Major League Soccer's playoff race reveals itself just a little more each week. Here are 10 relevant numbers to consider while teams play out Round 24 this weekend:
That's the number of points earned for ties. And for several teams, that's just not good enough anymore. Shake it all out and here's where it lands: Five sides at the top are sitting pretty. D.C. United won't get there. New England, Houston and Chivas USA are hanging on by the slimmest of threads. The rest are playing high-stakes musical chairs, which means realistically seven teams have eyes on three remaining berths. And for them, earning one measly point, especially while playing at home, just won't cut it. We're talking to you, Chicago. The Fire blew a couple of big chances Wednesday, including a tantalizing
That's the number of FC Dallas center backs struggling at the moment, a terrible turn for a side that seemed well-stocked at the position for 2010.
That's the number of games started so far for Chicago Fire goalkeeper
That's how many penalty kicks Donovan had successfully converted in MLS before last week's failure to connect in Chicago. The streak goes back to 2007. (He did miss a tiebreaker attempt during last year's MLS Cup final but has been perfect on spot shots in that time during matches.) Donovan has three goals and two assists since July 4, which is when things began to spiral so curiously for the Galaxy. And he continues to put himself in good positions to score. So there doesn't seem to be a fatigue/overuse factor at work. But let's keep watching.
That's how many games Seattle will play over 45 days (beginning with Thursday's draw at Qwest Field against Real Salt Lake). That's one contest every 3.5 days for
That's the number of combined goals from Colorado's
That's the number of starts this year for third-year Columbus center back
That's the number of games started this year by Ream, the Red Bulls surprisingly effective, formerly anonymous rookie center back. That's all of them, by the way, as he is yet to miss a match. Red Bulls coach
That's how many games three-high priced figures around Toyota Park,
That's how many days, by Saturday, it will have been since David Beckham last played in a real match. He crumbled on March 14 during an AC Milan match. The 35-year-old midfielder is eligible to play Saturday as the Galaxy hosts Eastern Conference-leading Columbus. But will he? The former England captain managed 45 minutes in a practice match Wednesday against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. Afterward, L.A. coach
Top matches from the weekend ahead: