Major Link Soccer: Final Weekend Recap Edition

Jonathan Daniel

With all eyes looking toward the playoffs, and the MLS regular season behind us, we take another look at the news from Major League Soccer and around the world.

Chris Wondolowski has put together arguably the best season in MLS history. With his 27th goal against Portland on Saturday, Wondo tied Roy Lassiter's mark set in 1996 with the now-defunct Tampa Bay Mutiny. Throw in another seven assists, and he has been a part of 34 goals this year. An amazing season for a player that, prior to 2010, had only scored seven league goals in five years.

Clint Dempsey scored the winner for Tottenham in a 2-1 victory of Southampton on Sunday. The US international now has two goals in six appearances for the Spurs. With the victory Tottenham moved to fourth place in the EPL table.

Last season D.C. United crumbled, going 1-6-2, after striker Chris Pontius went down with a broken leg. This year looked to follow a similar script when reigning league MVP Dwayne De Rosario was sidelined with a knee injury. Instead, Ben Olsen has rallied DCU to a second place finish in the East while recording a 5-0-1 record since the injury.

Starting next year NBC will own the U.S. broadcast rights to the English Premier League. NBC's three-year agreement with pay the EPL $250 million--a sum triple that of the previous contract. We can only hope NBC will maintain the quality broadcasting standards which they have established with MLS on NBC.

The 10-man Tampa Bay Rowdies rallied from a two-goal aggregate deficit to win the NASL title on Saturday Night. The Rowdies were down 2-0 after a first leg loss last weekend, but clawed their way to a 3-3 aggregate tie and winning on a penalty shootout.

In local college action, the University of Washington men have secured their first Pac-12 title since 2000. The Huskies (11-3-3, 6-0-2 Pac-12) will be back in the Pac-12 tournament for the first time since 2007. Go Dawgs!

Although much of the blame will rightly fall on Aron Winter for Toronto FC's failures, there may be another culprit for the their poor performance. Some are pointing at Major League Soccer.

MLS Weekend Recap:

On Saturday at PPL Park, the visiting Red Bulls took care of business, using a brace from Kenny Cooper and a goal from Thierry Henry to rout the rival Philadelphia Union 3-0. With the win, New York finished third in the Eastern Conference.

With a single goal from A.J. Soares, the New England Revolution managed their first win on Canadian Soil by defeating the Montreal Impact. However, as neither team will feature in the playoffs, both sets of fans will be hoping for better results next year.

D.C. United survived a few desperate moments to draw 1-1 with the Chicago Fire. With the draw, DCU finished second in the Eastern conference. Patrick Nyarko opened the scoring for Chicago before Lionard Pajoy equalized for United in the second half.

In a game that was more about Chris Wondolowski than its ultimate outcome, the San Jose Earthquakes drew 1-1 with the Portland Timbers in Portland. When Steven Lenhart flopped was pulled down in the box by Donovan Ricketts, the 'Quakes captain stepped to the spot to calmly finish and tie Roy Lassiter's MLS record.

If the Sounders have one thing to be thankful for right now, it's that Real Salt Lake has been a bit off their game lately. The most recent evidence of this came Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium where RSL failed to score in a 0-0 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps. This was the same Vancouver Whitecap team that just lost to Portland in Vancouver.

Although the Rapids had nothing to play for, they easily defeated a reserve-heavy Houston Dynamo side 2-0 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The rapids dominated the match from start to finish getting goals From Kamani Hill and Andre Akpan.

Although neither team is alive for the MLS Cup, at least Columbus Crew fans have some good feelings to take with them into the offseason. Federico Higuain scored two goals for the Crew on Sunday to power them to a 2-1 win over Toronto FC. The Argentine Designated Player had five goals and seven assists in his 13 games with the Crew this year.

FC Dallas looked to be cruising to an easy win after second half goals from Jackson and Fabian Castillo, but 90th and 94th minute goals from Laurent Courtois and Juan Agudelo stole a draw for visiting Chivas USA. With neither team making the playoffs, both fans can look toward very important offseasons.

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