By ADAM SERRANO
It's been a good week for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
After keeping their hopes of advancing from the CONCACAF Champions League alive with a last second win against Morelia on Wednesday, the Galaxy can clinch the Supporters Shield with a victory on Saturday. A victory over Real Salt Lake and a Seattle Sounders loss or draw, the Galaxy would clinch the Supporters Shield.
For a team with plenty of big matches on the horizon in the CONCACAF Champions League and MLS playoffs on the horizon, a victory could mean some well needed rest for the well-traveled Galaxy.
"Going into the last stretch of the season, you want to be as fresh as you can," said defender Todd Dunivant. "We've earned the right to have that rest and we put ourselves in the position to win the Supporters Shield and secure that playoff position. If we can do that then absolutely, guys need to be getting rest."
For their match against Real Salt Lake, it is likely that Irish forward Robbie Keane will make his return after declaring himself "fit to play" for Saturday. Keane missed Wednesday's match with a strained right glute. The Galaxy will also welcome back David Beckham, who has missed the last two matches due back spasms and a suspension.
Chivas USA have a chance to qualify for the postseason, but only if they can conquer murderers row. The Rojiblancos face three straight games against the Philadelphia Union, Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders as they look to qualify for the playoffs.
Currently Chivas USA are only four games out of the final playoff spot, but must win all of their remaining games — and get help from other results — to qualify. Due to the difficult road, Chivas is realistic — yet confident — about their playoff prospects.
“You never know what’s going to happen, but I think that it’s a bit late for us,” forward Juan Pablo Ãngel said. “The only thing that we can do is control what we do on the field."
The Colorado Rapids appeared to be throwing in towel in the CONCACAF Champions League, but the victory of a reserve squad in El Salvador has breathed new life into their CCL hopes.
The Rapids defeated Salavadorian club Metapan on Wednesday and now sit in second place in group B. Colorado's victory was their first in eight games and may have breathed new life into their floundering season.
“Obviously, we’re desperate to do well in [CCL], but we’re also desperate to defend the MLS Cup as well,” Guppy said. “It’s a team effort. We got the job done, and now we get ourselves back somehow … and then we go again against Dallas on the weekend.”
FC Dallas' drive to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League took a stop on Wednesday when FCD dropped a disappointing result to Panamanian side Tauro, losing 5-3.
Missing Brek Shea, the lineup heavy with reserves was unable to come up with a victory in Panama. After the match, head coach Schellas Hyndman admitted that it was a strange match.
"A greater defeat than we've ever had and I give our guys credit for having nine player on the field, said Hyndman. "In my mind there was not be anything we could do to come out with a win."
Dallas still control their own destiny heading into the final group match against Toronto FC.
The Portland Timbers are trying to qualify for the playoffs in their first season, but they expect no favors for their Cascadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps currently sit at the foot of the Western Conference table while their fellow expansion side is only two points out of the tenth and final playoff berth. When the Timbers take on the Whitecaps on Saturday, they know that the struggling Whitecaps will give them no favors.
"It looks really bad (for Vancouver) for us to be in the playoffs or be close and for them to be at the bottom of the table," goalkeeper Troy Perkins said. "Of course, they're gunning for us."
REAL SALT LAKE
Javier Morales has made his return after a 23 match absence on Wednesday by going 30 minutes in Real Salt Lake's 3-0 defeat to the Chicago Fire.
After being injured in by a Marcos Mondaini tackle on May 7th, Morales has worked tirelessly to return to the field. When asked about his return after a five month injury layoff, all Morales could do was smile.
"Unbelievable," he said. "I don’t know how you say it in English, but my skin, you know? … That was my best feeling in my career."
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Change is coming to the San Jose Earthquakes.
After a disappointing season that has San Jose near the bottom of the Western Conference, head coach Frank Yallop admits that he's ready to make major changes.With just four games left and the Earthquakes currently mired in a franchse-record 13 game winless streak, Yallop is excited to bring in some new blood for next season.
“I’m actually excited about that, to clean out some people," said Yallop. "They can go on with their careers and we can move on as a club.”
The Seattle Sounders were the first team to advance into the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League. Having earned 10 points so far in a difficult group that contains defending champion Monterrey, the Sounders have continued to persevere.
Due to the importance that Seattle has placed on the tournament, Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid felt that it was a slap in the face that Rapids head coach Gary Smith did not travel with his club earlier this week when the Rapids took on Metapan of El Salvador.
"Everyone has to make their own decisions as they relate to those things. For me, if my team's in a competition I'm going to go to the game with them, no matter what the team is that I send down," Schmid told the Seattle Times. "For me, not traveling with the team I think would be disrespectful to the competition that you're competing in and to the opponent that you're playing."
One of the biggest criticisms of the Vancouver Whitecaps this season has been their poor defending.
Time and time again the defense which is anchored by Alain Rochat and Jay DeMerit has been prone to errors that have in many instances cost Vancouver points. Now with the Whitecaps preparing to open B.C. Place this weekend, interim head coach Tom Soehn has said that his backline's performance is just not good enough.
"I've asked a lot now of Rochat and DeMerit to solve things [on the field] before they become problems," Soehn said. "I don't think we're doing a good enough job of that, of making sure we keep our shape and tuck guys in before it breaks down. We're reactionary right now and that's a problem."