he hammered home a looping volley from a cheeky lifted ball from Moreno (35), then just before the halftime whistle, hit a world-class freekick from some 19 yards over the wall and inside Jon Busch's left-hand post.

Manny Lagos pulled a goal back just before the final whistle for the visitors, but the Crew still went down to defeat for the first time since April 24, having won four games and drawn three in the seven matches in between, and in the process fell to fourth place in the East -- though they are just two points behind leaders Chicago and one behind United and MetroStars in joint second.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).