- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 11, 2010
- 3 Comments
- 2010 Week 28, MLS Weekend Recaps
The MLS Playoff picture is extremely clear now and only one more spot is open. All the Colorado Rapids need to do to earn that spot is just grab one single point in their final two games or hope that the Kansas City Wizards fail to get nine points in their final three. In all likelihood it will be the Rapids in the post season dance meaning we’ll have six western conference clubs to the two from the east.
What’s happened this season is the usual parity show that we have in Major League Soccer is going out the window. In the past two season we’ve had a below .500% team make the playoffs in the eighth and final spot and make a run at the MLS Cup with one of those teams (Real Salt Lake) winning it. This year however we won’t have that.
All teams in the playoffs this year will be above .500% marking what probably should be the first time that will happen in the league history.
The parity has shifted towards the top of the table really with it being anyone’s guess who will actually come away with the MLS Cup this year. You could give reason for any number of teams in the playoff picture to win it all right now. Dallas is riding a 19-game unbeaten run, RSL looks like a strong defending champion, LA has been at the top or tied for the top spot all season, NY is coming together, Seattle is finding their groove and so on.
Really the only clubs most of us would be shocked with at making a run here in the playoffs would be Columbus, Colorado or San Jose. I throw the Crew in there because of their recent form where they haven’t won in five games in league play and really haven’t looked strong since the middle part of August. Colorado gets the same mention due to some inconsistent play that has lead them to the eighth and final spot.
The Quakes to me are the toughest wild card team to predict. Part of me things a run by them would be shocking but the other part of me things it would just fit their season. They’re a team that can sneak up on anyone and yet get crushed by anyone.
Wondo On Fire
I guess we should have thrown San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski in the mix for the MVP race last week. His brace against D.C. United over the weekend put the Quakes back in the playoffs for the first time since the club rejoined the league. His form has been so impressive this year and such that makes me wish the league had a “Breakout Player of the Year” or “Most Improved Player of the Year” award.
But the story will go into the playoffs that as Wondo scores so will the Quakes win. Of his 14 goals this season eight of them are game-winners so you have to lockdown Wondo to beat the Quakes.
The Double? Really?
Wednesday night the Seattle Sounders FC did something that hadn’t been done in a couple decades. Won back-t0-back US Open Cups. I didn’t go into it much, actually I didn’t touch on the win at all last week but it showed that this club is going to be one tough out for whomever they face in the playoffs later this month. As it stands right now they’ll get the LA Galaxy. Talk about an opening series there.
But the talk around the Emerald City is about the Sounders going for the double. Yes The Double. Winning the USOC and the MLS Cup in the same year. They hope to be the fourth MLS team in history to do the USOC–MLS Cup double, after D.C. (1996), Chicago (1998) and Los Angeles (2005).
I can just say right now that Seattle is one dangerous side that is clicking on all the right places. Defensively they’ve come together nicely while their offense continues to get stronger. Their speed will give a team like LA trouble but they have to find a way to erase the memory of their last meetings with the Galaxy, I’m sure that beaten the Galaxy gave them at Qwest Field earlier this year is still fresh in their minds.
For Next Year
The cellar-dwellers this past weekend began the fun treck into the post season months this past week. Kudos to New England and Houston for actually playing with some fire and vigor yesterday. Their slightly heated 2-1 battle in favor of the Revs had a little bit of frustration mixed in with some old playoff intensity too. Very nice.
Same can be said for Chivas USA who played strongly against Toronto FC in their 3-0 win on Saturday night.
What is happening for these clubs is the push for next year. Some guys are playing for next year while the clubs look to see who they want to keep in the expansion draft and who they’re okay with dumping here. Speaking of the expansion draft I’ll begin going through each team’s rosters here soon enough.