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The 70 Percent Solution

It's one of those rare situations in MLS where every team has played the same number of matches (21 out of 30, or 70 percent), so let's take a look at the playoff pairings at the moment:

EAST
1. New England vs. 4. DCU
2. Columbus vs. 3. Chicago

WEST
1. Houston vs. 4. New York*
2. Real Salt Lake vs. 3. Dallas

*New York is fifth in the East -- better than the fourth-place club in the West -- and moves to the Western bracket. The top three in each conference are guaranteed a playoff slot.

While we're at it, let's hand out some 70 percent awards.....

MVP

1. Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus: Thanks to his numbers (5 goals, 14 assists) and leadership, the Crew has personality, character and a shot at first place.
2. Shalrie Joseph, New England: Two-way contributor who controls the center of the field and is the most important player on the league's best team.
3. Landon Donovan, Los Angeles: Hard to argue with 14 goals and 7 assists in just 17 games.
Others: Jaime Moreno, Kenny Cooper, Luciano Emilio, Jon Busch, Matt Reis, Brian Ching, Cuauhtemoc Blanco.

COACH OF THE YEAR

1. Sigi Schmid, Columbus: Everyone figured the Crew would fade by now; they haven't.
2. Steve Nicol, New England: Despite personnel issues and a heavy schedule, Revs are in their usual form.
3. Frank Yallop, San Jose: 22 points, including 10 on the road, for an expansion team.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

1. Columbus: You thought they'd miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year, didn't you?
2. Real Salt Lake: Below .500, but not awful and unbeaten at home.
3. San Jose: Fewer losses than DCU.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

1. Los Angeles: Sexy football loses its appeal.
2. DCU: Probably no Supporters' Shield this year.
3. Chivas USA: From first place to out of the playoffs?

Are we in agreement?

By Steve Goff  |  August 27, 2008; 8:59 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

NO! DC WILL WIN THE SUPPORTER'S SHIELD . . . or maybe the MLS CUP . . . open cup?

.
..
...
..
.

OR ALL THREE!

Posted by: Konoha7 | August 27, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Yes.

Posted by: Ed | August 27, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

shoulda, coulda, woulda!
shoot if DCU had Joe Cannon and San Jose had Zach Wells DC would probably be higher in the points than the Revs.
Jus sayin'.

Posted by: dadryan | August 27, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

70%......isn't that somebodies save percentage?? Ha Ha just kidding, Zach.

Posted by: marksman | August 27, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

what about 70% Rookies of the year?
Franklin

Posted by: Superdraft | August 27, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

MVP, I agree, but there are still 9 games left, and one of the others could stand out (Emilio, Reis particularly).

Coach, I agree.

Surprise, yep, that too. Now if only the fans would show up in Ohio...

Disappointment, no. You could see this coming with LA, so it's not a disappointment. Biggest disappointment is Chivas. Before the two strikers went out in the playoffs, they looked great at the end of last year and seemed poised for better this year. This year is a big step back for that franchise, it seems.

PS - I think DC really had a shot to close on the shield again until they dropped the game at NE last week. Now with only one game each left with Columbus and NE, and trailing by six points, it looks tough.

Posted by: Rob | August 27, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

DEFENDER OF THE YEAR

1.Wilman Conde
2.Bobby Boswell
3.Chad Marshall

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1.Jon Busch
2.Edson Buddle
3.Santino Quaranta

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR(this one is tough)

1.Julius James
2.Roger Espinoza
3.Kheli Dube

Posted by: United fury | August 27, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't really want to play NE in the first round.

Posted by: Rocko | August 27, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"" is the most important player on the league's best team.""

Uh, can you change that to "on the team that is currently tied for best record?"

I have yet to be convinced that they are the best team . . . as their game isn't all that impressive---lots of heart, some timely bounces and Shalrie aside. Plus, when you lose to Joe Public, you have some explaining to do . .

ZERO FOR FOUR MLS CUPS.

Posted by: delantero | August 27, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Playing @ New England would likely result in a win for us... home field advantage in the playoffs just hasn't worked out for us lately.

Although, I see United finishing 3rd in the conference, playing the home and home with Columbus, then facing Chicago at RFK in the Eastern Final, where we'll finally exercise that demon in a 4-1 shellacking (Chicago gets a goal off a PK from a Blanco dive in the 80th minute, Soehn subs D-Rod in immediately after with the mission of breaking Blanco's leg with a REAL foul worthy of a free-kick, yet the ref will be so fed up with Blanco's theatrics that it will go uncalled).

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 27, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

The playoff structure is flawed.

Wouldn't it be easier for DC United to fall into 5th and play weaker Western conference teams?

Posted by: Dan Bartlett | August 28, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

L.A. isn't the biggest disappointment, not to anyone paying attention. Who really thought they'd be any good? Their roster isn't nearly as good as it was last year, when injuries and that insane backloaded schedule killed them. That they've been the league's most entertaining side, when LD and DB are on the field, is a plus. That they were in first place for a month was an absolute surprise. But anyone who really believed Gullit was going to build a "sexy" winner, let alone last a full season, is pretty gullable.

Posted by: Carson | August 28, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

If we had no "All-star", the Luciano Emillio Wins every award possible in my book.

Posted by: The Jim | August 28, 2008 4:40 AM | Report abuse

Oh Please Goff,

Landon Donovan is no leader for the Galaxy or the national team. He's far too over rated. He knows it too, which is the reason He came back from Europe never to return. He's no MVP, and even giving him the consideration is an insult to all the others who deserve it.

Give the MVP to Schelotto. The goats are the biggest disappointment. This year's Cup winner will be... Chicago

Posted by: sandog | August 28, 2008 5:47 AM | Report abuse

Schelotto the MVP? Where do you buy your crack?

Pointing to his assist numbers as hard evidence of alleged prowess is an unfortunate and ignorant carry-over from the stat-happy nature of the other American sports. Schelotto has taken every corner kick and every free kick the team has earned this season: so, of course he is going to rack up the assists! Every one of Schelotto's goals has come from a PK; he has yet to score this season from the run of play.

Schelotto is lazy, and as a whole, a liability to the Crew. I submit this reality will be evidenced soon when the team presents a take-it-or-leave-it salary offer under $100K for next season. That is not "MVP money."

Posted by: MJ in Columbus | August 28, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Biggest Disappointment: Kevin Payne

Posted by: OhNo | August 28, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

MJ, before you get too hard on Schelotto, he is the main reason your team is watchable. He is a creative player, he sprays nice passes around the field, and he makes your other players better. If the Columbus FO cuts its offer to 100k, or proposes any cut to his pay, GBS will likely have seen the last of Columbus and its empty, yellow, bleachered stadium.

Posted by: Ron | August 28, 2008 7:15 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how DC not winning the SS is a disappointment. Just looking at their schedule before the season started was proof it was going to be a daunting task at best.

Posted by: DirtyHarry | August 28, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

"Schelotto has taken every corner kick and every free kick the team has earned this season: "

That makes him sound...what's the word...quite valuable to his team?

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure everyone in Columbus is glad MJ is not their GM. And if they cut their offer to Schelotto he could see the empty, yellow stadium when DC comes to town. Agree with Dirty Harry, in no disappointment if we don't win the SS. The big difference this year going down the stretch is the role Champions League will play in the final standings. I agree that the 5th place team in the East will have an easier path to the Cup because I don't think Houston will be able to stay in first with this competition going on.

Posted by: JMR | August 28, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Funny how that whole 'cross-over' works for the 'playoffs'. Where the 5th place team in the East with 31 pts becomes the 4th seed in the West - 1 pt behind the West leaders Houston and 4 pts ahead of the West 2nd team RSL!!

When do we get a single table????
Then Make the MLS Cup between the top 8 teams period!

Posted by: Redd | August 28, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I would not mind seeing RBNY winning in the West! :D

That way we can put them out of their misery and destroy them in the MLS Cup! :)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Schelotto was just as good last year -- but the team wasn't.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

When do we get a single table????
Then Make the MLS Cup between the top 8 teams period!

Posted by: Redd | August 28, 2008 8:10 AM

---------

Now there is an idea. A soccer game pitting 8 teams against one another. Should there be a cage? Should it be tag-team? An octagonal field? Maybe even change MLS to XLS? Vince McMahon (or whatever the name is) white courtesy phone.

just kidding... I know what you meant.

Posted by: Ron | August 28, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

DIRTIEST PLAYER

1. ??
2. ??
3. ??

Posted by: Mysterian | August 28, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

100% Goffer. GBS is definitely MLS MVP.

plus, I'd rather play the Revs in the first round than the Fire

Posted by: diego r. | August 28, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

From at 70% point of view, everything looks good.

But the remaining 30% is not equal for each team, so I doubt the end result will match the 70% conclusions.

My end of the year predictions is:

1. Supporters Shield - Columbus Crew
2. Coach of the Year - Schmidt
3. Most Valuable Player - Scholetto
4. Golden Boot Winner - Donovan
5. Comeback Player of the Year - Quaranta
6. Defender of the Year - Conde
7. Rookie of the Year - Espinoza

Playoff positions:
(E1) Columbus vs (E4) New York
(E2) New England vs (E3) Chicago

(W1) Salt Lake vs (E5) DC United
(W2) Houston vs (W3) Dallas

Once it gets to the playoffs, it's a crap shoot, although I have a feeling that teams still alive in the Champions League will have a tough road to MLS Cup.

Eastern Conference Finals:
(E1) Columbus vs (E3) Chicago

Western Conference Finals:
(E5) DC United vs (W2) Houston

Final:
(E3) Chicago vs (W2) Houston

Oh, I hope this doesn't happen.

Posted by: TCompton | August 28, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, I must have missed the memo. Or maybe my memory isn't what I thought it was. I thought only the top 2 teams in each conference were guaranteed a spot. Then the next 4 best teams went to the playoffs. Did this change or was it always the top 3 teams guaranteed spots?

Posted by: Matte | August 28, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Dirtiest player:

1) Ruiz, Carlos
2) El Pescadito
3) Mr. White

Posted by: Henchlow | August 28, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Nice brief on the where everything stands in MLS - thanks Steve!

Interesting, David Beckham not mentioned in the MVP discussion at all. Not advocating for his inclusion whatsoever (though he does have 5 goals and 8 assists - decent return from a midfielder), but it's just not what some mainstream media members would have expected. Especially since he's been available for nearly every Gals match. Is this a positive for the league? Negative? Or just nicely a non-issue?

Posted by: Kev | August 28, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

MJ's either not a terribly perceptive individual or he has an ax to grind. Regardless, Schelotto is the Crew's MVP; his assist stats aren't the only reason why, of course. By the way, the Crew have scored on very few corner kicks this season, and on only a modest # of set pieces. Many (most?) of Guille's assists have been during the run of play (check out the brilliance of his header that set up Brian Carroll's goal of the week last week; amazing, and what we've seen from Schelotto all season). A take it or leave it offer for next season? Stop pulling stuff out of your backside. It is far more likely the Crew will make Schelotto their first DP; a move Crew fans would support whole-heartedly.

Posted by: Doug | August 28, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Those playoff seedings can't be right -- MLS hasn't changed them yet to get LA in.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Funny how that whole 'cross-over' works for the 'playoffs'. Where the 5th place team in the East with 31 pts becomes the 4th seed in the West - 1 pt behind the West leaders Houston and 4 pts ahead of the West 2nd team RSL!!

Posted by: Redd | August 28, 2008 8:10 AM

Agree with Redd. The team that crosses over should be seeded based on points. Not just dropped to the 4th seed. Would also say it is unfair to the 1 seed in the West this year. Unless of course, the East team is the number one seed in the West.

Hey Goff, What's up with Doe? Isn't he due back?

Posted by: JMR | August 28, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

This play off thinig is so stupid.

Posted by: td | August 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Doe toe? So-so.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

A bit OT, but North America hasn't been totally shut out in CCL, thanks to the USL representatives. Montreal won and the PR Islanders got a draw.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 28, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Allez les Canadiens! Saving the reputation of North American soccer. OTOH, it's pretty bad that a USL2 team did what two MLS teams couldn't.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 28, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Amazing what you can find in wiki...Schelotto's twin brother used to play for PR.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Montreal was at home, though.

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

It's too bad Jay "I'll call him when I" Needham still isn't playing for Puerto Rico. I think he's off in Scandanavia somewhere.

Posted by: TCompton | August 28, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Keeping with the 70% theme...

How about an award for the player who gives 70% all season?

It could be named after Jeff Cunningham, the inagural winner.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

posted by Matt:
Hmm, I must have missed the memo. Or maybe my memory isn't what I thought it was. I thought only the top 2 teams in each conference were guaranteed a spot. Then the next 4 best teams went to the playoffs. Did this change or was it always the top 3 teams guaranteed spots?
________________________________________
Yeah, I thought it was the top 2 teams in each conference and then the next best 4 as well.....anyone know when this was changed?

Posted by: Smitty | August 28, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"Allez les Canadiens! Saving the reputation of North American soccer. OTOH, it's pretty bad that a USL2 team did what two MLS teams couldn't."

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 28, 2008 9:49 AM

******************************************

I would expect the Impact to beat a team from the semi-pro Nicaraguan league playing at home in Montreal.

I did not expect PR Islanders to get a tie against a historically good professional quality Alajuela team from the Costa Rican league. Bill Gaudette preserved the tie with a 90th minute penalty kick save.

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=3709509

Posted by: garbaggio | August 28, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

How are you guys choosing Roger Espinoza for rookie of the year? While he has improved and contributed, his 2 early red cards are really not terribly impressive.

Posted by: KCJ | August 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anyone got scores from the 3 games last night? I know Montreal won. Why doesn't Matt Jordan kick the ball out of the box? Is he hurt?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | August 28, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

27.8.08 Champions League
Rnd 1 AD Isidro Metapan - CD Marathon 2:2
Rnd 1 Impact de Montreal - Real Esteli 1:0
Rnd 1 LD Alajuelense - Puerto Rico Islanders 1:1

Posted by: RK | August 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Playing @ New England would likely result in a win for us... home field advantage in the playoffs just hasn't worked out for us lately.

Although, I see United finishing 3rd in the conference, playing the home and home with Columbus, then facing Chicago at RFK in the Eastern Final, where we'll finally exercise that demon in a 4-1 shellacking (Chicago gets a goal off a PK from a Blanco dive in the 80th minute, Soehn subs D-Rod in immediately after with the mission of breaking Blanco's leg with a REAL foul worthy of a free-kick, yet the ref will be so fed up with Blanco's theatrics that it will go uncalled).

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 27, 2008 11:22 PM

I could not wish for anything better than this as a DCU fan, other than winning a treble (Shield,Open Cup and MLS Cup)

Posted by: glove | August 28, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Nice points sanddog. Don't give the award to someone if they earn it on the field. Base the award on the moronic feelings of US Nat fans who blame one player for the poor performance of 23 in Germany 2 years ago.

Posted by: Idiot | August 28, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

re: Doe toe? So-so.

------

Doe toe? So-so. No Go? Oh No.

fyp.

Posted by: Ron | August 28, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

@idiot: how can you have earned it on the field in 17 games?

Posted by: who's an idiot | August 28, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Playoff format was changed this year. Last year top 2 each conf. plus next 4 on points. This year top 3 each conf. plus next 2 on points.

Posted by: LW | August 28, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Landon Donovan does not deserve to be considered for anything other than over hyped and paid player. Just look at what Guille, Blanco, and Angel have done to their team when they step on the pitch. They give their teams a better chance of winning. Donovan is not an impact player. The outcome of games is not improved by having him on the field. In fact, if the Galaxy wants to win, they they should just ditch him and spend the money on players that actually matter.

Posted by: sandog | August 28, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@idiot: how can you have earned it on the field in 17 games?

Posted by: who's an idiot | August 28, 2008 12:15 PM
..........................................

No one has played more than 21 games. (These are 70 percent awards, remember?) Someone who has played in over 80 percent of his club's matches to date deserves as much consideration as anyone else.

Posted by: The Jeff | August 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with KCJ on the Espinoza Rookie thing, how can you give it to a guy that has only 8 starts out of 20... when Frnaklin has 17 starts..Also Braun has been outsanding at Chivas...

Posted by: Superdraft | August 28, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

LA's Sean Franklin at least deserves consideration for Rookie of the Year. He's been the only reliable back for the Jewel of MLS..

www.mls-daily.com

Posted by: TJ | August 29, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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