A Look At The Schedules

A Look At The Schedules

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 23, 2010
  • 2010 Schedule

Aside from two clubs, everyone has played two-thirds of their 2010 schedule in Major League Soccer. San Jose has played 19 games and somehow the Chicago Fire have played only 18. Weird scheduling for those two but its worth taking a look today at the home stretch of games for each club and see exactly who has a shot at the playoffs and who will be getting a head start on putting together their protected lists for the expansion draft in November.

As tight as the playoff race is this season every game from here out really counts. Some teams will need to dig deep to reach the post season while others just need to continue on with what they’ve been doing all season long.

Looking at the way things have gone the minimum point number to get into the playoffs this year will likely be around the 40-42 points, for this I’ll go with 42 points as the barrier.

Chicago Fire (24 points, 12 games left)

Home: LA, Toronto, Seattle, Columbus, Kansas City, and D.C.

Away: Seattle, Philadelphia, RSL, San Jose, Dallas, Chivas USA

Points to 42: 18 points

Notes: Even six home and six away for the Fire. Big stretch is in October when they have three straight at Toyota Park against Columbus, KC and D.C., two of those should be wins and they should get points on a tired Crew that will likely have wrapped up a playoff birth by then. The road is tricky with stops in Seattle (Ljungberg’s return to the Pacific Northwest), Philadelphia (PPL Park is no picnic), Salt Lake (no one wins in Sandy) and Dallas (hottest team in the league). ¬†Getting 18 points won’t be easy in this stretch so those six home games are must wins at this point, especially after coming up short in Houston this past weekend.

Chivas USA (19 points, 10 games left + 2 friendlies)

Home: D.C., New England, Kansas City, LA, Toronto, Chicago

Away: Colorado, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Jose

Points to 42: 23 points

Notes: I think its almost safe to say at this point that Chivas is a little too far out of the playoff zone. They currently sit nine points off eighth place in the league and have shown really no signs of gaining ground on anyone else in the west. To get that 23 points they’d need to make a serious run like FC Dallas did a year ago by winning all their home games and pulling off an upset in San Jose, Philadelphia and/or Philadelphia to have hope.

Colorado Rapids (28 points, 10 games left)

Home: Houston, Chivas, New England, Philadelphia, D.C., and RSL

Away: New York, RSL, Dallas, LA

Points to 42: 14 points

Notes: Six home games should help them out but the way this club has played over the last two months they’re not looking that good. They should win at least four if not five of their home games and if that is the case it would be enough to get them in. Their four road trips won’t be easy and in all honesty I don’t see them pulling off any points in those locations unless LA decides to field a youth team on the last weekend of the year or something crazy like that happens. The schedule probably sets up nicer for them than anyone else but can they take advantage of it is the key question.

Columbus Crew (40 points, 9 games left + 1 USOC + 5 CCL)

Home: Dallas, Seattle, San Jose, and Philadelphia

Away: D.C., LA, New England, Chicago, and Toronto

Points to 42: 2 points

Notes: Even with the loaded schedule I see them as “in” right now. But based on their remaining MLS games they should be fine to remain in the top two in the east for one of those automatic bids. They have more away games than home but in places like D.C. and New England should give them some points. LA, Chicago and Toronto aren’t easy places to play but it wouldn’t be shocking to see them get results in one or more of those places. No doubt the CCL and USOC will put some tired legs out there for the Crew though.

D.C. United (15 points, 9 games left + 1 USOC)

Home: Columbus, Houston, San Jose, and Toronto

Away: Chivas, Toronto, LA, Colorado, and Chicago

Points to 42: 27 points

Notes: Mark this club as “out”. No way on earth they are going to win their remaining nine games to sneak into the playoffs. We haven’t seen a winning streak like that in ages. Right now for them to get out of the cellar will be an accomplishment. They may get one or two more results at home but on the road picking up points won’t be easy.

FC Dallas (36 points, 10 games left)

Home: Toronto, New York, New England, Chicago, Colorado

Away: Columbus, San Jose, Kansas City, RSL, LA

Points to 42: 6 points.

Notes: Another one of those “in” teams for me. Only six points off the mark and they should reach that fairly soon, even if their current 11-game unbeaten run comes to an end this weekend in Columbus. I really like FCD’s remaining schedule, its balanced and presents enough teams that could get them points to make a serious push for the Supporter’s Shield trophy (they are only nine points off that lead). Their road schedule could be tricky, especially ending the season at RSL and at LA like they do. Those could be vital games that determine who is the automatic qualifiers and who is a wild card.

Houston Dynamo (23 points, 9 games left)

Home: San Jose, Toronto, New England, and Seattle

Away: Colorado, Kansas City, D.C., Philadelphia, and San Jose

Points to 42: 19 points.

Notes: Its going to be a tall, tall task to get to the playoffs for Dominic Kinnear’s bunch but all four home games are win-able and I’d say three or even four of those road games are as well. Still a lot of “ifs” surround that for the Dynamo as their defense has to hold up better and their offense continues to score. Remaining consistent from here on out is key as they hold no games at hand with anyone in contention around them right now.

Kansas City Wizards (23 points, 10 games left)

Home: Houston, Dallas, Seattle, and San Jose

Away: LA, Philadelphia, Chivas, New York, Chicago, and New England

Points to 42: 19 points.

Notes: With four home games the schedule is a bit rough for Peter Vermes’ team. Even the home games his club has aren’t easy wins as Houston is gunning for a playoff spot like them, Seattle and San Jose are going to be fighting to hold on to a playoff spot and Dallas could be in contention for the Supporter’s Shield. The road is where they will have to find ways to win here with Philadelphia, Chivas and New England on the schedule. Also finding ways to win in places like LA, New York and Chicago will be key.

LA Galaxy (43 points, 9 games left)

Home: Kansas City, Columbus, D.C., New York, Colorado, and Dallas

Away: Chicago, Chivas, and Philadelphia

Points to 42: 0

Notes: They’re “in” and boy does their schedule really set them up to win the Supporter’s Shield or what? Six home games, seven if you count the Chivas game with two on the road against beatable teams. Biggest question will be if they can stay focused and hold off the likes of Columbus, RSL and Dallas for the Shield.

New England Revolution (21 points, 10 games left + 1 SuperLiga)

Home:  Philadelphia, Seattle, Columbus, RSL, Kansas City

Away: Chivas, Colorado, Dallas, Houston, New York

Points to 42: 21 points

Notes: I’m nearly counting this team as “out” as they’ll need to pull off an amazing run of sorts to get into the playoffs. Basically they’ll need to win seven of their last 10 to get in. Not gonna happen folks. And not with that schedule either. Winning SuperLiga is really all they have left this season.

New York Red Bulls (34 points, 9 games left)

Home: San Jose, Colorado, Kansas City, RSL, and New England

Away: RSL, Dallas, and LA

Points to 42: 8 points.

Notes: I see them as “in” right now too. Six home games remaining, five should be easy points for them. The three road gams will be key in how this club sets themselves up playing western conference teams down the road in the playoffs should they reach the MLS Cup. I think they’ll get at least 14 or 15 points out of their remaining schedule. I’m not so sure it will be enough for the Supporter’s Shield but they should have no problem getting an automatic bid out of the east into the post season dance.

Philadelphia Union (17 points, 10 games left + 1 Friendly)

Home:  Kansas City, Chicago, Chivas, Houston, LA, and New York

Away: New England, San Jose, Colorado, and Columbus

Points to 42: 25 points.

Notes: Another “out” club for me. Just too much work left to do with too little time. Six home games is nice but they way they’ve been lately at PPL Park makes me believe they’ll draw more than they’ll win. As for their road trips, none of those sound like a cake walk to me just yet for them.

Real Salt Lake (39 points, 9 games left + 5 CCL games)

Home: New York, Chicago, Colorado, and Dallas

Away: Toronto, Seattle, New England, New York, Colorado

Points to 42: 3 points.

Notes: Another club that is “in” right now for me. The CCL will present a big challenge to this club as they’ll go between Salt Lake, Mexico, Canada and Panama. Ouch. I don’t think they’re out of contention for the Supporter’s Shield just yet but with as many road games left on the table it doesn’t sound nearly as easy as you’d think for this team. Still playoffs are there for them and its a matter of being an automatic bid from the west or a wild card (depending on FC Dallas).

San Jose Earthquakes (29 points, 11 games left)

Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston and Chivas

Away: New York, Houston, Toronto, Columbus, D.C., and Kansas City

Points to 42: 13 points.

Notes: A team that is in the mix right now is the Quakes but boy does their schedule look a bit rough from here on out. Three of their road games are do-able and I’d say they should get results in three or four of their home games as well. Sweeping all five home games would be big though and easily more than enough to put them in but I think they’ll have to still pick up a point or two on the road.

Seattle Sounders FC (29 points, 9 games left + 5 CCL games + 1 USOC)

Home: Chicago, RSL, Toronto and Chivas

Away: New England, Columbus, Chicago, Kansas City, and Houston

Points to 42: 13 points.

Notes: Teams have caught up with them in the games played department however they’re not out of the woods yet. Those five CCL games won’t make it easy on them either but the real task is finding results away from Qwest to get into the playoffs. They’re a wild card team at best right now so getting four to five results is vital and still very doable.

Toronto FC (26 points, 10 games left + 5 CCL games)

Home: RSL, D.C., San Jose, and Columbus

Away: Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Chivas, and D.C.

Points to 42: 16 points.

Notes: The road is a long and rough one for Toronto. They must win out their remaining home games and then get at least two results on the road to get in which is doable but not easy considering the extra games on tap in the CCL. I think its still very possible for them to get into the playoffs but a lot has to happen before they can start planning for it up there.