Monday, August 27, 2007

2007 MLS Week 21 Recap or The race for eighth tightens

The weekend is over and the six matches have made the playoff picture a lot clearer. It is safe to say that, failing a run like none in league history, LA and Real Salt Lake are out of the picture and Toronto is all but on that list as well. That means that Chicago, Columbus and Colorado, or the triple C's, are the teams fighting for that final playoff spot. On the top of the table, it looks like DC and New England are the two sides with the best chance of taking home the Supporters Shield and the automatic entry into the Concacaf Champion's Cup.

As far as overall play, the number of shutouts continued to ride high as five of the nine games saw a team earn no goals. That brings the percentage for the month of August to 76% (19 out of 25), which is a drop from last week, but still higher then any other month of the season.

Anyway, here are the regular league numbers 138 games into the season:
SeasonWeek 21
Att per game15,93117,381
Beckham Att (5*)195,84727,000
Beckham Avg Att39,16927,000
Goals per game2.5802.667
Inter-conferenceEast 24-19-18Tie 0-0-1
Ties32 (23.2%)1 (11.1%)
* Number of MLS matches with Beckham in attendance

DC United 1-0 Toronto FC
United did just enough to get it down but without the excellent work of Troy Perkins in goal, Toronto would not be sitting on the longest streak without a goal in MLS history. The good news for TFC is they were pressuring almost the whole match and kept finding the holes in DC's backline, but they could not push one past Perkins.
Goal: Fred (4) 8'
Attendance: 20,093

New York 1-2 New England
You know a game is strange when a goalkeeper gets an assist. There was a bad pk call (which was stopped by Jon Conway), an assist by Reis and an own goal caused, in part, by a foot getting stuck in the fake turf. New York actually looked the better of the two teams for much of this match and earned a point but the luck of the Revs was in full shine. By the by, the Twellman (NE) goal was great quick work while the Altidore (NY) goal was just fantastic.
Goals: NY: Jozy Altidore (8) 30'
NE: Taylor Twellman (11) 46', Own Goal (Carlos Mendes)) 80'
Attendance: 16,017

Columbus Crew 1-1 Houston Dynamo
Where has the Houston offense gone? Hats off to the Crew who managed to go an hour down a man and only concede one goal while still getting a couple good chances at goal. Houston tried to force their way through the Crew line but it just was not happening. They should be glad to get a point but there is no reason they shouldn't have got three.
Goals: CC: Alejandro Moreno (4) 17'
HD: Nate Jaqua (3) 80'
Attendance: 14,351

Kansas City Wizards 0-2 Chicago Fire
Blanco, Blanco, Blanco. To all those who thought the signing of Blanco would be a dude, look no further then this match (or really any of the Fire's last 5). He controlled it and delivered a full three points on his free kick and passing. The Wizards, who were the definition of good offense on Wednesday night, were left wondering how it could all go so wrong.
Goals: CF: Cuauhtemoc Blanco (2) 44', Calen Carr (3) 86'
Attendance: 18,453

Los Angeles Galaxy 0-3 Colorado Rapids
Once you saw LA's lineup, you knew this was not going to be a good night for them but my oh my, I didn't think it would be that bad. Did they even put any defenders on the pitch? The Rapids, who where playing their regular junk ball, seemed just as shocked as everyone else to find such an easy route towards goal but with the win are now in a great spot to catch the last playoff spot.
Goals: CR: Conor Casey (1) 26', Colin Clark (1) 34', Mike Petke (1) 43'
Attendance: 18,086

Real Salt Lake 0-1 Chivas USA
Chivas got the points but they started to show signs of a bad past. Up till about a month ago, the goats needed tons of chances before they could get a goal, thus allowing their opposition to stay in matches. It looked like this issue had been resolved, but it was back on display last night and Real almost made them pay for it.
Goal: CV: Jesse Marsch (2) 31'

So if the season ended today, this is the first round playoff pairings:
New England - Kansas City
DC - New York
Houston - Colorado
Chivas - FC Dallas
Colorado just snags the eighth spot on goal difference from Columbus while Chicago sits one point (and five goals) away.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The playoff picture would really look like this if the playoffs started today:

1 New England vs. 8 Colorado
2 Houston vs. 7 Kansas City
3 DC United vs. 6 New York
4 Chivas vs. 5 Dallas

2:14 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

One would think that however MLS is not doing a direct 1-8 playoff. Instead, they are weighting the playoffs by conference.

The top two teams in each conference get the 1 & 2 spots for their conference bracket.

Teams 4-8 are then seeded according to conference first.

If one conference gets more then 4 clubs into the playoffs, the lowest seeded team(s) from that conference move over to the other conference's playoff bracket and that (those) team(s) will be seeded below all other teams in that conference.

So the East gets
1 NE vs. 7 KC
2 DC vs. 6 NY

And the West gets
2 HD vs. 8 CR
4 Chivas vs. 5. FCD

If Columbus or Chicago manage to over take Colorado for the eighth spot, they will be seeded as the last team in the West and, at this point, would play Houston.

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

9:28 AM  

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