Article by Pedro Gomes
New York 1 Chivas USA 1
The New York Red Bulls hosted Chivas USA at Red Bull Arena where 13,919 supporters were on hand to welcome back New York legend, Juan Pablo Angel and the cheer on the home team. Chivas USA suffered a quick set back as their creative mid-fielder, Nick Labrocca had to leave in the first few minutes due to injury. Juan Pablo Angel nearly opened up the scoring in the 25’ when a left footed shot hit off the right crossbar and bounced out of danger. New York would pour on the pressure but fail to convert any chances in the first half. The second half saw JPA connect for the first goal of the match in the 47’ following a corner kick that was headed back into the fray before JPA scissor-kicked it home. New York would answer back in a few minutes later when Dane Richards sent a low cross towards goal that Kenny Cooper ran onto the end of and side-footed home for the equalizer. The match would end in a draw and the New York 5 game win streak came to a close.
Chicago 2 FC Dallas 1
The Chicago Fire battled against FC Dallas for the Brimstone Cup in front of 11,947 fans at Toyota Park. The visitors struck first as Matt Hedges headed home a rebound off a punched ball by Sean Johnson following a corner kick in the 41’. Johnson made a good initial save on the Blas Perez header but he punched it right toward Hedges who headed it past Johnson almost from the ground. Sebastian Grazzini answered back in the 45’ with an absolute beautiful left-footed curler from outside the top of the box that gave Kevin Hartman little chance. The rest of the match came down to Penalties. The fire committed the first when Dominic Oduro took down Bruno Guarda in the 50’. However, Sean Johnson stopped the ensuing penalty kick from Blas Perez to keep the game level. Then in the 62’ Marco Pappa was brought down in the FC Dallas box contesting for a high bouncing ball and was awarded the penalty kick. Sebastian Grazzini stepped to the spot and had his initial shot saved by Kevin Hartman but the rebound fell to Marco Pappa who put it away. However, the replay showed Pappa was a few yards inside the penalty box when Grazzini took the shot and the goal should have been disallowed. Either way, the Fire held onto the victory and won the Brimstone Cup in the first time for close to a decade.
Seattle 0 Columbus 2
The Columbus Crew visited Century Link Field to do battle against the Seattle Sounders where an amazing 38,311 fans were on hand during this mid-week matchup. The Crew would get on the board first in the 15’ when Justin Meram leaped past Adam Johansson and headed the ball past Bryan Meredith for the 1-0 lead. Seattle would hold the majority of possession and create the better of chances for the remainder of the match but could not put any away. Then in the 76’, against the run of play, Columbus’ Emilio Renteria took an amazing volley from 25 yards out the found the far corner of the net to give the Crew the surprising 2-0 lead. Columbus packed it for the remainder of the match and escaped Century Link with 3 points on the road.
Los Angeles 2 San Jose 3
The struggling Los Angeles Galaxy hosted the resurgent San Jose Earthquakes at the Home Depot Center in front of 16,512 fans. The Galaxy earned the first goal of the match by youngster Hector Jimenez in just the 3’. Jimenez made a nice run into the box following some crisp and creative passing by Juninho and Chad Barret who flicked a pass to the open and on-rushing Jimenez who finished well to the far post. Los Angeles appeared to seal the victory in the 73’ when Mike Magee finished a nice run with a shot after he had gotten around Jon Busch to make it 2-0 in favor of Los Angeles. San Jose earned their first goal in the 76’ when Steven Lenhart played the role of human dart as he speared a Marvin Chavez corner into the net. The Earthquakes found an equalizer in the 82’ after David Beckham was called for a handball in the box and Khari Stephenson stepped up and buried the penalty to tie the game. Then in extra time super sub, Alan Gordon, capitalized on a comedy of defensive errors as Brian Perk and A.J DeLaGarza both hesitated to clear the 50 yard ball and Gordon pounced on the bounce of the ball and headed it home for the dramatic late game winner.