PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 15: Fredy Montero #17 of Seattle Sounders FC brings the ball up the field during the first half of the game at Jeld-Wen Field on September 15, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Portland, Seattle Fight It Out To 1-1 Draw

The Portland Timbers recovered from a Fredy Montero wondergoal to salvage a 1-1 draw against the Sounders at Jeld-Wen field.

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Major League Soccer 2012, Week 26: What We Learned

The playoff race continues to heat up as Week 26 provided some amazing goals and plenty of drama.


Chivas USA Vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 2012 MLS: Wondo, Gordon Power Quakes

San Jose Earthquakes moved eight points clear atop the Western Conference on Saturday night with a 2-0 victory over Chivas USA.

Chivas put together a solid first half and had the first true chance of the match. Nick LaBrocca sent a cross into the box, and Casey Townsend headed it toward the goal. John Busch stretched to his left and made a great save to keep the match scoreless.

In the 39th minute, Chivas defender John Valencia stupidly hit Alan Gordon with an elbow in the penalty area away from the ball. The referee did not see the foul, but it was seen by the assistant referee. They conferred, and a penalty was correctly awarded. Valencia was shown a yellow card for the foul, and Shalrie Joseph was shown a yellow card for arguing the call. Chris Wondolowski stepped up and scored the penalty to give the visitors the 1-0 lead. Chivas coach Robin Fraser, not content with the referees making the correct call, was ejected at halftime for arguing the call further.

San Jose doubled their lead just after halftime with what can only be described as a fantastic goal. Justin Morrow dribbled down the left side of the field into the penalty area and played a ball on the ground toward the top of the box. Mehdi Ballouchy ran toward the ball before dummying it behind him drawing two defenders. Wondolowski would lay the ball off for Gordon who powered the ball past Dan Kennedy to give the Quakes a 2-0 lead.

The Quakes continue rolling as we approach the MLS Playoffs. Unfortunately for Chivas, they're now on the bottom of the Western Conference. The Home Depot Center has not been kind to Chivas USA this season, as this was the eighth time that they've been shut out in fourteen matches.


FC Dallas Vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 2012 MLS: De Guzman Wins It With Last Kick

The Vancouver Whitecaps are the only team in the Western Conference playoff race that FC Dallas can catch, and they made sure to keep it close thanks to a last second goal from Julian de Guzman.

The first quarter of an hour was plagued with fouls, so it was no shock with the referee pointed to the spot when Vancouver's Martin Bonjour fouled Matt Hedges in the area. David Ferreira stepped up to take the penalty, but goalkeeper Brad Knighton came up with a huge save to deny him.

There was a scary situation for Dallas in the 74th minute when George John went down with an ankle injury and immediately began signaling for the medical staff. He was stretchered off, and the extent of his injury was not immediately known.

Dallas kept throwing numbers forward knowing that they basically needed a win to stay alive in the playoff race. They thought the found the winner in the 90th minute minute, but Blas Perez was ruled offside after putting the ball into the net.

The home side would not be denied and, with five minutes of stoppage time thanks to John's injury, found their goal. De Guzman brought down a clearance with his chest and volleyed home the winner past Knighton.


Chicago Fire Vs. Montreal Impact, 2012 MLS: Fernandez's Big Second Half Propels Fire

Chicago Fire pulled within one point of first place Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night with a 3-1 victory over Montreal Impact.

The Impact jumped out to an early lead thanks to Marco Di Vaio. The Italian settled a header from Hassoun Camara and put his shot past Sean Johnson. The goal for Di Vaio is his fourth in as many matches.

Sherjill MacDonald finished a cross from Jalil Anibaba for the equalizer in the 34th minute. The goal is the designated player's second since joining Chicago this summer.

The second half belonged to Alvaro Fernandez. The former Seattle Sounders man put on a show assisting Alex on the Fire's second goal before bagging one of his own in the 79th minute.

The Fire can move closer to clinching a playoff spot next weekend when sixth place Columbus visits Toyota Park. The Impact now sit five points behind fifth place DC United, and DC has two matches in hand.


New York Red Bulls Vs. Columbus Crew, 2012 MLS: Henry Has Monster Game In Win

Thierry Henry scored a goal in each half and picked up an assist as the New York Red Bulls came from behind to beat the Columbus Crew 3-1.

The Crew jumped out to a lead after only three minutes when Jairo Arrieta crossed the ball into Milovan Mirosevic, and the midfielder easily tapped it home. It didn't take long for the Red Bulls to respond, and of course it was the Frenchman.

Rafa Marquez, returning to the starting lineup for the first time since July 15, played a perfect ball down the field to Henry. He brought the ball down and easily shot around Andy Gruenebaum to level the score. The two sides exchanged shots as the half wore down with Mirosevic coming the closest. Neither side was able to find a goal.

New York finally find the winner in the 79th minute. Henry played in a corner that Dax McCarty headed into the net.

There was a real scare for the Crew at this point when Gruenebaum, diving to save McCarty's header, banged his head into the goalpost. The goalkeeper laid on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field. He suffered a cut to his left eye, and his forehead was bruised and in the process of swelling.

Henry capped his performance in the 93rd minute when he scored an Olimpico. His swung in his corner kick, and it struck the far post before going across the line for the goal.

The Red Bulls move within two points of first place Sporting Kansas City before their matchup Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena.


Toronto FC Vs. Philadelphia Union, 2012 MLS: Williams Secures Late Draw

Toronto FC and Philadelphia Union played a 1-1 draw in front of what was likely the smallest crowd of the season at BMO Field. Both clubs were searching for their first win in league play since July, but they're going to have to find that another day.

Eric Hassli scored a goal in the 57th minute to give Toronto a rare home lead, and they were looking forward to just their second home win of the season. Luis Silva continued his solid rookie season picking up the assist after sliding the ball across the box to Hassli.

The Union were five minutes from another loss, but Sheanon Williams poked home a low cross from Antoine Hoppenot. The goal was Williams' first for the Union this season, and it was an important one.

The big concern for Toronto moving forward was the crowd at BMO today. They'll likely be going through another rebuilding season next year, and the paltry crowd today may be a sign of things to come.


DC United Vs. New England Revolution, 2012 MLS: Neal Gives DC All Three Points

DC United picked up a much needed three points against New England in Saturday's matchup. The loss also eliminated New England from playoff contention.

On a night where DC honored Dwayne De Rosario for scoring his 100th MLS goal and inducted manager Ben Olsen into the club's Hall of Tradition, it was Chris Pontius who once again stole the show. After signing a long term extension with United earlier in the week, Pontius recorded a goal and an assist in the 2-1 victory.

New England struck first through Kelyn Rowe. Diego Fagundez played a great ball in behind Chris Korb, and Rowe ran onto it and beat goalkeeper Bill Hamid with the shot. The Revolution's celebration was short-lived however, and DC struck back within minutes.

Branko Boskovic was given too much time at the top of the penalty area. The Montenegrin stepped on the ball, and Pontius' shot beat Matt Reis to the near post to level the game at 1-1.

Both clubs began pushing for the winner as the second half started. In the 63rd minute, Pontius found turned provider. He fed Lewis Neal in the middle of the penalty area, and the substitute's shot beat Matt Reis for the 2-1 lead.

The Revolution saw their playoff hopes fading away and basically threw in the towel with seconds left when they let Reis take a free kick on top of the DC penalty area.


LA Galaxy Vs. Colorado Rapids, 2012 MLS: LA Cruise To 2-0 Win

Goals by Robbie Keane and the newly signed Christian Wilhelmsson led the LA Galaxy to a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Friday night to push them into third place in the Western Conference. LA now sits level with Salt Lake and just one point behind second place Seattle, while Colorado's miserable season continues.

Keane made the Galaxy's early dominance count with a goal in the 15th minute. The goal was a product of some gorgeous play by LA, which began with a good one-two between Marcelo Sarvas and Sean Franklin down the right. Sarvas then played the ball centrally for Keane, who let the ball run for Landon Donovan and took off. Donovan played the ball quickly in for Keane, who timed his run perfectly and finishing well with his first touch to put the Galaxy in front for his 12th tally of the season.

Just before the hour mark, Wilhelmsson made his Galaxy debut count, in large part thanks to a gorgeous ball over the top by Sarvas. The Swede ran into Sarvas' pass, shrugged off a defender then hit a shot that Matt Pickens let slip through his fingers and into the net.

It was a great night all around for LA, who got Wilhelmsson a goal in his debut, Donovan back from injury and looked excellent even without the injured David Beckham. Only once did Colorado really threaten and even then, the sensational Sarvas made a diving block to deny a sure goal as LA's late season surge continued with three points.


Sporting Kansas City Vs. Houston Dynamo, 2012 MLS: Sapong Earns SKC Draw

C.J. Sapong tried and tried, but it seemed like no matter what he did, the Sporting Kansas City striker was never going to score a goal. Then in the third minute of stoppage time, with his team trailing the Houston Dynamo 1-0, Sapong finally broke through to earn the home side a 1-1 draw on Friday night.

Brad Davis gave Houston the lead in the 58th minute with a well-placed shot that beat Jimmy Nielsen. Boniek Garcia started the play by feeding Davis, who found himself some space before firing a shot that Nielsen didn't see until late.

With a goal in hand, it looked like Houston would surely win. Tally Hall played incredibly and made a series of fantastic saves. Sapong was denied on several occasions and Hall looked set to be the hero of the match as the fourth referee showed there would be four minutes of stoppage time.

But three minutes into it, Zusi worked enough room to cross. Sporting had one last chance and they took advantage. Sapong was able to get on the end of it and finally, Hall was beaten as the striker's header just barely squeezed inside the post for the equalizer.

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