EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rodrigo Faria scored twice in a four-goal second-half outburst that gave New York-New Jersey a 4-1 playoff victory over short-handed Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
Mark Chung and Adolfo Valencia also scored in the 11-minute spree that gave the MetroStars a 4-1 lead in points in the best-of-three first-round series that will conclude Saturday in Los Angeles.
The MetroStars, seeded sixth among the eight playoff teams, can win the series with a tie in the third game.
Four minutes into the second half, Galaxy defender Greg Vanney received his second yellow card and Los Angeles played a man short the rest of the way.
New York-New Jersey finally broke through when Faria headed in a crossing pass from Valencia in the 72nd minute.
Wizards 3, Fusion 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Onandi Lowe, Matt McKeon and Francisco Gomez scored first-half goals as Kansas City beat Miami to force a third game in the first-round playoff series.
Game 3 is Saturday in Miami, where the Fusion beat the Wizards 2-0 in the opening game of the best-of-three series.
Miami's Pablo Mastroneni took down Lowe from behind inside the box, earning an ejection and a penalty kick for the Wizards. McKeon converted to make it 2-0.
Miami's Diego Serna elbowed Kansas City's Nick Garcia in the mouth and was given a red card.
Both Serna and Mastroneni will miss Game 3.
Earthquakes 3, Crew 0
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Landon Donovan had a goal and an assist as the San Jose Earthquakes beat the Columbus Crew 3-0 on Wednesday night to advance to the MLS semifinals.
Manny Lagos and Ronald Cerritos also scored as San Jose extended its best season by winning a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. The Earthquakes, who beat the Crew 3-1 on Saturday in Game 1 of the quarterfinal series, will face the winner of Miami's series with Kansas City.
Both matches in the series were dominated by the Earthquakes, with Donovan generating multiple scoring chances that kept the Crew on their heels. Donovan, the 19-year-old U.S. national team star and MLS All-Star game MVP, scored two goals in the opener and easily was the most active player in the second game.
After Lagos scored early, Cerritos got the Spartan Stadium crowd on its feet with a 68th-minute goal that put San Jose up 2-0. Donovan put it away with a remarkable quick-strike goal in the 76th minute, and goalie Joe Cannon earned his first playoff shutout.
Lagos got the game's first goal just 8:02 in. Wade Barrett, left all alone on the left corner of the penalty area, took a crossing pass from Donovan and put it expertly into the middle, where Lagos hit a sharp-angled header that bounced once, then caromed off the right post.
Columbus, in the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons, managed just one shot in the first half while playing without injured starters Brian McBride and Dante Washington. The Crew's remarkable midseason turnaround under new coach Greg Andrulis didn't carry them far in the postseason.
The Earthquakes also controlled play in the second half. Cerritos, who substituted for Junior Agogo in the 67th minute, scored just seconds after entering the game. Once again, Barrett controlled the ball on a rush and found Cerritos, who beat Tom Presthus with a header.
Cerritos, the franchise's career scoring leader, ripped off his jersey and then removed a T-shirt bearing the American flag. The El Salvador native ran to midfield and held aloft the T-shirt as San Jose's fans gave him a standing ovation.
The final games of the regular season were canceled because of the terrorist attacks. Wednesday's game was the Earthquakes' first home match since the attacks.
Eight minutes later, Donovan got a pass from captain Jeff Agoos, turned and rocketed a 17-yard strike past Presthus. He ripped off his jersey and took a victory lap as the crowd of 10,419 roared.
San Jose was the worst team in MLS history entering the season, with just one playoff series in its five-year history. San Jose, which began its existence as the Clash before switching to Earthquakes in late 1999, had more nicknames than playoff wins until Wednesday night.
All that changed this year with the arrival of several talented newcomers: Donovan, Agoos, All-Star defender Troy Dayak and coach Frank Yallop, who led the Earthquakes to fifth place overall in the regular season -- the club's highest finish ever.
Peninsula Clarion ©2015. All Rights Reserved.