MLS will end with one crazy weekend

With one game left in the season 4 teams (Chivas, LA, Houston, Seattle) could win the western conference, the supporters shield is still not wrapped up, and more remarkably six teams are vying for two playoff spots. So after a boatload of draws this season, everyone now has to go for a win.

DC was able to hang on to an early 1 goal lead in the puddle mud fest at RFK and stay in contention for the playoffs. There final game is at Kansas City and is very winnable. DC would currently be sitting in the final wild card spot, due to their -1 goal differential, but MLS puts head-to-head record above goal differential, therefore DC needs quite a bit to go there way. New England on the other hand again couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and were largely outplayed by Chicago at home. Dallas is red hot with Jeff Cunningham a scoring machine, leading their improbable run to the playoffs with a win over playoff rival Colorado.

WV Hooligan who does a great job covering MLS writes,

Colorado, Toronto, DC, Dallas, RSL and New England all could end with 40 points. Right now TFC currently holds the tie-breaker among the four teams tied, based on its 2-1-3 record against the other teams tied on 39 points. New England and FC Dallas are tied with 2-2-2 records vs. the other 39-point teams. DC is in last among the tied teams, with a 1-2-3 record. The only team DC holds a tie-breaker on is FC Dallas, while FC Dallas only holds a tie-breaker on Toronto FC.

Here are the games affecting the playoff contenders:

Saturday, October 24
Toronto FC at New York Red Bulls 7:30 p.m.
D.C. United at Kansas City Wizards 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake 9:00 p.m. FSC, FSE
FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders FC 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 25
New England Revolution at Columbus Crew 5:00 p.m. ESPN2, Deportes

DC and Toronto both have away games but they are playing weaker teams that have nothing to play for. While Toronto could get in with a draw – that would require 3 out of the 4 teams with 39 (or 40 with Colorado) points to lose. Since they are the first game of the weekend they will go for the win. DC has to win, since they don’t hold any of the tiebreakers. New England has the hardest game and I think they will be fortunate to get a draw playing at Columbus – the best team in MLS coming off a sloppy and muddy loss to DC. FC Dallas also has to travel to Seattle and while the Sounders are in they are just one point behind Chivas, Houston, and LA for the top spot in the west and will likely have their tails up. The rubber match here is Colorado vs. Real Salt Lake. RSL is at 37 points and has to get a win, a draw could get Colorado into the playoffs with 41 points, but they too know that if they win and their in – that one should be exciting.

If I were going to pick the two teams to get in I would say Toronto and DC since both have very winnable games.

Here is the table

Columbus (29) 13-6-10, 49 points (vs. New England Sunday) – Clinched
Chicago (29) 10-7-12, 42 (vs. Chivas USA Thursday)
Chivas USA (28) 13-9-6, 45 points (at Chicago Thu., vs. Houston Sun.) – Clinched
LA Galaxy (29) 11-6-12, 45 (vs. San Jose Saturday) – Clinched
Houston (29) 12-8-9, 45 (at Chivas USA Sunday) – Clinched
Seattle (29) 11-7-11, 44 (vs. Dallas Saturday) – Clinched
Colorado (29) 10-9-10, 40 (at Real Salt Lake Saturday)
Toronto (29) 10-10-9, 39 (at New York Saturday)
New England (29) 10-10-9, 39 (at Columbus Sunday)
D.C. United (29) 9-8-12, 39 (at Kansas City Saturday)
Dallas (29) 11-12-6, 39 (at Seattle Saturday)
Real Salt Lake (29) 10-12-7, 37 (vs. Colorado Saturday)
Kansas City (29) 8-13-8, 32 (vs. DCU Saturday) – Eliminated
San Jose (29) 7-13-9, 30 (at Los Angeles Saturday) – Eliminated
New York (29) 4-19-6, 18 (vs. Toronto Saturday) – Eliminated


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