The game in 100 words (or less): FC Dallas’ “Decision Day” clash with the San Jose Earthquakes was either going to mean everything for both sides, or nothing at all, pending results elsewhere on the season’s final day. With the Red Bulls’ victory over the Chicago Fire and Sporting KC’s victory over the LA Galaxy, it turned out to be the latter. FC Dallas, who last week clinched top spot and home-field advantage in the Western Conference, come up short in the race for the Supporters’ Shield (6 goals behind the Red Bulls on goal differential), while the Earthquakes fall short of the sixth spot out West in 2015. FCD will await the lowest-seeded winner of Wednesday and Thursday’s knockout round matchups (Portland Timbers vs. SKC and Seattle Sounders vs. Galaxy).
Three moments that mattered
13′ — Amarikwa wriggles free, makes it 1-0 Quakes — Zach Loyd and Matt Hedges were no match for Quincy Amarikwa on this foray into the penalty area, as the former was shouldered to the ground and the latter was danced away from inside the box. Amarikwa was composed in slotting his shot under Jesse Gonzalez.
38′ — Diaz slots home the loose ball, makes it 1-1 — Goals don’t have to be pretty, they just have to cross the goal line to count. Mauro Diaz was quickest to the rebound inside the six-yard box, found himself an inch of space through which to slot the ball, and dropped the ‘Quakes back below the red line.
79′ — Ulloa finishes past Bingham, 2-1 FCD — Fabian Castillo did most of the work — you know, winning the ball and racing toward the 18-yard box — but Victor Ulloa was the right man in the right place at the right time.
Man of the match: Mauro Diaz
Goalscorers: Amarikwa (13′), Diaz (38′), Ulloa (79′)