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
Early returns could decide race
by Ridge Mahoney, October 23rd, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Six teams take the field on the final weekend of MLS league play with playoff hopes, and only two can get in.

The suspense, and the probabilities, could be lessened if Toronto FC and Colorado win their games. Colorado can eliminate some of the anxiety by beating Real Salt Lake and finishing with 43 points, which would knock out RSL and fill the No. 7 slot, leaving just one opening to be thrashed out among Toronto, New England, D.C. United and Dallas, all of which can finish with no more than 42 points.

TORONTO'S EDGE. Toronto wins a four-way tiebreaker and also head-to-head tiebreakers against New England and D.C. United, it can knock out the Revs and effectively eliminate D.C. United by beating New York in the weekend's first game. The Revs can't win a three-way tie that involves TFC, and D.C. United's only hope in a three-way tie with TFC is a huge win at Kansas City (six or more goals better than FC Dallas does at Seattle).

FCD VS. TFC. Toronto, however, loses a head-to-head tiebreaker against Dallas, which plays at Seattle later in the evening. The Crew and Wizards can help out Dallas by preventing New England and D.C., respectively, from winning. If only TFC and FCD finish with 42 points, FCD would edge TFC in a head-to-head tiebreaker. Those two teams would take the last two slots if the Rapids lose or tie; if Colorado wins, it would grab the No. 7 overall slot, and FCD would take the eighth and final slot against TFC via the tiebreaker.

RAPIDS AT 40. On the other hand, if the Rapids (40 points) lose, they and RSL would be tied with 40 points, and also on the first tiebreaker, head-to-head results, at 1-1-1. The second tiebreaker is goal difference in all games, the third is total goals scored. If any of the teams on 39 points also tie their games, there could be logjam of teams with 40 points that would require tiebreakers.

Incredibly, the Rapids would have tied the season series against every team with which it could finish tied, including RSL, and their goal difference -- the second tiebreaker -- is plus 7, far superior to all of the Eastern teams. But a multi-team tiebreaker might not favor Colorado, depending on the teams involved.

According to league spokesman Will Kuhns, the league has drawn up more than 50 possible playoff brackets of eight teams. With three teams in each conference deadlocked on points heading into the final weekend, that bracket might not be filled up until the final whistle of Columbus-New England, the final game on Sunday night.

Qualified: Columbus (49), Chicago (45), Los Angeles (45), Houston (45), Chivas USA (45), Seattle (44). Two of the Western teams will fill the top two slots in the conference that provides homefield advantage in the conference semifinals. The other two will be seeded by total points, even if they have more points than the Fire, the conference slots take priority.

Close: Colorado (40). Win guarantees slot, tie may not be enough.

Bubble: Toronto (39), New England (39), Dallas (39), D.C. United (39). Not all can get in even if they all win.

Longshot: Real Salt Lake (37). Needs a win and a lot of help but it could happen.

Spoilers: Kansas City, San Jose, New York.

Playoff Contenders
COL
FCD
DC
TFC
NE
RSL
Colorado (40 pts, 42-35)
--
1-1-1
1-1-0
1-1-0
0-0-2
1-0-1
FC Dallas (39 pts, 49-45)
1-1-1
--
0-1-1
1-0-1
1-1-0
1-1-0
D.C. United (39 pts 41-42)  1-1-0
1-0-1
--
0-1-1
0-1-1
0-1-1
Toronto FC (39 pts, 37-41) 1-1-0
0-1-1
1-0-1
--
1-0-1
1-1-0
New England (39 pts, 32-37) 0-0-2
1-1-0
1-0-1
0-1-1
--
1-1-0
Real Salt Lake (37 pts, 40-35) 0-1-1
1-1-0
1-0-1
1-1-0
1-1-0
--


Standings:
EASTERN W L T GF GA P +/-
*Columbus 13 6 10 41 30 49 +11
*Chicago 11 7 12 39 34 45 +5
----------------------------------
Toronto FC 10 10 9 37 41 39 -4
New England 10 10 9 32 37 39 -5
D.C. United 9 8 12 41 42 39 -1
+Kansas City 8 13 8 31 40 32 -9
+New York 4 19 6 22 47 18 -25
WESTERN W L T GF GA P +/-
*Los Angeles 11 6 12 34 31 45 +3
*Houston 12 8 9 36 27 45 +9
-----------------------------------
*Chivas USA 13 10 6 32 28 45 +4
*Seattle 11 7 11 36 28 44 +8
Colorado 10 9 10 42 35 40 +7
FC Dallas 11 12 6 49 45 39 +4
Real Salt Lake 10 12 7 40 35 37 +5
+San Jose 7 13 9 36 48 30 -12
*=Clinched playoff berth.
+=Eliminated from playoff contention.

Schedule:
Saturday, Oct. 24
Toronto FC at New York, 7:30 p.m. ET
D.C. United at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. ET
Colorado at Real Salt Lake, 9:00 p.m. ET
(TV: FSC, FSE)
FC Dallas at Seattle, 10:30 p.m. ET
San Jose at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Oct. 25
Houston at Chivas USA, 3:00 p.m. ET
(TV: TeleFutura)
New England at Columbus, 5:00 p.m. ET
(ESPN2, Deportes)

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Bruce Arena: 'There's no reason we can't qualify'    
No one knows January camp better than Bruce Arena. He's quick to point out that this ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"I am confident [Miami] will be our 24th team. We'll continue to work hard on finalizing ...
Video Pick: Bruce Arena opens new chapter     
The post-Jurgen Klinsmann era of the U.S. national team began in Carson, California, when Bruce Arena ...
Roster: Top MLS draft picks, U-17 star named to U-20s    
Miles Robinson, Jonathan Lewis and Jeremy Ebobisse, taken with picks 2-3-4 in the MLS SuperDraft, were ...
What They're Saying: Riccardo Silva    
"My interest is in helping the game to grow in both Miami and nationally.  Just as ...
USWNT: Pinto, 16, among five players called up    
Five players from the U.S. under-23 national team that has been training in Carson, California, joined ...
U.S. Abroad: Arriola and Corona connect in Tijuana win    
Paul Arriola scored on a fierce volley and Joe Corona came on to score his first ...
MLS Expansion: Garber high on San Diego    
As a market with a strong pro soccer following -- for Mexico's Tijuana across the border ...
MLS SuperDraft: Complete Round 1 and Round 2 picks    
Minnesota United took UCLA's Abu Danladi with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. ...
MLS SuperDraft: What to look for on Friday    
MLS will hold the 2017 SuperDraft on Friday (3 p.m. PT) at the NSCAA Convention in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives