Our weekly dose of Major League Soccer quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.
For the fourth week in a row, Columbus, Houston and Chicago find themselves first, second and third, respectively, in the Free Kicks Power Rankings. Despite the Crew's off-week and the Fire's loss to Los Angeles, the two Eastern Conference teams are running away from their nearest competition. Meanwhile, out West, the Dynamo sit five points clear of
While the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in the East look about wrapped up, and Houston appears to have one of the two Western Conference automatic bids solidly within its grasp, five playoff slots remain entirely up for grabs. Seven teams -- Chivas USA, Colorado, D.C. United, Los Angeles, New England, Seattle and Toronto FC -- own 29 to 35 points. Despite a brutally bad July,
Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake will double up and Colorado will sit out as part of an eight-match week. In the game of the week, a desperate D.C. United team visits the Fire, who have been shaky at home all season. The Sounders return home to greet TFC in a match the expansion team can't afford to lose. On Sunday, New York attempts to keep interim manager