2013 Playoff Push: Western Conference

2013 Playoff Push: Western Conference

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 29, 2013
  • 2 Comments
  • 2013 MLS Playoffs, 2013 MLS Season, Features
Can RSL manage to win both the USOC and the Supporters' Shield in one year? ( Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)

Can RSL manage to win both the USOC and the Supporters’ Shield in one year? ( Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)

Yesterday we took a look at how the Eastern Conference playoff race was shaping up.

Today we head West to see how eight of the nine teams are in contention right now and what they need to do to reach the post season.

Real Salt Lake
Current Points: 45 (13-7-6)
Games Remaining: 7 (3 home/ 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 8-2-3 / 5-6-3
Remaining Schedule:  8/30 @ PDX, 9/13 @ SEA, 9/21 vs. SJ, 9/28 @ VAN, 10/5 vs. FCD, 10/19 @ PDX, 10/23 vs. CHV (They also have a USOC final)
Maximum Possible Pts: 66
Average Opponents Pts: 34.7

Outlook: Their Supporters’ Shield chances look good with this remaining schedule. They do have that USOC final that is at home, right before they host what could be a desperate FC Dallas team. But given what they have left I see the Shield is their’s to lose at this point. Only a couple teams can earn more points then them but RSL will take care of business when they need to here. 

LA Galaxy
Current Points: 40 (12-9-4)
Games Remaining: 9 (6 home/ 3 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 8-1-2 / 4-8-2
Remaining Schedule:  8/31 vs SJ, 9/7 vs COL, 9/14 @ DCU, 9/21 vs. SEA, 9/20 @ PDX, 10/6 vs CHV, 10/16 vs. MLT, 10/20 vs SJ,  10/27 @ SEA (they also have three remaining CCL games as well)
Maximum Possible Pts: 67
Average Opponents Pts: 33.5

Outlook: Playoff chances are great and this schedule is pretty weak to be honest. The three CCL matches complicate things but LA is truly the one club in MLS that has the depth to handle it as we’ve seen these last two years. But getting D.C. and Chivas, along with home games against San Jose (twice) really helps their Shield chances.

Colorado Rapids
Current Points: 39 (10-7-9)
Games Remaining: 8 (3 home/ 5 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-3-4 / 3-4-5
Remaining Schedule:  8/31 @ SKC, 9/7 @ LA, 9/14 vs. FCD, 9/20 @ PDX,  10/5 vs SEA, 10/9 @ SJ, 10/19 vs VAN, 10/27 @ VAN
Maximum Possible Pts: 63
Average Opponents Pts: 37.2

Outlook: All they have to do is win their home games and pick up a draw or two on the road and they will be fine. Those two against Vancouver late in the year could be tricky though and could even determine if one or both teams goes in to the playoffs. But if they stumble at home any, their chances could begin to sink a little.

Portland Timbers
Current Points: 39 (9-4-12)
Games Remaining: 9 (5 home/ 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-1-4 / 2-3-8
Remaining Schedule:  8/30 vs RSL, 9/7 vs TFC, 9/14 @ CHV, 9/20 vs. COL, 9/29 vs LA, 10/6 @ VAN, 10/13 vs. SEA, 10/19 vs RSL, 10/26 @ CHV
Maximum Possible Pts: 66
Average Opponents Pts: 34

Outlook: Plenty left to play for with this bunch. Even though they have to hit the road a few times it seems as though getting five home games this late in the year is a pretty big blessing for this group. I will say this about Portland, they have to start winning more games to make me a believer of what they are doing. They may only have four losses on the season but that long list of draws tells me there is something not quite right about this group. Still, they win those home games and they’re set. It is as simple as that.

Seattle Sounders FC
Current Points: 37 (11-8-4)
Games Remaining: 11 (6 home/ 5 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-1-3 / 4-7-3
Remaining Schedule:  8/31 @ CLB, 9/4 vs CHV, 9/7 vs CHI, 9/13 vs. RSL, 9/21 @ LA, 9/29 vs NY, 10/5 @ COL, 10/9 vs. VAN, 10/13 @ PDX, 10/19 @ FCD, 10/27 vs LA
Maximum Possible Pts: 70
Average Opponents Pts: 37.1

Outlook: More games left to play than anyone in the league. Their schedule is pretty rough but getting the maximum points in their home games is step one here. And as long as they pick up a win or two on the road, they could find themselves in the Shield talk before long. As crazy as it sounds, they are still very much in contention for that.

FC Dallas
Current Points: 37 (9-7-10)
Games Remaining: 8 (4 home/ 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 7-1-5 / 2-6-5
Remaining Schedule:  9/7 vs VAN, 9/14 @ COL, 9/22 @ NY, 9/29 vs CLB, 10/5 @ RSL, 10/12 vs. CHI, 10/19 vs SEA, 10/26 @ SJ
Maximum Possible Pts: 61
Average Opponents Pts: 37.8

Outlook: The summer slump could be their undoing here as they need as many points as possible late in the year. The schedule is a bit favorable though. Those four home games aren’t give-mes but they are certainly ones that Dallas can and should win. The four road games aren’t easy though but this group has shown enough to get a draw away from home. I’d be willing to bet that if they get the 12 home points and at least two or more away from home, they’ll be in, even if that means as a wild card.

Vancouver Whitecaps
Current Points: 36 (10-9-6)
Games Remaining: 9 (4 home/ 5 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 8-2-3 / 2-7-3
Remaining Schedule:  9/1 vs CHV, 9/7 @ FCD, 9/14 @ SJ, 9/21 @ MLT, 9/28 vs RSL, 10/6 vs PDX, 10/9 @ SEA, 10/19 @ COL, 10/27 vs COL
Maximum Possible Pts: 63
Average Opponents Pts: 36.8

Outlook: Not the easiest of schedules to deal with but also not the worst. That September stretch with games at Dallas, San Jose and Montreal will really tell us what this group is made of here. If they get any points from those three games, they could see themselves back in the hunt. If not, they’ll certainly have to win as many as they can at home. With home games against Chivas and Colorado, it is certainly possible. That RSL home game will be tough though.

San Jose Earthquakes
Current Points: 34 (9-10-7)
Games Remaining: 8 (4 home/ 4 away)
2013 Home/Away Record: 8-1-4 / 1-9-3
Remaining Schedule:  8/31 @ LA, 9/8 vs PHL, 9/14 vs. VAN, 9/21 @ RSL, 9/28 @ CHV, 10/9 vs COL, 10/20 @ LA 10/26 vs FCD (They also have two CCL games)
Maximum Possible Pts: 58
Average Opponents Pts: 37

Outlook: Not and easy outlook for this group. Their CCL run hasn’t been good and their season is on the brink of being a total bust as well. It is certainly a make or break couple of weeks coming up. But with international call-ups killing this roster over the next two months, it won’t be easy.

  • Pablo J. Gonzalez

    “With home games against Chivas and Colorado, it is certainly possible.” Hahaha. Didn’t CO just shut out VAN 2-0? And here you are comparing a home game against CO as easy as CHV pie. Think again.

    • I said it was ‘certainly possible’. That doesn’t mean I am automatically saying they’ll beat COL or Chivas at home. Just saying there is a real chance they can beat them at home. Nothing more than that. Truthfully though, I see Vancouver being out of the race before those two COL games anyways.