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Wizards' win keeps them in the hunt
by Ridge Mahoney, September 21st, 2009 7AM

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[MLS PLAYOFF WATCH] The one-two teams in both conferences stayed where they were, with the respective leaders, the Crew and Dynamo, both on top with 43 points. Columbus (11-4-10) rallied for a 2-2 tie away to Chicago (10-6-10) to maintain a three-point lead over the Fire, and Houston (12-8-7) prevailed at home, 3-2, against Real Salt Lake to stay two points ahead of Los Angeles (10-5-11), which beat Toronto, 2-0. Here is our weekly rankings of the wild-card teams chasing the four spots behind the first and second teams in each conference, which qualify automatically for the playoffs.

They are listed not necessarily in order of points, but rather their chances of a playoff spot.

4. Colorado (10-8-7, 37 points).
A desperation last-minute penalty kick earned a point in San Jose; a win Wednesday in the return match would put the Rapids at 40 points and within touching distance of a playoff spot.
Schedule (5 games remaining): San Jose, @ Kansas City, New England, @ Dallas, @ Real Salt Lake.

5. Chivas USA (11-9-4, 36 pts.)
Getting a goalless tie in Seattle puts a small dent in the Sounders' chances and boosts Chivas USA with home games coming up, though the season may hinge on a visit to RFK in two weeks.
Schedule (6): New York, @ D.C. United, Kansas City, San Jose, @ Chicago, Houston.

6. New England (9-8-7, 34 pts.)
A win, rather than a 1-1 tie, in Giants Stadium would have pushed the Revs higher on this list, now they, too, must do the business at home.
Schedule (6): Seattle, @ Dallas, @ Colorado, Columbus, Chicago, @ Columbus.

7. Seattle (9-6-11, 38 pts.)
The wild-card team with the most points is in a precarious position after tying its penultimate home game, 0-0, with Chivas USA. Three roadies are on tap.
Schedule (4): @ New England, @ Columbus, @ Kansas City, Dallas.

8. D.C. United (8-6-12, 34 pts.)
Sat out the weekend after a nice victory in the Conacaf Champions' League and gets back into league play with a very winnable game Sunday.
Schedule (4): San Jose, Chivas USA, Columbus, @ Kansas City.

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9. Toronto FC (9-10-7, 34 pts.)
Unveiled Julian De Guzman at Home Depot Center yet was outclassed by Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Must win both remaining home games and get something on the road to have a real chance.
Schedule (4): @ Chicago, San Jose, Real Salt Lake, @ New York.

10. Real Salt Lake (9-10-7, 34 pts.)
If RSL gives the same effort in Dallas and Toronto as it did in Houston while losing, 3-2, it can sneak into the playoffs. That's assuming wins at home, however.
Schedule (4): @ Dallas, New York, @ Toronto, Colorado.

11. Kansas City (8-11-6, 30 pts.)
Knocked Dallas to the brink of elimination and preserved its slim hopes with a 3-2 home win but needs to be tighter this weekend when the Rapids come to town.
Schedule (5): Colorado, @ Houston, @ Chivas USA, Seattle, D.C. United.

12. FC Dallas (7-12-6, 27 pts.)
Rallying on the road from a one-goal deficit to take the lead, then blowing that lead and the game, 3-2, kind of sums up the whole season.
Schedule: Real Salt Lake, New England, @ San Jose, Colorado, @ Seattle.



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