Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Fire needs result ... or faces nervous weekend
by Ridge Mahoney, October 22nd, 2009 7:01AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] You might think you have the MLS playoff mosaic sorted out, yet there's one piece that doesn't quite fit the standard procedure. Chicago holds second place in the Eastern Conference, and needs just a point Thursday in its final game to clinch that spot (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 8 pm ET) and the home-field advantage in the conference semifinals that comes with it. If Chicago wins or ties, it finishes second in the East, end of story.

But if the Fire loses, a bevy of Eastern Conference teams will have a chance on the final weekend to tie it on points. Toronto FC, New England and D.C. United all have 39 points and if enough of them win their final games, they could not only match Chicago's 42 points but also knock it out of the playoffs entirely.

Here are Chicago's head-to-head records this season against those Eastern teams with which it could finish tied: Toronto (1-0-1), New England (0-0-2), and D.C. (0-2-1). (Dallas can also finish with 42 points but for purposes of the Eastern Conference No. 2 slot its results would not be considered).

Suppose Chicago loses and the other three Eastern teams win to create a logjam at 42 points. The four teams would then be evaluated via their head-to-head results against each other to decide the second-place team in the conference. If three teams are tied, results among those teams are calculated.

Since none of the tied teams play each other on the final weekend, these figures would not change. The teams are listed by cumulative record against the tied teams, number of points and points per game. The latter figure is used because Chicago and D.C. played three games instead of two against each other, creating an imbalance of games played amongst the tied teams.

1. Toronto FC (2-1-3, 9 points, 1.5 per game)
2. D.C. United (2-2-3, 9 pts., 1.3 per game)
3. New England (1-1-4, 7 pts., 1.2 per game)
4. Chicago (1-2-4, 7 pts., 1.0 per game)

Though Chicago would win a two-team tiebreaker against Toronto, TFC's record against the other two teams is better than that of the Fire. TFC would get the No. 2 spot, leaving the other three teams to be evaluated in the wild-card pot, which would also include Dallas if it beats Seattle Saturday to finish with 42 points.

A two-way tie between Chicago and New England would require the second tiebreaker, goal difference in all games, to separate them because they tied both of their regular-season meetings.

So how could the Fire's postseason be doused before it started? In a logjam at 42 points, it would lose a four-way Eastern Conference tiebreaker and the No. 2 slot to TFC, leaving just two more wild-card slots available. Colorado could take the No. 7 overall slot by winning at RSL Saturday to finish with 43 points, but even if doesn't, Chicago could lose out to two teams in tiebreakers and drop out of the top eight.

The Fire can avoid any anxiety by getting at least a tie Thursday. Otherwise, it will be a long, nervy weekend.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
USL: Roughnecks hire Vaudreuil as head coach    
David Vaudreuil, who started all five playoff games on D.C. United's 1997 MLS championship team, was ...
MLS Expansion: LAFC links up with OC    
LAFC, slated to begin play in MLS in 2018, has reached an agreement with the USL's ...
MLS Moves: 'Caps decline option on captain Morales    
After struggling with injuries the past two seasons, Chilean Pedro Morales has been officially cut loose ...
What They're Saying: Ashtone Morgan    
"It got to a point where it was harder to play at home than away." -- ...
MLS Moves: 'Burrito' is no longer on the RSL menu    
In 2017 at Rio Tinto Stadium the only place to get a burrito will be at ...
MLS Rewind: Mid-season splurges prove tricky    
One of the strongest arguments for MLS switching seasons from a spring-to-fall to fall-to-spring calendar isn't ...
MLS Cup Countdown: Newcomers deliver for finalists    
Neither the Seattle Sounders nor Toronto FC would likely be in the 2016 MLS Cup without ...
Video Pick: Terrific volley for Porto by Mexico's 'Tecatito'    
Mexico's 23-year-old Jesus "Tecatito" Corona scored Porto's second goal in a 5-0 UEFA Champions League win ...
USMNT: Arena meets Bundesliga quintet    
Less than two weeks after taking the job, new U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena has ...
MLS Moves: Hedges signs new deal with FC Dallas    
Keeping a successful team together can be a challenge in MLS, and rather let the contract ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives