2013 MLS Season, Week 29: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 29: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 16, 2013
  • 1 Comments
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 29, Features
Seattle celebrates moving into first place. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

Seattle celebrates moving into first place. (Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports)

Crunch time may not even begin to describe what is going on in Major League Soccer at the moment. Between getting new conference leaders this weekend, draws all throughout the Western Conference and some upsets, it was a very interesting and enlightening weekend around the league.

1. Seattle moves up top. It was going to happen. Seriously, the last two months were an indication, to me at least, that the Sounders were a team that were going to make this move up the standings. Back in July I didn’t think it was possible to see them move all the way to the top of the standings but I knew with the games-in-hand that they possessed, that it was a good shot of them moving within a small distance of Real Salt Lake.

But now the top spot is their’s and their’s alone. They still have several clubs chasing them but one thing is clear, the Sounders are on a clear path that could have them headed straight towards a MLS Cup if things continue to progress the way that they are. I do wonder on one hand if the Sounders have peaked too soon here in the late stages of the season with this push towards the top of the standings. Have they left enough in the tank for five playoff games?

We’ll certainly see. But I do know if they get home field advantage throughout the playoffs that they will be very difficult to beat.

2. Strange days in the East. I honestly have no clue what to make of the Eastern Conference. Just when you think that the Montreal Impact have things lined up for a good run at things with them hosting the beaten up Columbus Crew this weekend, they struggled at home and fall to the Crew 2-1. Sporting KC was off for the week, which saw them get leaped in the standings by New York, a team that hosted Toronto over the weekend.

Then you have Houston and Chicago moving into position as well in the 4th and 5th spots.

The Eastern conference race is seriously just a crap-shoot. Don’t make any predictions on it because from week-to-week it will change.

3. Federico Hiquain continues to be underrated. Holy moly. Higuain had two big assists this weekend for the Crew on the road in Montreal. But that doesn’t tell the whole story for me. With him on the field, the Crew are a team that has a fighting chance at potentially (though it seems like a long shot right now) reaching the postseason. His nine goals and eight assists lead the Crew in both fields.

If anything the guy continues to be the most underrated player in the league. Which is weird to say about a Designated Player but it is certainly the case for me. Looking around at the stats in the league, his numbers are equal to Thierry Henry and better than a lot of guys. Only players I would place above him right now in the MVP race would be ones like Diego Valeri, Robbie Keane and Javier Morales.

  • Abbott Smith

    I don’t think Seattle is even close to peaking yet. The last 20-25 minutes of Friday’s game was the first time Oba, EJ and Deuce had played together in a game. Evans is injured and Moffat is just joining the team. The Sounders’ depth has been on display for the past five games or so rather than anything approximating an ideal 11-12. Every team left on Seattle’s schedule is currently in the playoff hunt. This level of competition combined with the Number 1 bullseye they just painted on their back should be a crucible for them to find another gear or two and push them to anneal as a unit. The scary thing about the team is that as good as their recent results have been, they still show signs that they are going to grow into something far more predatory.