Major League Soccer Week 24: Sounders Win 6-2, Jeff Cunningham Sets MLS Goals Record

The Sounders have absolutely manhandled the Crew in what was supposed to be a clash of two of the league's top teams.

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Chicago Fire Vs. Colorado Rapids: Fire Stop Streaking Rapids, 2-0

The Colorado Rapids had gone unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions, but then they went to Toyota Park and were ambushed by the Fire, who have now miraculously won two straight matches. Thanks to goals by Dominic Oduro and Corey Gibbs, the team that has already set a MLS record for draws in a season picked up a 2-0 win to run their winning streak to two against a Rapids side that was obviously weary from their midweek CONCACAF Champions League match.

Oduro will get the accolades for the first goal of the match, but it doesn't take much to beat Tyrone Marshall these days. The Fire striker ran past the aging defender and cooly finished to put the Fire on top. Gibbs finish was strong as he rose up to head home a cross from Sebastian Grazzini in the 35th minute to seal the scoring. Both goals were set up by Pavel Pardo, who played the initial balls to open up the play for the tallies.

Unfortunately for Chicago, Pardo went off at halftime with a groin strain. That didn't change the match much though. While the Fire struggled to create chances with Pardo off, the Rapids didn't do much either. The introductions of Macoumba Kandji and Omar Cummings didn't change things and Colorado suffered their first loss in nine matches.

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Sporting Kansas City Vs FC Dallas: Dallas Sparks Amazing Comeback In Final Minutes To Win 3-2

Boy I hope no one left LIVESTRONG Sporting Park when the game reached 2-0 tonight. All things seemed to be going right for Sporting Kansas City after Kei Kamara put them up 1-0 at halftime and Omar Bravo netted the game's second goal midway through the second half. 

But from then on it was all FC Dallas. The visitors got goals from Ugo Ihemelu, Maicon Santos and rookie Bobby Warshaw to cap an amazing comeback to win 3-2. 

Things changed after the game hit 2-1 in favor of Sporting when striker Teal Bunbury was sent off with his second yellow card. Sporting was down to ten men and it ended up helping the road warriors from Dallas. Brek Shea sent in two amazing balls to Santos and Warshaw.

The game-tying goal to Santos was a great buildup from the Toros but the game-winner in stoppage time may have been the better of the two. 

Kansas City really controlled the first 70 minutes of the match with their two goals but giving up three late goals really had to hurt. This was certainly a result that they should have won and would have helped move them up in the Eastern Conference standings with Columbus dropping points on the road today and Houston doing the same. 

Kansas City failed in the final third in the last 15 minutes to tackle, which was a strong part of their game before then. It seemed the goal from Ihemelu off the set piece from Daniel Hernandez shook them a little bit, considering it came moments after they went up 2-0 with Bravo's goal easy goal. 

With the loss KC remains second in the Eastern Conference with 36 points while FC Dallas pushes their season total to 46 points. 

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Vancouver Whitecaps Vs. Houston Dynamo: Shea Salinas Wins It Late For Caps

It took until the 86th minute, but the Vancouver Whitecaps finally found a goal when Shea Salina struck to deliver the home side a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo. It was a fitting end to an afternoon in front of a lively crowd at Empire Field that were left wanting after several missed chances, but finally got to celebrate as their club came away on top. Salinas' strike put an end to the Dynamo's five-match win streak and a major dent in their playoff hopes as they come away with zero points against the worst team in MLS.

Joe Cannon got the nod in goal for the Whitecaps and it's a good thing he did because he was sensational. He was right there to save a good headed attempt by Brian Ching and added a scrambling save off of a deflected Brad Davis shot to keep the Dynamo off the scoreboard. Add in some help from the crossbar on a ferocious shot by Adam Moffatt and Cannon was living right.

Just because the Dynamo had their share of chances doesn't mean that the Whitecaps didn't. They had one of the best chances of the match when Mustapha Jarju nodded a set piece for what looked to be a sure goal, but Tally Hall somehow kept it out. It ended up not mattering much because Salinas got free down the left just before the final whistle and was able to slide a right-footed shot home for the winning goal.

The Dynamo will feel hard done because they thought they had themselves a penalty in the 48th minute. The referee whistled for a penalty when it appeared as if Cannon had fouled Carlos Costly, but he reversed his decision after consulting with the assistant referee. Houston were incensed and only more so when the final whistle blew and they had nothing to show for their efforts.

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Toronto FC Vs. San Jose Earthquakes: Late Chris Wondolowski Goal Sees Match Tied

With Toronto FC hosting the San Jose Earthquakes, I don't think anyone was expecting an exciting game. We got a reasonably interesting one anyway, with a first half goal scored by Toronto's Eric Avila in the 33rd minute eventually cancelled out by a very very late Chris Wondowlowski strike which featured the home defence making the curious decision of not bothering to mark the Earthquakes striker on a long throw in while he stood four yards from goal. Calling it a heartbreaking finish for Toronto is only true to a point, mostly because they brought it upon themselves.

Of course, that's what the game will be remembered for, by everyone except me. I will look back upon this match as featuring what should have been one of the best goals in the history of the sport, a jaw-dropping moment which would have instantly dispelled questions about the natural beauty of football - and for American teams to achieve the heights of pure soccer perfection.

When a cross is met in the air with a backheeled flick not once but twice before landing, you expect magic in the air. When the landing point is in fact atop the eighteen yard box with in front of an attacker with a clear sight of goal, one might look for the spectacular. A finish to end all finishes, in fact. Had Bobby Convey struck the ball cleanly, it probably would have been the single best team goal in the history of the league. Instead, he blasted it into Row Z.

The rest of the game was a trifling irrelevance. Bobby Convey, you are on my list.

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Seattle Sounders Vs. Columbus Crew: Lamar Neagle Hat Trick Trumps Jeff Cunningham's Record Setter

Lamar Neagle entered this MLS season known by few outside of friends and family. After his hat trick against the Columbus Crew during the Seattle Sounders 6-2 victory on Saturday, he'll surely be the talk of the week. Neagle's performance was so impressive, that it surely rendered Jeff Cunningham's setting of the MLS career goals scored a mere footnote. 

Making the accomplishment all the more impressive was that all three goals came in the run of play. Neagle's first goal came when he fought off Crew defender Rich Balchan and skipped a low shot toward the goal that Will Hesmer was unable to handle. Neagle's second goal came in the 20th minute when he was left unmarked at the far post and was able to put away James Riley's perfectly placed cross. He closed out his day with a Goal of the Week candidate, blasting a shot from the top left corner of the penalty area. The shot ricocheted off the cross bar and just beyond the goal line.

Neagle's final goal restored the Sounders' 4-0 lead, which had been cut to three on Cunningham's 134th career goal. The record-setter came from the penalty spot after coach Robert Warzycha insisted Cunningham take the kick instead of Emilio Renteria, who had earned it and appeared set to take it.

The six goals were a MLS record for the Sounders, who had never scored more than four goals in a match. They also got goals from Mike Fucito and Mauro Rosales, who each added assists as well. The Sounders' sixth goal came on a Josh Gardner own goal, who had scored his second goal of the season only a minute earlier.

With the win, the Sounders improved to 4-0-3 all time against the Crew. It was also the second time in the past four times they've played that the Sounders have won by four goals.

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VIDEO: Jeff Cunningham Sets All-Time MLS Goals Record

This might be an otherwise forgettable match in the history of the Columbus Crew, but Jeff Cunningham will surely remember it well. The Crew striker scored a 59th minute penalty to set the MLS record for goals scored in a career. His 134th career strike brought the score to 4-1 in favor of the Seattle Sounders.

Cunningham's record breaker included just a bit of controversy. Teammate Emilio Renteria earned the penalty when he was cut down in the box by Sounders defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and looked prepared to take the kick. But Robert Warzycha emphatically demanded that Cunningham take it, prompting Renteria to spike the ball in anger. Earlier in the season, Warzycha had wanted Cunningham to take a penalty, but Andres Mendoza took that one. 

Cunningham has now scored two goals this season and had been tied with Jaime Moreno ever since July 6 when he scored against the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

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