Monday, September 10, 2007

2007 MLS Week 23 Recap or can anyone stop DC and Chivas?

Another week is over and what do we see but DC on top of the East and Chivas making the run for the West while the league seems to have gone goal happy. Four of the seven games saw four or more goals including a seven-goal outing in Houston.

The playoff race seems all but officially be a race for the final spot, although KC is not in the clear just yet. Still, it looks like Chicago, Columbus and Colorado will provide us the excitement down the stretch. Obviously with a game in hand and a point up, Chicago has the inside track but who knows what could happen over the next five weeks.

Anyway, here are the regular league numbers 151 games into the season:
SeasonWeek 23
Att per game15,96016,325
Beckham Att (5*)195,84727,000
Beckham Avg Att39,16927,000
Goals per game2.6423.857
Inter-conferenceEast 25-22-21West 2-0-1
Ties35 (23.2%)1 (14.3%)
* Number of MLS matches with Beckham in attendance
** I cannot locate the attendance numbers for Colorado-Columbus (2 Sept), so the season average is for only 150 games.

Chicago Fire 1-0 Columbus Crew
Sometime luck is just not on your side. The Crew had to use two subs in the first 20-minutes including one for Schelotto after he got hurt fouling Blanco. They had two shots bounce off the bar and then their keeper slips on the very wet grass to give Chicago a very open net for their goal. The Crew put together some good pieces even without their star midfielder but Chicago comes up with the points and the lead in the playoff race.
Goal: CF: Paulo Wanchope (2) 65'
Attendance: 19,983 wet people

Real Salt Lake 3-4 Houston Dynamo
Houston does like to be dramatic don't they. They roll up a 4-1 lead by the hour mark thanks to a Corey Ashe to Nate Jaqua freight train but then can't keep Real under wraps. Real did not produce much offense but they were able to do something new for the club, find the minor holes caused by a team getting tired. The Dynamo used no subs last night after only using one last weekend. If their injury problems don't improve, look for more problems late down the road.
Goals: HD: Nate Jaqua (4) 6', (5) 48', (6) 57', Eddie Robinson (1) 28'
RSL: Fabian Espindola (2) 18', Carey Talley (2) 69', Kyle Brown (1) 82'
Attendance: 16,104

Toronto FC 0-2 FC Dallas
Neither team seemed like they wanted to win this thing as there was a lot of sloppy play on both ends. However, a couple mistakes by TFC in the penalty box is ended up being the difference on this one as FCD got both goals, including Denilson's first, from the spot. FCD have to be happy with the points but they did not look like a team that could be best in the league on Saturday night. By the way, it has been over two months since TFC got a goal. Wow.
Goals: Denilson (1) pk 36', Abe Thomson (3) pk 87'
Attendance: 16,790

Colorado Rapids 1-3 Los Angeles Galaxy
LA was pent up and ready to let loose and come the second half, they showed the league that, at least for a night, they could be a quality side. Cobi Jones and Chris Klein had very good nights by Peter Vagenas was the reason for this one. Off course, this being LA, they can't have a match without someone getting hurt so both Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon had to go after getting goals. As for the Rapids, if Saturday is any hint, they are returning to the way they were just a couple short weeks ago.
Goals: LA: Alan Gordon (2) 46', Edson Buddle (4) 63', Kyle Martino (2) 70'
CR: Mehdi Ballouchy (1) 89'
Attendance: 22,881

New England Revolution 2-4 DC United
This game seemed to sum up DC's year; some good stuff early, followed by signs off serious weakness only to be finished in spectacular fashion. When the Revs got that their first goal right before the half off a wonderful solo effort by Twellman and then got a bit of a lucky bounce to go ahead in the 54', it just seemed like everything was about to go their way. But what do you know, a little help from Jaime Moreno and DC is right back in it. After that, United just ran the Revs into the ground. By the way, that last goal by Emilio off a tap pass by Carroll was a fantastic group goal. This game showed a lot but what it showed most was the best of the East is in the national's capitol again.
Goals: DC: Fred (6) 31', Jaime Moreno (5) 59', Luciano Emilio (17) 67', (18) 83'
NE: Taylor Twellman (12) 45', Jay Heaps (1) 54'
Attendance: 18,918

New York Red Bulls 0-3 Chivas USA
New York had their chances to get the goats at home but they kept putting their shots just over the bar while Chivas just played solid with their chances. The Bulls really did own large portions of this game but could not get their flow going. Maybe it was Mathis going out in the 37', but they were lacking in the final third and counting on too many long range shots. The fact that Chivas could get out played and walk away big winners shows how strong they are, so why can't they get any fans to their games?
Goals: CV: Maykel Galindo (11) 4', (12) 58', Ante Razov (8) pk 70'
Attendance: 10,292

If the season ended today, here are the first round playoff matchups:
DC United - Kansas City Wizards
New England Revolution - New York Red Bulls

Houston Dynamo - Chicago Fire
Chivas USA - FC Dallas

*Remember that under MLS's confusing playoff system, it is not a direct 1-8 pairing, instead the best in any conference faces the worst in that conference unless the worst in that conference is the fifth side to make the playoffs from that conference, in which case the fifth team will play the top team from the other conference. Make sense?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

MLS Cup Playoff Format and Team-Standings Tie-Breakers:

Who Qualifies: Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs - the top two teams in each conference plus the remaining four teams, regardless of conference, that have the most points in the standings upon the completion of the their 30-game regular season.

The seeding would look like this:

4 teams:
1) Conference Champ with highest point total (Supporters Shield Winner)
2) The other Conference Champion
3) Conference runner up with highest point total
4) Conference Champ runner up with the point total lower than the other Conference Champ runner-up

Of the remaining 9 teams, an additional 4 teams will qualify as follows:
5) Team with the highest point total (regardless of conference)
6) Team with 2nd highest point total (regardless of conference)
7) Team with 3rd highest point total (regardless of conference)
8) Team with 4th highest point total (regardless of conference)

In the first round, the match-up's shall be: 1 v. 8; 2 v. 7; 3 v. 6; 4 v. 5

2:09 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...

From MLS's website


Playoff berths will be determined by points in the standings upon the completion of the regular season on Oct. 21; all 13 teams will have played 30 games. If two teams are tied on points, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head results, the second tiebreaker is goal differential, and the third is goals scored for the season. (Subsequent tiebreakers are available in the Fact and Record Book).

The top two teams in each conference qualify and are seeded 1 & 2 in their respective four-team playoff conference brackets.

The four MLS teams with the next most points, regardless of conference, receive “wildcard” berths.

The four wildcard teams will be seeded according to conference first.

• If more than four teams qualify from one conference, those finishing lower than fourth in their conference will shift over to the other conference bracket.

• A team switching conference brackets will be seeded below all other teams in its new conference playoff bracket.

MLS changed their method right around the All-Star break.

6:30 PM  

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