2013 Playoff Push: Eastern Conference

2013 Playoff Push: Eastern Conference

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 28, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Playoffs, 2013 MLS Season, Features
Marco Di Vaio and the Impact hope to win the Eastern crown in 2013. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Marco Di Vaio and the Impact hope to win the Eastern crown in 2013. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2013 MLS playoffs are so close you can taste them.

I’ve been meaning to do a schedule breakdown of some sorts for each club for about a week now and today seem as good of a time to do it. I’ll start with those still in contention in the Eastern Conference. At this point, really only Toronto and D.C. United are out of it even though the math folks will say that they aren’t officially out of it. 

Montreal Impact
Current Points: 41 (12-7-5)
Games Remaining: 10 (4 home/ 6 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 9-1-3 / 3-6-2
Remaining Schedule:  8/31 @ PHI, 9/8 @ NE, 9/14 vs. CLB, 9/21 vs. VAN, 9/28 @ CHI, 10/4 @ HOU, 10/12 vs. NE, 10/16 @ LA, 10/19 vs. PHI, 10/26 @ TFC (they also have two remaining CCL games as well)
Maximum Possible Pts: 71
Average Opponents Pts: 34.4

Outlook: Their small dip in play this summer got sorted out with some new players. This team can still be very good when they want to be and last weekend proved it as they beat Houston 5-0. Their schedule is pretty rough though, possibly one of the toughest of any teams in the league, certainly the toughest in the Eastern conference. I believe the next two on the road will give us a good layout of how for real this team actually is here again. Plus that game at LA late in the year could be interesting as well. Both team could be in Supporters’ Shield contention around then.

New York Red Bulls
Current Points: 39 (11-9-6)
Games Remaining:  8 (5 home / 3 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-2-3 / 4-7-3
Remaining Schedule: 8/31 vs. D.C., 9/8 @ HOU, 9/14 vs. TFC, 9/22 vs. FCD, 9/29 @ SEA, 10/5 vs. NE, 10/20 @ HOU, 10/27 vs. CHI
Maximum Possible Pts: 63
Average Opponents Pts: 31.3

OutlookDespite the random losses like last weekend to Chivas, the Red Bulls are still in a good spot to reach the post season. I think it will be a matter of what seed for them though. Their schedule isn’t bad, possibly the easiest of those in the Eastern Conference. Getting games at home against D.C., Toronto, New England and Dallas is a big plus for them. I’d say if they win their home games, all five of them, they could even be in the Supporters’ Shield discussion. Yeah, crazy.

Sporting KC
Current Points: 39 (11-9-6)
Games Remaining: 8 (4 home / 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 6-4-3 / 5-5-3
Remaining Schedule: 8/31 vs. COL, 9/7 vs. CLB, 9/21 @ TFC, 9/27 vs. PHI, 10/5 @ CLB, 10/9 at HOU, 10/18 vs. D.C., 10/26 @ PHI (they also have two more CCL matches)
Maximum Possible Pts: 63
Average Opponents Pts: 30.5

OutlookThe depth is certainly getting tested in the CCL but this group will manage. I don’t see them as a Shield threat as much as I did a couple months ago. But they’ll still be in good position to reach the playoffs here this season. Their road games aren’t that tough  as they can beat Columbus or Toronto away from home – after all they did win in tougher environments in 2013.

Philadelphia Union
Current Points: 38 (10-8-8)
Games Remaining: 8 (4 home  / 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 6-3-4 / 4-5-4
Remaining Schedule: 8/31 vs. MTL, 9/8 @ SJ, 9/14 vs. HOU, 9/27 @ SKC, 10/5 vs. TFC, 10/12 @ D.C., 10/19 @ MTL, 10/26 vs. SKC
Maximum Possible Points: 62
Average Opponents Pts: 33.1

OutlookTheir road record this season gives them big reason to have hope here for a return to the playoffs. The four games left away form home are tough though but they do get a match with lowly D.C., which should help matters out.

New England Revolution
Current Points: 36 (10-9-6)
Games Remaining: 9 (4 home / 5 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 6-4-3 / 4-5-3
Remaining Schedule: 8/30 @ TFC, 9/8 vs. MTL, 9/14 @ CHI, 9/21 vs. D.C., 9/28 vs. HOU, 10/5 @ NY, 10/12 @ MTL, 10/19 vs. CLB, 10/27 @ CLB
Maximum Possible Points: 63
Average Opponents Pts: 31.5

OutlookThis is certainly a bubble team heading into the stretch run. If they can remain healthy up front and find ways to keep Juan Agudelo involved on offense, they’ll be fine and in the thick of it until the end. But if their offense has a couple games where they struggle to find the back of the net, then I wouldn’t expect to see them playing in November. It will all be about consistent offensive play from here on out.

Houston Dynamo
Current Points: 36 (10-8-6)
Games Remaining: 10 (5 home / 5 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-2-3 / 3-6-3
Remaining Schedule: 9/1 @ CHI, 9/4 @ CLB, 9/8 vs. NY, 9/14 @ PHI, 9/21 vs. CHV, 9/28 @ NE, 10/4 vs. MTL, 10/9 vs. SKC, 10/20 vs. NY, 10/27 @ D.C. (they also have two CCL games to play as well)
Maximum Possible Points: 66
Average Opponents Pts: 33

OutlookThis team has been great at times this year and then a shell of their former self other times. The big stretch for them is getting points out of games like Chivas at home, New York at home, and the road match at D.C. to end the season. They have games in hand on several clubs above them, so they must make them count.

Chicago Fire
Current Points: 34 (10-10-4)
Games Remaining: 10 (4 home / 6 away)
2013 Home / Away Record: 8-4-1 / 2-6-3
Remaining Schedule: 9/1 vs. HOU, 9/7 @ SEA, 9/11 @ TFC, 9/14 vs. NE, 9/21 @ CLB, 9/28 vs. MTL, 10/4 @ D.C., 10/12 @ FCD, 10/19 vs. TFC, 10/27 @ NY
Maximum Possible Pts: 64
Average Opponents Pts: 31.1

OutlookThe Fire are 8-3-3 since the arrivals of Mike Magee and Bakery Soumare back in May. As good as that is, their early season struggles may be the death of them late in the season. They have games in hand over most clubs but with only four home games left, they’ll have to absolutely win those four games. After that they’ll need to pick up at least points in games on the road at Toronto, D.C., and Dallas if they want to have a real shot at reaching the post season.

Columbus Crew
Current Points: 29 (8-12-5)
Games Remaining: 9 (5 home / 4 away)
2013 Home / Away Record: 5-4-3 / 3-8-2
Remaining Schedule: 8/31 vs. SEA, 9/4 vs. HOU, 9/7 @ SKC, 9/14 @ MTL, 9/21 vs. CHI, 9/29 @ FCD, 10/5 vs. SKC, 10/19 @ NE, 10/27 vs. NE
Maximum Possible Points: 56
Average Opponents Pts: 33.5

OutlookI think the Crew’s chances right now are on life support. They do still have a good schedule that could help them out. Five home games left mean they need to get those 15 points in the worst possible way. I wouldn’t be shocked though if we’re counting them officially out of it after that trip to Kansas City and Montreal.