A Teal Bunbury strike in the 20th minute at Gillete Stadium against the Revolution was all Sporting KC needed to catapult past the Red Bulls into second place. New York, which started the weekend atop the East, now finds themselves in third place with a third of the season to go.
Currently, a red hot Houston Dynamo side, which ravaged New York at BBVA, is tied for first with Sporting KC after 23 games with 40 points. Their 10 point goal differential gives them the lead in the table. New York sits in third with 38 points after 23 matches.
Right behind them sits DC United, whom have enjoyed a light July schedule (three league games, one friendly). The refreshed side holds two games in hand on all three leaders, trailing the Red Bulls by a mere two points. The Chicago Fire round out the top five, owning a game in hand on the top three leaders, and trailing New York by three points.
The coming week will be a crucial one for all playoff contenders. The Red Bulls will host Houston this Friday night in a rare home and home encounter. Meanwhile, DC United will travel to LiveStrong to take on Sporting KC effectively pitting the top four playoffs teams in the East against each other. As for the Fire, they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Union.
One team to keep an eye on? The Columbus Crew. The Black and Yellow, currently seventh in the East with 28 points, have three games in hand on the leaders. They will host Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy before traveling to BBVA to face Houston in a crucial nine day period.
The Red Bulls will host Portland in two weeks before taking on Sporting KC in their first of three vital end of year contests.