- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 14, 2009
- 10 Comments
- Heath Pearce, Julian De Guzman, MLS Weekend Recaps, Playoff Push 2009, Trades
One thing I like to do before I go on any trip is make sure my place is decently clean for my return. Well in the case of this past week for my wedding/honeymoon I was all prepared on that level except for when it came to getting back in the swing of things for soccer stuff. I came back into town this past weekend and saw a slew of random scores in Major League Soccer. Some were more predictable than others but some were just crazy.
Yes, the main score I am talking about is that wild 6-3 game at the Home Depot Center between FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy. I think I predicted something like 3-1 for LA on Saturday morning. Yeah apparently I was way off and that doesn’t even begin to tell that story.
While I was gone I missed out on a few things. Where I was on my honeymoon the only access to the internet was through my iPhone and even the service there in Maui wasn’t good enough to want to read up on things. So when I came back I had hundreds of messages and notes about different deals that had gone down. From Heath Pearce to Dallas (no shocker there in my opinion), to Julian de Guzman to Toronto (kind of shocking but in a way not really).
Then I saw some fun deals like Jon Conway getting sent by New York to Chivas for a draft pick in the 2011 draft. I think I chuckled at that one for some reason. Same with the signing of Daniel Hernandez by FC Dallas. I guess Schellas Hyndman really wants FC Dallas to just be a bunch of his old SMU kids. They never won a national title there so I wouldn’t expect anything great out of them in MLS.
So now after a week and a half of being out of things the league’s playoff race looks a little different than when I left. The way I look at the standings here, the first tiebreaker goes to the club that has played the fewest matches. Next is head-to-head and then goal differential. Number of games played is presented before the clubs’ record.
EASTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Columbus (24) 11-4-9, 42 points
Chicago (25) 10-6-9, 39
WESTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Houston (26) 11-8-7, 40 points
Los Angeles (25) 9-5-11, 38
Seattle (25) 9-6-10, 37 points
Chivas USA (23) 11-9-3, 36
Colorado (24) 10-8-6, 36
D.C. United (26) 8-6-12, 36
LAST SEVEN OUT
Real Salt Lake (25) 9-9-7, 34
Toronto (25) 9-9-7, 34
New England (23) 9-8-6, 33
Dallas (24) 7-11-6, 27
Kansas City (24) 7-11-6, 27
San Jose (22) 5-12-5, 20
New York (25) 4-17-4, 16
The big question for a couple clubs like Toronto, Salt Lake and New England is do they have the gas in the tank to get into the playoffs this season? I still see Salt Lake look on the outside, as possibly with Toronto. New England still strikes me as a club that could sneak in late here over a DC or Colorado.
Next, can Seattle hold on to that playoff spot and be the first expansion club since Chicago in 1998 to reach the post season? It will not get any easier for the Sounders with as many road games as they have left. Lucky for them they are starting to gain some confidence on the road.
And finally, my question that I’ve been asking since May, can New York reach 20 points this season? With a tough stretch of road games coming up it seems unlikely at this point.
Now as far as clubs clinching a playoff spot here in the next couple of weeks, Columbus should be the first to do so with I believe (if my math is correct) at least one more draw. Of course a win would easily do the trick. So be on the lookout for that to happen soon. I believe Houston could also clinch a spot with their next win as well.
Dallas, Kansas City and San Jose are another game or so away from being eliminated from contention this season. Each would have to win out the rest of their games just to have hope for a playoff spot and that doesn’t even look good at this point.