- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 9, 2013
- 0 Comments
- 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 28, Features
The month of September usually should mean cooler weather across the country but I don’t think even cooler weather would stop this hot playoff race in Major League Soccer. After a frenzy of goals this past weekend, the two conference playoff races continue to get tighter.
1. 45s in the East. The Eastern Conference race is super close at the moment. So close that three clubs in the top five have 45 points together. Right below Montreal, New York and Kansas City are Philadelphia, New England and Houston. At the moment it appears that the top three will battle it out for that top spot while those other three will battle it out for the final two playoff spots. You can also lump Chicago into that final two playoff spot mix as they are only two points out of it at the moment.
Looking over the Eastern race, it is pretty clear that there isn’t a true front runner. One week it is Montreal and then the next it is Kansas City. All the clubs involved have their flaws though. Kansas City can win anywhere but their home record isn’t anything to brag about. Montreal has proven they can score at any time but they’re prone to going cold for stretches. New York is so hot or cold, you never truly know which version of them will show up from week to week.
I thought earlier in the year that the Eastern Conference was the top conference in the league but the more I look at the clubs, the more I think to myself that they were just fooling me.
2. Western race is just as complicated. Holy smokes, the Western race is a crazy one. Just when FC Dallas looks to be back in the thick of things, Colorado gets a big road win at LA and Portland hammers Toronto at home. And as of late last night, it looks like we can’t sleep on San Jose either. But I don’t buy that last one at all.
This race is fun though, more so than the East in my book because you have a team in Salt Lake that is continuing to prove how good they are from week-to-week, while a team like Seattle is catching up in the games played department with win after win.
The final two playoff spots in the West are going to be an exciting race with Colorado, Portland, Dallas, Vancouver and even San Jose involved. Colorado and Vancouver have really tough schedules that make it to where they need not only wins at home but a win or two on the road to make things possible. Vancouver loss at Dallas really complicated their chances while it certainly lifted Dallas’ hope.
3. Some wild goals in Dallas. Speaking of Dallas, did anyone catch the final two goals scored in that one? Mauro Diaz had one heck of a volley to net the game-winner over Vancouver while Jair Benitez pulled a long-range bomb that few have been able to do in this league.
I can’t tell you enough how difficult both goals were to score. Players after the game on Saturday were telling me that Benitez is Goal of the Year worthy.