Sharpshooters emerge with L.A., FCD
two in favor and one against -- gave the Galaxy a wild 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids. But also on Saturday, FC Dallas gave every indication about the kind of team they have, scoring two goals in the final 14 minutes to pull into a 3-3 tie with MLS Cup 2004 finalist Kansas City Wizards.
Also on Saturday, Freddy Adu showed the breathtaking promise he possesses when he scored a goal and added two assists in leading D.C. United to a 3-1 victory against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium. A Ronald Cerritos goal was all that separated the San Jose Earthquakes in their victory against the MetroStars, while a Hector Cuadros penalty was the only goal in giving Chivas USA the victory against Real Salt Lake in the first-ever meeting between the newest expansion clubs.
At The Home Depot Center on Sunday, the Galaxy won their fourth game on the trot -- all at home, and all against West opposition -- in a bizarre climax. The teams traded goals six minutes apart in the first half: Tyrone Marshall just reached in ahead of Chris Albright to poke home a corner kick (21), but Jean Philippe Peguero powered home a header from the heart of the penalty area from a pinpoint Chris Henderson cross to pull the Rapids level.
Just as the match seems destined to wind down to a draw, the Galaxy won a penalty when Nat Borchers tripped up Guillermo Ramirez as he burst into the area, and Landon Donovan converted (86). Yet just two minutes later the Rapids received a penalty of their own, L.A. goalkeeper Kevin Hartman sent Luchi Gonzalez head over heels with his challenge as Gonzalez slashed through the box, Jeff Cunningham neatly converting from the spot.
But just as the clock ticked over for the full 90 minutes, substitute Guy Melamed was adjudged by referee Jair Marrufo to have hauled back Marshall as they challenged for a free kick swung into the box, and despite the bitter recriminations from the Colorado players, Donovan sent Rapids 'keeper Joe Cannon the wrong way for his league-leading fifth goal of the campaign.
At Arrowhead Stadium, the Wizards saw their defensive troubles continue as FC Dallas came back to claim a valuable road point. The teams traded goals early in the first half, with Sasha Victorine heading home a corner after just four minutes, before Eddie Johnson headed home a cross powered in from the right to pull the Hoops level (16).
The Wizards then hit for two goals within three minutes shortly after the break. Josh Wolff converted from the spot after Bobby Rhine was adjudged to have pulled over Jose Burciaga Jr. (51), then Burciaga found Chris Klein all alone in the heart of the area with a long ball from nearly the halfway line, and he neatly slipped it past FCD 'keeper Scott Garlick.
But Dallas pulled a goal back on 76 minutes through a neat header from Ronnie O'Brien, whose backward redirection from a Bobby Rhine service found home. Then Carlos Ruiz hit for the equalizer six minutes later, turning to escape his marker at the top of the area and lashing a low, left-footed shot inside Bo Oshoniyi's left-hand post.
At Gillette Stadium, it was a composed, professional performance that kept the Revolution unbeaten on the campaign and still atop the Eastern Conference.
Pat Noonan righted the New England ship in the 34th minute with a fine goal, cutting through the area from right to left before driving a low shot inside Zach Thornton's left post.
Then the Revolution doubled their lead just before the hour with a well-worked goal, when a Taylor Twellman cross found Steve Ralston, and he flicked the ball over his head to find an onrushing Clint Dempsey at the six. He flicked the ball back over his head, leaving Thornton stranded as the ball flew over his head into the goal.
At RFK Stadium, Adu sent United off to a dream start when he set up two goals in the first nine minutes. After just five minutes, Brandon Prideaux was sent in alone on goal, and despite slipping it past Jon Busch, Crew defender Chad Marshall came racing in to hook it off the line. But Adu chased it down in the left corner and drove the ball back into the six where Jaime Moreno turned it home.
Then Adu split open the Crew backline with an angled pass that found Ben Olsen on the right flank, and he had the time to pick out Josh Gros at the penalty spot with a driven cross. The second-year man then powered a diving header high into the goal.
Rookie Domenic Mediate then scored his first professional goal in the 69th minute when he reached in front of a defender and turned home an Edson Buddle flick-on from the heart of the area.
Yet Adu restored the advantage just two minutes later with a wonderful individual effort, receiving a long ball from Olsen on the right deep in the Columbus box before leaving a defender behind with a quick cut and calmly finishing with a low shot home off the base of the left post.
At Giants Stadium, the MetroStars were desperately unlucky to hit the woodwork twice in the opening 45 minutes. Amado Guevara sent a wicked blast from outside the area that beat Pat Onstad -- only to come straight back off the post. Then Sergio Galvan Rey sent a nifty near-post flick header from a corner kick that glanced off the face of the crossbar.
After the break, the Earthquakes finally found the opener at the end of a wonderful movement. A neat backheel from Dwayne De Rosario set Brad Davis free on the left, and he whipped in another inviting cross that found Ronald Cerritos all alone at the back post for him to calmly head home.
At The Home Depot Center on Saturday, the first match between the expansion clubs was also a crazy affair. Chivas USA took a lead for the first time ever at home in the 39th minute from the penalty spot. Real Salt Lake defender Marlon Rojas was ruled to have knocked down a cross with his hand on the edge of the area, and Hector Cuadros finished from the spot.
Real finished with 10 men -- but through bizarre circumstances. Goalkeeper D.J. Countess was injured in the 80th minute when he fell awkwardly on his shoulder -- but coach John Ellinger had already used his three substitutions. That meant Brian Kamler had to pick up the gloves and go between the posts, but he was not called upon to make a single stop.
Thi story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.