Who would've thought that the Los Angeles Galaxy coming back against Portland would be enough to push the Sporting Kansas City - Real Salt Lake game from the headline, but that's what happens when the best team on paper in Major League Soccer gets it right on the field. The 3-1 win wasn't easy for LA, trailing from the 23rd minute after Kris Boyd scored. Landon Donovan had the game level in the 44th minute, with Juninho giving LA the lead in the 83rd. Donovan setup David Beckham for a highlight goal in stoppage time to finish off the scoring.
“It’s a big win obviously because of the run we’ve been on, the way we’ve been playing," Beckham said. "I think overall, our performance was 100 percent better than it has been all season. We played as a team, we attacked and defended as a team, and we deserved to win tonight.”
So what about that much-heralded showdown between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake? A game decided by a missed assignment on a corner kick isn't exactly inspired soccer. Sporting's Aurelien Collin got the goal and Graham Zusi picked up the assist in the 1-0 win.
Earlier in the day, Philadelphia beat Columbus on a 38th minute Gabriel Gomez goal. DC got three points on the road, beating New England 2-1. The Revs were up six minutes in through Jose Moreno, with Maicon Santos equalizing for DC in the 19th minute. Chris Pontius won the game for United in the 82nd. Seattle shutout Colorado 1-0, winning on a 63rd minute Zach Scott goal. Toronto's rough start continues, losing 1-0 to Chivas USA at BMO Field. Oswaldo Minda scored the game's only goal in the 31st minute.
Week 5 wasn't without controversy. New York and San Jose drew 2-2 at Red Bull Arena with the usual suspects for both teams involved in the scoring. Kenny Cooper put NY up in the 5th minute off an assist from Thierry Henry. San Jose's Rafa Baca equalized in the 15th minute with Chris Wondolowski playing a role in the goal. Cooper would setup Dax McCarty for the go-ahead goal in the 22nd, with Wondolowski equalizing in the 35th. The story of the game, however, was Rafael Marquez's altercation with Shea Salinas that left Salinas with a broken collar bone just before halftime. San Jose's Victor Bernandez was also injured during the same sequence, spraining his knee.
Also on Saturday, Dallas beat Montreal 2-1. The Impact were on the board when Bernardo Corradi scored in the 61st minute. Blas Perez equalized for Dallas in the 77th with Brek Shea scoring the winner in the 88th.
On Sunday, a thunderstorm delayed the start of the Chicago - Houston game. The game was delayed again in the 66th minute tied 1-1 and eventually declared final. Will Bruin opened the scoring for the Dynamo in the 24th minute with Logan Pause equalizing for the Fire three minutes later.
What Did We Learn?
1. Let's let San Jose coach Frank Yallop do the honors. "Once the game settled down a little bit we had the better of the play, especially in the second half," Yallop said. "With all the stuff that happened in the game with the two injuries in the first half, it was a great result for us tonight." 'All that stuff' is likely to be the story for the early part of Week 6.
2. We already knew Portland couldn't hold a lead, and it was Portland coach John Spencer with the clear takeaway. "Goals change games. Change outlook of games, change perspective of games." Indeed.
3. Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake disappointed. It doesn't take an appreciation for the nuances of soccer to see how that played out over 90 minutes. That said, an even bigger disappointment would've been a draw.
1. Sporting Kansas City: Can't argue with three more points.
2. San Jose: So a draw beats a loss to the team with the best record in Major League Soccer? Apparently. Though there's a case for swapping 2nd with 3rd, it's not enough of one. San Jose probably should've lost in Harrison, but they didn't. You have to go all the way back to the old Quakes and their dynasty to find a time when they would get a point out of a game like that.
3. Real Salt Lake: They can shake off the loss.
4. New York: The MLS team that's the toughest to like managed to make that even tougher.
5. Open: Houston's game with Chicago ended early and the little more than an hour they got in was played in ridiculous conditions. Seattle pushed Colorado further down the table and the Sounders are now tied on points with Dallas. DC is suddenly third in the East. It's simply too close to call.