When the United States take on Poland on Oct. 9 and Colombia on Oct. 12, it will mark the genuine beginning of Bob Bradley's second tenure as the US national team's head coach.
The European leagues will be on a break, meaning he can call on his regulars across the Pond – although expect elder statesmen Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo to stay with their clubs. Also, even though it's not quite time for Conor Doyle or Mikkel Diskerud to make their senior debut, some new faces will join the proceedings.
Another game has gone by at Rio Tinto and Real Salt Lake are still unbeaten at home. But this game was special – by extending the streak in Sandy, Utah, RSL have officially clinched a playoff berth.
Real Salt Lake have 48 points, a total that only ninth-place Kansas City Wizards can match. RSL have the head-to-head tiebreaker clinched over the Wizards, though, with a 1-0-1 record. The reigning champs will now officially begin their title defense, joining the LA Galaxy in the playoffs.
Welcome to the first installment of the Monday Postmortem, a new feature here on MLSsoccer.com in which we break down the most recent week of action as the push for the playoffs heats up.
As potential weeks to launch a column go, this one could hardly have been better: There was a hat trick in Toronto (though not by a Red), one of the most hotly anticipated games in league history in LA, a pair of record unbeaten streaks extended, and, of course, the unruly playoff picture.
Also: For the second straight week, no scoreless draws!
Let’s get to it:
WASHINGTON, D.C.- El mediocampista hondureño del D.C. United Andy Najar aseguró tener sentimientos encontrados por la derrota que recibió su club ante el Houston Dynamo por 3-1 y por sus posibilidades a consagrarse como el Novato del Año en la actual temporada.
El Dynamo venció al United en el RFK con tres goles en la segunda mitad del partido para quebrar la ilusión de un triunfo que había sembrado Najar con un gol sobre la media hora de juego en la primera mitad del encuentro realizado en el estadio RFK de D.C.
WASHINGTON — D.C. United played well against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night, controlling possession, combining crisply, creating chances and defending in organized numbers.
The problem was, they only did so for 66 minutes, and only had one goal to show for it.
Houston erased all that with an inspired five-minute stretch that began with Devon McTavish’s own goal in the 66th and included Geoff Cameron’s headed game-winner four minutes later. The Dynamo ultimately left RFK Stadium as 3-1 winners.
WASHINGTON.- Houston Dynamo se valió de un gol en propia puerta del defensor rival, Devon McTavish (min. 66), otro de su mediocampista Geoff Cameron (min. 70) y un tercero de Dominic Oduro (min. 98) para derrotar al D.C. United 3-1, en un entretenido partido realizado en el estadio RFK de la capital.
Con la victoria, el Dynamo mejoró su marca a 7-14-5 para con 26 puntos mantenerse con posibilidades matemáticas de alcanzar un boleto a la Liguilla de 2010, en la que marcha en las últimas casillas de la Conferencia Oeste.
D.C. United were one of the first MLS clubs to foster effective, cooperative partnerships with their fans and supporters’ groups and, for many years, the result was an atmosphere in the stands to match the quality of the soccer being played at RFK Stadium.
But after nearly three years of struggle, frustrated rumblings are rippling through the club’s fan base. And the club has responded.
WASHINGTON – With his game-winning goal against Toronto FC two weeks ago, D.C. United defender Julius James helped unleash havoc at his former club. Head coach Preki and general manager Mo Johnston were both sacked within days of the loss that nudged TFC further away from a playoff spot.
James is far too polite to admit it, but part of him surely took great satisfaction from making such an impact on the club that traded him to Houston less than a year after drafting him.