- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 4, 2010
- 1 Comments
- 2010 Playoff Race, MLS Cup Playoffs
Just take a quick look at the standings. Do it. Alright, as we get into the hot month of August (its been 100+ everyday this week in Dallas) the Major League Soccer playoff race is really heating up thanks to as many as 12 or 13 clubs being in contention for a playoff spot today.
For the last couple months its been all about the western conference with little to show for from the east but the transfer season has helped change that up a bit. Teams in the east are heating up while some in the west are starting to feel the summer burn.
There’s little doubt in my mind that the top eight in the standings won’t be the same eight when the season ends. Like I said for a while this season the western conference was dominating the standings with at times five and six teams in the top eight of the standings. That is slowly going away today however with the rise of the Chicago Fire and the recent form of Toronto FC. Throw in the outside chance that the Kansas City Wizards continue their recent form of the last two weeks and it will undoubtably be the tightest race in league history.
For argument’s sake we can pencil in the following clubs even with the schedule congestion for some: LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas and New York Red Bulls.
The last two feel like shoe-ins based on their lack of congestion in the schedule and their recent form. No doubt New York will only get better with Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry while Dallas hasn’t lost a league game since May and really looks well on their way to be in the thick of things out west this year.
LA, RSL, and Columbus all have CONCACAF Champions League play to worry about, this is assuming LA makes the massive comeback tonight in Puerto Rico. Should LA fail to move on tonight the Supporter’s Shield race will likely be their race to lose. RSL seems like the most likely to catch LA in the SS race but we aren’t sure yet how they will handle the extra mid-week games just yet.
So after those five it only leaves three playoff spots. Yup just three.
Looking at things right now you have Toronto, Chicago and possibly Kansas City in the east with Seattle, Colorado, San Jose and possibly Houston or Chivas USA in the west in contention. I think its only safe to say Philadelphia, New England and D.C. are the only ones really out of contention right now today.
Chicago for one has the most ground to gain here as they have plenty of games in hand against everyone in the league. With their recent form and their new additions I think once they do catch up in the games-played department with the rest of the league we will see them in the top eight.
The one club that has to make the most of the rest of their games is Seattle. They’ve played two or three games more than those around them in the standings and before long that could catch up to them if they aren’t careful. Losing games at home from here out certainly won’t help their cause.
I think today it looks more and more like we’ll get an even four from each conference in the playoffs this year. Chicago is on the rise and I think Toronto will finally get through this time around with Preki leading them. Out west its anyone’s guess at this point who will join LA, RSL and Dallas. One thing is for sure this race will be exciting to watch over these next couple of months.