HARRISON NJ - JULY 10: Dane Richards #19 of the New York Red Bulls and Dejan Jakovic #5 of D.C. United battle hard for a loose ball during their game at Red Bull Arena on July 10 2010 in Harrison New Jersey. The Red Bulls and D.C. United played to a 0-0 draw. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Major League Soccer Week 17: DC United Scores Upset Of Red Bulls

De Rosario's goal gives United 22 points, the same number they had all of last year.

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LA Galaxy Vs. Chicago Fire: David Beckham Wins It For LA

David Beckham may not be completely healthy yet, but he sure looked it on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center. The Los Angeles Galaxy had seen their offene sputter recently, not coincidently at the same time that Landon Donovan was off with the U.S. national team and Beckham was dealing with a stress fracture in his spine. On Saturday though, Donovan scored a goal off of a Beckham assits before Beckham scored the game-winner off of a corner kick to push the Galaxy past the Chicago Fire, 2-1.

The first half was ugly at best. Chicago was never able to settle the ball in the midfield and gave the ball away to LA time and time again, but the Galaxy weren't much better. They had the majority of possession, but much of it was useless passing along the back. Any time they tried to go forward they gave the ball away so it was no surprise that the match was scoreless at halftime.

Things changed in the second half as the Galaxy began to show more creativity going forward. Donovan began to get more touches on the ball, although it didn't amount to so much because Juan Pablo Angel turned in another awful match. One thing that the Galaxy did do well was earn fouls and set pieces and that paid off in the 58th minute.

After a foul on the right, Beckham stepped up to play in one of his patented free kicks. He floated over the entire mass of players right in front of goal to Donovan at the back post. Donovan, who was unmarked, rose to meet it and nodded it home easily for the opening tally of the match.

Only four minutes later Chicago equalized. Patrick Nyarko found space on the left and played a pinpoint cross into Cristian Nazarit. The 20-year-old was kept onside by Gregg Berhalter, who was two yards behind the rest of his back line. Berhalter also failed to mark Nazarit, making it easy for Nazarit to head home the cross from just six yards and level the match.

Just like it took Chicago four minutes to respond to LA's goal, it took LA four minutes to respond to Chicago's. Todd Dunivant made a good run to the near post on a Beckham corner kick, blocking the view of Sean Johnson. Beckham's ball was hit hard and was curling hard so when the ball got through Dunivant and through the legs of Johnson, it found the back of the net for an amazing Olimpico goal that proved to be the game-winner.

It's clear that Beckham isn't quite 100% as he returns from his back injury, but it was the first time that he went 90 minutes since injuring himself. His return to health, along with Donovan's return gives the Galaxy a chance to keep their spot atop MLS. They sit on top of MLS with 39 points five points clear of FC Dallas, who have two matches in hand. Chicago has just 18 points, but that has them just five points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.


Colorado Rapids Vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Conor Casey Leads Rapids To Victory

Conor Casey seems to be rounding into form just in time. The Colorado Rapids forward scored his sixth goal of the season, all of them coming in his last seven starts, lead his team to a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

The Rapids need an in-form Casey as bad as ever. The win was just their second in 11 matches, as the defending MLS Cup champions have found themselves fighting for a playoff spot after looking like Supporters' Shield contenders early in the season.

Part of their struggles, no doubt, had to do with the absence of Casey, who has battled injuries all year and even missed six consecutive matches at one point. Before Saturday, Casey had scored the Rapids' only goal in five of six matches.

This time, the Rapids got some help from an unexpected source: Scott Palguta. The defender was able to score off a rebound from a Casey shot to give the Rapids a 2-0 lead.

The Whitecaps, though, didn't go down easily. Camilo Sanvezzo scored in the 77th minute to cut the lead in half, but the Whitecaps were unable to find the equalizer.


San Jose Earthquakes Vs. Philadelphia Union: Post Denies Union A Win

The San Jose Earthquakes' offensive struggles continued on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium as they were shut out for the fourth time in five matches. Jon Busch did record his fifth clean sheet of the season to at least earn San Jose a point from the contest though in a 0-0 draw against the Philadelphia Union. As good as Busch was he needed some help from the post in the waning moments to deny Kyle Nakazawa from getting the game-winner and send the home fans home with at least a point.

Neither team mustered much offensively in the first half. San Jose doesn't offer much going forward if Chris Wondolowski isn't at the top of his game and Philadelphia isn't an offensive powerhouse by any means so goals were always going to be hard to come by. Add in the absence of Steven Lenhart for San Jose due to yellow card accumulation and the resting of Carlos Ruiz by the Union and things just looked worse offensively. The only two good chances in the first half both went for Philadelphia, but Busch was there to make good saves on Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux.

Things opened up some in the second half, but it still wasn't an exhibition in attacking. Ryan Johnson almost scored just after the break, beating Faryd Mondragon, but the shot clanged off the crossbar and away. The yellow card to Ramiro Corrales in the 66th minute ranked as one of the more entertaining moments of the match solely because it led to the ejection of Frank Yallop for arguing. Finally, Nakazawa looked like he had himself the winner five minutes from full time, but his shot went off the post and both teams had to sette for a point.


VIDEO: David Beckham Scores A Legendary Olimpico

David Beckham may not be quite as good as he once was. Well, let's be honest, David Beckham may never have good as he once was (whatever that means). But, man, can that guy strike a beautiful set piece. The latest example came in the Los Angeles Galaxy's game against the Chicago Fire when Beckham scored directly off a corner kick, a legendary Olimpico. Beckham's inswinging corner eluded Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and found its way into the back of the net.

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The goal came just four minutes after Cristian Nazarit had equalized for the Fire, which itself had come just four minutes after Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy the lead when he scored off a Beckham free kick. Say what you will about Beckham, and yeah, the guy is kinda annoying, but he's still a very useful MLS player. Beckham now has two goals and eight assists in 14 games this season. 


Real Salt Lake Vs. FC Dallas: Alvaro Saborio Incident Mars RSL vicotry

Real Salt Lake made their most compelling statement yet that they are starting to figure out how to remain a Supporters' Shield contenders even without Javier Morales. Bolstered by goals from Andy Williams and Fabian Espindola, RSL beat FC Dallas 2-0 on Saturday. RSL has now gone undefeated in their past six matches, including two wins in their past three.

But it was not all rainbows and unicorns for RSL. Alvaro Saborio was pulled in the 88th minute, and according to a report from RSL Tribune writer Michael C. Lewis, headed straight for the locker room without acknowledging coach Jason Kreis. A trainer was reportedly sent to summon Saborio, but returned to the field empty-handed. Saborio left the locker room without making a comment to reporters and Kreis offered little insight into the situation other than to say he pulled Saborio because he looked tired

The reason for friction between Kreis and Saborio was not immediately apparent. After getting off to a rocky start with no goals in his first six matches and then missing six matches with injury, Saborio scored in each of his previous two games. 

The incident marred what otherwise was a feel-good game for RSL. FC Dallas came into the match on a 9-1-3 run and was playing better than any other team in MLS. RSL controlled the match, claiming a 61-39 advantage in possession and forcing FCD goalkeeper Kevin Hartman into five saves.

As good as Hartman was for most of the night, though, he failed to stop Williams' shot in the 47th minute. Williams' free kick hit Hartman in the hands, but slipped through to give RSL a 1-0 lead.


Sporting Kansas City Vs. Chivas USA: Omar Bravo Scores Stoppage-Time Equalizer

Omar Bravo scored a stoppage-time equalizer to salvage a point for Sporting Kansas City and keep their undefeated home record intact. The goal came after Zarek Valentin's attempted clearance instead went toward his own goal, allowing Bravo to head it past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who had made several impressive saves to keep Sporting off the board until then. Kennedy ended up making six saves in the match.

Up until stoppage time, it looked as if Nick LaBrocca's first-half goal would stand up as the winner. LaBrocca's goal, his sixth of the season, was also the 10,000th in MLS history. Justin Braun was able to lead LaBrocca with a perfectly weighted throughball. LaBrocca also hit the crossbar earlier in the match.

Sporting has now gone undefeated in 10 straight matches, equaling their 10-match winless streak that they endured earlier in the season. They have now climbed into a tie for ninth in the overall MLS standings.


New York Red Bulls Vs. DC United: Dwayne De Rosario Haunts Former Team

Dwayne De Rosario came back to haunt his former team, scoring the only goal in DC United's 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. It was De Rosario's first goal in a United uniform, but his second game with a point. Josh Wolff assisted on the goal.

The win moved United into playoff position with 22 points. That 22 points also equals their total of a year ago, needing 13 fewer games to get there.

Courtesy of their 4-0 win earlier in the season, though, the Red Bulls win this year's Atlantic Cup. That will be of little solace to the Red Bulls, though. The loss is another frustrating result for a team that started the season with designs on claiming their first ever Supporters' Shield. The Red Bulls have won just tow of their past 13 matches.

For United, the win continues a solid run of form in which they have lost just once in their past 10 matches. During that time, they have gone 3-1-6.


VIDEO: Nick LaBrocca Scores 10,000th Goal In MLS History

It really is nothing more than a round number, but Nick LaBrocca's goal against Sporting Kansas City represented a rather big one: the 10,000th goal in MLS history. What does that say about MLS? I honestly have no idea, but that does seem like a lot of goals doesn't it?

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Significantly more important that the round-figured nature of the goal is what it means for Chivas USA. The goal gave the Goats a 1-0 lead on the road, continuing a run of solid play for a team many had left for dead a few weeks ago.

It also represented just the latest sign that LaBrocca has transformed himself into quite the goal-scorer in the his fifth MLS season. The goal was his sixth of the season, more than he had scored in his entire pre-2011 MLS career. Earlier in the game, he hit the crossbar on an expertly executed chip. 

Acquired in a preseason trade with Toronto FC in exchange for Alan Gordon, the move seemed to be a mere footnote. It's turning out to be maybe the biggest move of the offseason for Chivas USA, a team that drastically remade their squad when Robin Fraser was hired.


Major League Soccer Week 17 Preview, Picks: Atlantic Cup, Cascadia Cup Highlight Schedule

Two of MLS's best regional rivalries, as well as one more that's more about the teams' performances, take place this weekend. The Atlantic Cup features a resurgent Red Bulls team and a streaky United side, while the Cascadia Cup has two teams headed in opposite directions. Then there's Real Salt Lake-FC Dallas, a matchup that always seems to be entertaining. Should be a good week.

Sporting Kansas City vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m., Saturday (Galavision)

The turnaround that Peter Vermes has engineered is nothing short of remarkable. What was once a 10-game winless streak has morphed into a nine-match unbeaten run as Sporting has climbed back into playoff position. Through four matches at gorgeous Livestrong Sporting Park, they are undefeated (2-0-2). But Chivas USA hasn't been nearly as bad as we sometimes make them out to be, as they have managed to climb back into playoff position after a midweek win over the Earthquakes. Pick: Sporting 2-1.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

The Atlantic Cup, by all rights, should be just about as big of a rivalry as the Cascadia Cup. It does, after all, date back to the beginning of MLS and features two teams in relatively big markets. But these teams never seem to be good at the same time. The last time they played, the Red Bulls gave United a 4-0 beat down. This time it's at Red Bull Arena. Pick: Red Bulls 2-1.

Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

There have been some very bad teams in MLS history, but at their worst the Reds are among the worst. Thing is, they've managed to get a respectable number of results, especially against teams that aren't so great themselves. The Dynamo can hardly be considered great. But with this game at Robertson Stadium and TFC being winless on the road, it seems like the Dynamo are the obvious choice. Pick: Dynamo 1-0.

Real Salt Lake vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m., Saturday

While no trophy is at stake, this is quickly becoming one of the better rivalries in MLS. For the second straight year, these are two of the best teams in the league, and run by two of the best coaches. No team as playing as well as the Toros right now, who are led by midseason MVP Brek Shea. This would be the Match of the Week at almost any other point in the season. Pick: Tied 1-1.

Colorado Rapids vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, 9 p.m., Saturday

Tom Soehn mostly picked this team, so maybe he deserves to also be coaching them. The Whitecaps have actually managed to get worse results with him at the helm than the man Soehn fired, Teitur Thordarson. This being MLS, though, it's almost never too late to turn it around. The Rapids have shown a penchant for playing down to opponents, but anything less than a victory here would be a serious sign of problems. Pick: Rapids 1-0.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire, 10:30 p.m., Saturday (Fox Soccer)

The Fire have shown an uncanny ability to get results. Despite one of the lowest point totals in the league, they are riding an eight-game unbeaten streak that has featured four straight ties. Those results have come against some pretty decent teams, but this is probably their biggest test yet. It seems like whoever the Galaxy put in the net, they are capable of pitching a shutout. This week it should be Josh Saunders. Pick: Tied, 1-1.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philadelphia Union, 10:30 p.m., Saturday

Just when you think you're starting to figure out the Earthquakes, they go an turn in a performance like they did on Wednesday, a 2-0 loss to Chivas USA. The Union have not looked nearly as good as they did in that 6-2 victory over TFC six matches ago, but they have lost just once since then. Going on the road against a decent Earthquakes team should be a good test. Pick: Tied 1-1.

Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, 1 p.m., Sunday (ESPN)

Since last time these teams met, their fortunes have gone in drastically different directions. The Sounders have gone 4-1-3 since that 1-1 tie, while the Timbers have gone 1-5-1. This is the kind of game that could make or break the Timbers' season, and they simply aren't as bad as they've looked in the past few weeks. This is a game the Sounders should win, but expect it to be very hard fought. Pick: Sounders 1-0.

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