Sunday, October 9, 2011

Football Americana Week 30: Red Bulls back in business

In a week stunted by international football (not least the USA's victory over Honduras), just four matches took place in Major League Soccer. The top three in the West (all qualified for the playoffs), all lost - if I were more meticulous, I'd tell you when that last happened.

The deadly duo struck again as New York Red Bulls beat LA Galaxy 2-0 at Red Bull Arena. Luke Rodgers pounced on a rebound to crash the ball into the roof of the net after half an hour, and the second goal inevitably came from Thierry Henry, who raced onto a superb ball from Rafael Marquez and dinked the ball over Donovan Ricketts to secure the points.

Vancouver Whitecaps welcomed Real Salt Lake to BC Place and won 3-0, their first win in the newly refurbished stadium. The first two goals were scored from the spot by Camilo (pictured), the first arriving after Jay Demerit's header appeared to have been handled off the line by Collen Warner, who was dismissed. It wasn't a clear-cut handball, but the Whitecaps went on to take advantage regardless, the second penalty being given for a second handball in the box and squeezed home by Camilo. Nizzar Khalfan got the third with a powerful drive from outside the area.

Chris Wondolowski scored early for San Jose Earthquakes to set them on the way to a 2-1 win over New England Revolution. He fired low in the eighth minute and the Quakes took the lead into the break. Benny Feilhaber equalised early in the second half, volleying in brilliantly to finish off a scramble in the box. Wondo's winner for San Jose didn't come until the 82nd minute, but was vintage Wondolowski - a back post header to win the game late on.

In the final game of the week, Seattle Sounders were beaten 2-0 at home by Philadelphia Union, ending their hopes of winning Supporters Shield. The opener came on the hour and it was scored by Freddy Adu, who clipped it past Kasey Keller to punish some appalling defending by James Riley. Brian Carroll scored the second with a neat finish after Sebastien Le Toux had dragged three defenders away and then laid the ball into him.

So, LA have now clinched Supporters Shield despite their defeat, with Seattle and Salt Lake confirmed in the playoffs. The three guaranteed spots in the East are occupied by Philadelphia, now top, along with Kansas City and Columbus. The four wildcards at present are Dallas, Colorado, New York and Houston.

You can have a look at the tables at

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