Deadline day came and went with a whimper in MLS for structural reasons. MLS operates on a different calendar than its European counterparts: the secondary window for incoming loans and transfers for contracted players closed on Aug. 8. The inability to acquire replacements makes most teams reluctant to part with their best players. Sporting Kansas City striker Kei Kamara bucked the trend by securing a move to English Championship side Middlesbrough, but his ambitious colleagues must now wait until January when the window opens again. Honorable mention 11. New England Revolution 12. Vancouver Whitecaps 13. Chicago Fire 14. San Jose Earthquakes 15. FC Dallas 16. Columbus Crew 17. Toronto FC 18. Chivas USA 19. D.C. United --Kyle McCarthy
Jack McInerney can't wait for summer to end. The Union forward scored 10 goals by the start of June to earn a place in the United States squad for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Instead of building upon his bright start, McInerney suddenly lost his touch in front of goal. He hasn't scored in his past 10 appearances, including the 0-0 draw with Montréal on Saturday. Next on the docket: McInerney will hope to end his drought at San Jose on Sunday.
Houston relied on its persistence and its stellar goalkeeper to drag a result out of Toyota Park on Saturday. Tally Hall produced six saves – including an acrobatic, diving stop on Jalil Anibaba in second-half stoppage time – to keep his side in the match and pave the way for Adam Moffat's late equalizer. The 1-1 draw could prove crucial as the Dynamo jostles for position in the crowded Eastern Conference playoff race. Next on the docket: Houston travels to Columbus on Wednesday and then returns home to host New York on Sunday.
The club-record nine-match unbeaten streak had to end some time. This particular conclusion – a 2-1 defeat at Sporting Kansas City – felt appropriate. Now it is up to the Rapids to respond to the setback and resume their postseason push. Next on the docket: Oscar Pareja will bring his side to Carson, Calif. to play a weakened LA Galaxy outfit on Saturday.
Portland needs a break from Real Salt Lake. The two teams met three times – twice in league play, once in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal – and the Timbers failed to win on any of those occasions. One minor problem for Caleb Porter's side as it prepares to make its playoff charge: RSL visits JELD-Wen Field again on Oct. 19. Next on the docket: Porter and his players will try to place those setbacks in perspective with a home victory against Toronto FC on Saturday.
New York Red Bulls
Red Bulls coach Mike Petke took drastic action after a training ground disagreement with Thierry Henry last week: he benched the French icon for the first 58 minutes of the 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday. Petke's decision provided an overt sign to his players that no one – not even Henry – stands above the group heading into the waning stages of the campaign. Next on the docket: Henry could return to the starting XI in time for the visit to Houston on Sunday.
Pay me now, Eddie Johnson implored after scoring the winner in Columbus on Saturday. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid and general manager Adrian Hanauer ceded that the U.S. international striker made a valid point. Johnson's modest wages – $150,000 in base compensation, according to MLS Players Union documents – hardly compare to the millions splashed on Clint Dempsey during the summer. The looming questions in this saga: when will the Sounders attempt to close the gap? Next on the docket: Johnson will miss the upcoming matches against Chivas USA on Wednesday and against Chicago on Saturday while away on international duty.
The prospect of losing recent arrival Hernán Bernardello for the next few weeks complicates Marco Schallibaum's ability to manage his squad during this hectic period. Bernardello offers the sort of composed and professional displays in central midfield required to help the Impact navigate through MLS and CONCACAF Champions League commitments. His absence with an ankle injury heaps pressure on Davy Arnaud and Collen Warner to shoulder the load alongside fixture Patrice Bernier. Next on the docket: Montréal will attempt to compensate in time for Sunday's trip to New England.
Sporting manager Peter Vermes stockpiled plenty of depth up front to cope with Kei Kamara's potential departure. Kamara's move to Middlesbrough will benefit the team as it attempts to maintain and reinforce its squad during the close season, but his departure inspires questions about how Sporting will fill the void in the present. Dom Dwyer, Soony Saad and C.J. Sapong must fill the void to ensure this MLS Cup charge does not slide off track. Next on the docket: Sporting starts the post-Kamara era with a visit to Columbus on Saturday.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane tore apart the already tattered San Jose rearguard en route to a 3-0 victory on Saturday on Saturday. The poor Earthquakes never stood a chance with the Galaxy's dynamic duo poised to exploit the inviting gaps present at the StubHub Center. Next on the docket: Donovan, Keane and Omar Gonzalez will depart for international duty and leave their teammates to cope with Colorado's visit on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake
Portland experienced the fury of RSL in full flight on Saturday. Rio Tinto Stadium rocked as the home side scored twice inside the first 15 minutes en route to a compelling 4-2 victory over Portland. In this sort of attacking form with the ball pinging around midfield, Javier Morales pulling the strings and Álvaro Saborío sweeping home, the Claret-and-Cobalt constitute a difficult proposition for any MLS side. Next on the docket: RSL will watch Saborio turn out for Costa Rica this weekend before confronting Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 13.