Weekend Recap: Returning To A Mess

Weekend Recap: Returning To A Mess

  • 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
WILD-CARD BERTHS
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.

  • TJ

    Well, let me the first to post a comment on that FC Dallas – LA Galaxy debacle. I am a LA Galaxy season ticket holder and supporter and I was outright pissed after that match. They looked flat, tired and besides maybe A.J. De LaGarza, Beckham &amp; Donovan, the rest of the squad was pathetic. I really have to question Arena's thought process after this game and their conditioning tactics. Seriously, to be off for about a week and a half, there is no reason to come out on to the field looking lost and then after one half looking gassed. The only two that should have a pass in that that dept. are Beckham and Donovan after playing two Qualifiers the past week. De LaGarza was the only player that played with any passion. The combo of Kirovski and Magee up top is absolutely a joke. Kirovksi can't do anything – out of position every time and his trapping skills are outright pathetic. I was yelling for Arena to put in Gordon (which is hard to do) or better yet, Brian Jordan – just to get some speed up top and keep their defense honest. Hell, Hyndman had his whole defense playing offensively, because he knew the Galaxy had nothing. Seriously, the Galaxy looked like an OLD team out there. Sad. Really sad.<br />
    <br />
    What else had my head shaking in this match, again was the officiating. Game after game, the officiating just gets worse. I seriously want to go up to Garber and hit him over the head and ask him what he is thinking putting in officials that also ref girls high school matches? I thought this was a professional league, but apparently Garber does not see it that way, when he hires high school refs to officiate. I am being serious about this. I sit next to a family who's daughter told me that the linesman on our side also officiates her high school matches and he gave her a yellow card for questioning a call. Hell this linesman missed every call and could not keep up with last man. Garber is doing a good job of making this a 2nd rate league with the officiating he puts out on the field. It is a joke. He needs to solve this issue, before it gets worse.

  • Stuart

    TJ, just an FYI, Garber does not pick, hire or assist with the Referees assigned to the games. All MLS referees are assigned through USSF.

  • puget sfc

    i'd second stuart, the refs are USSF, not MLS refs.<br />
    <br />
    About the refs, did anyone see the Seattle v DC game. The ref swallowed his whistle for almost the entire game. At least he was consistent in not calling obvious fouls, just a major departure from the nit picky trigger happy refs we have had in the past.<br />
    <br />
    Did anyone notice one of the ARs was named Kermit? how cute is that?

  • TJ

    Yes, I understand that the USSF employs the officials and picks them for respective MLS matches, which are you usually from regional pools. However, my point is with Garber not taking a stance on the poor officiating that has plagued this league now for at least the past 3 years and in my opinion is getting worse. Garber, as Commissioner of MLS, needs to do something with the USSF to improve the quality of officiating in this league. That is my point. I apologize if I did not state that clearly. Obviously, the USSF will do nothing unless required to and of course will not when Gulati is President (that is a whole other issue I wish not to tackle). Seriously, it is very annoying to learn that high school refs are also officiating MLS matches! It is ironic that earlier this month, an article was posted by Steve Goff – <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2009/09/3_mls_refs_done_for_season.html&quot; target="_blank"><a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/20…</a>" target="_blank">http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/20…</a></a> – where 3 refs have been suspended for the rest of the MLS season by USSF. But sadly, they should do more, but I guess can't because then there would be no refs to officiate matches. Sad, really sad.

  • TJ

    Well, let me the first to post a comment on that FC Dallas – LA Galaxy debacle. I am a LA Galaxy season ticket holder and supporter and I was outright pissed after that match. They looked flat, tired and besides maybe A.J. De LaGarza, Beckham & Donovan, the rest of the squad was pathetic. I really have to question Arena’s thought process after this game and their conditioning tactics. Seriously, to be off for about a week and a half, there is no reason to come out on to the field looking lost and then after one half looking gassed. The only two that should have a pass in that that dept. are Beckham and Donovan after playing two Qualifiers the past week. De LaGarza was the only player that played with any passion. The combo of Kirovski and Magee up top is absolutely a joke. Kirovksi can’t do anything – out of position every time and his trapping skills are outright pathetic. I was yelling for Arena to put in Gordon (which is hard to do) or better yet, Brian Jordan – just to get some speed up top and keep their defense honest. Hell, Hyndman had his whole defense playing offensively, because he knew the Galaxy had nothing. Seriously, the Galaxy looked like an OLD team out there. Sad. Really sad.

    What else had my head shaking in this match, again was the officiating. Game after game, the officiating just gets worse. I seriously want to go up to Garber and hit him over the head and ask him what he is thinking putting in officials that also ref girls high school matches? I thought this was a professional league, but apparently Garber does not see it that way, when he hires high school refs to officiate. I am being serious about this. I sit next to a family who’s daughter told me that the linesman on our side also officiates her high school matches and he gave her a yellow card for questioning a call. Hell this linesman missed every call and could not keep up with last man. Garber is doing a good job of making this a 2nd rate league with the officiating he puts out on the field. It is a joke. He needs to solve this issue, before it gets worse.

  • Stuart

    TJ, just an FYI, Garber does not pick, hire or assist with the Referees assigned to the games. All MLS referees are assigned through USSF.

  • puget sfc

    i’d second stuart, the refs are USSF, not MLS refs.

    About the refs, did anyone see the Seattle v DC game. The ref swallowed his whistle for almost the entire game. At least he was consistent in not calling obvious fouls, just a major departure from the nit picky trigger happy refs we have had in the past.

    Did anyone notice one of the ARs was named Kermit? how cute is that?

  • Cannon Girl

    It's really sad when the officiating is so pathetic that it directly contributes to a team losing a game outright, and I'm sure we've all witnessed that at one time or another.

  • TJ

    Yes, I understand that the USSF employs the officials and picks them for respective MLS matches, which are you usually from regional pools. However, my point is with Garber not taking a stance on the poor officiating that has plagued this league now for at least the past 3 years and in my opinion is getting worse. Garber, as Commissioner of MLS, needs to do something with the USSF to improve the quality of officiating in this league. That is my point. I apologize if I did not state that clearly. Obviously, the USSF will do nothing unless required to and of course will not when Gulati is President (that is a whole other issue I wish not to tackle). Seriously, it is very annoying to learn that high school refs are also officiating MLS matches! It is ironic that earlier this month, an article was posted by Steve Goff – http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2009/09/3_mls_refs_done_for_season.html – where 3 refs have been suspended for the rest of the MLS season by USSF. But sadly, they should do more, but I guess can’t because then there would be no refs to officiate matches. Sad, really sad.

  • Cannon Girl

    It’s really sad when the officiating is so pathetic that it directly contributes to a team losing a game outright, and I’m sure we’ve all witnessed that at one time or another.