Major Link Soccer: Bittersweet Edition

Whitecaps coaches look on as their team fails to do the easiest thing in MLS--beat Portland at home. - Jeff Vinnick

Although the Cascadia Cup and FC Dallas were the focus of many Sounders fans this weekend, there were plenty of other noteworthy stories from MLS and around the world.

There is no doubt that the San Jose Earthquakes play effective soccer. Their results this year prove that. However, opposing players and fans are often critical of the style and antics. Most recently, Omar Gonzalez of the LA Galaxy blasted the quakes saying their style was "embarrassing" and "not the way the game should be played. He expanded this further by saying that he "think[s] those guys are a bunch of jokes, the way they play the game. It was just obnoxious. And, you know, it wasn't even fun out there. It was terrible."

Bayern Munich are on seriously good run of form . After a 5-0 shelling of Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga, the German giants have now won eight games in a row to start the season. Munich now sits five points clear of second place at the top of the table.

Lionel Messi continues to score goals at ridiculous rate. On Saturday, Messi scored a hat trick against Deportivo La Coruna in a suprisingly close 5-4 win for Barcelona who are still undefeated in La Liga play.

European fan violence continues. In a disturbing incident, an Anorthosis player was receiving treatment in a match against Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus on Sunday when a fan decided that the delay wasn't up to his standards of entertainment--so he threw an explosive onto the pitch.

In another incident last week, Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was assaulted on the field by a fan during 1-1 draw versus Leeds United. Somehow he managed to elude arrest at the stadium but now a 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

MLS Weekend Recap:

It's been a tough week for Canada. After suffering an embarrassing 8-1 loss to Honduras in World Cup Qualifying, Vancouver could have secured Canada's first playoff berth in MLS history. Showing why they are clearly a step below the rest of the playoff contenders in the West, they lost to a pathetic team that hadn't won a road game all season. Fortunately for the hapless Whitecaps, the Sounders victory over Dallas secured a berth for them. You're welcome.

San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski scores goals. That is what he does. That is what he did on Sunday night as his 26th goal of the season split the points with the LA Galaxy in a 2-2 draw. The goal puts Wondo just one goal behind the MLS record of 27 goals set by Tampa Bay's Roy Lassiter in 1996. Robbie Keane, Marvin Chavez and Edson Buddle also scored in the game.

Yesterday was 2012's annual Zombie Walk in Toronto--and the theme was carried over to the lifeless crowd and play on the field as the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC played to a scoreless draw. Despite what many thought would be a matchup that was tailor-made for a Cascadia-style derby, the rivalry simply hasn't taken root in the hearts and minds of the players or supporters.

Sporting Kansas City headed to New York on Saturday clinging to the slimmest of hopes for Supports Shield glory. With SKC needing a win to remain alive for the regular season silverware, the Red Bulls outplayed SKC but neither team was able to find the back of the net. With the scoreless draw, the Red Bulls clinched a berth in the playoffs.

Seventeen-year-old Diego Fagundez scored a goal in the 17th minute for the New England Revolution to dash any hopes the Chicago Fire harbored for the top seed in East. Although the Chicago Fire will be looking forward to the playoffs, it has been another years of futility for the Revs. The game finished as a one nil victory for the Revs.

It appeared as if D.C. United and the Columbus Crew would split the points on Saturday night, but a 91st minute strike from Lewis Neal made it 3-2 for DCU. The win secured DCU's first playoff appearance in five years. The Columbus Crew will be watching the playoffs on television. Eddie Gaven and Jairo Arrieta scored for Columbus while Nick DeLeon and Marcelo Saragos contributed the other two goals for DCU.

With a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union, the Houston Dynamo will feature in the playoffs for a sixth time in seven years. An early strike from Macoumba Kandji was neutralized by a 19th minute strike the Union's Jack McInerney. It would stay that way until the 71st minute when Oscar Boniek Garcia put the Dynamo ahead for good. A penalty kick by Brad Davis in the 75th minute put to rest any hopes the Union had of a victory.

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