The Los Angeles Galaxy remained top of the table in Major League Soccer, but might have suffered a significant loss despite playing to a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids to round out Week 7 in MLS on Saturday night.
The visiting Rapids answered the Galaxy as the teams scored second-half goals 10 minutes apart, but in the first half, league-leading scorer Carlos Ruiz was taken from the field on a stretcher after suffering an ankle injury.
In other Week 6 action, the Columbus Crew and D.C. United each ended long winless streaks with 1-0 victories against the New England Revolution and Kansas City Wizards respectively, while the San Jose Earthquakes held on for a 2-1 away victory against the Dallas Burn. The Chicago Fire's dominance over the MetroStars continued, the teams playing to a 1-1 draw at Giants Stadium.
At The Home Depot Center, Ruiz clashed with Rapids defender Pablo Mastroeni in the 24th minute and was stretchered from the field. The MLS-leading scorer with six goals from six matches coming into the game suffered a severely sprained ankle and was taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons, though X-rays proved negative and ruled out any dislocation or fracture.
After the break, Ruiz's replacement, Venezuelan international Alejandro Moreno, gave the Galaxy a 61st-minute lead when he was quickest to the rebound of a saved Cobi Jones shot that finished off a fine flowing movement.
But 10 minutes later, Colorado pulled level when Chris Henderson pulled back a deep cross to find an unmarked Jean-Philippe Peguero at the spot, and the Haiti international made no mistake in turning the ball home, celebrating with a tribute to injured Rapids captain and strike partner John Spencer.
In Columbus, the home team celebrated the fifth anniversary of the opening of Columbus Crew Stadium with their first victory of 2004.
Edson Buddle found the back of the net with a low shot through a packed penalty area for the game's only goal, though it didn't come without controversy as the Revolution had apparent goals from Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston ruled out for offside in the second half.
At RFK Stadium, D.C. United also ended a five-match winless streak dating back to the season opener as a bit of vintage genius from Jaime Moreno finally unlocked a well-organized Kansas City Wizards defense.
With the match dwindling toward a scoreless draw 15 minutes from time, Moreno took off on a mazy run through the Wizards midfield before cutting away from defender Jimmy Conrad at the top of the area and sliding a perfectly-placed shot inside Tony Meola's left post.
At the Cotton Bowl, the visiting Earthquakes scored two opportunistic goals in the first half then rode the goalkeeping of Pat Onstad to escape with the victory.
Landon Donovan potted a rebound in the 13th minute to give San Jose the lead, after Brian Mullan hit the post with only Burn 'keeper Scott Garlick to beat from close range. Then in first-half stoppage time, Brian Ching got in front of a defender to stab home a Mullan cross from the right corner to double the lead at the break.
Eddie Johnson got free for a clear header on a Bobby Rhine cross from the right flank at the three-quarter mark (66) to pull a goal back for the home side, but they could get no more past Onstad, who recorded 10 saves on the night.
At the Meadowlands, the visiting Fire came back to grab a share of the points and again maintain their streak against former coach Bob Bradley.
Fabian Taylor's shot on the turn from the top of the area gave the MetroStars the lead after just 13 minutes, but six minutes after the break Ante Razov swept home a low DaMarcus Beasley cross from the left at the back post for the eventual leveller.
The Fire have lost just one of the last 12 meetings between the two clubs including the last seven consecutive league matches since Bradley took over the reins of the MetroStars. As well, Chicago last lost at Giants Stadium on May 27, 2000, where they are now 6-0-1 in their last seven matches in all competitions.