Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 10/7/12
Los Angeles 1, Real Salt Lake 2 Los Angeles star Landon Donovan limped off with a knee injury with about 10 minutes left in the Galaxy's 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night, creating doubt whether he will be available for the United States' upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda, and Guatemala. The 30-year-old midfielder, who missed last month's qualifiers against Jamaica because of a hamstring injury, hurt his left knee after contact with Real Salt Lake defender Jamison Olave in the RSL box in the 81st minute. He required medical attention on the field, then limped off and walked gingerly to the Galaxy bench. Donovan said he did not hear a pop, which frequently accompanies a ligament tears, but that the extent of the damage wasn't known. ''We have no idea,'' he said. ''We have to get it worked out. ... It didn't feel good.'' The Americans figure to need at least a win and a tie when they play at Antigua on Friday and host Guatemala on Oct. 16 at Kansas City, Kan. Those are the final two games in the semifinal round of qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean. Asked if he would miss the games, Donovan replied: ''TBD.'' The U.S. also could be missing Dallas midfielder Brek Shea, who left his team's game against San Jose on Sept. 29 in the 69th minute. Fabian Espindola scored in the 25th and 28th minutes to help Real Salt Lake (17-11-4) overcome an early deficit to pull five points ahead of the Galaxy (15-12-5) and six in front of Seattle in the battle for second place in the Western Conference. RSL and L.A. have two games remaining; Seattle, which plays Portland on Sunday, has four left. The fourth-place team must win a wild-card game to enter the playoff bracket. The Galaxy struck first, on a superb Robbie Keane volley in the 17th minute, but struggled to break down RSL's defense in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center. The Galaxy created four outstanding opportunities in the first 17 minutes -- Landon Donovan shots were blocked twice in the box, and Juninho hit the crossbar -- and finally went ahead when Keane volleyed a Juninho cross through the goalmouth and inside the right post, his 15th goal of the campaign. That awakened RSL, which took charge with two quick strikes. Saborio evened the tally eight minutes later, finishing a feed from Alvaro Saborio after dummying Javier Morales' ball toward the top of the Galaxy box, then scored again about 2 1/2 minutes after that, finding space above two defenders to sharply head home a Morales cross from the right wing. ''Fabian had another just fantastic night,'' RSL head coach Jason Kreis said. ''Terrific what he did with the ball. He scored two great goals, but then also defensively put himself in some really great positions to help out team.'' L.A. was missing two starting center defenders, with center back A.J. DeLaGarza out with a sprained knee and left back Todd Dunivant with a hip pointer. ''We did start well,'' Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. ''Their first goal came a little bit against the run of play, but we were sloppy defending in our penalty area, not real sharp with our attacking play in the other penalty area. We just weren't sharp enough for ninety minutes. In the early going we were OK. We played a sloppy game today.'' RSL has win four of its last five games. The loss was just L.A.'s second since the Fourth of July and ended its seven-game unbeaten streak. New York Red Bulls 0, Chicago Fire 2 Sherjill MacDonald has played in only 12 games with the Chicago Fire, and still isn't feeling 100 percent. The New York Red Bulls would never believe it. MacDonald scored two second-half goals and led the Fire to a crucial 2-0 win over the Red Bulls on Saturday. ''I hadn't played for a few games there, but I feel my stamina is getting better,'' said MacDonald, who doubled his scoring production of the season on Saturday. ''I think it's all been about going back to basics and doing what we do best.'' The Fire (17-10-5) jumped three points ahead of the Red Bulls (15-9-8) in the Eastern Conference, with two games remaining, and moved closer to earning a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs. Chicago can get in if Columbus loses to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday. New York, which fell to fourth in the East, dropped to 11-2-3 at home. The Red Bulls still haven't secured a playoff spot. MacDonald broke a scoreless tie in the 65th minute by getting past two Red Bulls defenders off a fine lead pass from Chris Rolfe, then hitting a shot past goalkeeper Luis Robles. MacDonald made it 2-0 in the 79th minute, taking a pass from Daniel Paladini and sprinting past two defenders to touch it gently past Robles. ''It was one of those situations where I thought I had a chance to come out and get it,'' said Robles, who made his second career start in goal. ''He got to it with his speed and beat me. It's as simple as that.'' The Red Bulls had controlled much of the action in the first half, but had nothing to show for it. Sean Johnson made only one save to secure his fifth shutout of the season. ''We did control possession and had our chances,'' Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said. ''We just didn't take advantage of our chances. It's very frustrating that we didn't score. It's a good feeling that we controlled possession and created about three really good chances. But when you don't take advantage of those chances, you give the other team the chance to score. We picked the wrong team to lose to.'' In the 27th minute, Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry had a wide open shot, but it was knocked aside by a sliding stop with the left leg by Arne Friedrich. Six minutes later, Dax McCarty's left-footed drive from 25 yards sailed wide right. The Fire responded late in the first half, when Alvaro Fernandez rose high above the Red Bulls defense to get his head on a cross from Jalil Anibaba, but Fernandez' attempt sailed over the crossbar. The Red Bulls had two excellent chances in the 57th minute. Thierry Henry fired a shot from point blank range that sailed wide left, and then he sent a corner kick to the box that went directly to Tim Cahill. But the Aussie, who has had trouble scoring since joining the MLS two months ago, put a header that Johnson caught. Cahill was visibly upset, standing with his hands over his face after the save. Colorado Rapids 1, San Jose Earthquakes 4 Chris Wondolowski scored three goals and added an assist to help the San Jose Earthquakes clinch the Western Conference title with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. Marvin Chavez added his second goal of the season 95 seconds into the game for San Jose (19-6-7). The Earthquakes hold a six-point lead over idle Sporting Kansas City for the Supporters' Shield. San Jose tied a club with 64 points in a season. Andre Akpan scored on a penlty kick in the 90th minute for the Rapids. Colorado (9-19-4) has won only twice in its last 16 games, going 2-11-3 in that span. The Rapids will miss the playoffs for first time since 2009. Colorado played without midfielder Jaime Castrillon and forward Conor Casey. Both had sore knees. The game time temperature was 32 degrees, but it didn't cool down San Jose's hot start. Sam Cronin's cross was deflected out to Chavez. Chavez got the ball under control and sent a blast into the upper left corner of the net. Alan Gordon set up the second goal with a pass in front of the goal. Wondolowski spun and sent a low shot past Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Wondolowski made it 3-0 in the 51st minute. The favorite to win the league's MVP award picked off a clearing pass in front and sent the ball back into an empty net. Pickens left in the 75th minute. Wondolowski got behind Colorado's defense and easily beat backup goalkeeper Steward Ceus in the 83rd minute. Houston Dynamo 1, Montreal Impact 1 Sanna Nyassi scored in the second half and the Montreal Impact tied the Houston Dynamo 1-1 Saturday night. Despite the tie, Montreal (12-15-5, 41 points) was eliminated from MLS playoff contention, while Houston (13-8-11, 50 points) extends its lead over Columbus for fifth place in the Eastern Conference and the final playoff spot to two points. Nyassi tied it in the 66th minute, getting behind the Houston defense and having his first shot from 16 yards in the middle of the box saved by Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall, but one-timing the rebound into the net. Houston appeared to take a 2-1 lead in second-half stoppage time as Brian Ching blooped a shot from inside the upper box into the goal, but after a conversation between side referee Jason Callum and head referee Chris Penso, Ching was ruled offside. Will Bruin took a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute, taking a pass from Calen Carr from the left box and slipped it inside the far post from inside the left 6-yard box. Macoumba Kandji had a chance make it 2-0 in the 61st minute, but his shot from the right box was deflected off the near post and out of bounds by Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Cam Weaver had a shot from 8 yards in the middle box go off the near post in the 84th minute, and Ching had a shot from in front of the far post stopped by Perkins in the 85th minute. Nyassi had an opportunity to give Montreal a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute, but his first shot in the box was stopped by Houston's Kofi Sarkodie before Hall, who had come off his line, pounced on Nyassi's rebound in the middle of the box. Off a free kick in the 19th minute, Kandji had his header from 14 yards in the middle of the box swatted over the crossbar by Perkins to keep it scoreless. Toronto FC 0, DC United 1 Hamdi Salihi scored a late goal to give D.C. United a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC on Saturday. Last-place Toronto (5-20-7) stretched its winless streak to 12 games since beating Colorado on July 18. Conceding late goals has been recurring issue all season for the Reds. Former Toronto player Maicon Santos sent a cross from the right side in the 88th minute that TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic mishandled. Salihi was in the right place to tap in the goal from close range for United (16-10-6). The announced attendance was 15,281 on a chilly, blustery day at BMO Field alongside Lake Ontario. However, swaths of seats remained empty as Toronto played its second to last home game of the season.
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