Winners and Losers from MLS Matches from October 16-19
With so much attention centered around the match between Seattle and LA in Week 32, it was easy to forget about the other matches that took place across Major League Soccer.
In the eight other games this weekend, we saw a few teams miss out on improving their respective positions in the standings, as well as a few nice stories in the Eastern Conference.
Also mixed in those contests were the best and worst passes of the week, and a major compliment from a legend about a young American star.
Here's a complete look at the winners and losers from MLS Week 32.
Winner: Sigi Schmid
Seattle manager Sigi Schmid played his tactics perfectly in Seattle's 2-2 draw with the Galaxy Sunday night.
With a return match in Seattle coming Saturday, Schmid set up his team in a defensive manner to shut down the dangerous LA attack.
After Seattle went down by two goals, which were conceded thanks to poor defending, Schmid brought on Marco Pappa to provide more width to his side.
Within six minutes of Pappa being on the pitch, the game opened up and the Sounders scored two goals.
Thanks to this managerial master stroke by Schmid, Seattle only needs a draw at home against the Galaxy to claim the Supporters' Shield and earn the top seed in the Western Conference.
Loser: Omar Gonzalez
Omar Gonzalez departed the draw at StubHub Center in the 89th minute after making a challenge from behind on Gonzalo Pineda.
The center-back, who was already on a yellow card, was shown his second caution of the night by referee Ismail Elfath, which means he is suspended for the return clash of the series with Seattle.
The red card was the first Gonzalez has received in 169 MLS games, including the playoffs, per ESPN's Paul Carr.
Thanks to the silly challenge by the United States international, the Galaxy face an uphill climb to claim the Supporters' Shield.
Gonzalez's likely replacement is Leonardo, who has had his share of rough moments in the back four this season.
Winner: Wil Trapp
Wil Trapp has emerged on the radar of many Major League Soccer fans this season, especially those with a rooting interest in the United States men's national team.
After Sunday's match against New York, the Columbus midfielder received a compliment from Thierry Henry, which can't be taken lightly.
Henry said after the match that the 21-year-old holding midfielder was "outstanding" and "difficult to stop."
Trapp's performance Sunday was a perfect representation of his season, as he has been a key player for the Crew in each of the 27 matches he has played.
Losers: Portland and Vancouver
Absolutely nothing was decided in the race for fifth in the Western Conference, as both Vancouver and Portland played to scoreless draws this weekend.
Portland came up short at home Friday against Real Salt Lake, who benefited from a terrific performance from Nick Rimando.
One day later, Vancouver squandered its chance to take a three-point lead into the final weekend of the season by playing to a lackluster draw with San Jose.
To close out the regular season, Portland will visit FC Dallas, while the Whitecaps will play host to the Rapids, who will take a 13-game winless streak into BC Place Saturday night.
After suffering a string of heartbreaking defeats at PPL Park, Philadelphia finished off its home schedule with a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
The win was Union's second over the defending MLS Cup champion this season, with Philadelphia also picking up a draw in the other game played between the two sides.
Jim Curtin's side's goals came from two unlikely sources, as Brian Brown and Pedro Ribeiro, players who haven't seen much playing time this season, found the back of the net.
The Union have a road game against Columbus left before a busy offseason begins after missing out on the playoffs in agonizing fashion.
Winner: Darrius Barnes
Thanks to the calm Darrius Barnes, Thursday night brought us the smartest pass of Week 32.
Instead of firing a shot on goal in the 87th minute against Houston, the New England defender passed the ball to Lee Nguyen, who scored the game-winning goal.
Barnes' smart decision-making helped the Revolution earn a 2-1 victory over the Dynamo, which helped them clinch second place in the Eastern Conference.
New England has three more points than third-place Sporting Kansas City, but they have an advantage of two in the wins tiebreaker heading into the final week of the regular season.
Loser: Patrick Ianni
While Barnes delivered the best pass of the weekend, Patrick Ianni turned in the worst in the 53rd minute of Chicago's loss to D.C. United.
Ianni turned the ball over to Eddie Johnson, who ended up beating Kyle Reynish for the second D.C. goal of the match.
Chicago did pull a goal back through Harry Shipp later in the second half, but Ianni's mistake turned out to be the difference in the 2-1 loss at RFK Stadium.
Losers: Heath Pearce and Hassoun Camara
The final 10 minutes of the 1-1 draw between Toronto and Montreal produced a good amount of chaos, as three players were sent off. Two of them, Heath Pearce and Hassoun Camara, were wearing Montreal Impact shirts.
Pearce was the first of the two defenders to be sent off by referee Baldomero Toledo after he clipped Dominic Oduro with a late challenge in the 82nd minute.
Camara earned his second yellow of the match in the 95th minute following a collision with Dwayne De Rosario.
Due to the two red cards, the worst team in the league will play their final game of the season against D.C. United without two of their best defenders.
Winner: Chris Pontius
One of the better stories to come out of the league in recent weeks has been the return of Chris Pontius to the D.C. United lineup.
Pontius, who was sidelined by an injury for most of the season, scored on his third start of the 2014 season against Chicago.
The midfielder has found his place in the starting XI without any issues, and D.C. manager Ben Olsen noted after the 2-1 win that it hasn't felt like he was off the pitch for a year, per the team's Twitter account.
The 27-year-old should play a big role for United once the playoffs begin, as he brings veteran experience to a side that has been firing on all cylinders in 2014.
Toronto's roller-coaster season took another downward turn Saturday, as the Reds were eliminated from playoff contention.
Although Toronto had little hope of making the top five in the Eastern Conference, it still had an outside chance if it won and results elsewhere went in its favor.
Instead of playing an inspired match, the Reds fell flat against Montreal, and the team could only muster a 1-1 draw with the worst team in the league.
Now that they are no longer in the playoff discussion, the Reds will have to take a long, hard look at themselves in the offseason to put together a plan to can earn the first playoff berth in the team's history in 2015.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.