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Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, DC United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, MLS, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Recent, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps | 0 comments

The Chase; An Extended Look at the Home Stretch

 

 

So the final international break of the season is over and it is time to get back to the Chase for the playoffs. Here is a team-by-team breakdown of the remaining games in the season.

Eastern Conference

1. Sporting Kansas City – 32 games played – 59 points – @NYRB and v.Phi

  • Still has a chance of winning the Supporters Shield, but will need to win out and hope for San Jose to stumble
  • 4 points will clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference
  • The visit to New York will be a tough match up of probable playoff teams and Philadelphia has been in great form. Not an easy road to end the season.
  • Have not lost in their last 11 games in all competitions, including the Open Cup final. Their last loss was July 28th against Columbus

2. Chicago Fire – 32 games played – 56 points – @NE and v.DCU

  • Still has a chance to win the East, but will need to make up the 3 point difference between them and SKC, but they do hold the first tie breaker over SKC
  • A stumble could cost them seeding in the Eastern Conference playoffs, with the possibility of having to play in the 4th vs 5th place Wild Card type game
  • New England has been in free fall lately so anything other than a win would be disappointing
  • While they have won 5 of their last 7, those two losses have come in their last 3

3. D.C. United – 32 games played – 54 points – v.Clb and @Chi

  • Playoffs are not guaranteed yet, but only 2 points would clinch
  • They do hold first tie breaker over every other playoff contender, except for New York
  • A tough end of the season will test DC and a loss to Columbus could put their post-season hopes on the line during a road test against a team trying to win the conference in the Fire
  • United’s last 7 games have been decided by 1 goal, if any, and they have only scored two goals in a single game twice in that stretch

4. New York Red Bulls – 32 games played – 53 points – v.SKC and @Phi

  • Playoffs are not guaranteed yet, but 3 points would clinch
  • If there is a tie for the last playoff spot, the midseason change in rules by MLS would benefit New York as they have the most goals scored of any of the playoff contenders
  • NYRB has not beaten SKC this season yet and games between the I-95 teams have always been close contests
  • There has been a lot of turmoil going on behind the scenes in New York in the last week or two and it resulted in a less than impressive loss in Chicago, they could use an inspiring end to the season

5. Houston Dynamo – 32 games played – 50 points – v.Phi, @Olimpia (CCL), and @Col

  • Playoffs are not guaranteed yet, but a win coupled with a Columbus loss would clinch
  • Houston holds a 5 goal cushion in the tie breaker over Columbus
  • The remaining MLS schedule features two eliminated teams, but has the added difficulty of a CONCACAF Champions League game between them
  • Houston has yet to lose a home game in the league and have an impressive 5 wins against teams from the Western Conference

6. Columbus Crew – 32 games played – 49 points – @DCU and v.TFC

  • Columbus is currently on the outside looking in, but is still within reach of 3 of the 5 playoff spots
  • Winning out will not be enough as they will need at least one other team to stumble
  • Anything other than a win against TFC would be disappointing and they have split this season with DC, both in 1-0 wins for the home side
  • After a run of 6 games unbeaten to get back into the playoff picture, they have only 2 wins in their last 6 games

*Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution, and Toronto FC have been eliminated from the playoff race.

Western Conference

1. San Jose Earthquakes – 32 games played – 64 points – v.LAG and @Por

  • San Jose has clinched both a playoff spot and the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs
  • Just 2 points will clinch the Supporters Shield and the chance to host MLS Cup
  • San Jose has not lost to LA this season winning the series so far by a total score of 6-4, but have yet to beat Portland losing 2-1 and drawing 2-2
  • The 3-1 loss to Montreal was the last loss in any competition, spanning 7 games

2. Real Salt Lake – 32 games played  - 56 points – @Sea, v.Herediano (CCL), and v.Van

  • Playoffs are guaranteed for RSL
  • Just 1 point will guarantee the club would not have to play in the 4th vs 5th game
  • A tough schedule against two playoff teams has the added difficulty of a CONCACAF Champions League game wedged between them
  • After struggling to 4 losses in 5 games during the midseason packed schedule they have seemed to regroup, winning 5 of their last 6 in all competitions

3. Seattle Sounders - 32 games played – 53 points – v.FCD, v.Marathon (CCL), and @LAG

  • Playoffs are guaranteed for Seattle
  • A win and a LA loss in any of the remaining games would secure a top 3 finish
  • Seattle does not have an easy schedule with two teams looking better their position or make the playoffs with the added difficulty of a CONCACAF Champions League game between them
  • The last team other than San Jose to beat them in the league was Portland way back on June 24th and their last home loss was to anyone other than San Jose was in May

4. LA Galaxy – 32 games played – 50 points – @SJE, @Metepan (CCL), and v.Sea

  • Playoffs are guaranteed for Los Angeles
  • Winning out would bumped LA above Seattle no matter what the Sounder do and mean the Galaxy avoid the 4th vs 5th place game
  • A very tough end of the season for the Galaxy as they at matched up with two hot playoff teams and a CONCACAF Champions League game between them
  • LA only has 1 win against a team in a playoff spot in their last 5 attempts

5. Vancouver Whitecaps – 32 games played – 42 points – v.Por and @RSL

  • Playoffs are not guaranteed for Vancouver yet
  • A win or a Dallas loss would clinch a playoff spot
  • Portland have nothing but pride to play for at this point in the season and an RSL win in their second to last game would leave the last game of the season as only a formality as they will have secured the second seed, meaning these should be two easier games for Vancouver, who has a lot to play for
  • Vancouver had only 1 win in their last 7 before dominating Chivas for a 4-0 victory that has brightened the outlook on the end of the season

6. FC Dallas – 32 games played – 38 points – @Sea and vChv

  • Dallas is currently on the outside looking in on the playoffs and are 4 points behind Vancouver
  • Vancouver drawing their remaining two games and Dallas winning out would result in a tie between the two clubs, which Dallas holds the tie breaker for
  •  A trip to Seattle is not what any playoff contender would want to see, but a chance for revenge over a Chivas team that not only held Dallas to a draw, but threw in the towel against Vancouver could inspire Dallas
  • Great momentum built after a win against Vancouver and a high scoring draw with San Jose might have been wasted by a draw with Chivas that might have made the hole too much for Dallas to climb out of

*Colorado Rapids, Portland Timbers, and Chivas USA have been eliminated from the playoff race.