It's been a weekend to remember for some resurgent sides in Major League Soccer, as Philadelphia, DC and New England all picked up crucial victories.
The week's action began at Toyota Park, where Chicago Fire and FC Dallas split the points. David Ferreira opened the scoring for FCD inside ten minutes, taking advantage of awful defending to bend in his first of the season. The equaliser came before half time from Brian McBride who headed past a stranded Kevin Hartman.
In the battle of the two conference leaders, it was LA Galaxy who came away from Ohio with all three points against Columbus Crew. Michael Stephens thumped in the opener with less than 10 minutes gone after good work by Chris Birchall, and Tristan Bowen doubled LA's lead after Jason Garey's disallowed equaliser.
At the bottom, two of the league's worst teams also met and it was hosts DC United who bagged a much need win against Chivas USA - but they were made to wait for it. Justin Braun squeezed the ball past Bill Hamid in the 16th minute to give Chivas the lead, but ten minutes later it was a talented teenager who stole the headlines. 17-year-old Andy Najar broke the offside trap to nod it past Zach Thornton.
The match exploded in the last 15 minutes. Adam Cristman scored the easiest goal of his career to put DC 2-1 ahead, tapping in after a possible own goal rebounded off the post. Maykel Galindo equalised with ten minutes left, but United got the winner in stoppage time. Santino Quaranta was brought down by goalkeeper Thornton, who was dismissed as a result. Carey Talley calmly rolled the crucial spot kick into the corner.
It was another 3-2 home win at Gillette Stadium, where New England Revolution triumphed over New York Red Bulls in a dramatic encounter. Marko Perovic opened the scoring, drilling his shot low past Bouna Coundoul. Seth Stammler equalised with a mis-hit cross which curled in over Preston Burpo, whose evening would get much, much worse. Tim Ream's own goal put the Revs back in front in the 25th minute but they lost Burpo to an horrific broken leg before the break. Football Americana wishes him the speediest of recoveries.
After half time, Juan Pablo Angel's diving header equalised for the second time for the Red Bulls but from there on in it wasn't to be their night. Carlos Mendes picked up a second yellow card for a horrible tackle on Perovic and Roy Miller was sent off for flailing an arm. Zack Schilawski headed in the winner ten minutes from time.
Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union also shared a 3-2, but it was the Union who came out on top thanks to a stoppage time goal. The first goal arrived courtesy of Shea Salinas, the former Earthquakes man who finished brilliantly after somehow running from his own half. Brian Ching's emphatic header leveled the game on 52 minutes and seven minutes later Eddie Johnson put the Dynamo ahead with another header. But the lead lasted only ten minutes thanks to a goal from Sebastien Le Toux that was made by rookie Danny Mwanga. And it was Mwanga who won it for the Union in stoppage time after Le Toux repaid the favour.
Colorado Rapids took on the struggling Seattle Sounders at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and picked up the expected win thanks to a single goal from Conor Casey. The big man stayed strong under pressure and eventually hit a beautiful chip over Kasey Keller. The man's a wizard when it comes to chipping, it's as simple as that.
Kansas City Wizards' promising start is collapsing all around them, and matters worsened with a 4-1 defeat in Utah against Real Salt Lake. A quickfire double from Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio made it 2-0 after 35 minutes, before Josh Wolff's easy finish gave the Wizards hope at half time. Two late goals ensured that hope was unjustified, as did the sending off of Davy Arnaud who picked up a second yellow for dissent. Robbie Russell fired in after Jimmy Nielsen saved the resulting free kick, and Ned Grabavoy neatly finished the game off in stoppage time.
And there was joy for Toronto FC, who headed for Buck Shaw Stadium and defeated San Jose Earthquakes 3-1. Chad Barrett's opportunistic finish and Dwayne De Rosario's nonchalant prod made it 2-0 to the Canadian side. Ramiro Corrales pulled one back for the Quakes with a towering header, but De Rosario made sure in stoppage time by racing into an empty half and finding the net as San Jose sent all eleven men forward for a set piece.
You can see all the week ten action here and check out the latest league tables here. The Crew's lead at the top of the East is down to four points as Toronto start to click into gear. DC and Philadelphia are gaining ground on the Wizards and Chicago above them. In the West, wins for the Galaxy and RSL keep LA's lead at ten points.