If anybody expected San Jose to settle for the draw on the road in Philadelphia, guess again. The Earthquakes needed a stoppage time goal to disappoint the 18,581 fans at PPL Park and add to the pressure the Union are facing. It took until the 76th minute to get a goal, with Steven Lenhart opening the scoring for San Jose. Gabriel Gomez equalized in the 83rd, with Lenhart scoring the winner - and likely winning himself Player of the Week honors - three minutes into stoppage time.
“We just have a team full of winners in here," Lenhart said. "We kept fighting all the way to end even after they scored to tie it. Everyone in this locker room is working hard and we are finding ways to win games.”
In another inter-conference matchup, Montreal shutout Portland 2-0 in front of 19,223 at Olympic Stadium. Bernardo Corradi opened the scoring in the 76th minute and Sinisa Ubiparipovic doubled the lead in the 84th. Thierry Henry scored the only goal in New York's 1-0 shutout of New England. Henry injured his hamstring and subbed out in the 23rd minute.
DC United beat Houston 3-2 in wet conditions at RFK Stadium. Maicon Santos opened the scoring in the 11th minute, with Will Bruin equalizing for Houston in the 50th. The two teams traded goals again, with Dwayne De Rosario scoring for DC in the 54th and Bruin getting his second equalizer in the 59th. Santos scored the winner in the 70th minute. In Columbus, the Crew were on the wrong side of a 1-0 score line. Vancouver took all three points on a 74th minute Lee Young-Pyo goal. Joe Cannon picked up the shutout with two saves.
Seattle beat Chicago 2-1 on the road. The Fire took the lead through a 39th minute own-goal, with Eddie Johnson making it 2-0 in the 67th. Marco Pappa pulled a goal back for Chicago in the 89th, and Chicago's Jalil Anibaba was sent off seven minutes into stoppage time. Real Salt Lake beat Toronto 3-2 at home, with another Eastern Conference team scoring an own goal against a Western club. RSL's Kyle Beckerman opened the scoring in the 7th minute with Toronto's Eric Avila equalizing in the 48th. Toronto put the ball in the back of their own net to make it 2-1 Salt Lake in the 57th, and equalized in the 77th minute when Doneil Henry scored. Jonny Steele scored Real's winner three minutes into stoppage time.
On a busy Saturday, Colorado shutout Chivas USA 4-0 with all goals scored in the second-half. Kamani Hill scored twice, with Tony Cascio and Jeff Larentowicz also getting goals. LA and Dallas drew 1-1 at the Home Depot Center. Brek Shea put Dallas up in the 61st minute with Pat Noonan equalizing for the Galaxy in the second minute of stoppage time.
What Did We Learn?
1. Play until the final whistle. We've seen enough stoppage time goals to consider it a trend and there's no excuse to lighten up late in the game.
2. The teams in trouble are (mostly) the teams still in trouble. Montreal's shutout of Portland says as much about the Timbers as them ending Sporting KC's undefeated streak last week. At least their coach realizes they can't have it both ways. “We need to keep a clean sheet on the road, to defend better, and to take responsibility individually and collectively and have stronger performances," Portland's John Spencer said.
3. In a League where there normally seems to be a reason for downplaying any bad result, Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser deserves a lot of credit for stating the obvious: “We were chasing the game late. And when you’re chasing the game you throw a lot of numbers forward. Certainly there’s a bit of risk versus reward I think as you do that. And we opened ourselves up and the score is probably, maybe not indicative of the entire game but at the end of the day the score is what is going to be remembered.”
1. Sporting Kansas City: A bye week for the team with the best record in Major League Soccer.
2. San Jose: Another three points at the top of the Western Conference. How well is San Jose doing? They're tied on points with Real Salt Lake at 19, but RSL needed 10 games to get there. San Jose has played eight.
3. DC: It's hard to drop United a spot when they're winning, but let's just say the win over Houston shouldn't have convinced anybody. This is a team that has problems, and right now it's a question of when they start turning wins and draws into losses.
4. Salt Lake: Two games over Week 8 and four points to show for it. Dallas is good enough on the day where a draw is explainable. It's the stoppage time goal to beat Toronto that's the bigger question mark.
5. Seattle: Back in action and taking all three points against Chicago. Yes, Vancouver is ahead of them in the standings but right now the focus is on points per game. Seattle have only played six times this season.