Decision Day 2015: Golazos, Cumbias, and Thrills

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34 goals, 229 shots, 269 fouls, two red cards, and 35 yellows in a span of four hours. Damn.

Decisions are final! #DecisionDay has come and gone, and only 12 teams remain in the hunt for the MLS Cup. Let’s go!

There were four playoff spots on the table heading into the final day of regular season action: one in the Eastern Conference (which escaped Orlando City FC’s clutches despite Kaká’s return due to a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia Union and a 3-1 New England Revolution win over David Villa and New York City FC), and three in the West. Here’s how the bracket shaped up after a thrilling day of fútbol:

The New York Red Bulls’ 2-1 win away against the Chicago Fire – their first victory in 15 attempts at Toyota Park – set them up to lift the Supporters’ Shield for best regular-season record. ???

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sacha Kljestan scored the goals for Red Bulls, but Brazilian Gilberto’s ridiculous 78th-minute scissor-kick strike set up a nervy finish for the regular-season champs.

FC Dallas was only six goals away from taking the Shield for themselves, ending even with Red Bulls at 60 points apiece but just below on goal difference (+19 to +13). Regardless, they did their thing on Decision Day with a 2-1 win over playoff hopeful San Jose Earthquakes (sorry boys…). Twenty-four-year-old Argentine Mauro Díaz got the home side started with this strike…

…and Victor Ulloa played it cool with this neat finish in the 79th.

Even though Dallas technically lost the Supporters’ Shield, they might have secretly won it. Who else’s diehard fan base kept the cumbia going way after the final whistle last night?

The Columbus Crew and Vancouver Whitecaps clinched second-place finishes and automatic semi appearances in the East and West respectively, with the Ohio side handing fourth-seeded DC United a 5-0 drubbing without scoring duo Kei Kamara and Federico Higuaín, and Vancouver producing an equally impressive 3-0 result over the Houston Dynamo.

Further down the table, the Montreal Impact took third in the East, defeating rivals and sixth-place finishers Toronto FC by a score of 2-1 thanks to a superhuman two-goal minute from the legend Didier Drogba. Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco garnered Audi Golden Boot accolades for his 22-goal campaign, and finished the season with a whopping 16 assists to boot. The Portland Timbers got it done on the other side of the bracket, securing third with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

While all of those games were awesome, here is where it gets really exciting (or not, depending on how you feel about single-elimination knockout round battles): the Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2-1 loss vs. Sporting Kansas City, coupled with the Seattle Sounders 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake, has set up a dramatic Wednesday night playoff that will see LA attempt to knock off poor away form and steal a win on the road in Seattle.

Robbie Keane was more often than not LA’s lone shining star in the loss, but Giovani Dos Santos did produce a moment of magic with this glorious assist to draw the game even.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Dom Dwyer tucked this shot into the back post in the 65th to give FCKC a win and sixth place in the West.

Seattle’s victory was highlighted by Clint Dempsey’s return to form (Deuce scored two in the first 20), and this beautiful blast from Guatemalan midfielder Marco Pappa.

Let the games begin! Epic midweek action coming ‘atcha fam.

  • DC United (4) vs. New England Revolution (5) at 7:30 PM ET
  • Seattle Sounders (4) vs. LA Galaxy (5) at 10:00 PM ET
  • Montreal Impact (3) vs. Toronto FC (6) at 7:00 PM ET
  • Portland Timbers (3) vs. Sporting KC (6) at 10:00 PM ET