MLS weekend flashback: Playoff race
As a reminder, with MLS in the final stages of the regular season, we have altered the format of the weekly review by turning attention from specific matches to the playoff race. We've also resumed last year's cold-hearted but good-spirited 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 13-6-5, 44 points. This week: vs. Seattle. Fortunately for Crew, by the time its match started late Saturday at L.A., all of Columbus was, um, abuzz over Buckeye football victory over Miami.
New York Red Bulls 12-8-4, 40. This week: at Dallas. On this exquisite sequence, Joel Lindpere and Thierry Henry offer the finest combination since Carl's Jr. introduced a burger, fries and a 24-year-old bottle of French Bordeaux for $6,000. Oh, it's true.
WESTERN CONFERENCE AUTOMATIC BERTHS
Los Angeles Galaxy 14-5-5, 47 points. This week: vs. D.C. United. L.A. is 14-0-0 when scoring first, 1-0-0 when David Beckham wears a jersey designed for a fourth-grader.
Real Salt Lake 12-4-8, 44. This week: vs. Chicago. Since conceding five goals at Cruz Azul in Champions League, reigning champs have three straight shutouts. On Wednesday in CL play, they'll host toothless, excuse-full Toronto.
For the rest of the clubs, plus playoff matchups and Golden Boot.....
FC Dallas 10-2-11, 41 points. This week: vs. New York. You heard it here first: FCD (14-game unbeaten streak) will never, ever lose again and tie its way to the MLS Cup title.
Colorado Rapids 9-7-7, 34. This week: vs. New England. Sure, they lost, but how can you not love Omar Cummings when he scores goals like this?
San Jose Earthquakes 9-7-6, 33. This week: vs. Philadelphia. With just three combined shots on goal, the highlight of the SJ-Dallas match was the game-time conditions in heavenly Northern California: clear and 75 degrees.
Seattle Sounders 9-9-6, 33. This week: at Columbus. Seattle drops two points at home vs. RSL but gains a billboard.
Toronto FC 7-10-7, 28. This week: at Houston. Preki says "I don't always like to make excuses" ... and then proceeds to say that playing "a third game of the week and playing at four o'clock when the other team is waiting for you the whole week, I think who schedules these games has to look at this very hard because I'm really, really disappointed." Not as disappointed as TFC supporters are about your club, Mr. Radosavljevic.
Kansas City Wizards 7-9-6, 27. This week: at Chivas USA. Week off allows Wizards faithful to monitor progress of new stadium, due to open next June.
Chicago Fire 6-8-8, 26. This week: at RSL. Former Fire MF Justin Mapp navigates against his old club with the assist on Sebastien Le Toux's goal.
Chivas USA 7-12-4, 25. This week: vs. Kansas City. Alan Gordon was named player of the week for two assists against New England. Slow week?
Philadelphia Union 6-11-6, 24. This week: at San Jose. Expansion club just four points out of third place in the substandard Eastern Conference.
New England Revolution 7-13-3, 24. This week: at Colorado. Revs are 1-9-1 on the road with seven goals scored.
Houston Dynamo 6-12-5, 23. This week: vs. Toronto. Despite a poor season for the Dynamo, Houston remains a first-class soccer city.
Honorary MLS member: Akron Zips. Top-ranked NCAA team has eight straight shutouts, dating to last year's conference tournament. (The College Cup loss came on penalties after a scoreless draw.)
D.C. United 5-16-3, 18. This week: at Los Angeles. Before Julius James' late strike at Toronto, the club hadn't won on the road since the night before the opening whistle (and opening vuvuzela) sounded in South Africa.
(For our purposes, the first tiebreaker goes to the club that has played fewer matches. Next is head-to-head and then goal differential.)
Columbus vs. Seattle
New York vs. San Jose
Los Angeles vs. Colorado
Real Salt Lake vs. Dallas
Edson Buddle (Los Angeles) 14 goals
Juan Pablo Angel (New York) 12
Sebastien LeToux (Philadelphia) 11
September 13, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
Categories: MLS | Tags: MLS
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