There were some favorable results for the Chicago Fire this weekend as D.C. United was the only other playoff team to manage 3 points. Houston and Columbus lose. Sporting KC and New York draw. Montreal is nearly out of the running. Good stuff all around.
A quick recap of some of the action after the jump.
New York should have left Boston empty handed. Jerry Bengston scored for the Revs 5 minutes in, but the goal was disallowed as Bengston was incorrectly flagged as offside. Here is what Jay Heaps had to say via Corey E. Major at The Bent Musket:
"The (Jerry) Bengtson goal is onside," said Jay Heaps. "I’ve already seen the replay on that. I don’t want to comment further besides to say that was a goal. What do you do? That’s tough, because to me that changes the entire game."
Red Bulls defender, Connor Lade, received a second yellow and was sent off in the 74th minute. Joel Lindpere scored an ugly goal for the Red Bulls in added time to take a lead, but Darrius Barnes put a header into the back of the net for New England at the death.
San Jose has taken a huge step towards putting first place out of reach in the Western Conference. 11 points are the difference between San Jose and second place Seattle. Out of all the teams currently in playoff positions in the west, San Jose has now swept all of them except the LA Galaxy (they've beat LA twice, but will play them once more on October 23rd) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (the only current playoff team to beat San Jose).
After all of the drama that happened between these two teams last time in Seattle, did it seem like Steven Lenhart was intentionally goading Sounders fans by going to ground even easier this time around? He flops a lot, but there were a few moments on Saturday that were just ridiculous.
Houston Dynamo 1 at Philadelphia Union 3
Philadelphia just did Columbus a huge favor in the playoff race. Philly is also talking playoffs as well, but they need a lot of favors from other teams. But is winning for Philadelphia a good thing? From Justin F. at Brotherly Game:
Needing three points to ensure their slim playoff hopes remain alive, the Philadelphia Union delivered and ensured people would live to talk about their playoff aspirations for another day, against the Houston Dynamo. That being said, there is over a month left in the season and any more dropped points will lead to the Union being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
In addition to that, they need all the help in the world if they want to make a playoff chase, including having several teams in front of them lose at ridiculous rates. In short, the Union are not making the playoffs in 2012, and they probably did themselves a bit of a dis-service by winning. With the incentive to win gone, the best possible result for the Union would be losses as they would ensure a better second round draft pick.
This result was not due to Houston putting in a poor performance. Philadelphia out played Houston, and Freddie Adu put in one of those performances that he's occasionally capable of. Houston can't blame it on fatigue from Champions League either as Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell and Kofi Sarkodie were the only players to start both matches. Houston has only won 1 match out of their last 4.
D.C. United continues to grind out wins without Dwayne De Rosario. They are now on a three game winning streak against the bottom dwellers of the league. Bottom dwellers or not, the fact that they have only conceded 1 goal in this three game span is impressive. From Martin Shatzer at Black and Red United:
What won't get as much coverage is the defense. This three-game winning streak hasn't been pretty and hasn't come against the most spectacular of opponents, but with three close matches, the winning streak wouldn't have come at all without a steady defense. Bill Hamid now has two straight shutout victories, and his back line deserves tons of credit to holding the opposition to just one goal in three matches.
DC has a pretty convenient schedule for the end of the season. They go to Portland next week then they go to Toronto FC the following week. Road games are never easy, but these are two teams that a De Rosario-less United team can win and continue to build confidence on. They will then face the Columbus Crew at home which, as things are currently going, will be like a playoff game. I think DC can get all 9 of those points, and they could be coming into Toyota Park for the final game of the season with a full head of steam. However, by that time the Fire will have already wrapped up either first or second place in the East.