Although it was a designated FIFA international break, the action remained in full swing for Major League Soccer and USSF Division-2 while the Mexican Primera took the weekend off with the exception of one contest, which proved costly.
The race for the league lead tightened in MLS with leader Los Angeles playing to a tie while those close behind picked up points in the chase. The next tier saw the league lead change hands as Austin reclaimed the top spot. Meanwhile, three of the hottest clubs in the league squared off with Champions League side Puerto Rico making the trek to the northwest to face Portland and Vancouver.
A loss to Chivas Guadalajara Sunday resulted in the dismissal of Estudiantes Tecos head coach Miguel Herrera Monday after a 1-1-4 start to the Apertura campaign. Herrera had led the club since the eighth match of the 2008 Apertura campaign and guided the club to the quarterfinals twice. Luis Manuel Diaz will take the post on an interim basis until a replacement is named.
Major League Soccer
The continued misfortune of the Los Angeles Galaxy has allowed the defending MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake to catch up and move within one point for the top spot of the Western Conference. A 1-1 draw, courtesy of a last-minute header from Omar Gonzales in stoppage time, against the Chicago Fire leaves the Galaxy with just one in their last six league outings. Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, edged the visiting New York Red Bulls, 1-0, to extend their streak to seven games without defeat.
RSL also moved within a single point of league lead as the Columbus Crew used a 1-0 victory over DC United to reach equal terms with Los Angeles for the regular season title. The win was the second in less than a week in the nation’s capital having defeated DC in the US Open Cup Semifinals, 2-1, in overtime. The Crew’s lead in the Eastern Conference got a bit wider with New York’s loss leaving the Red Bulls seven back. Staying within four points of the lead trio was FC Dallas, 1-0 winners over visiting Toronto FC, which are now winless in their last four league outings.
The New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids were big winners Saturday. The Revolution, coming off their midweek 2-1 SuperLiga Final loss to Morelia, downed midweek 3-1 USOC winner Seattle Sounders, 3-1, and the Rapids blanked Chivas USA, 3-0. The Philadelphia Union tied the Kansas City Wizards, 1-1, to round out Saturday’s results. In Sunday’s lone contest, the San Jose Earthquakes joined Columbus as the road teams to post a victory on the week, edging the Houston Dynamo, 2-1.
Puerto Rico ventured away from home for a trip to the Northwest that would pit three of the hottest clubs in the league against one another as the Islanders, Timbers and Whitecaps came into the series with a combined total of 20 league consecutive league games without a loss. Puerto Rico took a nine-game (3-6-0) run to Portland first and were seven minutes away from reaching double digits in the streak Thursday when Ryan Pore broke the scoreless stalemate for the Timbers, who extended their unbeaten run to six (4-2-0). Three nights later, the Islanders battled to a scoreless Sunday stalemate with the Whitecaps, whose streak hit eight games (2-6-0).
The Austin Aztex, meanwhile, retook the overall league lead with a 2-0 victory at home Saturday against Minnesota on a pair of Eddie Johnson strikes, surpassing the idle Rochester Rhinos by a point.
In the race for playoff position, the Carolina RailHawks kept their bid strong with a 3-0 win against Crystal Palace Baltimore Friday, moving within four points of NASL Conference leader Vancouver. AC St Louis moved past Baltimore with a 3-1 victory over the NASL last-place Miami FC Blues Sunday.
Sunday, September 5
Chivas Guadalajara 3-0 Estudiantes Tecos
Coming off a midweek friendly in which they fell, 1-0, to the Union in Philadelphia, Chivas Guadalajara made up for one of the matched delayed to their participation in the Copa Libertadores with a resounding 3-0 victory against Estudiantes Tecos. Omar Bravo celebrated his 300th match with the club by tallying the opening strike in the 38th minute. The match, played in the rain, finished with Ricardo Vazquez and Marco Fabian scoring in the final 16 minutes. Scoring – GUA: Omar Bravo 38, Ricardo Vazquez 74, Marco Fabian 90