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:

Much more.....

*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