where they had won just twice in their history -- and recorded a 2-0 victory, extending the Crew winless and goalless streak to record proportions. And D.C. United, which began the week at the foot of the East, saw two players sent off yet still came back for a surprising 2-1 victory against the Chicago Fire.
There's new leadership atop the West, where the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo now sit tied for the divisional lead. The Galaxy knocked off the previous leader, the Colorado Rapids, 3-2 in a wild night at The Home Depot Center, while the Dynamo raced past Toronto FC 3-1 at home on Sunday.
The New England Revolution consolidated their position atop the Eastern Conference and the MLS overall table with a 2-1 win against FC Dallas. The New York Red Bulls stopped Chivas USA's recent charge with a 1-0 win on MLS Primetime Thursday, and Real Salt Lake remained unbeaten at home on the season, playing to a scoreless draw with the Kansas City Wizards.
At Crew Stadium, the Crew were coming into the game off a draw and two losses in their last three games -- all shutouts -- after reeling off five wins in a row, while the Earthquakes had won just twice on the season, fewest wins of any club in the league.
Yet it was the visitors who took the lead after just 10 minutes. Ronnie O'Brien tracked down a loose ball near the right touchline and swung in a high cross, where Ryan Johnson headed home for his second goal on the season.
The Quakes doubled the lead on the hour mark. Again it was O'Brien providing the service, this time from a freekick in the right corner, and Ramiro Corrales rose up unmarked to snap home a header for his second goal on the campaign.
Both teams were left a man short over the final 10 minutes as the Crew's Brad Evans was sent off with a straight red and San Jose's James Riley was expelled after a second bookable offense, but the Earthquakes held out for their victory in 14 all-time trips to the Ohio state capital. The Crew now have not scored in 367 minutes, the third-longest streak in club history, but the first time ever they've been shut out in four consecutive complete matches.
At Toyota Park, the Fire came into the match having allowed just six goals on the entire season and off a resounding 5-1 win at New York, while D.C. United were trying to turn their season around with a win and a draw following a four-game losing skid.
The Fire took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, in the 27th minute. Cuauhtemoc Blanco intercepted a back pass and sent Chad Barrett racing in alone on goal. The young striker held off a late challenge and poked the ball past United goalkeeper Zach Wells for his fifth goal on the campaign and third in the last two games.
Both teams saw a man sent off in the 55th minute when Chicago's Brandon Prideaux and United's Marcelo Gallardo tangled behind the play. But United pulled level eight minutes later as Luciano Emilio cut inside his defender on the right and sent a low shot goalward that Fire 'keeper Jon Busch blocked, but Jaime Moreno slid in to tap home the rebound.
United went down a man in the 89th minute when Bryan Namoff received the second of his two yellow cards in a four-minute span, both for fouls on Blanco. But it was D.C. that responded, as Emilio was set free down the left flank, raced into the area and lashed a shot past Busch inside the near post for his third goal of the year and second in as many games.
At The Home Depot Center, the LA Galaxy were returning home after being shut out for just the second time on the season, ending a two-game winning run with a defeat by Toronto FC. The Rapids had alternated wins and losses for six successive rounds, last a late 2-1 victory at home against FC Dallas.
It took the Galaxy just four minutes to again find the back of the net. David Beckham swung in a freekick from the right flank, and after it bounced around the goalmouth scrum, Alvaro Pires was on hand to stab it home from close range for his first MLS goal.
The Galaxy doubled their lead in the 32nd minute. Abel Xavier sent a long ball down the right flank and Edson Buddle raced past the Colorado defense to latch onto it, ripping a sharply angled drive inside the far post from the corner of the area for his fifth goal of the year.
Just before the break, both teams were left a man short when Colorado defender Facundo Erpen and Galaxy striker Alan Gordon tangled at midfield and each was shown red by referee Kevin Stott.
The Galaxy made it 3-0 five minutes into the second half. Sent in all alone by Peter Vagenas, Ely Allen strolled in and curled a shot around Colorado goalkeeper Preston Burpo from the top of the box for his first professional goal.
But the Rapids came storming back. Omar Cummings stood up his defender on the left before sliding a centering pass to Colin Clark, and after skipping through the pair of defenders on the edge of the area, he slipped the ball inside the right-hand post for his first goal since the season opener (73).
Nine minutes later it was 3-2. Clark sent a high ball into the area that the Galaxy had trouble clearing and Herculez Gomez, who came on as a second-half substitute, found the ball at his feet and punished his former team from close range.
At Robertson Stadium, the Dynamo were coming off a 1-0 win against the New York Red Bulls, after their midweek date with D.C. United was abandoned after a flooded-out 16 minutes. Toronto FC were back on the road for just the second time in eight games, having gone 4-0-2 in that stretch at BMO Field.
From the start, the Dynamo were in a rampant mood, but they didn't break through until stoppage time at the end of the opening 45 minutes. Brian Ching rose up to head a high ball behind the TFC defense, and Dwayne De Rosario out-paced a Toronto defender into the area before sublimely chipping the ball over Greg Sutton as he raced off his line.
Seven minutes after the break Houston doubled their lead. This time De Rosario played provider, taking a square pass from defender Patrick Ianni after he had countered up the left flank. The Canadian international spun and laid off a pass for Ching as the back post, and he drilled a shot high into the goal.
Ching doubled his haul in the 69th minute. Stuart Holden worked free in the right corner before serving in a cross from the byeline to the top of the six, where Ching was completely alone and headed home for his fifth goal on the campaign, all in the last six weeks.
TFC pulled a goal just two minutes later after Jeff Cunningham scampered in behind the Dynamo backline and hammered a rising blast from right on the edge of the penalty area that sailed past Pat Onstad and into the upper left corner. For Cunningham, it was the 99th league goal of his MLS career.
At Gillette Stadium, the Revolution had moved back atop the Eastern Conference on the strength of a four-game unbeaten run, while FC Dallas were coming off a 2-1 loss in Colorado, Marco Ferruzzi's first defeat after taking over as interim coach.
It took the Revolution just five minutes to open their account. Sainey Nyassi beat his marker on the right flank and swung in a cross to the back post where Adam Cristman dove headlong to send the ball past Ray Burse, his second goal in as many games and third on the season.
The Revolution doubled their lead in the 22nd minute. While battling for a corner kick, FCD's Drew Moor was spotted with a high elbow toward New England's Jeff Larentowicz, and after consultation with his assistant, referee Michael Kennedy awarded the penalty. Steve Ralston converted from the spot for his first penalty goal in nearly two years.
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis then saved the day, literally, for his team, making a career-best 10 stops in the match, including eight in the second half. He was beaten in stoppage time as Arturo Alvarez was left completely unmarked at the back post to calmly side-foot home a volley off a Dominic Oduro cross, but FC Dallas could get no closer.
At Giants Stadium, the big prematch buzz concerned the transfer of striker Jozy Altidore to Villarreal CF of Spain's La Liga. The Red Bulls were coming off back-to-back losses, to Chicago and Houston, while Chivas USA had put together three wins in a row after a five-game winless run.
Both teams had really canceled each other out until the 75th minute. Dane Richards, whose pace down the right flank was one of the Red Bulls' lone effective threats going forward, found space on the right side of the box and sent an effective cross just inside the penalty spot and Juan Pablo Angel was unmarked as he headed home his second goal on the season.
At Rice-Eccles Stadium, Real Salt Lake were at home for the second week in a row, after a 3-1 win against San Jose that kept them undefeated on the Wasatch Front. The Wizards were playing the last of their six consecutive matches on the road, with three losses and a draw in their last four outings.
Real had the advantage in play, recording 19 shots in all and putting seven on target, but getting nothing past Kansas City goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
The Wizards nearly grabbed a vital early goal on the road, but Davy Arnaud saw his blast strike the underside of the crossbar and bound away to safety after just seven minutes.