Roundup for MLS action in Week 17
Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake -- overcame their recent troubles for impressive victories against the New England Revolution (1-0) and FC Dallas (3-0) respectively, while the Colorado Rapids knocked off the Chicago Fire, holders of the best overall record, in a 4-1 rout.
Freddy Adu sent the Los Angeles Galaxy crashing to a rare home defeat in D.C. United's 1-0 victory on Saturday afternoon, while the San Jose Earthquakes moved into a tie atop the Western Conference with a come-from-behind victory against the MetroStars and Robert Warzycha remained unbeaten in charge of the Columbus Crew, his team claiming a 2-0 victory against the Kansas City Wizards.
At The Home Depot Center on Friday, Chivas USA completed their most successful month in club history while again frustrating the New England Revolution, a first-half goal from Douglas Sequeira being all they needed for victory.
Antonio Martinez -- a threat all night long on the left flank for Chivas -- beat his marker before whipping in a cross that Sequeira flashed in to head home at the near post for the game's only marker (38).
It gave Chivas a split of the season series -- they lost just 1-0 to the Revolution on a late goal in April -- while they won their second league match and third in all competitions in July.
At Rice-Eccles Stadium, the FC Dallas defense was again left in tatters -- then saw Real Salt Lake gamely hang on -- before losing back-to-back matches for the first time this season.
After allowing two goals in the dying minutes the week before to turn an apparent victory into a 3-2 loss to New England, FC Dallas allowed three goals in the opening half-hour to Real -- all from free kicks.
Real took the lead after just three minutes. After a foul on the left touchline, Clint Mathis drove in a low cross into the FCD penalty area. Brian Dunseth was able to separate himself from defender Steve Jolley and turned home his second goal of the year.
RSL then struck twice in four minutes. First, after Andy Williams was fouled on the right touchline and while the Dallas defense was still organizing, Williams stepped up and whipped in a quick kick into the box. The quick restart caught FCD off guard as Jordan Cila snuck into the middle of the goalmouth to put a head on the ball, again catching Garlick flat-footed (26).
Then Mathis hit for a stunning goal, his free kick from all of 35 yards straight out from goal sliding past the end of the wall, skidding on the turf and past Garlick's outstretched dive just inside the near post (30).
In Denver, the Colorado Rapids responded to an early goal with two quick ones of their own, Alain Nkong hitting for a double while Jeff Cunningham again took over the league's goal scoring lead.
Rookie Will Johnson -- making his first-ever MLS start, gave the Fire a dream start, taking a pass across the top of the area before hammering a wicked strike past Joe Cannon inside his right-hand post (16).
But the Rapids answered quickly, taking the lead with two goals inside of four minutes. Kyle Beckerman's tackle in midfield won the ball to Cunningham, and after he raced at the heart of the Fire defense he laid the ball off to Nkong, who curled the ball inside the far post with a fine finish (23).
Then two defenders combined for the go-ahead goal, Ritchie Kotschau's ball putting Eric Denton in behind the Fire back four, and he ripped home a shot from a tight angle on the left, bouncing off the inside of the back post (26).
The Rapids finished off the match with two goals in the final quarter-hour. Cunningham scored his league-leading 10th goal of the campaign to finish a sequence of possession, Jean Phillipe Peguero finding Nkong in the box before he immediately slipped Cunningham through, and he knocked it home just ahead of a challenge (75).
Nine minutes later Nkong completed his double, intercepting a pass in midfield before racing into the Fire area and driving home a low angled shot. He then did his best "Get Smart" imitation, taking off his shoe to dial home and tell family and friends the good news.
At The Home Depot Center on Saturday, D.C. United closed down the Los Angeles Galaxy for 90 minutes on a blistering-hot day before a moment of Adu magic gave them the full three points and handed Steve Sampson his first-ever home loss since taking over the club.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Adu chased down a header won by D.C. defender Brandon Prideaux before dribbling by and shaking off the challenge from the Galaxy's Ugo Ihemelu. Drifting left, Adu then created the space in front of defender Tyrone Marshall to rocket a shot that slightly deflected off Marshall's leg and past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman into the upper corner.
At Spartan Stadium, the Earthquakes allowed their first goal at home in three months but still hit back for a 2-1 victory against the MetroStars that moved them into a first place tie for the Western Conference lead.
The Quakes allowed their first goal at home in 537 minutes -- since a goal by Kansas City's Chris Klein on April 23 -- in unfortunate circumstances. A Ryan Suarez cross from the right flank deflected off Ricardo Clark and looped high in the air over San Jose 'keeper Pat Onstad and under the crossbar (32).
But it took the home side less than a minute to answer. Alejandro Moreno cut back on the right before laying the ball off to Dwayne De Rosario, and he curled in a cross that Mark Chung streaked in at the back post to head home for the equalizer.
The Quakes then hit for the game-winner after the break. A long ball from the back was controlled well by Chung, and after bringing it down he slipped De Rosario through as the Canadian international was making a steaming run out of midfield. He held off a retreating MetroStars defender before beating Tony Meola with a low shot inside his right-hand post (53).
At Crew Stadium, Knox Cameron scored his first two MLS goals -- literally on each side of halftime -- to give Robert Warzycha a second consecutive victory and extend his unbeaten run to three games since taking over as the Columbus head coach.
In the final minute of the first half, Simon Elliott found Kyle Martino on the right flank, and after rounding a defender, he drove a ball to Cornell Glen at the back post. Glen couldn't handle it, but it fell to Cameron who blasted the ball into the back of the net.
Then almost directly off the second half kickoff, Martino found Henderson who passed the ball to Elliott. He one-timed the ball back to Martino, who served a low ball to Cameron at the near post. The University of Michigan product directed the ball into net to extend the Crew's lead with the half barely a half-minute old.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.