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Around The Forest: USMNT still has work to do

Taking a look at the playoff picture headed into match day 31, East passes West, David Bingham leaving San Jose and more!

Major League Soccer:

East overtakes West for MLS inter-conference supremacy in 2017 |
It's been a while, but after years of the Western Conference dominating the Eastern Conference, the tables have turned in MLS this year. Thanks in part to the resurgence of the Chicago Fire and the introduction of Atlanta United, the East has overtaken the West for conference supremacy for the first time in years.

Stejskal: Goalkeeper David Bingham expected to leave San Jose this winter |
David Bingham’s days in San Jose are numbered, a source close to the Earthquakes goalkeeper told on Monday. The starter in San Jose since 2015, Bingham hasn’t played since he was surprisingly benched for second-year goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell on Aug. 12. According to the source, Bingham is in the final year of his contract and is not expected to re-sign with San Jose this winter.

Tata Martino wins 2017 Best-Dressed MLS Coach bracket; Petke runner-up |
The votes are in on the 2017 Best-Dressed MLS Coaches bracket and... Atlanta fans turned out in full force online. After some hard-fought rounds, Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino wound up topping Real Salt Lake's Mike Petke in the finals.

Handicapping the 2017 Golden Boot race with just two weekends remaining |
With just two weeks left in the 2017 MLS regular season, the race for the Golden Boot is coming down to the wire. With that in mind, here's full breakdown of the potential winners.

Landon Donovan's Other Legacy: Challenging the stigma of mental health | THE WORD |
WHEN LANDON DONOVAN STROLLED TO THE STAGE at StubHub Center in Carson, California, in August and unveiled what would become one of the biggest stories of the year in North American soccer, it didn’t exactly come as breaking news.

Here's where your team stands in the playoff picture heading into Week 32 |
We're in the home stretch of the 2017 MLS regular season and the playoff picture is beginning to take shape. Here's where your team stands in the race for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs:

United States:

USMNT finds river around the field ahead of World Cup qualifier - Stars and Stripes FC
On Monday, the United States arrived at Ato Boldon stadium in Couva, Trinidad and Tobago ahead of their crucial World Cup Qualifying match slated for Tuesday night. However, a generic pre-match training on the pitch turned into quite the spectacle for USMNT players, coaches and media members when they encountered a large flooded area surrounding the field at the stadium.

NPSL sends letter of complaint to U.S. Soccer - Soc Takes
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) has sent a letter of complaint to U.S. Soccer about what they perceive as “continued tampering” with NPSL teams. The letter of complaint was sent during the week of September 25th-29th, 2017. The letter is addressed to Lydia Wahlke, legal counsel for the USSF and is copied to USSF Secretary General Dan Flynn, NPSL commissioner Joe Barone and United States Amateur Soccer Association president John Motta.

Quakes affiliate folds, withdraws USL bid | NBCS Bay Area
San Francisco Football Club, a group owned by founder and Warriors minority ownership group member Nick Swinmurn, will announce they withdrew their application and bid to become a United Soccer League franchise.

Warshaw: US national team fans beware – Arena's team still has work to do |
I’m about to say something, and not support it, because I’m pretty sure you know it’s true: The subconscious is stronger than the conscious. This girl is right for me; this girl is definitely not the one. My mom keeps driving me crazy; I should call my mom. It’s okay for me to leave only a 12 percent tip for this guy; I’m a bad person.


Lukaku, Salah & the Top 10 signings of the Premier League season so far |
The Premier League is well under way, and the drama is coming thick and fast. The two Manchester clubs lead the way, with Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal in hot pursuit. Burnley are sixth, while Watford and Newcastle find themselves in the top 10, and Crystal Palace are yet to win or even score.

Man City news: Sergio Aguero returns to training after suffering broken rib in car accident |
Sergio Aguero is back training with his Manchester City team-mates after suffering a broken rib in a car accident. The Argentine attacker makes a quick return after being injured in a car crash in Netherlands at the end of September.

Argentina World Cup qualification struggles have many causes France vital win England mess with formations - ESPN FC
So it all comes down to Tuesday night in Quito, at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. Argentina need to beat Ecuador, otherwise they won't be going to the 2018 World Cup. (A draw might suffice too, but that would require three other results to go their way, and it's not something you want to count on.)