Roundup for MLS action in Week 28
including a 4-1 loss to United a week before at home -- while United was riding a four-game winning streak.
But Sergio Galvan Rey -- starting in place of the suspended Ante Razov -- put the MetroStars in front in the 17th minute with a lovely goal. Amado Guevara chipped a ball over the United back line, and Galvan Rey perfectly brought it down inside the area before poking it past United 'keeper Nick Rimando.
United pulled level just before the halftime break in stoppage time, Jaime Moreno scoring his 15th goal of the season (one behind New England's Taylor Twellman for the Budweiser MLS Golden Boot) with a bit of free kick magic, whipping the ball inside of Tony Meola's right-hand post from the top of the restraining arc.
But midway through the second half the Metros hit for the eventual game-winner. Guevara found Seth Stammler on the right, and his second chance at a centering pass found Youri Djorkaeff unmarked in the heart of the area, and he swept the ball home first-time (68) to give Mo Johnston his first victory after taking over the head coaching duties.
At Arrowhead Stadium, the Wizards came into their final regular-season home game with a six-game winless run, while the Revolution needed a point and a United loss in the nation's capital to secure the top seed in the East.
After honoring Preki before the match, the MLS original retiring after this season, the Wizards got off to the start they needed with two goals in short order late in the first half. First, in the 28th minute, new signing Antti Sumiala, making his MLS debut, found Josh Wolff in the left side of the area. He skipped inside a defender and lashed a curling shot inside the far post.
Then on 39 minutes Jimmy Conrad doubled the Kansas City lead, stabbing home a deflection from close range after a clearing attempt from New England's Khano Smith on a free kick swung into the area went right into the heart of the goalmouth melee.
But the Revolution pulled a goal back just two minutes later, Jose Cancela bending home a free kick from the top of the box, the first New England goal scored directly from a free kick this season.
New England then secured a share of the points -- and with the result in D.C., the top seed -- when sheer hustle from Clint Dempsey brought the equalizer, chasing a bounding shot that deflected off a pair of Wizards defenders before knocking home his own second-chance effort.
The Wizards and MetroStars ended their season series all square, meaning that if the teams finish level in the Eastern Conference on points, the next tie-breaker is season goal difference, and the Wizards head into the final weekend of the campaign with a six-goal advantage. Both teams are on the road for their finales -- the Wizards traveling to Texas to take on FC Dallas on Saturday night, and the MetroStars playing Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center the following afternoon.
At Soldier Field, the Fire came into the final-ever regular-season game on the lakefront still with a chance to improve their lie in the East standings, taking on a Crew team with just one in their last six games.
Goalkeeper Matt Jordan, making his first start of the season, kept things scoreless in the first half when he saved a Jesse Marsch penalty after Gonzalo Segares was hauled down in the area. But he could do nothing about Marsch's finish early in the second half, side-footing from close range after a neat tic-tac-toe passing sequence (51).
Yet the Crew pulled level just four minutes later, Simon Elliott converting from the spot after Segares returned the favor, tripping up Marcus Storey in the Chicago penalty area.
Then in the 76th minute Eric Vasquez once again hit a long-range bomb against the Fire, blasting a piledriver from all of 25 yards past rookie David Mahoney in the Fire goal for the match-winner. It was the rookie's second goal on the campaign, his first coming in a long-range strike July 16 in Chicago.
At Spartan Stadium, the events of the day had given the Earthquakes the Supporters' Shield before a single ball was kicked. But the home side were still aiming to be the first team in MLS history to go through the entire home portion of their season unbeaten, while Real were trying to keep from being just the second team in MLS history to go an entire season winless on their travels.
The Quakes got the start they needed, scoring twice within seven minutes late in the first half to take a seemingly unassailable lead. Dwayne De Rosario hit first in the 38th minute after a bit of opportunism, his attempted pass in the area coming right back to him where he knocked it home.
Then rookie Julian Nash scored his first MLS goal, finishing off a fast, flowing move out of midfield, turning inside a defender at the top of the area and lashing a low shot inside Jay Nolly's right-hand post (44).
But Real pulled a goal back through some good fortune, a cross from Kevin Novak from the left corner sailing over everyone in the goalmouth and somehow slipping inside the far post as goalkeeper Pat Onstad frantically scrambled back for it (64).
RSL then hit for the equalizer nine minutes later on a terrific goal, Jaime Watson driving in a cross from the left side where Andy Williams steamed in at the back post and hammered home an acrobatic first-time volley.
But it wasn't enough to stop history, as the Quakes ended the year unbeaten in their 16 league games in San Jose, while Real claimed just a second draw in 16 games on the road - the first coming in their first-ever match.
At Pizza Hut Park, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids played to a dour scoreless draw, where substitute goalkeepers made the few saves required in order to keep clean sheets.
New Argentinian signing Dario Sala made his MLS debut and became the first international goalkeeper in FC Dallas history, while Byron Foss once again deputized for the injured Joe Cannon for the Rapids, though the pair were required just seven saves on the night (five for Foss).
The point was enough to pull FC Dallas two points clear of the Los Angeles Galaxy in second place in the Western Conference, though a victory would have ensured home-field advantage in the conference semifinals. With the teams having split their season series though, FC Dallas currently hold the advantage in the tie-breaker if they finish level in the table, seven goals better on the season differential.
The Rapids can still claim third place in the West, with a victory Wednesday against Real Salt Lake and a Galaxy loss at home Saturday against San Jose. The two teams would then be even in points, and after they split their season series, it would first come down to goal difference, where Colorado currently holds a slim one-goal edge. If the teams end up with the same goal differential, it would then go to total goals scored on the season, where the Galaxy currently hold a four-goal advantage.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.