Noah Davis
Wednesday May 20th, 2009

Our weekly dose of Major League Soccer quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.

After week five, Free Kicks noted the abnormal number of draws at that point in the 2009 season. The trend has continued. With the first nine weeks complete, 27 of the 68 matches have ended deadlocked, including five of last weekend's seven games. That total represents an astonishing 39.7 percent of all games played. Compare that with 27.1 percent in '08, 25.6 percent in '07 and 29.1 percent '06, and you're forced to admit something is afoot. In less than a third of a season, four teams already have more ties than D.C. United and Colorado did all last year.

Every match last weekend featured two goals, except for the United-Chivas USA game that ended in a 2-2 draw. While no one scored for the final 72 minutes in New England, a couple of teams found late equalizers that pleased the home crowd. Second-half sub John Wolyniec rescued the man-down Red Bulls with an opportunistic strike in the 88th minute against Houston, while Eddie Lewis waited even longer before earning the Galaxy a point with a 91st-minute tally against Columbus. See, America, 1-1 ties can be exciting.

Chivas, bolstered by the return of Maykel Galindo to the starting XI after more than a year, goes to Kansas City this week. Fueled by two goals from Josh Wolff last Saturday, the Wizards made short work of a reeling Real Salt Lake squad that has conceded six goals in its past two matches but hadn't previously suffered a defeat at home. K.C. could use the long-range magic of Davy Arnaud to break through the Goats' stifling back line, which is still giving up only half a goal a game. Elsewhere, the Red Bulls play their third of four consecutive home games when Chicago comes to Gotham, while Colorado plays host to Seattle in a battle for second place in the Western Conference. Houston also can lay claim to the slot behind Chivas with a win against San Jose in Robertson Stadium.

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