*Why did D.C. United midfielder Clyde Simms leave Saturday’s MLS match against Chivas USA at halftime? Vision problems, according to Coach Ben Olsen and the medical staff. During United’s 20-day lull between games, Simms underwent laser eye surgery. He was experiencing minor issues during the match and removed himself in order to avoid making a consequential mistake. Stephen King entered and helped secure the 3-0 shutout. Simms is expected to return to the lineup Saturday at Seattle or next Wednesday against Chivas at RFK Stadium.

*When was Charlie Davies’ previous hat trick? The last match of his first season with Swedish club Hammarby in 2007. Saturday’s feat was witnessed by his father Charles and brother Justin, a senior defender at San Diego State.

“My dad was smiling ear from ear,” Charlie said. “To do that again in front of family, it made it a lot more special.”

*Goalkeeper Bill Hamid has been having continual problems with a hamstring but Olsen doesn’t expect it to affect his availability for league matches.

*More details about Chris Pontius’ fractured leg and status.

*United’s 5-4-4 away record is by far the best in the Eastern Conference and third best in the league behind Los Angeles (6-3-5) and Seattle (6-3-5). Dallas is 5-5-4 and Colorado is 5-6-4. United is 4-1-4 on its past nine road trips.

For a look at the MLS playoff race and Golden Boot chart.....


Eastern Conference automatic berths

Columbus Crew 40 points (27 matches)

Sporting Kansas City 40 points (28)

Philadelphia Union 36 points (27)

Western Conference automatic berths

Los Angeles Galaxy 55 points (28 matches)

Seattle Sounders 48 points (28)

FC Dallas 46 points (28)

Wild-card race

Real Salt Lake 45 points (26 matches)

Colorado Rapids 41 points (29)

Houston Dynamo 35 points (28)

D.C. United 34 points (25)


New York Red Bulls 33 points (27)

Portland Timbers 33 points (27)

Chivas USA 31 points (28)

San Jose Earthquakes 29 points (27)

Chicago Fire 27 points (27)

New England Revolution 27 points (28)

Toronto FC 27 points (29)

Vancouver Whitecaps 22 points (27)


Landon Donovan, Los Angeles 12 goals (20 matches)

Thierry Henry, New York 12 goals (21)

Charlie Davies, D.C. United 11 goals (20)

Eric Hassli, Vancouver 10 goals (20)

Chris Wondolowski, San Jose 10 goals (23)

Brek Shea, Dallas 10 goals (27)