Saturday just felt like one of those nights, a series of falling dominos that could go down as the telling sequence of the season when all is said and done.

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Somewhere between the moment Andrew Jacobson gave the Whitecaps a late lead in Columbus and when Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro netted the game-tying goal in San Jose, the Major League Soccer playoff push began in earnest.

Saturday just felt like one of those nights, a series of falling dominos that could go down as the telling sequence of the season when all is said and done.

Vancouver’s 3-1 victory at the defending Eastern Conference champs breathed new life in a campaign most had written off. Portland followed with a massive win at home against Real Salt Lake, tightening its grip on the final playoff berth in the West. The Sounders-‘Quakes match at Avaya Stadium had a desperation vibe to it, both teams fully aware how badly they needed three points neither would claim.

The simultaneous kickoffs in Portland and San Jose added an extra layer of tension to the proceedings, a Decision-Day-like melodrama MLS will attempt to recreate on the final day of the regular season next month with every finale aligned to start at the same time.

Eye-catching results weren’t limited only to the Western Conference. New England’s victory over New York City was a Whitecaps-esque statement of intent that it isn’t done yet. An afternoon later, in the Sunday matinee, D.C. scored twice after the 88th minute at Red Bull Arena. Former Sounder Lamar Neagle tied the game late in stoppage time to keep United within range of sixth-place Orlando.

Criticize MLS’ bloated playoff structure all you like — and I’ve aired my grievances — having so many teams still playing for their lives over a dwindling number of games does make for high drama.

– With Gyasi Zardes currently sidelined with injury and Robbie Keane recovering from one, Giovani Dos Santos has embraced a leading role in Los Angeles.

The Mexican international netted two goals plus an assist in the Galaxy’s entertaining 4-2 win over Orlando on Sunday at the StubHub Center. Dos Santos has now tallied five goals and three assists in L.A.’s last three games, leading him to declare that he’s “in the best moment of (his) career.”

Oh, and welcome back, Landon.

– Kansas City just cannot seem to solidify its standing in the Western Conference. Sporting opened a two-goal lead at home against last-place Houston on Friday, gave it up, took another lead through Dom Dwyer in the 81st minute and gave it back again in the final minute of stoppage time.

SKC has won just one of its previous five games. Sixth-place Portland has pulled within a single point in the standings. And Kansas City should be warily eying the two games in hand both Seattle and San Jose have on their respective sides.

– FC Dallas missed a chance to increase its lead in the Supporters’ Shield standings, falling 1-0 to the Rapids at home, but Oscar Pareja’s lineup choices hinted at a coach with one eye on Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final. Dallas is taking aim at its first major trophy since 1997.

– Goal of the week: Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake.

Lost amidst the craziness of the weekend games was perhaps the wildest 90 minutes of all: Salt Lake’s 3-3 home draw with the Galaxy. Plata’s goal was RSL’s only one not directly attributed to an error by Galaxy ‘keeper Brian Rowe, with Burrito Martinez sliding in the game-tying goal beneath his hands in stoppage time.

– Games to watch in the coming week: New England at Dallas (U.S. Open Cup final, Tuesday at 7 p.m. PST on ESPN2), Dallas at New York City FC (Saturday at 4 p.m. on MLS Live), Los Angeles at Kansas City (Sunday at 11 a.m. on FOX), New York Red Bulls at Toronto (Sunday at 2 p.m. on FOX).

Updated standings

Eastern Conference

Points Overall Home Away
# Club PTS PPG GP W L T GF GA GD W-L-T W-L-T
1 Toronto FC 46 1.64 28 13 8 7 41 29 12 7-2-3 6-6-4
2 New York Red Bulls 44 1.52 29 12 9 8 49 37 12 10-2-2 2-7-6
3 New York City FC 44 1.52 29 12 9 8 49 50 -1 6-3-5 6-6-3
4 Philadelphia Union 41 1.41 29 11 10 8 48 45 3 8-3-4 3-7-4
5 Montreal Impact 38 1.36 28 9 8 11 42 43 -1 6-4-4 3-4-7
6 Orlando City SC 34 1.21 28 7 8 13 47 49 -2 5-2-7 2-6-6
7 New England Revolution 33 1.14 29 8 12 9 34 48 -14 7-4-4 1-8-5
8 D.C. United 33 1.18 28 7 9 12 37 38 -1 6-4-4 1-5-8
9 Chicago Fire 26 0.96 27 6 13 8 33 42 -9 5-3-6 1-10-2
10 Columbus Crew SC 26 0.96 27 5 11 11 36 45 -9 4-3-8 1-8-3

Western Conference

Points Overall Home Away
# Club PTS PPG GP W L T GF GA GD W-L-T W-L-T
1 FC Dallas 51 1.76 29 15 8 6 45 37 8 10-1-4 5-7-2
2 LA Galaxy 47 1.62 29 11 4 14 49 32 17 8-0-7 3-4-7
3 Colorado Rapids 46 1.7 27 12 5 10 29 24 5 9-0-4 3-5-6
4 Real Salt Lake 44 1.52 29 12 9 8 42 41 1 8-0-6 4-9-2
5 Sporting Kansas City 39 1.34 29 11 12 6 35 35 0 9-4-2 2-8-4
6 Portland Timbers 38 1.31 29 10 11 8 43 44 -1 10-3-2 0-8-6
7 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 34 1.17 29 9 13 7 37 45 -8 5-4-5 4-9-2
8 San Jose Earthquakes 33 1.22 27 7 8 12 27 30 -3 6-2-6 1-6-6
9 Seattle Sounders FC 32 1.19 27 9 13 5 33 37 -4 7-5-1 2-8-4
10 Houston Dynamo 26 0.96 27 5 11 11 32 37 -5 4-2-7 1-9-4