Earthquakes clinch Supporters’ Shield
SANTA CLARA, Calif. ● Chris Wondolowski scored his MLS-leading 26th goal and the San Jose Earthquakes came back twice in the second half for a 2-2 tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.
Wondolowski’s goal, a diving header in the 73rd minute off Marvin Chavez’s corner kick, put him one behind Roy Lassiter’s season MLS scoring mark with one game left.
Ground breaking Quakes stadium sets new Guinness record
The Quakes pulled off the groundbreaking their new $60 million home with a spectacle that has become — along with last-minute victories — their trademark this year. Thousands of commemorative shovels were impaled in dirt located where in the spot where the pitch is eventually slated to be laid. Fans and dignitaries staked out their spots and, after a wrecking ball painted in black-and-white to resemble a 1970s-era soccer ball thudded into the earth, dug for two minutes to set the official Guinness World Record for largest participatory groundbreaking and break the old mark of 4,532.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning than doing a little yard work with 6,000 of my closest friends,” San Jose City Council member Sam Liccardo, who represents the district where the stadium is located, told the assembled crowd. “Next week, Lew and Keith [Wolff, the team’s managing partner] are going to have us come out here with 6,000 erector sets and we’re going to start building this thing.”
The ceremony came just hours after San Jose secured the second Supporters’ Shield trophy in franchise history — which represents the first hardware since the MLS’ original Quakes moved in 2005 to Houston and the current team was rebuilt as an expansion franchise three years later.
“What a fun day,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “I think it speaks to the character of this team. It’s always been deeply embedded in the community. And frankly, that’s why it hurt so much when this team moved. And I remember saying we’d be back, and I remember lots of people were skeptical as to whether we’d be able to do that. …
“It’s a good moment for everybody.”
The Earthquakes (19-6-8), who clinched the Supporters’ Shield when Sporting Kansas City tied New York on Saturday, finish their regular season Saturday in Portland.
Wondolowski moved into a tie for second place on the league’s goal list. Stern John had 26 goals for Columbus in 1998, and Mamadou Diallo accomplished the feat for Tampa Bay in 2000.
Robbie Keane scored his 12th goal in 15 games, and Edson Buddle, making his first start since May 26, nodded in his third of the season to stake the Galaxy to a pair of second-half leads.
But Marvin Chavez curled home a beautiful free kick, and Wondolowski finally broke through after hitting the post twice in successive minutes earlier in the second half.
San Jose extended its unbeaten streak at Buck Shaw Stadium to 18 matches, moving to 11-0-7 since Aug. 13, 2011. The Earthquakes are unbeaten in eight matches overall.
The Galaxy (15-12-6) are virtually assured of finishing fourth in the Western Conference, and thus having to play an extra postseason match.
SOUNDERS 3, FC DALLAS 1
Brad Evans scored twice, including the go-ahead goal, to lead Seattle past FC Dallas.
The Sounders (15-7-11), who already have clinched their fourth straight MLS playoff berth, climbed into a second-place tie with Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference. Both teams have one game remaining.
The loss eliminated FC Dallas (9-13-11) from playoff contention, securing the fifth and final spot in the West for Vancouver.
The Sounders did not have head coach Sigi Schmid on the sideline. He was serving a one-game suspension after making comments critical of the officiating Wednesdsay night after a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake. Assistant coach Brian Schmetzer ran the team.
RED BULLS 0, SPORTING KANSAS CITY 0
The Red Bulls played a 0-0 tie with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night, clinching a playoff berth for New York and the Supporters’ Shield for San Jose as the team with the best record in Major League Soccer.
New York (15-9-9), which has never won an MLS title, clinched a spot in the 10-team playoffs as Columbus lost 3-2 at D.C. United.
San Jose earned home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Earthquakes also had the best record in 2005, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.
Kansas City (17-7-9) extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games.
Before 25,219, a record crowd at 3-season-old Red Bull Arena, New York pressed the defensive-minded visitors.
KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who got his 15th shutout, made a diving save on Dax McCarty’s 20-yard, left-footed shot in the 23rd minute, and Kenny Cooper sent the rebound over the crossbar.
Nielsen deflected Cooper’s rising shot over the bar in the 41st minute. He raised a hand in the 65th to knock down a 12-yard angled shot by Thierry Henry, then had to prevent an own goal when the ball bounced off a defender.
DYNAMO 3, UNION 1
Oscar Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis scored in the second half, and the Dynamo clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs.
Houston’s victory, coupled with Columbus’ 3-2 loss at DC United, means the Dynamo (14-8-11) can finish no worse than fifth in the Eastern Conference and are into the postseason for the sixth time in seven years. Houston extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 games, dating to June 2011.
Philadelphia (10-16-6) had won two in a row.
Garcia put the Dynamo up 2-1 in the 71st minute, taking a pass from Brian Ching, settling it down and blasting one from the top of the arc.
Jack McInerney scored in the 19th minute for the Union.
REVOLUTION 1, FIRE 0
Diego Fagundez scored in the 17th minute to lead New England to the victory and end a 196-minute scoreless streak for the Revolution.
Fagundez took a pass from Kelyn Rowe and scored from 30 yards.
Bobby Shuttleworth, dressed in pink for breast cancer awareness month, needed to make just one save in his second shutout of the season for New England (8-17-8), which already has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Chicago (17-11-5) already had clinched a playoff berth.
D.C. UNITED 3, CREW 2
Lewis Neal scored in stoppage time and D.C. United secured its first playoff berth in five seasons.
Marcelo Saragosa and Nick DeLeon also scored for United (17-10-6). The Washington club ran its unbeaten streak to six games and helped eliminate the Crew (14-12-7) from playoff contention.
The win also pushed United’s club home unbeaten streak to 16 (12-0-4). United won the last of its four MLS titles in 2004.
Eddie Gaven and Jairo Arrieta each scored their ninth goals of the season for Columbus.
IMPACT 0, TORONTO FC 0
Toronto FC’s winless streak reached 13 games with the scoreless tie in its home finale.
Toronto’s last MLS win was a 2-1 victory over Colorado on July 18. It has earned four of a possible 39 points during its lackluster stretch, going 0-9-4 to drop to 5-20-8 on the season.
Montreal’s winless run now stands at five after its third straight draw. It’s 0-2-3 since a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Aug. 25.
The Impact (12-15-6) controlled most of the play but could not convert that edge into goals. Marco Di Vaio had two strong chances in stoppage time but his close-range shot hit a defender before a volley bounced high over the Toronto goal.
RAPIDS 2, CHIVAS USA 0
Martin Rivero and Kamani Hill scored first-half goals for Colorado.
Colorado (10-19-4) won for the first time since Sept. 5 and guaranteed that it won’t finish last in the Western Conference. Last-place Chivas (7-18-8) is winless in its last 12 games and has been shut out in six of its last seven.