Today’s theme is, appropriately, four.
The Chicago Fire, fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference, stretched its unbeaten streak to four with a 0-0 draw in Houston. From D.C. United’s perspective, it was another favorable result while it was idle and teams that have played fewer matches continue to lose or tie. Tonight, United is hoping Kansas City (four points behind, two fewer matches) drops points at the Montreal Impact, which has won once in the past four outings.
The two other Canadian teams play U.S. opponents on America’s birthday tonight: last-place Toronto FC (nine points) at basement-dwelling FC Dallas (14) and the fourth-place Vancouver Whitecaps (26) at Colorado Rapids (22).
The San Jose Earthquakes suffered just their fourth loss of the season, 2-1 at Portland. This is how you counterattack:
*In Eric Wynalda’s coaching debut with Atlanta, the Carolina RailHawks scored in the fourth minute on their way to a 2-1 victory over the Silverbacks. The match was delayed twice by lightning.
*Los Angeles Galaxy star defender Omar Gonzalez, who wears No. 4, was activated from the disabled list and is eligible to play tonight against the Philadelphia Union. He tore a knee ligament January 4th in his first training session with Nurnberg. On a sad note, teammate Adam Cristman, 27, has had to retire because of concussions.
*On July 4th 18 years ago, the U.S. national team lost to Brazil in the World Cup round of 16, 1-0, at Stanford Stadium. (Here’s the FIFA match summary.)
*In the new FIFA rankings, England is No. 4 behind Spain, Germany and Uruguay. The United States dropped eight spots to No. 36. (Try not to take these things seriously.)
*Shout-out to notable players wearing No. 4:
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos
Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas
Chelsea’s David Luiz
Manchester United’s Phil Jones
Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany
Inter Milan’s Javier Zanetti
Arsenal’s Per Mertesacker
USA national team’s Michael Bradley
USA national team’s Becky Sauerbrunn
D.C. United’s Brandon McDonald
New York Red Bulls’ Rafael Marquez
Philadelphia Union’s Bakary Soumare
Sporting Kansas City’s Jermaine Taylor
FC Dallas’ Andrew Jacobson
Colorado Rapids’ Jeff Larentowicz
Real Salt Lake's Jamison Olave
San Jose Earthquakes’ Sam Cronin
Portland Timbers’ Mike Chabala
Seattle Sounders’ Patrick Ianni
Vancouver Whitecaps’ Alain Rochat