Monday Morning Free Kicks

Monday Morning Free Kicks

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 17, 2007

Very solid weekend of play in the MLS with plenty of action that has kept the playoff race at what it was to start the week.

DC was the only club actually ‘in’ the playoffs going into the weekend and left the weekend with defending champion Houston as the only clubs ‘in’.

Here is a little look at who is close:

  • New England – may actually be in as well, MLSnet just hasn’t given them the nod yet even though everything happened that needed to happen for them to get ‘in’ this weekend (win over Dallas, Columbus and Colorado fail to win)
  • Chivas – very close here, if they had won their game with Colorado they would have qualified
  • Dallas – probably pretty close but needs a win and some other teams to lose this coming week for it to happen I would say, if not a little more than that
  • New York – still a long way from qualifying I would say

I will honestly say I didn’t see much of any games this weekend so I won’t go into a lot of detail because of that. Lost track of time over the weekend and the soccer action was something that slipped my mind, as well as the college football scene (that’s what happens when my alma mater plays on a week night instead of Saturday).

Anyways, not a lot of surprise out of the weekend really. Toronto still has problems scoring, RSL got lucky that Toronto is having a slump as they got dominated in the game. From the highlights I saw, Nick Rimando was easily the player of the game for both clubs with all of those crazy saves. Definitely something worth mentioning there because I saw at least four game saving saves from Big Nick.

Carlos Ruiz scored twice for Dallas but the Hoops were unable to perform well in the second half as New England took over and won 4-2 thanks to a pair from Pat Noonan. I think this was exactly the type of game that New England needed up top. They need their goal scorers to all be going as the playoffs near to be able to stay with a DC in the playoffs. Dallas has to find ways to get their defense to step up as the playoffs near. They have looked lost and out of sync for weeks now in my opinion.

Columbus had the lead and the three points in sight but were unable to hold on as two extra time goals helped the Wizards over the Crew 3-2. I have to say that is a killer for the Crew and their hopes in the playoffs to drop a game like that this late in the season. As for the Wizards it helps out a whole lot as they were looking like a club that could miss out on the playoffs with the way they’ve been playing as of late. I am hoping to see some highlights of this to see exactly how the Crew lost this. I am hoping it wasn’t some bad calls on the ref for the game tying PK. We will see I suppose, if anyone out there saw this game and knows the answer to this feel free to let me know.

New York and Chicago tied 2-2. Again, I wasn’t shocked by this scoreline and I really have no comment on it since I haven’t even seen highlights of it (yes, in a way I don’t really care about this one either right now).
Chivas has the chance to clinch a playoff spot in Colorado and had the lead early but were unable to hold on as the Rapids found a way to squeeze out a draw. Not a bad result for the Goats but it wasn’t enough for the Rapids in my mind. They needed the three points to move back into the playoff scene. Still, they can view it as a positive to slow down such a tough club like Chivas this late in the season.

Houston punched their ticket into the playoffs with a nice performance over the Galaxy. This was the Dynamo that I have been waiting to see for a few weeks really. Nice effort in a game that really could have gone either way at the beginning. The Galaxy showed they could hand but it again comes down to their defense and midfield, just slow and not good really. LA pretty much has no hope of the playoffs this season with this loss even though they have eight games left. Houston has the fewest games of any club so it will be interesting to see how the result stack up with Dallas and Chivas at the end.

Be back with more later on today…