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The Good, the Bad, the Coyote Ugly

Before we get started with the MLS review, a look a the playoff situation:
(1) Columbus vs. (4) Kansas City*
(2) Chicago vs. (3) New England
(1) Houston vs. (4) New York*
(2) Chivas USA vs. (3) RSL
*wild card
(Games remaining in parentheses)
Kansas City 36 (2)
New York 36 (2)
Dallas 35 (2)
Colorado 34 (2)
DCU 34 (2)
Toronto 32 (2)
Los Angeles 32 (2)
San Jose 30 (3)
Note: First tiebreaker is head to head, second is overall goal differential.

*Columbus, unbeaten in nine straight (7-0-2), secures the Supporters' Shield. "We've shown over the course of a 30-game season that we're the best team. That should be worth something," goalkeeper Will Hesmer said. "Around the world that means something. Here, we still have to prove ourselves all over again. This is just the first step."
*Chicago makes the playoffs for the 10th time in its 11-year history.
*Brandon McDonald from 35 yards for his first career goal. "I just blasted it. The rest is history."

*Kansas City on a 3-1-1 streak, putting it in position to clinch a playoff berth by winning its final two games.
*Brian McBride scores twice against his former club.
*Landon Donovan playing 90 for the USA on Saturday, traveling across the country, and going 27 for the Galaxy the next evening.
*Eddie Gaven's one-timer and Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the MLS assists king, finishes a classic counterattack.
*Alecko Eskandarian's delivery to set up Justin Braun's goal, which lifted Chivas USA to its fourth straight win, sixth in the last seven games and a third straight playoff appearance.
*Jimmy Conrad's sixth goal of the year (two more than either of the Argentine DPs, Marcelo Gallardo and Claudio Lopez).
*Dallas 19-1-9 when Kenny Cooper scores, though John Carver and the entire TFC club took issue with the foul that led to Coop's penalty kick in added time. "We should have been sitting here with three points in the bag," Carver said. "That decision at the end takes three points away from you and kills you."
*Brian Carroll is rewarded with a national team call-up.
*Cory Gibbs's sweet header.
*RSL's gorgeous new stadium.
*Former DCUer Justin Moose assists on Vancouver's winning goal against Puerto Rico in the USL1 championship game.

*DCU, which has 11 goals in 14 road games, shut out for the third straight league game to stretch its goal-less streak to 312 minutes.
*Ugo Ihemelu's own goal.
*Colorado's diminishing playoff hopes after losing at L.A. "Before this game we were right in the middle of everything, in a very good position," Ihemelu said. "But with this loss ... it definitely makes the last two games must-win. We need some luck."
*Seven yellow cards, and Bryan Namoff's questionable dismissal, in a 20-minute stretch of the DCU-Houston match.

*The Houston supporter who targeted Louis Crayton with racial comments.
*Steve Ralston's broken leg, which is expected to end his season. He is MLS's all-time leader in assists, minutes played and appearances.
*Stuart Holden's forehead wound after colliding with teammate Nate Jaqua.
*By the numbers: 7-35-14 record, 50 goals for, 106 against -- the combined road effort by Kansas City, New York, DCU and Toronto.

What'd I miss?

By Steve Goff  |  October 14, 2008; 9:55 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: USA Roster Changes
Next: Midday Kickaround


Ugo's own goal was really not that bad, IMHO. Keeper completely missed the ball. Nothing Ugo could have done in that situation.

Posted by: voyager | October 14, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

How many PK's has Dallas been awarded in the last five minutes of games this year? Seems like this was the third time in just the last month or so?

Posted by: donkey king | October 14, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

That was a beautiful cross by Rogers to Schelotto, it seems there is really something between these two, almost like father and son. Schelotto when talking about his favorite and most potential filled teammate its always rogers who comes up. I hope rogers soaks it all up while he has the chance.

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | October 14, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Shouldn't TFC be above LA if the first tiebreaker is head to head?

Posted by: Fan | October 14, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of that Crew-Fire game, did anyone else watch that? The entire time during the game, the announcers referred to Robbie Rogers as "Wonderboy." Is that a new nickname from somewhere that I've never heard?

They did it the whole game and it never stopped being funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Good: Someone probably mentioned this already, but Cox Digital Cable (Fairfax and Fredericksburg) has picked up Setanta on channel 298.

The Bad: Another $12.99 per month spent following the beautiful game.

The Coyote Ugly: Goodbye billable hours, chores, and errands.

Posted by: Karen | October 14, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The Ugly:

Clint Mathis's bald head...err, I mean gash on his head.

Posted by: Ed | October 14, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

You've got figure Rogers is only going to benefit from having a mentor like Schelotto, and that's always good for the future of the national team.

As a United fan, I'm a little glad to see New England's road to MLS Cup get that much more difficult, but on a personal level, bummer for Ralston. He's a class act.

Posted by: Kenobi | October 14, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I was watching the game on TV and thought the PK against Toronto was warranted even after all the replays. The Toronto defender blatantly pulled the shirt of the Dallas player right in front of the ref. Sure his arm flailed in the air and hit the ball, but he was being mauled.

Posted by: wyo fan | October 14, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of that Crew-Fire game, did anyone else watch that? The entire time during the game, the announcers referred to Robbie Rogers as "Wonderboy." Is that a new nickname from somewhere that I've never heard?

They did it the whole game and it never stopped being funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 10:35 AM

I watched that game, and I noticed that, too. I'm a Crew fan and I've never heard that anywhere but from those announcers. He's had a good season and all, but that makes him sound like Robin to Schelotto's Batman or something. Which may have been what they were going for.

Also, I still can't believe that hit to his back wasn't a card.

Posted by: Amanda | October 14, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Awesome: Greg "Pornstache" Janicki bumps noggins with Holden/Jaqua, gets his head taped up all Josh Gros-like, then runs back out to finish the game.

Posted by: Chicken Little | October 14, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Coyote Ugly: MLS Cup pairings. Is there a way they could all lose? I can't stand any of those teams. I suppose I despise Houston and Chivas the least, but it's hard to root for the reigning champion and I can't make myself root for anything affiliated with the Chivas ownership, given their regular anti-Americanism. So...Columbus?

Hey wait, I think I just figured it out. I'm mad DCU isn't in there! Whew, saved myself some serious cash on therapy.

Posted by: troy | October 14, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

FIOS seems to have picked up Setanta too, on channel 1009.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 14, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

LA Galaxy's attendence considering the fact that they were playing opposite of the Dodgers and the Chargers.

Posted by: lprevolution | October 14, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, just after I had come in from the ledge, you gotta remind me how Moose found Gbeke twice and how he ruined Islanders' fans' hopes to give that trophy a Carribean home for a little while.

I don't wanna see Justin and his beard anytime soon...

Posted by: yankiboy | October 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

The Good - Will Hesmer's quote - c'mon MLS - reward the Yellow submarine with the title they deserve!

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Troy's comment, "I can't make myself root for anything affiliated with the Chivas ownership, given their regular anti-Americanism."

By that logic, white people from the South can never shed their stigmata of being racists and pro-slavery because Troy will always point to some distant family member that owned slaves.

Troy, that comment held water during Chivas USA's first year. But since then, the club (CD CHIVAS USA) has had a major philosophical change. Case in point... Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth where all people are welcome, advertises with the club.

Pst. Troy, its 2008, wake up and smell the coffee!

Troy, are you an Athletico Madrid fan???

Oh and .....

Posted by: PocketKings | October 14, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

$13? I get GolTV (and a few other sports channels that I ignore) for $5/month w/ Comcast in Atlanta.

Posted by: RK | October 14, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If it is any cosolation to Hesmer and the Crew, I have already put them in the book as champions.

The SS is real. The playoffs are a distraction. Hey, even DCU with all their crappy play this year could still win the MLS Cup. Could you, with a straight face, call them "league champions"?

Posted by: Tommie | October 14, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@Troy. Not piling on. PK has a really good point. That was the reality the first season. Nothing could be further from the truth now. Some would argue that things have swung too far in the other direction (I would not be one of them). If you caught Jesse Marsch on FSC FOx Football Fone-In (yes, I admit that I watch and often enjoy that show--I know that I' a nerd, it's ok)--ChivasUSA is a drastically different organization now...Things change, Bro.

Posted by: yankiboy | October 14, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

That MacDonald strike was impressive. If I try that, it ends up as a throw-in for the other team.

Posted by: Joe Doc | October 14, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The fire crew game was fun. Good crowd. Gaven's volley was pretty good. That guy is an enigma.

Posted by: goodgame | October 14, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@ Tommie -- Hope you are more inspiring with your locker room talks....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Chivas and it's owners are not Anti-American - they are PRO-DOMESTIC with their various teams.

Basically - they represent everything that Michel Platini wakes up hoping to see.

Saprissa - ALL Costa Ricans
Guadalajara - ALL Mexican
Chivas USA - ALL American, eventually - which makes me wonder why they do all their advertising in spanish - hmm....oh well

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | October 14, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The good:

Houston's response and handling of the Crayton/Fan racism incident.

About as well as an ugly/bad situation such as that can be handled by any organization.

Now back to wishing Houston ill:)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Anti-Americanism @ Chivas? Look at the players that Chivas has produced for the US Nats -- Guzan, Kljestan and Bornstein. That's without mentioning that Chivas also gave us the current National team head coach and, in Preki, possibly the leading prospect to replace Bradley when he's done there.

I'd also keep your eyes on Justin Braun and Jorge Flores, for future national team duty.

Anti-Americanism @ Chivas USA? Compare their roster with DC United before you decide which franchises are most biased against Americans.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

One more comment about the Houston incident. Certainly, I welcome the Dynamo's lifetime ban. However, there is little likelihood that the ban will actually restrict him from games. It's far too easy to get around these things, unless there is facial recognition cameras at all the turnstiles. What I really wish would happen is that the Dynamo and Crayton sue the man. Want to make a real statement? Hit him in the wallet. Sure, there are no real damages, but just having the media report that he has to defend a suit would make a lot of bigots shut up.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 14, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Stop talking about Chivas USA! How else are we going to sneak up on anybody in the East coast.

Posted by: EASTLACHIVA | October 14, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Great picture from the front cover of yesterday's Columbus Dispatch sports section, to go along with this story:

Posted by: SportzNut21 | October 14, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the possible playoff teams' schedules, it seems as though all DC has to do is win its final two games and they will be in the playoffs. Home against New England shouldn't be too hard, getting Emilio and Moreno back (and Ralston is out). And @ Columbus...They have the Supporter's Shield sealed, so they can rest some starters. That game will be tough, but we can do it.


Vamos United!

Posted by: Asher | October 14, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Ihemelu's own goal wasn't so ugly -- Eddie Lewis' free kick was a beauty. The OG was just a product of a great, dipping free kick.

Posted by: Troy | October 14, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I would throw in some of Craytons great saves in the GOOD section

Posted by: Anthony The Great | October 14, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The Fire-Crew game may have been the most open, attacking, flowing MLS game I've seen. With better finishing, there could have been 8+ goals.

I wish we saw that open, creative style more often in MLS. It would be good for business.

Posted by: dabes2 | October 14, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Give credit to the Goats and Preki for going to the playoffs for a third straight time (an expansion team record I bet, possibly beaten by Chicago)and during an injury ridden season where they missed both Galindo and Razov...DC Front office I think we need a new Eastern European coach to lead us to another MLS cup and his name is Preki

Posted by: Jalapinho | October 14, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

bit disappointed Wynnes goal didnt make the good. Hes been on fire the last 3 games.

Posted by: Ossington Mental Youth | October 14, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

U can't believe that dc united achieving, in the same week, road ties against two of the best teams in the hemisphere with a vastly depleted roster didn't deserve a "good".

Posted by: pigman sweet | October 14, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I think for Coyote Ugly you should put the USL1 Front Office for making #1 seed Puerto Rico fly to Vancouver for the USL1 Championship game for as of yet undisclosed reasons.

Posted by: Drew-ROC | October 14, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

U can't believe that dc united achieving, in the same week, road ties against two of the best teams in the hemisphere with a vastly depleted roster didn't deserve a "good".

Posted by: pigman sweet

Excellent point and good job grasping the positives in a down year and very tough month for DCU fans.

Posted by: marksman | October 14, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

perhaps my point was too well hidden, but I was saying that I was upset that DCU wasn't in the playoffs. are you suggesting I should cheer for Chivas, or any other team besides DCU?

Posted by: troy | October 15, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

Brian Carroll wins the Supporters Shield two years in a row. Maybe we miss him more than Gomez.

Posted by: Glenn | October 15, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

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