September 2011: Hurricane Irene interrupts MLS play

A combination of Hurricane Irene and international friendly dates forced Major League Soccer to take a back seat to outside forces the past two weeks.

MLS was forced to postpone three games due to the weather and general public safety concerns last weekend.

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Sean Franklin (C) of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates with teammates Adam Cristman #17 and Frankie Hejduk after scoring against the Sporting Kansas City. (Photo by Getty Images)


The highly anticipated game between the New York Red Bulls and Galaxy, scheduled for Aug. 28, was rescheduled to Oct. 4. Also moved to another day was the Philadelphia Union-New England Revolution encounter, which was played on Wednesday and ended with a 4-4 draw. The Portland Timbers' game at D.C. United had not been rescheduled yet.

 
In an MLS first, the league tried not to schedule games on FIFA playing dates from Sept. 2-6. Several MLS players, including Canadian midfielder Dwayne De Rosario of D.C. United, the MLS player of the month for August, and Guatemalan midfielder Marco Pappa of the Chicago Fire, participated in World Cup qualifying that involved 23 CONCACAF countries.

Several other National Teams, including the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Honduras and Costa Rica, called in MLS players for their international friendlies.

Only two MLS matches were played this week - Real Salt Lake's 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night and the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on Monday night.

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RSL's Saturday night win was a rescheduled match from April when Real needed time to prepare for its CONCACAF Champions League final against Monterrey. The wait was worth it for RSL, which registered a 2-1 win. Kyle Beckerman and Chris Schuler gave RSL a 2-0 advantage before Sebastien Le Toux tallied for the Union.


On Monday night, former Mexican international Omar Bravo converted a dramatic penalty kick a minute into stoppage time to lift Sporting Kansas City to a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy. The hosts were awarded the penalty area due to a handball call on ex-U.S. international defender Frankie Hejduk. Galaxy defender Sean Franklin, who had two goals entering the match, doubled his season's output.

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Chris Schuler #28 of Real Salt Lake heads the ball into the goal against the Philadelphia Union. Real Salt Lake beat the Philadelphia Union 2-1. (Photo by Getty Images)

He struck in the 25th minute to lift the visitors to a 1-0 lead. Only two minutes after Julio Cesar equalized for Kansas City in the 72nd minute, Franklin scored yet again to break a 1-1 deadlock. Kansas City thought defender Aurelin Collin had tallied the equalizer on a header in the 84th minute, but he was ruled to be offside.

West Coast games unaffected by Irene

In games that were played and not affected by the weather on the weekend of Aug. 27 and several days prior:

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The Seattle Sounders remain just four points adrift the league leading LA Galaxy thanks to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Columbus Crew. Lamar Neagle recorded a hat-trick, while Mauro Rosales added a goal and two assists. Mike Fucito also had a goal for Seattle, who have never lost to coach Sigi Schmid’s former team. The Crew’s Jeff Cunningham converted a penalty kick for his 134th career goal and surpassed former D.C. United standout and Bolivian international Jaime Moreno to become the league's all-time goal-scorer. Josh Gardner also scored for Columbus, who remains three points clear of Kansas City on top of the Eastern Conference standings in spite of the loss.

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Mauro Rosales #10 and Lamar Neagle #27 of the Seattle Sounders FC celebrate a goal the Columbus Crew. Seattle won 6-2. (Photo by Getty Images)

Shea Salinas scored his first goal of the season in the 86th minute to give the Vancouver Whitecaps a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo, which had its five-game unbeaten streak snapped. Goalkeeper Joe Cannon made six saves en route to his second shutout of the year and 76th of his MLS career.

A dramatic late rally by FC Dallas turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory over host Sporting Kansas City. Rookie Bobby Warshaw's first MLS goal, a header in extratime, climaxed the comeback. Kansas City had taken the two-goal lead behind scores from Kei Kamara and Mexican Omar Bravo. But Dallas equalized on goals by Daniel Hernandez and Maicon Santos.

Costa Rican international Alvaro Saborio scored in the 11th minute as Real Salt Lake held on to register a 1-0 win over host Chivas USA, it’s second 1-0 loss of the week. Defender Eric Brunner scored with a minute remaining in the first half to give the Portland Timbers a 1-0 victory over visiting Chivas three days earlier.

Chris Wondolowski tallied with three minutes remaining in the game to boost the San Jose Earthquakes into a 1-1 draw with host Toronto FC. Eric Avila scored in the second minute for Toronto.

First-half goals by Dominic Oduro and Cory Gibbs sparked the Chicago Fire to a 2-0 home triumph over the Colorado Rapids.