SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 18: Fans of the Seattle Sounders FC unveil the Cascadia Champions banner prior to the match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field on August 18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
In case you all missed it, the Sounders played a reserve match Sunday afternoon, with lots of fun developments. Steve Zakuani found the back of the net for the first time since April 2011, and liked it so much that he did it again for a brace (both goals tied the game from deficits). His action was mixed between left mid and forward, but he looked great as a midfielder. Mario Martinez found his first game action, and Michael Tetteh, playing at right mid, created problems for the defense for much of the first half. Finally, in the 90th minute, Sammy Ochoa put one away to lift the Sounders over the Galaxy 3-2.
In talking with some Whitecaps visitors before the match on Saturday, I learned that three busloads of visitors were stuck at the border only an hour before gametime. You wouldn't have known it from looking at the impressive away section Saturday, likely the largest visitor's section in regular season MLS history, but they were missing some of their most vocal supporters. The fascinating story of the missing buses is chronicled here, and I HIGHLY recommend a read.
The most interesting news of the weekend isn't really news, and hasn't even been substantiated by anyone particularly noteworthy. However, "The Drug is Football" has purportedly come into possession of an email discussing the potential relocation of the New England Revolution to Baltimore after DC United gets its stadium issue figured out. There's no denying that the Revs have had some tough years lately, and Kraft has taken a lot of heat for how he has treated the team (read: he seems to ignore them). However, tweets from our sister blog "The Bent Musket" call the development a "crock". I think I speak for everyone when I say the only place New England should be moving to is Boston proper, but don't color me surprised if Kraft isn't the owner in two years, regardless of the validity of the email.
Other ownership groups aren't doing bad. In fact things are so good around MLS that not just Don Garber is speaking at this year's Leaders in Football Conference as he's joined by Merritt Paulson on the main stage. There is also a breakout session in which Garber and Paulson are joined by Adrian Hanauer and Robb Heinemann. Clark Hunt, investor/owner of two MLS teams will also be in attendance.
The situation in Massachusetts didn't get better this weekend after a loss to Chicago, and now the team is only three points ahead of Toronto for the Eastern Conference basement.
The week couldn't have gone much better for fans still looking for the Sounders to finish best in the west. Three of the other teams in Western Conference playoff position lost, including the two teams above Seattle in points. LA didn't play this weekend after a midweek draw with Columbus.
Real Salt Lake appeared to be positioned for a disappointing tie against a low FC Dallas side, but things got much worse for them when David Ferriera's excellent shot in the 94th minute found Dallas winning their second-straight game. Salt Lake now hasn't won a match in four weeks and only sit two points ahead of Seattle with two additional games played.
Seattle's next opponent found itself hanging onto potential playoff contention as Chivas USA's Juan Pablo Angel scored a late tying goal against Colorado. Chivas sits ten points behind LA with four games in hand.
The other Cascadia rival scored two road goals in a second straight decision, but again couldn't parlay the nets into wins in Harrison. A header in the 83'rd minute capped off a three goal comeback against Portland, but the Red Bulls were unwilling to celebrate the win afterwards, considering the result disappointing.
Kansas City jumped to within a point of the Supporters' Shield lead after beating Toronto 0-1, which has some media members around the league talking about Sporting as a candidate to take home all three major trophies. Which is fine, because the last time they anointed a team, (read:us) that team proceeded to have the worst slump in the history of the club.
Referees often blow games in subtle ways, but not in Sunday's match between DC United and the Philadelphia Union. United, now fighting to stay afloat in the playoff race, found itself at the mercy of Mark Geiger. I'll let Black and Red United explain what ensued.
Finally, Houston will be disappointed after dropping a clear chance to improve their playoff positioning after failing to take three points in a game against Columbus. Adam Moffat preserved the Dynamo's perfect record at home with a goal in the 82nd minute for a 2-2 tie, but a win would have moved the club to within a point of second place in the east.