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Major Link Soccer: Playoff Implications Edition

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A recap of this week's MLS action along with news from around the world.

Bryn Lennon - Getty Images

In the biggest match of the weekend for everyone outside of Cascadia, Real Madrid and Barcelona battled to a 2-2 draw. In what increasingly feels like a grudge match between superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, each player scored a brace for their respective clubs. With the draw, Madrid trail the scorching pace Barcelona has set early in the La Liga season as Barcelona sit eights points up on the Madrid side after seven matches.

While Eddie Johnson has been getting congratulations on his call to the USMNT for upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala, others are only getting condolences. In what can only be called a curious move by Jurgen Klinsmann, both Chris Wondolowski and Jozy Altidore were left off the squad. Instead of either player, Klinsmann called up Alan Gordon of all people. While Wondolowski is currently running away with the Golden Boot in MLS, Altidore is tied for the league lead with eight goals in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Another player (besides Eddie Johnson) getting a recall to the USMNT is Sacha Kljestan. The 27-year-old has been sitting on the outside for the last six months but good form with his Belgian club Anderlecht has caught the attention of Jurgen Klinsmann.

Veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel's record run of 310 consecutive Barclays Premier League starts has come to an end Sunday after Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas named Hugo Lloris in starting lineup for the game against Aston Villa. With our connection to Kasey Keller locally, we often forget the quality of Friedel who has had an outstanding career in Europe with Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Tottenham to name a few.

Geoff Cameron is proving to be a versatile player in the English Premier League. After playing well as a defensive central midfielder earlier this year, Cameron helped stoke to a scoreless draw against Liverpool as a right back. Maurice Edu made his debut for Stoke City in the game as well.

Weekend MLS Recap:

It took D.C. United until the 88th minute, and a keeper error by Milos Kocic, to get the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC at BMO Field. Hamdi Salihi knocked in the goal after Salihi spilled a shot from DCU's Maicon Santos. Toronto remains in last place in the East while DCU moved one step closer to securing a playoff spot as they currently sit in 3rd place.

The Chicago Fire rolled into New Jersey and knocked off the New York Red Bulls behind a brace by Sherjill MacDonald. The Fire, needing to get back on track after two straight losses, sent NYRB to just their second defeat at Red Bull Arena this year.

A late goal by Jack McInerney led the Philadelphia Union their second victory of the week defeating the New England Revolution 1-0 on Saturday night at PPL Park. With both teams out of the playoff picture, there was little to recommend this game to neutral observers. Benny Feilhaber was sent off in the 89th minute for a second yellow.

Will Bruin put the Houston Dynamo up late in the first half, but former-Sounder Sanna Nyassi got in behind the Houston defense in the 66th minute and equalized for a 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact. Houston currently sits in the last playoff spot in the East just one point above the Columbus Crew. The draw officially eliminated the playoff hopes for the Impact.

A fantastic early strike by Robbie Keane was not enough to beat a brace from Real Salt Lake striker Fabian Espindola as the L.A. GAlaxy fell to RSL 2-1. With the Sounders win on Sunday, the Sounders are two points clear of the Galaxy and three points behind RSL with a game in hand over both. Although Landon Donovan went out with a knock to his knee late in the game, he has traveled to joint the USMNT ahead of the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

This may not be news to anyone but Jurgen Klinsmann, but Chris Wondolowski is good. He proved it again this past weekend by scoring a hat trick in a 4-1 victory for the San Jose Earthquakes over the Colorado Rapids. Marvin Chavez opened the scoring for the Earthquakes while Andre Akpan scored a stoppage-time goal for the Rapids to save some dignity.

An early goal from C.J. Sapong was not enough as the Columbus Crew found a dramatic stoppage time equalizer through Eddie Gaven to salvage a point. The draw keeps Columbus in the playoff hunt as they are locked in a fierce competition with Houston for the final playoff spot in the East.

FC Dallas's playoff hopes continued to fade as they dropped vital points against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. Dallas went up early through a 8th minute goal from Blas Perez but the Goats equalized in the 69th minute through Jorge Villafana. With just two games remaining, FCD sits four points behind Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the West.