26 October 2014 06:05
Marco Pappa starred as the Seattle Sounders clinched their maiden MLS Supporters’ Shield with a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Pappa came off the bench at half-time and scored twice in the final stages to lead the Sounders to the Supporters’ Shield – awarded to the team with the best regular-season record – in the final match before the MLS Cup play-offs on Saturday.
A sell-out crowd of 57,673 packed into CenturyLink Field to see the Sounders finish the regular season with 64 points from 34 games, three more than the Galaxy.
In the second meeting between the two teams in less than a week – after last weekend’s 2-2 draw in Los Angeles – it was the Sounders that came out on top in front of their adoring fans.
An unmarked Pappa was picked out by team-mate Obafemi Martins at the back post before firing low and hard past Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
The Guatemalan was at it again in the fifth minute of stoppage time, dispossessing Penedo at the second time of asking and scooping the ball into an empty net for his sixth goal of the season and Seattle’s second trophy of the campaign.
Seattle won the US Open Cup last month.
The Vancouver Whitecaps secured their spot in the play-offs after a dramatic day.
Darlington Nagbe and Maximiliano Urruti were on target for the Portland Timbers, who accounted for Dallas to jump into the fifth and final post-season spot in the Western Conference.
But that was short-lived as the Whitecaps beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 later on Saturday.
Kendall Waston’s 70th-minute goal was all that separated the two teams in Vancouver.
The win saw Vancouver scrape into the play-offs just a point ahead of the Timbers.
In other results, the New England Revolution secured second position in the Eastern Conference with a 1-0 win over hapless Toronto.
Veteran Italian striker Marco Di Vaio scored in his final match as the lowly Montreal Impact held East leaders DC United to a 1-1 draw.