Hunger strikes at the most peculiar of times. Columbus forward Dominic Oduro felt the necessary pangs moments after he hit the back of the net in the 3-0 victory over Chicago on Saturday. He celebrated as usual after scoring against his former side before he peeled off into the far corner. Oduro then picked up a waiting box of pizza, took a bite from the waiting slice and presented it to a fan in the corner. The moment won't bring the Crew any closer to the playoffs (though the subsequent victory over the Fire at least kept them in the discussion), but it did satiate Oduro's appetite for the remainder of the game. Honorable mention: 11. Chicago Fire 12. Philadelphia Union 13. Vancouver Whitecaps 14. San Jose Earthquakes 15. FC Dallas 16. Columbus Crew 17. Chivas USA 18. Toronto FC 19. D.C. United --Kyle McCarthy
New England Revolution
Every match looks just a bit harder for the Revs when Juan Agudelo isn't on the field. Case in point: the 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday. New England probably warranted the points in the end, but the peculiar slog along the way suggests Agudelo might need to return quickly in order to restore the Revs' joie de vivre in time to secure a playoff berth. Next on the docket: Agudelo will hope to feature when Houston travels to Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
This potential playoff run represents the last opportunity for Brian Ching to lift a championship once more. Ching announced his retirement on Tuesday, effective at the end of the season. The former U.S. national team striker may yet watch his team exit in the playoffs after a 5-1 throttling of Chivas USA on Saturday. Next on the docket: Ching will hope to feature in the squad when Houston travels to former MLS Cup foe New England on Saturday.
All of a sudden, the Rapids find their playoff place under severe duress. The defeat in Portland and Vancouver's win in Montréal reduced Colorado's advantage to four points with one more game played. The road to the postseason likely involves a couple of results in the two games against the Whitecaps along the way. Next on the docket: Oscar Pareja will spend his weekend plotting ways to defeat Seattle on Oct. 5.
Diego Valeri provided the one memorable moment from an otherwise mundane affair by chipping home the winner in the Timbers' 1-0 triumph over Colorado on Friday. Valeri's mere presence on the field – and the Timbers' struggles without him – suggests Caleb Porter's side possesses enough moxie to secure a first postseason berth. Next on the docket: Valeri must inspire his side once more when LA Galaxy visits on Sunday.
Vancouver coach Martin Rennie left Camilo on the bench at the outset of the Whitecaps' 3-0 victory at Stade Saputo on Saturday. Camilo's influential role as a substitute – two late goals to secure the points in the face of withering Impact pressure – increased the questions about the home side's ability to fight on two fronts after a difficult week. Next on the docket: Montréal will hope to build on a result from Tuesday's CONCACAF Champions League tilt with Heredia to dispatch playoff-chasing Chicago at Toyota Park on Saturday.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Landon Donovan – yes, the same Donovan left out of the squad for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Seattle – earned a spot in the travel party for the midweek trip to Costa Rica. The reason behind Donovan's inclusion for this CONCACAF Champions League test at Cartaginés: the rewards (a place in the final eight and a meaningless fourth group stage game in October) outweighed the risks. Next on the docket: Donovan and his teammates will return their focus to domestic matters in time for a trek to Portland on Sunday.
Real Salt Lake
RSL suffered its second straight defeat when desperate San Jose entered Rio Tinto Stadium and left with a 2-1 victory. The setback threatens RSL's hopes of overcoming Seattle for top spot in the West in its final four matches (Seattle holds a two-point lead with two games in hand) and prompts questions about whether external distractions surrounding Jason Kreis' future might impact the Claret-and-Cobalt's usually formidable concentration levels. Next on the docket: RSL heads to Vancouver on Saturday in search of answers.
Sporting manager Peter Vermes placed his trust in a deep and profligate group of strikers when he sold Kei Kamara to Middlesbrough before the end of the European transfer window. C.J. Sapong repaid a mere sliver of it on Saturday when he scored twice to dispatch Toronto FC 2-1 at a desolate and soggy BMO Field. Next on the docket: Sapong and his fellow strikers must continue to produce when goal-shy Philadelphia arrives at Sporting Park on Friday.
New York Red Bulls
FC Dallas midfielder Erick turned into his own net to hand the Red Bulls the only goal required in an otherwise dreadful 1-0 victory on Sunday. The manner of the victory mattered far less than the outcome itself: Mike Petke's side now sits atop the Eastern Conference (and the Supporters' Shield race) after clinching a fourth straight victory. Next on the docket: The recovered Tim Cahill -- a starter against FCD -- leads the Red Bulls to CenturyLink Field to face Seattle on Sunday.
No Clint Dempsey, no problem for Seattle in southern California this weekend. The five-match winning streak drew to a close in the 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy, but Eddie Johnson's header ensured the Sounders captured a share of the spoils and extended their stay atop the Western Conference nonetheless. Next on the docket: Dempsey will attempt to recover from a hamstring knock in time for New York's visit on Sunday.