MLS 2012, Midweek 22: Here Comes FC Dallas

MLS scheduled a bunch of matches against an international date, including USA vs. Mexico. That's ... special.

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Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. FC Dallas, 2012 MLS: Hoops Upend Caps 2-0

FC Dallas was left for dead not too long ago, but guess who is sixth place in the Western Conference now? Yup, it's Dallas, who took down the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on Wednesday night to move within one place of a playoff spot and just eight points behind the Caps for that all-important fifth place.

It took Dallas an hour before they could break through the Vancouver defense and it was Fabian Castillo who did it. David Ferreira was able to flick a long throw in into the path of Castillo. The Colombian raced onto it and eluded a defender before finding the net while falling to the ground.

10 minutes later, Dallas doubled their lead through one of their youngsters. Jonathan Top, who of the stars of the FCD academy and a U.S. youth international was left with an easy finish thanks to some great work by Ferreira and the 19-year-old just had to knock the ball into the open net to register his first career goal.

The two goals were sandwiched between some very chippy play from the two teams. There were three yellow cards in the first 46 minutes and then another six from the 80th minute on as the teams got into it with each other and the referee, but it was all worth it for Dallas, who picked up another win.

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Toronto FC Vs. Portland Timbers, 2012 MLS: Cellar Dwellers Play To Draw

If you wanted some soccer comedy, you could have tuned in to watch the Portland Timbers visit Toronto FC. There is nothing that will put a smile on your face and make you feel better about your own team than watching the two worst teams in the league play each other and, of course, neither team won. They played to a 2-2 draw and kept their spots at the bottom of their respective conferences.

Sal Zizzo was first to put the scoreboard to work in the 21st minute when he pounced on a loose ball in front of goal. A Portland corner kick was headed on goal where it was cleared off of the line, but it didn't go far and Zizzo was waiting two yards from goal to knock it home.

That goal held up until the 57th minute when Eric Hassli scored his first goal with Toronto. Some shoddy Portland defense allowed Luis Silva to get a clear look at goal and while Donovan Ricketts got down to make the save, he left the rebound for Hassli to tap into the open net

Six minutes later, Silva was able to beat Ricketts when he was able to get to Hassli's flick on. Silva's lunging attempt proved successful as he blasted the ball into the top of the net for a good goal and a Toronto lead.

It looked like Toronto would hold on to take all three points, but Darlington Nagbe made sure that Portland would walk away with at least a point. Some tremendous passing by the Timbers unlocked the TFC defense and eventually put Steven Smith in clear down the left. He crossed for Nagbe, who was all alone at the right post and Nagbe nodded the ball home to earn his team the draw.

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Columbus Crew Vs. LA Galaxy, 2012 MLS: Teams Settle For 1-1 Draw

The LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew squared off on Wednesday night and while it was an important match for both teams as they chase a playoff spot, the match wasn't at the forefront. Instead, the focus was on Kirk Urso, the Crew player who passed away at the age of 22. It was the Crew's first match since his death and with both teams wearing armbands and tributes throughout the stadium, that the two teams drew 1-1 felt like it almost went unnoticed at times.

But the result did matter to the teams as the postseason creeps ever closer. The Galaxy were playing without Landon Donovan and David Beckham and in the first half, they looked very much like a shorthanded team. The Crew pummeled them and only heroics of Josh Saunders kept them level. They could have easily been up by as many as four or five goals if it wasn't for Saunders and some Galaxy fortune.

The Crew finally broke through right after the break thanks to some fine individual play by Jairo Arrieta. The Costa Rican cut in and through the LA defense before beating Saunders for the match's opening tally.

Once they went down a goal, the Galaxy finally woke up, and after some better play, they equalized in the 64th minute. Sean Franklin did the bulk of the work on the play, skinning Dilly Duka before crossing for Robbie Keane to tap in and the match was level.

Later on, it actually looked like the Galaxy would be the team most likely to grab the winner and only an Andy Gruenebaum save of a blistering Jose Villarreal shot kept the visitors from grabbing all three points.

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