The fight for three points intensified in MLS Week 25. Unfortunately, Saer Sene and Bakary Soumare decided to take it a step further.
The New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union lacked the punching power for 90 minutes on Saturday. The two played to a scoreless draw in front of a capacity crowd at Red Bull Arena. With the result, both clubs remain separated by one point in the standings.
It should come as no surprise, but some tough competition kept New York and Philadelphia from making the list of best and worst from MLS Week 25.
Read on to find out why.
The goals came often in MLS Week 25. A total of 23 were scored.
Three of the league's prolific talents recorded a brace and carried their club to victory in the process.
Marco Di Vaio commenced the trifecta of braces in the Montreal Impact's 2-1 victory over DC United. The Italian re-entered his name in the MLS Golden Boot race with his 12th and 13th goals of the season. An emphatic game-winner in the 83rd minute allowed the Impact to capture an all-important three points at home.
But don't be quick to hand him the Goal of the Week honors just yet.
Giles Barnes will have a say in that matter after his performance in a comprehensive 3-1 victory for the Houston Dynamo.
The Englishman spoiled Clint Dempsey's return to his home state with the first multi-goal game of his MLS career. A blast inside the area opened the affair in the 17th minute. The goal was his fifth of the season and his first since May 8.
Three men. Six goals. Nine points.
The story here should be Juan Agudelo's backheel flick.
It. Really. Should.
Somewhere in England, Mark Hughes is doing celebratory cartwheels.
But somewhere in New England, Saer Sene and Bakary Soumare are not.
The two were shown red cards in the aftermath of the New England Revolution's 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire. Following the match, a scuffle set off between Soumare and Revolution trainer Evan Allen. The two were involved in a back-and-forth confrontation minutes before the match ended. It only escalated after the final whistle.
Soumare offers his translation of the events on the Fire's official website:
I basically said to the trainer, "Come on, there's only five minutes left, can you get him off the field?" He asked me to shut the [expletive] up, basically…[After the game] I said, "That's not right, you can't run on the field and waste time and tell me to shut the [expletive] up. That's wrong."
That exchange in dialogue took a turn for the worse.
Sene decided it was best to pull his friend from the situation, but even he involved himself in an altercation with members of the Fire's staff. Referee Edvin Jurisevic had no choice but to control the situation by showing both players the red card.
As a result, Sene and Soumare are expected to miss the action in Week 26.
Ready to play a game?
It's called...well, let's save that level of entertainment for the last slide.
It's been a while since the Colorado Rapids last tasted defeat. A 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps extended the club's unbeaten streak to nine games. Goals from Deshorn Brown and Edson Buddle helped the Rapids secure their 10th win of the season.
Saturday also saw the home debuts of Gabriel Torres and Vicente Sanchez. The two newcomers started for the first time against the Whitecaps. Sanchez provided the assist on Colorado's opening strike.
According to the club's official website, head coach Oscar Pareja is optimistic about the duo moving forward:
I think (Torres) linked well, and not just with Vicente but with the other players,. With Dillon [Powers], even with Deshorn [Brown]. I thought the connection with Deshorn was really good and it's encouraging. We're very optimistic with that situation. To see two guys who came in here today and they showed that the game is about good soccer players. Sometimes the language or the timing is not a big factor, it's about having good players on the field
It's also about having good results.
Colorado's nine-game unbeaten streak matches a franchise record previously set in 2011.
"It's okay. You'll win here eventually."
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
That’s how many victories Sporting Kansas City have captured in their last 16 trips to San Jose. According to SKC Gameday, the club was 0-10-5 entering Week 25’s showdown at Buck Shaw Stadium. After a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, you can now make that 0-11-5.
Now, SKC were without injured stars Graham Zusi (quad strain) and Kei Kamara (ankle sprain).
But according to the club’s official website, head coach Peter Vermes believes he had enough quality to get a result on the road:
Those two guys are great players and they add a lot to our team, but those guys in the other room are a very talented group. I know, we know we can win with those guys. Could things have ended differently? Maybe, but there isn't anything we can do about that now.
A header from Chris Wondolowski in the 55th minute was enough to secure the victory for the Earthquakes. With the win, San Jose remains in playoff contention in the Western Conference.
As for Kansas City, the club failed to capitalize on a massive opportunity Sunday night. A victory over the Quakes would’ve secured the Supporters’ Shield lead.
Instead, the sporting-blue club now sits tied atop the Eastern Conference entering Week 26.
They are still the Los Angeles Galaxy...and he's still Robbie Keane.
A fierce rally allowed the Galaxy to capture a 4-2 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Goals from Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez propelled the club to its 11th win of the season. Los Angeles now sits just four points behind RSL for the Supporters' Shield lead.
But it was Keane who stole the show at the StubHub Center.
Despite the handicap of an atrocious third jersey, the 33-year-old Irishman looked flawless on the evening.
After an opening goal from Joao Plata in the 53rd minute, Keane leveled the affair just three minutes later. His majestic footwork shucked off a desperate Carlos Salcedo. His cutthroat confidence allowed him to bury the shot with relative ease.
His ninth and 10th goal of the season would come moments later.
After a beautiful build up from Juninho and Sean Franklin, Keane volleyed home a cross from just outside the six-yard box. Nineteen minutes later, the Irishman completed his hat-trick with the cleverest of chips.
The route was on at the StubHub Center.
According to MLS' official website, Landon Donovan foresees this being a trend moving forward:
I think it's going to be difficult going forward for teams to play against us. They clearly put some emphasis on trying to shut me down tonight, and if you do that, you're going to get punished by Robbie...Robbie was Robbie. He can do that on any given night. Which is crazy, but he can. If we get him the ball in the right spots, he's going to make plays, and he was terrific.
Keane was "terrific." But the Galaxy's overall performance served as a reminder Saturday night: They are still the two-time defending champions.
No points total will ever change that.
This is what an 11-game winless streak will do to you.
Okay. Now let's play a game.
It's called "the last time FC Dallas won."
Feel free to play along in the comments section below.
The last time FC Dallas won, Jose Mourinho was still in charge at Real Madrid. The last time FC Dallas won, Clint Dempsey still had aspirations of playing Champions League football at Tottenham. The last time FC Dallas won, Crystal Palace were still in the Championship.
These aren't jokes. These are facts.
It's been 86 days since Dallas last won a competitive match in league play. Following Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers, the Hoops extended their woeful winless streak to 11 games. They haven't been celebrating in Frisco, Texas, since the club captured a 1-0 victory over the Earthquakes on May 25.
According to Doug Binder of the Dallas Morning News, the pitiful streak has caused defender Kellyn Acosta to lower his standards:
I feel like we're on the comeback (trail), just trying to play better and better. Before, we had a scoreless drought (of five games) and the past two games we've been scoring so that's a good turnaround for us.
Yes, Acosta, your club has been scoring...but you haven't been winning.
Should this downward trajectory continue the final 10 weeks of the season, you won't be making the playoffs, either.
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