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MLS weekend flashback: Playoff race

With MLS shifting into the final stage of the regular season, we are altering the format of the weekly review by turning attention from specific matches to the playoff race. We'll also resume last year's cold-hearted mockery of the worst club -- the Red Bulls were our targets in 2009, D.C. United this year -- by wedging a random team ahead of them in the overall standings.

EASTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Columbus Crew 13-5-5, 44 points. This week: at Los Angeles. After a five-day stay in Washington for two matches, Crew players are practically career politicians.

New York Red Bulls 11-8-4, 37. This week: vs. Colorado. When Thierry Henry saw "Sandy" and "Rio" on the city/stadium itinerary, he definitely didn't think he was going to Utah.

WESTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Los Angeles Galaxy 13-5-5, 44 points. This week: vs. Columbus. David Beckham has designs on playing this weekend. Posh just has designs.

Real Salt Lake 12-4-7, 43. This week: at Seattle. In match No. 23, RSL equals the MLS record for most consecutive games unbeaten at home with 22 and boosts its league-best goal difference to plus-21.

WILD-CARD BERTHS
FC Dallas 10-2-10, 40 points. This week: at San Jose. What will occur first: Jeff Cunningham overtaking Jaime Moreno for the MLS career scoring lead (it's now 132 to 129) or FCD's unbeaten streak, now at 13, ending?

Colorado Rapids 9-6-7, 34. This week: at New York. On Sunday, NFL teams made noteworthy cuts. On Saturday, Omar Cummings beat them to it.

For much more.....

San Jose Earthquakes 9-7-5, 32. This week: vs. Dallas. We love Khari Stephenson because he played at tiny Williams College, which is located in picturesque Williamstown, Mass., which is home to only the greatest apparel shop in the whole wide world, Goff's Sports.

Seattle Sounders 9-9-5, 32. This week: vs. RSL. After Patrick Ianni was slapped around by Shalrie Joseph, the Sounders were slapped around in a late 10-minute stretch by the Revs.
----------
Kansas City Wizards 7-9-6, 27. This week: off. Davy Arnaud's obvious strategy for a free kick from near the sideline: Just shoot directly toward erratic Philly keeper Chris Seitz.

Toronto FC 7-9-6, 27. This week: at Chicago, vs. DCU. A rough day for Canadian soccer: The national team loses to Peru at BMO Field, TFC falls to 1-8-1 on the road.

Chicago Fire 6-7-7, 25. This week: vs. Toronto, at Philadelphia. Gonzalo's forearm/elbow levels Leonardo, Gonzalez's head levels the score for the Galaxy.

New England Revolution 7-12-3, 24. This week: at Chivas USA. Dube replaces Nyassi in the lineup. Dube scores his first goal in 11 months while Nyassi scores for Gambia in African Nations Cup qualifying.

Houston Dynamo 6-12-5, 23. This week: off. Ten years from now, we'll ask: Remember that one season when the Dynamo didn't make the playoffs?

Chivas USA 6-12-4, 22. This week: vs. New England. The only victory in the past six games was against DCU. Is Martin Vasquez in trouble?

Philadelphia Union 5-11-6, 21. This week: vs. Chicago. Commenting on Seitz's misjudgment on Kansas City's tying goal, Union Coach Peter Nowak channels Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano when he says: "I don't care if it is the sun or a shadow."

Honorary MLS member: Charleston Battery, for winning USL-2 title and undoubtedly celebrating down the street at pirate-themed Queen Anne's Revenge on Daniel Island. Damn ye, yellow-bellied sapsuckers!

D.C. United 4-16-3, 15. This week: at Toronto. Things have gotten so bad, even the wildlife (cats, rats, birds, raccoon) is abandoning RFK Stadium.

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

FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS
Eastern
Columbus vs. Seattle
New York vs. San Jose
Western
Los Angeles vs. Colorado
Real Salt Lake vs. Dallas

Golden Boot: Edson Buddle (Los Angeles) 13 goals, Juan Pablo Angel (New York) 12, Sebastien Le Toux (Philadelphia) 10, Fredy Montero (Seattle) 10.

By Steve Goff  |  September 6, 2010; 1:49 AM ET
Categories:  Canada , D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: MLS  
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Next: Soccer on TV, Tuesday edition

Comments

Chicago is still down 2 games played on most of the teams in MLS and with a game at home against Toronto (who sucks on the road) and a game on the road against beatable Philly they should be back in the hunt.

I’ll predict that Chicago pushes out Colorado or more likely Seattle and makes the playoffs.

I’m excited for the LA vs. Crew game but I think Dallas vs. San Jose will be the game of the week.

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 6, 2010 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Ironic that the Battery is the wedged in team of the week (the wedgee?). DCU felt so proud of themselves and confident about 2010 after it "won" that practice tourney on Daniel Island this past spring.

"We win meaningless trophies!"

Posted by: lgm6986 | September 6, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Did someone say "Queen Anne's Revenge"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa5BOAhnpYk

Posted by: edgeonyou | September 6, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Why do we do conferences again?

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 6, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Why do we do conferences again?
_________________________________________

Since conferences have been a feature of every other major North American team sport for at least the past four decades, you might want to ask people who are involved with those sports.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 6, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

re: "We win meaningless trophies!"

I am shocked, SHOCKED!!! I tell you, to hear someone say such a thing!

This is ALMOST as bad as saying the Washington Capitals Prestigious and Highly-Coveted President's Trophy win last season was not every bit as significant as the Stanley Cup!

Dearie me, how DARE anyone say such a thing?

Posted by: Ron16 | September 6, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Igm8986 and Ron16,

Look, we know you want the FO to go. So how about you quit trying to mention it in every f'ing thread that Goff makes. I'm sick of reading comments in threads which should be discussing college soccer, TV schedules, and other MLS teams, which continue to bash the team and management. Most people on here(including myself) are in the same boat as you guys are, but I'd venture a guess that they're sick of hearing it too in every thread. I don't mean to be nasty, but it makes comments on here hard to read anymore when 75% just continue to bash the management only.

Posted by: Unitedfury | September 6, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

whoa. chill out and have a brew. Wasn't that bad, especially in a thread where Goff puts the Battery above DCU!

Posted by: nairbsod | September 6, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

After the way the pitch looked on Saturday, I vote for directing some of the anger, frustration, and negative comments towards the RFK groundskeeping crew. Seriously, is it that hard to take care of a field that nobody else uses?

Posted by: Kenobi | September 6, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I vote everyone here remembers that it is a holiday. We know DC sucks, the FO is a sham, and the stadium is horrible. Let's wait to complain until tomorrow. Or at least until 270 comes back to provide us with the well timed joke. My sarcasm never seems to come off.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 6, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

The Georgetown men routed Michigan State 4-0, two days after the Spartans upset Maryland. I wouldn't be surprised to see them ranked:

http://www.guhoyas.com/sports/m-soccer/recaps/090510aaa.html

Ditto for the Hoya women, who stand at 6-0-0.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 6, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Goff's mention of the playoff pairings if the season ended today reminded me of another flaw with the MLS playoff structure. Right now, even though the Western Conference is the stronger conference and will acquire all four wild card slots, it is the two Eastern Conference teams that will earn the best draw by playing the two weakest teams in the field -- San Jose and Seattle. So LA and RSL are penalized for playing in a better conference because they have to play Dallas (especially!) and Colorado in the first round, while Columbus and New York get to feast on the two worst teams in the playoffs. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Posted by: jofij | September 7, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Or at least until 270 comes back to provide us with the well timed joke.
Posted by: grubbsbl
==========

That's what she said.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 7, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I get DC United but what's up with the Capitals rant. I realize they need to do better come playoff time but right now they are unquestionably the one franchise everybody else in town should be emulating. I would love it if the other franchises in town struggled as much as they do. ROCK THE RED!

Posted by: Gambrills4 | September 7, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

UnitedFury,

1. I said nothing in this thread about wanting the FO to go.

2. I have expressed my desire to get rid of Chang (somehow) more than once in *some* past threads, but to say I do it in "every thread" is wrong and just plain silly. And I did so to counter points or assumptions made by posters that Chang is is the least culpable in the FO, when in reality he is the most culpable for the mess DCU is in.

For the record, YOU were the one who brought it up in this thread.

Posted by: Ron16 | September 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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