"This is a landmark day for all Bay Area soccer fans," Earthquakes president Dave Kaval said in a press statement. "I couldn't be more proud to be a part of this organization. The support from our fans has been tremendous the entire way through this process, and today was something special."
San Jose wasn’t the only team celebrating early in Week 33. DC United sealed a playoff spot for the first time in five seasons with their late winner against Columbus. Eddie Gaven put the Crew up on the road seven minutes in with DC’s Nick DeLeon equalizing in the 39th. Jairo Arrieta had Columbus back in front in the 41st with Marcelo Saragosa equalizing in the 59th. Lewis Neal put DC in the playoffs and ended Columbus’s season with his 91st minute goal.
Earlier on Saturday, Toronto and Montreal finished scoreless and so did New York – Kansas City. New England took the role of spoiler to heart, shutting out Chicago 1-0 on a 17th minute Diego Fagundez goal. Philadelphia looked to be doing the same on the road against Houston, but two late goals were the difference in the 3-1 Dynamo win. Macoumba Kandji opened the scoring in the 5th minute with Jack McInerney equalizing for the Union in the 19th. Houston took the lead in the 71st minute and Brad Davis put the game out of reach four minutes later. Chivas USA was shutout at home 2-0 by Colorado in a game of two teams playing out their schedule. Martin Rivero (16th) and Kamani Hill (43rd) scored for the Rapids.
Sunday brought us Vancouver losing 1-0 at home to Portland. Jack Jewsbury was the difference for the Timbers, scoring in the 39th minute. In the late game, Seattle beat Dallas 3-1 to end Dallas's playoff chances. Brad Evans put Seattle up at CenturyLink Field in the 32nd minute, with Blas Perez equalizing in the 40th. Evans scored again in the 60th and Mauro Rosales added a third in the 79th minute. Fredy Montero assisted on both second-half goals.
What Did We Learn?1. Chris Wondolowski is the latest in a small group of Major League Soccer players seemingly able to score at will. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there are impressive streaks and there’s the category shift for what Wondolowski is doing this season. Respect the game, because in this League it doesn’t get any better.
2. DC is very proud of themselves. Sure, it’s the playoffs and they could end up in the Play-In Round or Eastern Conference champions, but it looked like it meant a whole lot more at RFK. Setting aside the nagging feeling of teams celebrating too early, these haven’t been easy times for United. Their stadium situation, injuries, and a general malaise surrounding the team went away when Lewis Neal scored.
3. Toronto coach Paul Mariner spoke to the home crowd, but he might have chosen to wait a week to talk about next season. “But I can’t wait for next season, can’t wait for January 19th when we get together and we are already working on the squad for next year so it is an exciting time,” Mariner said in his postgame comments. The type of football we played this year with the players we have got in isn’t near how we want to play.” Toronto has two games this week, playing Santos Laguna in the Champions League on Wednesday and closing out the MLS season against Columbus on Sunday.
Top Five1. San Jose: Worthy winners of the 2012 Supporters’ Shield.
2. Kansas City: Still first in the East, but they missed an opportunity against New York.
3. DC: Got the job done against Columbus.
4. Seattle: Four points from six available is good enough in a week where contenders drew or lost.
5. LA: Credit the Galaxy for getting a point against the best team in the League.