The first weekend of action in October in Major League Soccer produced a sliver of clarity in a league known for its parity.
FC Dallas became the first team to clinch a playoff spot out of the Western Conference on Sunday, and the Hoops did it dominant fashion as they trounced rival Houston 4-1 in the Texas derby.
Oscar Pareja's side may have had the most dominant showing of the weekend, but the Hoops were unable to leapfrog the LA Galaxy in the Supporters' Shield race as Bruce Arena's team drew 1-1 in Seattle to secure their spot in the postseason.
Over in the Eastern Conference, last-place Chicago stole all the headlines with a 3-1 win over New England, while D.C. United recovered from a brutal losing streak with a win over New York City FC that put them into the playoffs.
Because of the strong performances put in by FC Dallas and Chicago, they are two of the three clubs represented by more than one player in the latest MLS Team of the Week.
We shaped this week's team in a 3-4-3 formation in order to include three impressive center backs and a wealth of attackers.
Continue reading to see who landed a spot in ...
Frank Lampard scored inside one minute for New York City FC in their defeat to DC United on Friday night.
The former Chelsea midfielder reacted quickest after David Villa's initial shot was blocked, firing home the rebound in somewhat unconvincing fashion after just 48 seconds.
His strike, the quickest in the short history of NYC, wasn't enough for the visitors, however, with Fabian Espindola grabbing an equaliser and Alvaro Saborio finding an injury-time winner for the hosts.
Lampard had been substituted before the late comeback at RFK Stadium.
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With one month remaining in the Major League Soccer regular season, very few things have been settled in the playoff race.
In the Eastern Conference, six clubs have separated themselves from the pack. Montreal should secure the sixth and final playoff berth since it still has two games in hand on seventh-place Orlando City. However, where each of the six sides end up remains to be determined.
Out in the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy became the first team to reach 50 points with a victory over FC Dallas on Sunday. Beneath them, seven clubs have seven points between them after the chaos in Week 30.
One race that was not provided any clarity during the final weekend of September was the contest for the Supporters' Shield.
The Galaxy catapulted into the lead for the league's best record with their win over FC Dallas after the New York Red Bulls, New England, Columbus and Vancouver all slipped up at home.
Although the Galaxy sit atop the Supporters' Shield table entering Week 31, they do not have the easiest path to the trophy.
Bruce Arena's team has to travel to Seattle on Sunday before hosting Portland and a making a trip to Sporting Park on the final ...
Week 30 in MLS was one of the most dramatic rounds of the season.
Many of the league's top sides dropped points this past weekend. However, other teams managed to pick up crucial wins as they fight for a spot in the playoffs.
With so many differing results, the power rankings have been significantly altered. As always, teams will be ranked based on the following criteria:
Quality of opponent and performance
Recent form beyond the last week
Remaining games in hand (if applicable)
Here are the latest MLS power rankings.Begin Slideshow
Week 30 in Major League Soccer belonged to the designated players.
Sebastian Giovinco, Didier Drogba, David Villa, Obafemi Martins, Robbie Keane, Michael Bradley and a few others made a massive impact on their respective matches over the last week.
The performances put in by Giovinco and Drogba stood out the most as the Italian made league history with his 20th goal of the season, while the Ivorian's hot start continued Montreal's push toward the playoffs.
Due to the dynamic play of the high-priced talents across the league in Week 30, we have plenty of movement throughout the latest MLS Player Rankings.
Our player rankings take into account form over the last four matches with the player's most-recent performance holding more stock than the other three.
Continue reading to see who else earned a spot on the list of the top-20 players in MLS after Week 30.Begin Slideshow
The 20th season of Major League Soccer has seen plenty of all-time greats join the ranks and in Week 30 some of those superstars were at their best.
Didier Drogba stole most of the headlines for his brace in Montreal's win over slumping D.C. United, but Kaka and Frank Lampard also played key roles for their respective sides in victories this weekend.
The trio of experienced veterans are joined by a bright rookie in the latest edition of our MLS Team of the Week.
Although Drogba's goals may have been the most appealing visually, Cyle Larin produced the best single-game performance of the week as he scored on three occasions in Orlando City's shock road win over the New York Red Bulls.
Also included in the best 11 from Week 30 are a pair of Portland Timbers, a goalkeeper who 'stood on his head' and then some, and a midfielder who was sent off immediately after scoring the game-winning goal for his club on Sunday.
Due to the plethora of standout attacking showings in Week 30, we shaped out Team of the Week in a 3-4-3.
Continue reading to see who joined Drogba, Lampard and Kaka in thee MLS Team of the Week.Begin Slideshow
The Los Angeles Galaxy beat Dallas 3-2 on Sunday night, and Steven Gerrard scored his second MLS goal since joining the American club. It wasn't a vintage strike from Gerrard, but the former Liverpool man will be delighted that he found the scoresheet. [Twitter: @MLS]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
Sebastian Giovinco was the star again for Toronto on Saturday, as his exquisite outside-of-the-boot chip found the net via the slightest of touches from team-mate Jonathan Osorio.The Italian's moment of magic was the highlight as he helped his side to a 3-2 win over Chicago Fire.Giovinco has been the standout performer in MLS since joining the Reds from Juventus in February.[Twitter: @hashtag_66]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
Two of New York City FC's biggest names combined to devastating effect in their 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.Former Juventus star Andrea Pirlo started the move by sliding in Angelino, whose low cross was met by a trademark late run and finish by Frank Lampard.It was the sort of goal Lampard became synonymous with during his prolific 13-year spell with Chelsea, while Italian football fans will not be at all surprised to witness Pirlo's role in the build up.[Twitter: @NYCFC]Read more MLS news on BleacherReport.com
Didier Drogba is a 37-year-old man, but you wouldn't know it by the display he put on for the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
The Chelsea legend scored twice in an 11-minute span, and his brace against D.C. United was an impressive one.
He drilled a perfect free-kick to open the scoring.
He got his second of the match with a classy chipped finish to give the hosts a 2-0 advantage.
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