Wednesday Kicker: Midseason Thoughts

Wednesday Kicker: Midseason Thoughts

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 9, 2008
  • 8 Comments
  • Midseason Thoughts

For the majority of Major League Soccer we are at the halfway line, the middle of the road, or whatever stupid cliche you enjoy using to signify one-half of something. A couple clubs have cross that line and a couple others are a game away from reaching that very point.

With all the talk recently about where clubs stand and what not in respect to the playoff picture I thought it would be a good time as ever to layout each club’s record along with their record at the midway point from the previous three seasons. I figured this would show us really where clubs stand and will look to go.

Now of course in previous years various factors happened that caused a team to do well and make the playoffs or in like Toronto’s case a year ago, falter and lose a majority of their final 15 games.

I will go into each club’s record now and then. Feel free to discuss this as you will. Its all for fun and to point out a couple things and its not to really predict all that much. I didn’t include San Jose in this due to their two-year hiatus from the league when they moved to Houston.

Also, I only went as far back as 2005 because that’s when the league began expanding once again. You get a better sense of things when there are more clubs and loss playoff spots than say 10 clubs and eight playoffs spot.

It seems that after 15 games or so if a club has around 20 points they are well on their way to a playoff birth for that season. Some clubs have managed to get out of some holes and get to the playoffs in the second half of the season, while others have stumbled up a bit.

Halfway home results (* donates made the playoffs):

Chicago Fire
2008 – 6-5-3 (21 pts.) – after 14 games
2007 – 4-7-4 (16 pts.) * —- Finished 10-10-10 (40 pts.)
2006 – 5-5-5 (20 pts.) * —- Finished 13-11-8 (47 pts.)
2005 – 7-6-2 (23 pts.) * —- Finished 15-14-4 (39 pts.)

Judging by recent success at the halfway line, the Fire are right on course for another playoff year. They usually hit that midsummer slump like they are now but typically end up where they need to be, in the mix for the MLS Cup. If they can keep Blanco from fighting they could be better in line for more points this season than in years past.

Chivas USA
2008 – 6-6-3 (21 pts.)
2007 – 7-5-3 (24 pts.)* —- Finished 15-7-8 (53 pts.)
2006 – 6-5-4 (22 pts.) * —- Finished 10-9-13 (43 pts.)
2005 – 1-11-3 (6 pts.) —- Finished 4-22-6 (18 pts.)

We are easily seeing some gradual success out of this franchise. Whether or not they get over the first round hump this year remains to be seen, but they are right on course from their previous two years for the most part.

Colorado Rapids
2008 – 6-8-1 (19 pts.)
2007 – 4-7-4 (16 pts.)   —- Finished 9-13-8 (35 pts.)
2006 – 7-5-3 (24 pts.) * —- Finished 11-13-8 (41 pts.)
2005 – 4-9-2 (14 pts.) * —- Finished 13-13-6 (45 pts.)

Will this be like the 2005 club that barely got into the playoffs or be like last year’s bunch and come up short yet again? That’s all up to head coach Fernando Clavijo.

Columbus Crew
2008 – 8-4-3 (27 pts.)
2007 – 4-4-7 (19 pts.) — Finished 9-11-10 (37 pts.)
2006 – 4-6-5 (17 pts.) — Finished 8-15-9 (33 pts.)
2005 – 4-9-2 (14 pts.) — Finished 11-16-5 (38 pts.)

The Crew are one of the few in this bunch that haven’t seen playoff games in recent years. That will change this year unless they have an absolute terrible second half. Hard to believe they are two victories shy of matching that 2006 campaign in points already.

DC United
2008 – 7-7-1 (22 pts.)
2007 – 7-5-3 (24 pts.) * —- Finished 16-7-7 (55 pts.)
2006 – 9-1-5 (32 pts.) * —- Finished 15-7-10 (55 pts.)
2005 – 6-5-4 (22 pts.) * —- Finished 16-10-6 (54 pts.)

Pretty much where we expected this club to be. Some probably expected higher up the standings but this seems to be a comfy position at the midway point for the men in Black.

FC Dallas
2008 – 4-6-5 (17 pts.)
2007 – 8-6-1 (25 pts.) * —- Finished 13-12-5 (44 pts.)
2006 – 8-4-3 (27 pts.) * —- Finished 16-12-4 (52 pts.)
2005 – 10-2-3 (33 pts.) * —- Finished 13-10-9 (48 pts.)

Doesn’t look like a playoff year in comparison to those numbers, not like many Hoops fans were expecting playoffs after the firing of Steve Morrow.

Houston Dynamo
2008 – 4-4-7 (19 pts.)
2007 – 8-5-2 (26 pts.) * —- Finished 15-8-7 (52 pts.)
2006 – 6-3-6 (24 pts.) * —- Finished 11-8-13 (46 pts.)

Is this team showing its age or something? Or the lack of offense? Or too many cards to key defenders like Eddie Robinson? Easily not what we have come to expect out of this bunch.

Kansas City Wizards
2008 – 4-5-5 (17 pts.) – after 14 games
2007 – 6-5-4 (22 pts.) * — Finished 11-12-7 (40 pts.)
2006 – 6-7-2 (20 pts.) —- Finished 10-14-8 (38 pts.)
2005 – 5-3-7 (22 pts.) —- Finished 11-9-12 (45 pts.)

Right about where they normally are. Fast start, a slip up in late spring, and now probably stumble here and there in the summer. Their playoff hopes will more than likely come down to the final weeks of the season like always, it just seems more like those 2006 and 2005 bunches than the ones that got over the hump last year.

LA Galaxy
2008 – 6-6-3 (21 pts.)
2007 – 3-7-5 (14 pts.)   —- Finished 9-14-7 (34 pts.)
2006 – 2-10-3 (9 pts.)   —- Finished 11-15-6 (39 pts.)
2005 – 7-5-3 (24 pts.) * —- Finished 13-13-6 (45 pts.)

Clear to say this bunch is winning on offense, losing due to poor defense. At least they are playing better than last year and the year before. Blame the schedule last year, and whatever the year before that…I dunno the World Cup?

New England Revolution
2008 – 8-4-3 (27 pts.)
2007 – 7-3-5 (26 pts.) * — Finished 14-8-8 (50 pts.)
2006 – 5-4-6 (21 pts.) * — Finished 12-8-12 (48 pts.)
2005 – 9-1-5 (32 pts.) * — Finished 17-7-8 (59 pts.)

Typical New England. That’s all I am going to say.

New York Red Bulls
2008 – 5-5-5 (20 pts.)
2007 – 7-5-3 (24 pts.) * — Finished 12-11-7 (43 pts.)
2006 – 2-5-8 (14 pts.) * — Finished 9-11-12 (39 pts.)
2005 – 5-4-6 (21 pts.) * — Finished 12-9-11 (47 pts.)

Has made the playoffs based on mediocre play in the past, but that may come to haunt them this year.

Real Salt Lake
2008 – 5-6-4 (19 pts.)
2007 – 1-8-6 (9 pts.) —- Finished 6-15-9 (27 pts.)
2006 – 3-8-4 (12 pts.) —- Finished 10-13-9 (39 pts.)
2005 – 3-9-3 (12 pts.) —- Finished 5-22-5 (20 pts.)

These aren’t those RSL clubs from years past but then again judging by those numbers anything would be an improvement.

San Jose Earthquakes
2008 – 3-9-3 (12 pts.)

Quakes moved to Houston and now we are in expansion mode. No need to mention the Quakes of old here.

Toronto FC
2008 – 6-5-3 (21 pts.) after 14 games
2007 – 5-7-3 (18 pts.) —- Finished 6-17-7 (25 pts.)

A little better than the club at this point from last year. But I honestly don’t see this club going on a benge in the second half of the season like last year. Only one win in the final 15 games is downright sad, they should be able to eclipse that mark.

  • hutchtx

    Steve Nicol was fired from FC Dallas?? At any rate, this Hoops fan agrees with you. Of well . . .

  • Drew Epperley

    ah, good catch hutchtx, good catch…at first I was like why did I write Nicol instead of Morrow…turns out I was watching some Revs highlights while I was writing this…weird how things happen that way…thanks

  • hutchtx

    Steve Nicol was fired from FC Dallas?? At any rate, this Hoops fan agrees with you. Of well . . .

  • ah, good catch hutchtx, good catch…at first I was like why did I write Nicol instead of Morrow…turns out I was watching some Revs highlights while I was writing this…weird how things happen that way…thanks

  • Allen

    I don't understand the Rapids comments. Why when the 1/2 way point record resembles 2006's would you ask if they'll be like 2005 OR 2007's (both which had only 4 wins halfway through the season).

  • Drew Epperley

    look at the loss column allen, that's where I based the comment…not the wins but I do see your point.

  • I don’t understand the Rapids comments. Why when the 1/2 way point record resembles 2006’s would you ask if they’ll be like 2005 OR 2007’s (both which had only 4 wins halfway through the season).

  • look at the loss column allen, that’s where I based the comment…not the wins but I do see your point.