The New York Red Bulls started the week off losing to last place Chicago Fire 3-2, then followed it up by beating down first place D.C. United 3-0 on Sunday. Even though Wednesday's result was a hiccup, RBNY is still only two points back of DC with three games in hand. The Red Bulls are in the driver's seat for taking control of the East and have line of sight to the Supporter's Shield.
RBNY will go on a bye week during the September FIFA window with half of the teams in MLS. During the bye week, only Columbus can grab second place from the Red Bulls if they get a result against Dallas, but they'll still be three games up on the Crew. Here were this week's top performers:
Sacha Kljestan (MID; 11+10 points): I called this one. Kljestan has been on fire the last ten games (83 points; 3 goals, 8 assists). This week, he tallied another goal and two assists. He has had four straight games with an assist. Why didn't this guy get called to the USMNT against Peru and Brazil? Maybe Klinsmann will bring him in for the big Mexico match on October 10th.
Bradley Wright-Phillips (FWD; 2+15 points): BWP didn't play well against Chicago, but he had another breakout game against rival DC. He was part of all three goals, registering two goals and an assist. Out of the seven goals RBNY scored on DC this season, he was involved with five of them (3 goals, 2 assists).
Lloyd Sam (MID; 5+9 points): Sam hasn't been his high-flying self that he was in the beginning of the season, but he's now more on the Dax McCarty-like consistent track the last few weeks. This week, he registered a goal and an assist. The DC game also marked the first time Sam played a full 90 minutes since Week 13 in Seattle.
Honorable mention: Luis Robles (GK; 4+7 points): Robles enjoyed his third clean sheet in four matches. He had some spectacular saves against Chicago (6 saves). Then he saved two more shots against DC to secure the goose egg. He is the only player on the team that has seen every minute of every game this season.
All four of the guys mentioned above made the MLS Fantasy Best XI this week. Sacha Kljestan was one of three players in the league to score 21 points.