2013 MLS Season, Week 34: What We Learned

2013 MLS Season, Week 34: What We Learned

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On October 21, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Week 34, Features
New York placed themselves in the Supporters' Shield drivers seat. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

New York placed themselves in the Supporters’ Shield drivers seat. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

We’re nearly there…at the playoffs that is. Major League Soccer has one more week to go in the regular season and sure enough, it is shaping up to be a great finish to a really fun season.

This past week had the chance to see all 10 playoff spots get clinched but as you would know it the results didn’t pan out that way and only four more clubs clinched, all Western Conference teams.

1. Jumbled in the East. Five teams have a shot at three playoff spots. That is where things stand in the Eastern Conference today. Montreal got three big points at home on Saturday over Philadelphia. New England did what they needed to do at home against the Crew. Chicago had little trouble getting by Toronto while Houston fell at home to New York.

So now we stand at one more week to go with three open spots. The race to number three in the East is a big one too. You must avoid the wildcard game at all cost. Montreal has the edge right now over Chicago in the standings thanks to a tiebreaker in goals scored. Both teams are above New England and Houston by one point. Philadelphia sits three points back of the Impact and Fire and will need some serious amounts of help to get in. 

2. Red Bulls in the drivers seat. I have to say, I did not expect the New York Red Bulls to do what they did in Houston on Sunday. A big 3-0 win to basically give them a great chance at winning their first significant trophy in club history. I told some folks here in Dallas this past weekend that if New York won that game in Houston that they’d certainly have my attention for the rest of the playoffs. Not only getting three points in Houston, not an easy task by any stretch, but to get the three points when the pressure to win a trophy is on says a lot to me.

For now, the Red Bulls are in the drivers seat with Kansas City, Portland and Salt Lake right behind them. Salt Lake will have the first chance to put some real pressure on the Red Bulls this Wednesday when they play Chivas USA to finish out the season. RSL will need a little help to get the Shield but it will be a start to a photo finish of this season.

3. New blood in Dallas. I didn’t talk about it on here last week (head over to BigDSoccer.com for more), but FC Dallas will have a new manager in 2014. Schellas Hyndman is stepping down at the end of the season and will give Dallas a clean start moving forward. That is certainly a good thing too considering the fact that players were fighting one another on Saturday against Seattle before they went into the locker room for halftime.

For all the good momentum that Dallas had early in the season, they certainly looked more like themselves on Saturday when they beat the Sounders. Obviously Seattle hasn’t looked good for the last month as they limp into the playoffs here but the win was a good one for Dallas.