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MLS Playoff Race

EASTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Columbus (27) 12-5-10, 46 points (at NE, at DC, vs. NE)
Chicago (28) 10-7-11, 41 (at NE, vs. Chivas)
WESTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Los Angeles (28) 11-6-11, 44 points (at Houston, vs. SJ)
Houston (28) 12-8-8, 44 (vs. LA, at Chivas)
WILD-CARD BERTHS
Chivas USA (26) 12-9-5, 41 (vs. KC, vs. SJ, at Chicago, vs. Houston)
Seattle (28) 10-7-11, 41 (at KC, vs. Dallas)
Colorado (28) 10-8-10, 40 (at Dallas, at RSL)
New England (27) 10-9-8, 38 (vs. Columbus, vs. Chicago, at Columbus)
----------
D.C. United (28) 8-8-12, 36 points (vs. Columbus, at KC)
Toronto (27) 9-10-8, 35 (vs. SJ, vs. RSL, at NY)
Real Salt Lake (27) 9-11-7, 34 (vs. NY, at Toronto, vs. Colorado)
Dallas (27) 9-12-6, 33 (at SJ, Colorado, at Seattle)
Kansas City (27) 8-11-8, 32
San Jose (26) 7-12-7, 28
Montreal Impact (surprise USL-1 finalist)
New York (28) 4-18-6, 18

For our purposes, the first tiebreaker goes to the club that has played the fewest matches. Next is head-to-head and then goal differential.

FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS
Eastern
Columbus vs. Colorado
Chicago vs. New England
Western
Los Angeles vs. Seattle
Houston vs. Chivas USA

Golden Boot race: Conor Casey (Colorado) and Jeff Cunningham (Dallas), 16 goals.

Fan outrage notwithstanding, Cam Weaver deserved to be sent off:

By Steve Goff  |  October 5, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Monday Kickaround

Comments

Montreal ahead of RBNY! :D:D:D

Posted by: Barracudas | October 5, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Re Weaver: I loved his pointing, as if saying, "I got the ball!"

What if he stuck the guy with a shiv? "Hey ref, he may be bleeding out of his heart, but I got the ball!"

Sliding into third, cleats up... when are players going to figure out that's illegal? Weaver's tossing was spot on, and the ref ought to be congratulated for making that decision.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 5, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

C'mon, Steve & joedoc1. That red card is exactly why soccer loses respect. Player makes a tough challenge and does exactly what he's supposed to do -- knocks the ball away -- and you say he should get a red? Get a set. The only player that should be tossed is the wanker writhing on the ground because he got it in the shinguard. I've seen players in other sports snap their legs in half and not write around that much.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

"C'mon, Steve & joedoc1. That red card is exactly why soccer loses respect. Player makes a tough challenge and does exactly what he's supposed to do -- knocks the ball away -- and you say he should get a red? Get a set. The only player that should be tossed is the wanker writhing on the ground because he got it in the shinguard. I've seen players in other sports snap their legs in half and not write around that much."
That isn't even good satire.

Posted by: billq1 | October 5, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

If the upper part of Hirsig's calf is referred to as "the ball," then I guess he got the ball. That was vicious.

Posted by: beach3 | October 5, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Surely that was a joke, because Weaver came in high, hard, and violently.

Posted by: Reignking | October 5, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Benny's red had style points, at least.

Posted by: Section117 | October 5, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I am betting $1000000000000000 in DCU to make it to the playoffs.

Posted by: fedster | October 5, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"Surely that was a joke, because Weaver came in high, hard, and violently."

It was no joke. He gets the ball first. That was "violent" and "Vicious?" What is this, touch football?

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

No, fool, it's a sport with a set of laws, and according to those laws, a high, studs-up slide tackle is an automatic ejection.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | October 5, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Gets the ball first? Where is that in the laws of the game?

It isn't like they were protecting Tom Brady.

Posted by: Reignking | October 5, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Incredulous believes because he got the ball a nano-second before trying to remove the players knee from the rest of his leg that that makes the play okay. It was a reckless tackle and deserved the red!

On another note, I thought ESPN/FSC coverage was bad, but we never saw the ref give the red card (unless the replayed it later).

Posted by: KP1935 | October 5, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Incredulous, that you are.

Your argument seems to be: he got the ball, so "it's all good."

That play would be illegal in the NFL and NHL, which thrive on violent hitting. Sliding in cleats up on a guy who is trying to keep possession of the ball is an act of cowardice.

"Hey guys, look at me! I just whacked a guy illegally! He couldn't defend himself, and he couldn't hit back... so what! I'm awesome! No, I'm better than that. I'm INCREDULOUS!"

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 5, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Watch it 10 more times. He never actually hits his leg, only his foot. So, he gets the ball -- the point of a tackle -- and he never cleats him.

I'm not advocating for violence, but nothing about that tackle was violent except the (fake) reaction to it.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

joedoc1, look up the definition of incredulous. You clearly don't know it.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

even I can see that it was clearly a red card, even IF he did not make contact. and it's pretty hazy over here..

btw, 4 the record... The name is spot on!!

incredulous
1. not credulous; disinclined or indisposed to believe; skeptical.
2. indicating or showing unbelief: an incredulous smile.

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | October 5, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Indredulous2 = Dema Kovalenko?

Posted by: JkR- | October 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

yeah. no question on the straight red card. There was no attempt to play the ball and with studs up at knee height...a flying jump kick really. Totally unnecessary tackle.

I loved the shots of the fans looking angry, they reminded me of parents at a youth game.

Posted by: bigbadbri | October 5, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I'll give Incredulous this: he's spot on about the faking/diving issue. There's so much of that in so many professional leagues that when a true injury occurs, we're skeptical from the start that the guy's even injured.

@bigbadbri: well in about the parents!

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 5, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Texan soccer fans are funny.

As much as Weaver deserved red, so does Hirsig for that spontaneous full-body writhing action.

Oh, and don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: benonthehill | October 5, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

He went in high because the ball was in the air, bouncing. The ball was not on the ground. Dumb move, but not vicious.

Lesson for the youths: Even if you know you can miss the attacker, you might hold up because the ref will not understand that.

I'm guessing Hirsig got over his "injury" . . .

Posted by: fallschurch1 | October 5, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Lesson for the youths -- get to know a player with a titanium rod in his/her leg, so you better understand the price to be paid, and pay no heed to the armchair tough guys on the internet.

Posted by: OWNTF | October 5, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Let me put this into context for those of you who didn't watch the game.

Minutes before this happened, Pat Onstad dove on a low cross in front of goal and covered it up. After he's controlled it, Davy Arnud starts a studs-up slide and hits Onstad's head. The ref doesn't give a red like he should for a late studs-up tackle to a keeper's head when the ball is controlled. He doesn't even give a yellow.

So the fans were a bit dubious as to the judgment of this referee. Then Cam comes in on a bouncing ball with studs up - a bad idea - gets the ball clean and (if you look at the video) dips his foot down so that he misses Hirsig's leg with his boot. Then Hirsig does the grad-and-flop in mid air so that you know he's simulating. We figure it was hard and clean, but stupid so it'll be a yellow, especially considering that the ref doesn't seem to calling stupid, hard tackles today.

And then it's a red. The Dynamo have finished 1 game in the last 2 months or so with 11 men on the field, and most of those red cards were flat-out bad refereeing. Watch the video again, and watch the reverse angle. Consider that the ref didn't call studs up into the keepers head, and ask yourself if you think it's a red in context.

Posted by: Cidolfas | October 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Cidolfas | October 5, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

-----------------------------------------

Yes, even in "context", it's still a red card. Did Hirsig oversimulate? Yes, but the player went in high with studs-up. If this was any other team in the league would you say it was unfair?

And when players take "revenge" or are "provoked", it's never the aggrevator who is carded, it is always the player who retaliates who gets the card.

Posted by: Josh86 | October 5, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Josh86.

But Cidolfas' comments explain the crowd reaction. Going cleats up on a goalkeeper's head? Yikes, how does a ref miss that?

As for Houston playing down a man almost every game for two months - "bad refereeing" can't account for all of that.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 5, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

oversimulate = bad euphemism for "fake."

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Don't you guys got some work to do?
;-)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 5, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

If you watch the replay carefully, you can see Weaver's leading right foot rake the inside of Hirsig's right calf/shin with the studs, probably missing the shin guard. Granted the reaction is somewhat comical, but I actually think it was genuine as its one of those injuries that hurts like crazy at first but the pain generally subsides pretty fast.

Posted by: angler23 | October 5, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Interesting,

Most games won (12) Houston,Columbus, Chivas
Fewest games won (4)New York
Most games lost (18)New York
Fewest games lost (5) Columbus
Most ties (12) DC
Fewest ties(5) Chivas

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

@angler23

And I think it was like many other footballers' fake reactions. I propose a new rule: if the trainer comes out, you're out for the remainder of the game. If you're on the ground for more than 30 seconds, you're out for the remainder of the game. If anything gets squirted on you and you instantly feel better, one other players should be permitted to kick you in the junk. The trainer can then squirt you there and you'll feel better immediately.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, cont.

Looks like 10 wins is the magic number to make the playoffs.

Columbus and LA have the best win to loss record 12-5 and 11-6, respectively.
Defense and discipline are the name of the game.

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

And if your oversimulation lasts more than 4 hours, see a "physio".

Posted by: OWNTF | October 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I propose a new rule: if the trainer comes out, you're out for the remainder of the game. If you're on the ground for more than 30 seconds, you're out for the remainder of the game. If anything gets squirted on you and you instantly feel better, one other players should be permitted to kick you in the junk. The trainer can then squirt you there and you'll feel better immediately.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 5, 2009 2:41 PM

I'm incredulous that I'm agreeing with Incredulous, but I'm down with this idea. Maybe not out the entire game if the trainer comes out, but how about 5 or 10 minutes of playing time? Call it the Blanco Rule.

Posted by: DrBeaker | October 5, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm down with that. In the state where I coach high school ball, any time I am summoned onto the pitch to see to a player, he is required to come off. Most of my kids would never consider faking it anyway, so if I come on, it's serious. At what stage do they start acquiring that "dive and flop" attitude, I wonder?

Posted by: freeholdsouth | October 5, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

@freeholdsouth I used to work as an SID, so I watched hundreds of college soccer games. The "skill" to "dive and flop" is developed in the college ranks, IMO. You'd see freshman who were inexperienced at it not get a call, whereas older players were adept at it. Unfortunately, the refs encourage it by falling for the bogus actions.

Posted by: Incredulous2 | October 6, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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