- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 10, 2007
- 0 Comments
We are itching ever so closer to the MLS All-Star break in Commerce City and a lot of shape is being made in both conferences. The east is looking very thin as the gap between clubs is very close, while the west is quickly turned into a two horse race.
1. (1) Houston Dynamo (29 pt.) – Finally took over the league table the other day. Arguable playing the best soccer in recent weeks/months. With no losses against western clubs, it is looking like there are no eastern clubs that can contend with Houston either. Also, Stuart Holden is looking like another threat on the offensive end for the Dynamo. Things with Dewayne De Rosario should be good soon too as he has resigned with the Dynamo through 2010. Two more games this week, some how the Dynamo have been a mainstay in the prime-time lineup in recent weeks; this week they get a trip to Chicago to face the struggling Fire…easy three points right? And on Sunday, they Toronto FC…should be three points but it won’t be easy. What could hurt them over the next few games is still their defense that is lacking considerable depth and the fact that they could easily overlook some teams.
2. (3) DC United (23 pts.) – Even though they lost to Houston I still feel they are the team to beat in the east…just as long as they are playing at home. The road problem hasn’t been sorted out just yet but I think over time things will be fine with the United. Even this week they get to host Dallas on Saturday night. They have to continue winning at home if they even want to consider winning the east this season and getting that all important auto-bid into the playoffs. Losing at home to Dallas this weekend will hurt not only in the standing but in these rankings for weeks to come.
3. (2) FC Dallas (29 pt.) – I only drop them because of the schedule really. They got a great win on the 4th against Chivas and proved that things are looking up even though they have played more games than anyone else. I’ve said before that Dallas should be fine in the west in making the playoffs and getting one of the two auto-bids into the playoffs. DC will be a big road test for the Hoops this weekend but do remember that Dallas has won five of their 10 road games this season. Far better than most clubs do on the road in a single season. History shows that if you win five to seven road games in a season that you will have no problems making the playoffs and possibly the MLS Cup.
4. (5) New England Revolution (23 pts.) – I feel as though this is the most complacent teams in league history. Even getting their main names back into the lineup they still bore us into a draw at home with Chivas. The Goats very well could and should have walked out of New England with three points. The Revs can’t be sleeping this weekend when they travel to New York. It does seem as though the Revs do actually care more about road games than they do home games this season. A win against New York should get them to the top of the standings before the all-star break.
5. (6) Red Bull New York (24 pt.) – They got the win over Colorado to put them back on the top of the eastern standings for now but I don’t know if that is anything to be happy about in the Big Apple. Lots of problems with the Red Bulls going into the All-Star break. They need to get out of this funk now before it kills them in the long run. Sure their schedule has been a bit brutal as of late with many games on the road, but games at home in the coming weeks should let us know more. A big start with New England on Saturday. The race for the top spot in the east could be New Yorks if they choice to have it.
6. (4) Kansas City Wizards (22 pts.) – I honestly don’t think Eddie Johnson is the answer to the offensive problems that the Wizards are having lately. I also think that even getting Jimmy Conrad back in the lineup won’t help the defensive problems that the Wizards are having lately. No, I think there are a lot of concerns surrounding the Wizards these days that should make every Wizard fan worried about their playoff chances. Out of all the teams in the east that aren’t in Chicago, I think Kansas City is the one team that is in the most danger of not making the playoffs this season. Though they have a chance to get some points this weekend when they host Real Salt Lake. It should be three points but if they struggle you can bet more people will be on this bandwagon with me again.
7. (7) Columbus Crew (22 pt.) – Some people forget (and probably so do the Crew) that Columbus is probably one of the hottest teams in the league right now. A couple weeks ago they looked dead in the water but now they are alive and swimming with the giants. A nice six game unbeaten streak going on here to show for. They got hour points last week against the Rocky Mountain duo. A nice showing really I think. They will have their work cut out for them this weekend though in LA against Chivas. The Goats are the league’s best home team this season and will look to continue that against the Crew.
8. (7) CD Chivas USA (21 pts.) – Looked bad against Dallas on the 4th but looked much better against New England over the weekend. They should be able to hold their own this weekend at home against Columbus. Anything less than a point will be a disappointment for the Goats…I would say anything less than three points would be but I still think they are doing enough to hold their own in the west and in the playoff race with everyone in the east.
9. (9) Toronto FC (18 pt.) – They are showing more and more that they can hold themselves on the road. A good thing too since they have to travel to Houston this weekend. They better hope for a tired Dynamo in order to get points out of this match. Getting three points would be great before the All-Star break. Not to mention that it could possibly put them into the playoffs right now. That would be a huge thing for this club at the mid-way point of the season.
10. (12) LA Galaxy (13 pt.) – I am taking a risk in my mind putting the Galaxy here but I think it is justifiable at this point. Beckham joins this week and even though I feel the last couple games have been lucky for the Galaxy but they have played better. Carlos Pavon is the real deal in the scoring department I think and LandyCakes is being LandyCakes. But of course no MLS games for a couple weeks. Their schedule is the death of them I think.
11. (10) Colorado Rapids (17 pts.) – Two straight draws won’t save Clavijo, though I honestly think they Rapids won’t pull the plug on him anytime soon…mainly because of the All-Star game being hosted by the Rapids this season. The Rapids go into the All-Star break winless since late May though. It could be time to change things up a bit. They do need to sure up their scoring though. Landing a goal scorer in the coming weeks would be huge because I think their midfield and defense will be fine.
12. (11) Chicago Fire (16 pts.) – When will Copa America end and Blanco can debut? Not soon enough for the Fire but hiring Juan Carlos Osorio is a good start. How his club responds to him in a quick amount of time before Thursday’s match with Houston will be a big question. Either they rally or continue to stink. I will rest my hands on the stinking side. Also when will Chris Rolfe get healthy again? It seems like ages ago that the Fire and Rolfe were leading the east with New York.
13. (13) Real Salt Lake (9 pt.) – Another team wishing an international tournament would be over. Getting Sturgis, Adu and Seitz back will be huge. Plus the possible signing of Jay-Jay Okocha will add more to the midfield of Real. A trip to America’s Heartland this weekend against the Wizards. If Real can sneak out with a point it would be a big thing. If not going into the All-Star break with nine points does nothing but continue the hurt.