Sunday, October 25, 2015

It Happened in America Part II: Red Bulls take Sheild, Portland, Seattle, SKC take final spots

Much more was at stake in the Western Conference as four teams were competing for three spots. The Supporters Shield was also up for grabs as the Red Bulls needed to get more points than Dallas in order to win that trophy.

Chicago Fire 1-2 New York Red Bulls
Since New York is in the playoffs, and Chicago is fated to last place, this East game got moved back to 7pm with the West slate since the Red Bulls were competing with Dallas for the Supporters Shield. Bradley Wright-Phillips gave them the leg up in that battle with an eighth minute goal. Sacha Kljestan scored from the spot in the 35th minute to double up that advantage. Gilberto scored for the Fire in the 78th to make it a game, but it was not enough to keep the Supporters Shield out of New York.

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 LA Galaxy
Kevin Ellis got Sporting Park all worked up with the opening goal in the 39th minute. He was lucky to even have the chance to take his shot, though. He was a bit offside when Chance Myers took the original shot that rebounded to Ellis. Robbie Keane would get that goal back in the final minute before the halftime whistle. The home team would regain the lead in the 65th minute with a Dom Dwyer goal fed by Benny Feilhaber. The Galaxy were a heroic Tim Melia save away from tying the game in the final minute of stoppage time, but they came up short.

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 Houston Dynamo
Vancouver needed all three point to secure a first round bye in the West playoffs. It took them a while to get the big first goal, but Kekuta Manneh scored for the Caps in the 59th minute. A 72nd minute header from Kendall Watson secured that second place finish. Robert Earnshaw added the third goal at the death of the match.

Seattle Sounders 3-1 Real Salt Lake
Clint Dempsey scored in the fifth and 20th minutes. Marco Pappa sandwiched his in between those two. Just like that Seattle was up 3-0 in a game they needed to win. Luis Gil gave Salt Lake their consolation goal in the 77th.

FC Dallas 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose needed to win to have any shot at postseason play and they got the start they wanted with a 13th minute goal by Quincy Amarikwa. The lead would hold until, Mauro Diaz tied the score in the 38th minute. The Quakes night took a real turn for the worse when Matias Perez Garcia was sent off for a slap to the back of Diaz's head. Victor Ulloa gave Dallas the points against the ten man foes at the stoke of 79 minutes, but the Red Bulls result keeps them from lifting the Supporters Shield. They do, however, get to experience the pleasure of knocking San Jose out of the playoffs.

Portland Timbers 4-1 Colorado Rapids
The Timbers attached right from the start, and they got their first reward in the fifth minute with a gorgeous free kick Darlington Nagbe.Colorado struck right back with a somewhat fluky goal by Dominique Badji. Nagbe struck again with his head just after the half hour mark to power the Timbers back in front. Portland got a huge insurance goal in the 63rd minute. It went down as an own goal off Colorado's Sean St. Ledger, but it was Jorge Villafana doing the dirty work and taking the shot. Fanendo Adi got his chest to a Dairon Asprilla cross in the 88th for his 16th of the season adn to truly seal this one for the Timbers.

Dallas already had first place wrapped up, but the Vancouver win gives them the other knockout round bye. The three spots up for grabs were handed out due to San Jose's failure to get a win in Dallas. Portland's emphatic win gives them home field for a clash with Sporting Kansas City. The Seattle in and LA loss means last year's Western Conference finals rematch will take place in the Emerald City.

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