Week 20 saw the league leading Earthquakes go down to a retooled Whitecaps squad, an unexpected offensive explosion by FC Dallas and a new leader atop the Eastern Conference. Let us take a look back at all the action and controversy that surrounded Week 20 in MLS.
New York Red Bulls 2, Philadelphia Union 0
The New York Red Bulls hosted the Philadelphia Union at Red Bull Arena in front of a reported 21,842 supporters. Both teams put some pressure on the opposing sides defense, with New York having the majority of chances, but goalkeepers refused to be beaten. However, New York finally broke through in the 43' off the head of Kenny Cooper. The Red Bulls broke on a counter- attack and the ball was eventually pushed out wide left to Connor Lade. Lade sent in a good cross to the center of the box that Cooper rose high to meet with his head and guide into the right corner of the net. Cooper would add a second goal on the day and the second with his head in the 58'. This time it was Thierry Henry who supplied the pin-point cross to his head from the left side of the attack. Philadelphia appeared to have pulled on back later in the match but the goal by Hoppenot was called back due to Offside. New York would hold on to the much need 3 points at home.
Columbus Crew 1, DC United 0
DC United traveled to Crew Stadium to face off against the Columbus Crew where 17,150 fans were on hand to take in the match. The Columbus Crew jumped all over the DC United defense in the first half and put them under a decent amount of pressure. It almost paid off for Columbus just before the half as Defender, Josh Williams, headed in a deep free kick near the left post that was waived off due to Offside. Just after the break Columbus finally did put a goal into the back of the net courtesy of Chris Birchall. Jairo Arrieta sent Birchall in behind the defense with a great through ball that was well controlled and finished by Birchall to give Columbus the 1-0 lead. DC would try and battle back but a goal by DeRosario was called back due to Offside and Chris Korb late game effort clanged off the post. The Crew would hold onto the 1 goal lead and send the crowd home happy.
Sporting Kansas City 0, New England Revolution 0
Sporting Kansas City and the New England Revolution squared off at LiveStrong Sporting Park in front of a crowd of 19,080 rambunctious supporters. Both teams took a few early jabs at each other but couldn't get any of the chances to find the back of the net. The best scoring chance of the first half came off a diving Ryan Guy header from the Revolution that was parried away by Jimmy Nielsen. The replay suggested it may have crossed the line but the referee did not award a goal on the play. The second half saw much of the same as the first half with Matt Reis keeping the Revolution in the game with a diving save on a Jacob Peterson header. The end of the match saw a dangerous collision between Kei Kamara and Reis that may be reviewed later in the week by the Disciplinary Committee. Either way the final whistle saw a 0-0 draw between the opponents and a share of the spoils.
Houston Dynamo 3, Montreal Impact 0
The Houston Dynamo hosted the visiting Montreal Impact at BBVA Stadium in front of a supportive crowd of 20,396. The Impact put some early pressure on the Dynamo but their defense absorbed it well. Their offense answered quickly in the 7'. Calen Carr chased down a long ball into the right corner, beat his man and found Will Bruin making a diagonal run into the box. Bruin laid it off to Macoumba Kandji at the near post and Kandji poked home a scramble for the ball for the 1-0 lead. The Dynamo wouldn't find the back of the net again until the 84' when a Brad Davis corner kick found the head of Bobby Boswell at the near post. Boswell directed his header nicely to the back post and gave the Dynamo a two goal cushion late in the game. They would add a third goal in the dramatic fashion as Kandji dribbled past three Montreal defenders from mid-field as he made his way in toward goal. Kandji then blasted a shot to the top far corner of the net to seal the Dynamo victory.
FC Dallas 5, Portland Timbers 0
The Portland Timbers took their show on the road against FC Dallas at FC Dallas stadium where 11,365 fans were on hand to take in the game. This was about as one-sided a match you will ever see. Despite an early chance by Portland's Mike Fucito, FC Dallas controlled much of the game and finished with the scoreline to prove it. Their first goal came in the 16' when a low hard cross to the near post by Jair Benitez was tapped into the Portland goal by Portland Defender, Hanyer Mosquera. Dallas' second goal of the match came from a low scorcher of a blast by Andrew Jacobson in the 26' following a nice passing sequence between David Ferreira and Zach Lloyd before Llyod laid the ball off for Jacobson to strike. Dallas' third goal was courtesy of a great run and finish by Jackson in the 48'. Dallas would add a fourth goal in the 69' off the right foot of Scott Sealy and a fifth and final goal in the 81' by Homegrown player, Ruben Luna.
Real Salt Lake 2, Colorado Rapids 0
The Colorado Rapids traveled to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake in front of 19,492 boisterous supporters. Salt Lake came out of the gates with good energy and controlled the tempo of the game. This eventually paid off in the 32' as the Salt Lake pressure from Fabian Espindola forced a poor back pass from Marvell Wynne to Matt Pickens. Espindola chased the ball back toward Pickens before colliding with the Keeper and popping the ball lose toward goal. Alvaro Saborio was waiting on the doorstep to tap it in and give Salt Lake the 1-0 lead. Real Salt's high pressure would cause another Rapids turnover in the 90'. This time the ball came to Will Johnson along the right side of the field who drilled a low hard shot into the opposite side netting of the goal. Colorado could not mount a comback and all three points and the Rock Mountain Cup all went to Real Salt Lake.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Chivas USA 1
The Los Angeles Galaxy “hosted” Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center as the Super Classico went down in front of 25,180 fans. It was the Galaxy who would strike first in the 14' as David Beckham slipped Robbie Keane in behind the Chivas defense down the center of the field and Keane was able to slide the ball past an on-rushing Dan Kennedy for the goal. LA's second goal of the match came in the 48'. This time Robbie Keane played provider as he sent a through-ball in between Danny Califf's legs and onto an open Landon Donovan who was in alone on goal. Donovan finished with a well placed side-footed shot to the far side of the goal. Chivas would pull one back in the 52' as Paolo Cardozo put one in on his old team. Cardozo beat Josh Saunders with a low hard shot to the near post from the top of the box to give Chivas a bit of hope. That hope was dashed in the 78' as Landon Donovan put away a loose ball in the box following a David Beckham corner. The Galaxy held onto the lead and earned the full three points.
Vancouver Whitecaps 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1
The San Jose Earthquakes took their league leading 43 points on the road to BC Place to face the Vancouver Whitecaps and 20,112 passionate fans. The Whitecaps got on the board first in the 20' thanks to a right footed blast from a tight angle along the right side of the field by Dane Richards. Richards was played into space by Y.P. Lee and the Jamaican took one touch before unleashing the blast to give the Whitecaps the early lead. San Jose would equalize in the 38' from an Alan Gordon header that was served up by a pin-point Marvin Chavez cross from the left side of the field. There was a bit of contact on the play by Gordon but no foul was called and the goal stood. A whistle was called, however, in the 61' on a controversial play involving Vancouver's Camillo and San Jose's Sam Cronin. Cronin slid into Camillo as he made his way in toward goal and the Brazillian went down with the contact and a penalty was awarded. Barry Robson converted the subsequent penalty and the Whitecaps regained the lead. They held onto this lead and earned 3 points at home.