MLS Matchday 31: A Look Ahead

Mls

There are just two weeks left in the MLS regular season and the jockeying for the final four playoff spots will be extra intense this weekend as a handful of vital match-ups look to clear up the playoff picture.

The Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids can lock up playoff spots with wins this weekend while the New England Revolution attempt to halt a late-season slide that has several contenders dreaming of grabbing the final playoff berth.

Two teams already in the playoffs square off in the match of the weekend in Houston, where the Dynamo will take on the Galaxy.

Here is a breakdown of this weekend's MLS matches, along with the Best XI match-ups to watch:

4pm- Real Salt Lake at Toronto FC. RSL is a point out of a playoff spot, but must win in Toronto despite having the second-most road losses in the league. TFC has had time off to prepare for a two-game push for a playoff spot and those hopes, and Chris Cummins job as head coach, rest on beating RSL.

6pm- Chicago Fire at New England Revolution. The Revs are free-falling and must try and stop the bleeding against a Fire team getting healthier and good at winning on the road.

8pm- Columbus Crew at D.C. United. Last year, the Crew ended United's playoff hopes on the season's last day. Columbus could do it again on Saturday. D.C. had been strong at home, but the RFK edge has crumbled with three straight home losses. One more and D.C. will miss the playoffs again.

8:30pm- Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas. Two of the league's best strikers square off as Colorado tries to hold on to its playoff spots by beating red-hot FC Dallas. 

8:30pm- Seattle Sounders at Kansas City Wizards. The Wizards fought gamely, but with their playoff hopes all but dashed, they will try to play spoilers against a Sounders team that can clinch a post-season berth with a win (for those wondering, KC would need to win out, have RSL tie Toronto, and have New England, TFC and RSL lose out the rest of the way, while also having D.C. United and FC Dallas both go no better than 0-1-1 in their final two matches). So yes, KC's playoff hopes are essentially toast.

10:30pm- San Jose Earthquakes at Chivas USA. The Earthquakes have lost Chris Wondolowski and Jason Hernandez for the season, leaving them even more short-handed against a Chivas USA team looking to grab first place in the West.

SUNDAY

3pm- Los Angeles Galaxy at Houston Dynamo. Two teams jockeying for the top spot in the West, and two teams trying to build momentum before the playoffs meet in a match loaded with the league's best players.

MLS Best XI Match-ups to Watch

Fredy Montero vs. Jimmy Conrad

Josh Wolff vs. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado

Julian DeGuzman vs. Javier Morales

Kyle Beckerman vs. Amado Guevara

Shalrie Joseph vs. Cuauhtemoc Blanco

Chad Marshall vs. Luciano Emilio

Jeff Cunningham vs. Corey Gibbs

David Ferreira vs. Pablo Mastroeni

Brad Davis vs. Sean Franklin

Brian Ching vs. Omar Gonzalez

David Beckham vs. Ricardo Clark

————

Which match are you most looking forward to watching? Think FC Dallas can keep up its hot streak? Can New England stop the bleeding? Who do you like in the Galaxy-Dynamo tilt?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to MLS Matchday 31: A Look Ahead

  1. Jason says:

    Technically, KC is still alive. They can max out at 38 and have the TB over NE.

    I think they win a three way tie with NE and RSL on 38 points.

    To remain alive, they need:

    1) Win vs. Seattle

    2) TFC/RSL draw (a winner would be on 39/40)

    3) NE loss to Chicago (1 pt gives NE 39+)

    4) FCD draw/loss to Colorado (win give 39)

    5) Crew win/draw @DC

    ——————————

    Then:

    1) Win vs. DC (DC at 36/37)

    2) RSL loss @COL (RSL at 38)

    3) NY beats (or possibly draws) TFC

    4) SEA over FCD (FCD on 36/37)

    5) Crew beats NE

    I don’t know who wins a 4 way tie on 38: NE, KC, RSL, TFC.

    Anyway, KC is barely breathing, and might not be by the time they take the field, but they are breathing.

    (SBI-Jason, KC has a faint pulse and is on a respirator that’s about to be pulled. As for tie-breakers, they have them on NE, TFC and RSL, but not on DC or FC Dallas.)

  2. Rastafari says:

    seattle must win

  3. fischy says:

    Chad Marshall is out. Of course, there’s always the FIFA video game.

  4. rob says:

    Ives, dont forget that RSL had a midweek match, so they should be tiring near the end of this match….

  5. Kevin in Denver says:

    Go Raps! Go Casey!

  6. Conor Casey's knee says:

    Hopefully Casey has another great game and scores as many goals as he did against CR.

  7. Hopper says:

    Seattle will win. Montero and Ljungberg will tear up that baseball field the Wiz play on.

  8. 123 says:

    Come on RSL!

  9. rsl says:

    Lets go RSL!

  10. Real Fan says:

    Here we go RSL!

  11. MemRook says:

    link to ustream.tv

    Link for RSL/TFC game if anyone is wondering or cares :)

  12. MemRook says:

    Here’s a better quality (video) link, but no sound (not for me at least) at the moment:

    link to atdhe.net

  13. MemRook says:

    after some unsuccessful searching I need help: can anyone find me an audio (i.e. radio) link to accompany my video feed? Thanks.

  14. RedRipper says:

    go to channelsurfing.net and pretty much all the MLS games are there when you scroll down…not sure of what language they’ll be though.

  15. Kevin in Denver says:

    Conor Casey’s knee:

    STILL? STILL HATING? Like last Saturday never happened.

  16. Conor Casey's knee says:

    Kevin,

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

    He had 1 decent goal, the other was a mishit off his shoulder and the freekick was awarded from the dumb oof tripping himself!

    That was his best game ever for the Nats and it was still bad. He is lucky that the Rapids are dumb enough to let him take all their undeserving pk’s or he would only be a mediocre 10 goal forward.

    one game doesn’t change anything. He is still an ass of a person and a terrible striker.

  17. scott47a says:

    KC now out of it thanks to TFC win

  18. andy in ohio says:

    chicago just got SCREWED by the ref

  19. Conor Casey's knee says:

    Wow, that non-pk call was a terrible terrible call.

  20. jon says:

    another clear penalty missed by mls referees. woohoo.

  21. Jim says:

    horrid foul call in the Chicago-NE game. Is that ref going to be removed from doing any further MLS games? truly horrid.

  22. Bill in Md. says:

    AP is reporting that the Revs’ assistant coach Paul Mariner is resigning his position after this evening’s match to take a coaching position abroad. Surprised he’d leave with one match remaining in the season. Good luck to him!

    link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

  23. Conor Casey's knee says:

    @Bill

    Good story, but old news. That was reported 2 weeks ago.

  24. madmax says:

    Fox color commentator during zero-zero NE v Chi game,
    “Gotta give it to NE for taking it to Chicago”, he says.

    No you don’t, were you expecting NE to play itself out of the playoffs, for a 0-0 tie or a zero minus one win.

  25. patagonia says:

    “Gotta give it to NE for apparently bribing the ref and getting away with a clear penalty.”

  26. Alex says:

    please NE, get a SSS stadium…

  27. AYPE0000 says:

    a soccer specific stadium stadium….

    FCDallas on track to playoffs! 1-0 @ halftime.

  28. madmax says:

    Sounders are disintegrating KC. Sea 1 KC 2.
    Sounders continue to be terrible in front of goal, 4 or 5 easy chances missed. Sigi has Evans at RB and Vagenas at AM? Peter as an attacker?

  29. froboy says:

    big win for DC tonight 1-0 over Columbus

  30. madmax says:

    It looks like Sigi gave Vagenas the freedom not to defend?

  31. AYPE0000 says:

    FC Dallas wins 2-1, I think we had 24 shots, should have had many more goals.

  32. Igor says:

    Who wins the tiebreak between Dallas, NE, DC and TFC?

  33. madmax says:

    Sounders win 3-2 with two goals from Levesque, and Jaqua. Montero and Vagenas were subbed out. Sounders now in playoffs can give Dallas a shot next week, perhaps, don’t know the math, but that could be two great MLS stories, Seattle and Dallas.

  34. Modibo says:

    Not only was Chicago robbed of a penalty, but Rolfe was punished for… what? Getting fouled by Reis? Now he walks away with a totally unjustified yellow card.

    How do you manage to do a 180 degree spin if you’re diving with no contact from the keeper? The true divers of the world like C Ronaldo would like to add that one to their repertoire.

    What a farce.

  35. KZ says:

    Dallas amazingly still controls its own destiny going into the last game after beating CO. Beat Seattle and they’re in. Tie them and maybe. I think Dallas gets in. Seattle has less to play for there and has been off form as of late. Winning 3-2 to a weak KC team is backing into the playoffs. Seattle will be at home, but Dallas is just plain ridiculous right now.

    I think it’s also likely that 6 of the 8 teams will be from the western conference. Thank God MLS loosened up the format! The West is at +29 goal differential compared to The East.

  36. Ian says:

    anyone watching the seattle – KC game knew after KC went up by one that Seattle was gonna come back. Seattle’s not usually a come-from-behind team, but the way they were creating chances was impressive

  37. KZ says:

    Igor, FCD wins on goal differential. The other teams you mentioned play in the east and are not Chicago or Columbus so naturally they have a negative goal differential.

  38. AYPE0000 says:

    The first tie-breaker is:

    1) The highest position shall be awarded to the team with the better win/loss record in current regular season games against all other teams equal in points. (head-to-head competition)

    Head to Head between tied teams, I’m not one to do the math but I would like to know how FC Dallas would do against other teams that may tie w/ 42 pts.

  39. RedRipper says:

    Yessssssssss, SSFC are Innn!!!!!!…lets fill up Qwest Euro style!!

  40. Steve says:

    In head to head series between Dallas, Toronto, New England, and DC, Dallas has the tiebreaker and therefore pretty much controls their own destiny.

  41. AYPE0000 says:

    Steve,

    Thanks man, that’s great news, I really hope FC Dallas can make it in, will really show the positive attributes of this league, and the playoff format.

    And, if we do make it in, I have serious belief that we could go all the way, our team is looking incredibly dangerous.

  42. Brett says:

    RedPepper- It seems at times this year that playing in front of a fully packed Qwest makes the Sounders play worse. Glad they got in though. DC fans will take offense, but Seattle clearly has the most impressive fanbase.

  43. gstommylee says:

    Brett

    Seattle having issues at home lately has nothing to do with the atmosphere.

  44. Never First says:

    Steve, I’m not sure how you got your information, but my calculations show that Toronto would hold the tiebreaker if they, Dallas, D.C. and New England are all tied at the end of the season.

    Of course any team losing can mess up that formula, so none of those teams really control their own destiny. Just win and hope it all works out.

  45. Supsam says:

    Good attendance all around the league! Toronto (20.4K;capacity), DC (16.3K given that it was raining), RSL (16.3K; weekday),KC (10.1K;capacity) Even NE (18K) and Dallas (15.5K)

  46. lassidawg says:

    Seattle has less to play for there and has been off form as of late.

    The first part of the statement could be true, but winning 2 in a row on the road hardly means you are out of form. If by out of form you mean they could have been up 4-0 at halftime then I agree.

    They do need to start scoring some goals at home.

  47. jamez says:

    MLS officiating a joke. One of, if not the, largest issue facing MLS enjoyment and credibility.

  48. Coug1990 says:

    KZ, winning a game on the road no matter the opponent is not backing into the playoffs. Seattle is 3-1-1 (including 4 of them on the road) in their last five games, not exactly letting other teams do the work for them (which would be backing into the playoffs).

    Modibo, I had the same thought. How do you dive and spin 180 degrees? It was an awful call. Ries should have been red carded and Chicago should have been awarded a penalty kick.

  49. SeattleStan says:

    I was really proud of the Sounders today. They missed a ton of chances, and Marshall’s botched clearance was laughable. That being said I’m pretty sure it was the first time they’ve come from behind to win, and the quality that Ljungberg was showing on that endline was something else. I definitely don’t think they’re “backing their way in” to the playoffs.

  50. MMClark says:

    Seattle came from behind against Houston on July 11th.

  51. HieronymusBosch says:

    Came from behind with great help from a Fredy Montero goal cleared off the line but blindly given.

    This really has been a banner year for the comic display of MLS referees.

  52. Isaac says:

    Kljestan was great against San Jose, setting up the 1st goal with that tackle and long ball, and keeping the play alive on the second. The kid’s confidence is really starting to show again.

  53. lassidawg says:

    Came from behind with great help from a Fredy Montero goal cleared off the line but blindly given.

    True, but I am sure fans of each team can find a few plays that didn’t go there teams way during the season. So the bottom line is it went on the scoreboard.