PBPP: 5 Items from the Past, 5 From the Future

Dellacamera takes a look around MLS in the latest edition of Play by Play Plus

Let’s start with a look back
at five things from Week 23:

1. The defending champions
Real Salt Lake continue on their merry way at home. A 1-0 win vs the New York Red Bulls extends RSL’s unbeaten
streak at home to 22. At one
point, RSL trailed the Western Conference leaders LA by double digit
points. Thanks to their strong
play and LA’s slump, Real Salt Lake are now just one point behind the Galaxy.

2. FC Dallas are now unbeaten
in 13 matches, but they are under the radar in Big D. Their 1-0 win over Toronto was witnessed by an announced
crowd of just over 10,000 fans. What gives in Dallas? You have a winning team and a
beautiful stadium, but attendance numbers are low.

Congrats to Jeff Cunningham who scored career goal number
129 on Saturday, leaving him three behind Jaime Moreno’s MLS record of 132. It’s only a matter of time
before Cunningham is number one.

3. San Jose’s Designated
Player Geovanni is already earning his money. Sunday, in his first start, he assisted on the Quakes' go-ahead goal, then later claimed the game-winner against Pat Onstad and the
Houston Dynamo on the road. As
big a win as it was for San Jose, it’s a huge loss for a Houston Dynamo team
who might miss the playoffs for the first time.

4. Sebastien Le Toux is back
on the goal scoring sheet after a drought of five games. Goals have been tougher to come by for Le Toux in recent
weeks as he has faced some much tougher opposition. He is the player that opposing coaches now talk
about. Good to see him combine
again with rookie Danny Mwanga on Saturday. Le Toux now has 10 goals and 10 assists in 2010. No one in this league works harder than
Le Toux over the full 90 minutes.

5. What’s up with the
Galaxy? Granted they came back on
Saturday for a 1-1 draw vs Chicago, but that’s the only goal they have scored
in a three game winless streak. This does not look like the same team we watched earlier this season. I do think, though, that help is
coming ... soon.

Here are five things to look
forward to this week:

1. On Wednesday the Chicago
Fire host Toronto FC. Neither team
can afford to lose, especially since San Jose beat Houston on Sunday. If either of these two teams hope to
make the playoffs, it look like that 8th spot
is all they have a realistic shot at.

2. On Thursday we should have
a marquee matchup as Real Salt Lake travel to Seattle to face the
Sounders. ESPN2 will televise the match, which will feature high scoring Fredy Montero and over 30,000 soccer fans, mostly
dressed in Sounders green. RSL
could take over first place outright in the Western Conference with a win.

3. Who will play in goal this
week for the Philadelphia Union when they host the Fire on Saturday? Manager Peter Nowak was very critical
of the goal that Chris Seitz gave up against Kansas City this past Saturday,
making note of it during his post-match remarks.

Will Peter make a change, or
stay with his number one keeper?

4. Chicago and
Toronto face big weeks, besides their matchup on Wednesday. On the weekend Toronto will host DC United while Chicago visits
Philadelphia. The key for these
two teams is to get the full six points out of their two games. Coming up empty will most likely dash
any playoff hopes.

5. Here’s the one I am looking forward to the most: the
expected return of David Beckham following his recovery from the awful Achilles
injury. Beckham has apparently
beaten everyone’s timetable in terms of his return, saying that he hopes to
play this weekend vs Columbus, at least off the bench. For a team that has been floundering
lately, the addition of Beckham could be just the boost the Galaxy need as they
head down the final stretch of the regular season. Philadelphia fans, mark the calendar. Beckham and the Galaxy have an October 7
th game vs Philly at PPL Park.