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
Kansas City goes top of -- and Chicago joins -- Eastern logjam
by Ridge Mahoney, September 29th, 2011 2:08AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



[MLS PLAYOFF WATCH] Two teams posted vital wins in MLS action Wednesday: Chicago stunned RSL, 3-0, to keep alive its flickering playoff hopes and Sporting Kansas City jumped atop the crowded Eastern Conference by beating Columbus, 2-1.

Telling the Chicago Fire that the MLS playoff guest list is closed will do no good; it's crashing the party anyway.

Chicago exploited the sending-off of RSL captain Kyle Beckerman to win for the fifth time in the last six games, and moved to within three points of a playoff spot via the emphatic 3-0 victory.

With the spotlight on returning RSL playmaker Javier Morales, out since May with a broken ankle, Fire midfielder Marco Pappa hit a hat trick to break a personal scoring drought that extended to last June, the same month that the Fire also last won a road game. Pappa scored in the ninth, 36th, and 75th minutes to increase his season total to eight goals and reverse a barren run against RSL: he’d failed to score in five previous league meetings.

Beckerman went off in the 11th minute for apparently head-butting midfield Daniel Paladini, who had apparently shoved him moments earlier. Four minutes later, RSL head coach Jason Kreis brought in a recent signing from USL PRO, Yordany Alvarez, to replace teenager Luis Gil in midfield, but the move didn’t enable the home team to gain much traction in the center of the park.

As for the humbled home team, it has lost the last two games by combined scores of 7-1 and won’t have Beckerman when it plays the Galaxy at Home Depot Center Saturday. Morales replaced Chris Wingert in the 60th minute and he looked reasonably fit for having sat out four months. His status for the Galaxy game won’t be known until Friday.

In the other league match played Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City leap-frogged Eastern Conference leader Houston by beating Columbus, 2-1, at Livestrong Sporting Park. (The Fire plays at Houston on Saturday.)

SKC, notorious for blowing leads this season, went up 1-0 in the 15th minute with a Kei Kamara penalty kick whistled for a debatable foul by Chad Marshall on C.J. Sapong, and true to form, conceded an equalizer by Emilio Renteria in the 34th minute. But this time, SKC got some reward – albeit with considerable luck – for its endeavor with a long Matt Besler throw-in into the opposing goalmouth that Columbus defender Julius James headed over his keeper, Will Hesmer, and into the net.

With yet another critical Eastern Conference match scheduled for Thursday, when Philadelphia hosts D.C. United, here’s how the playoff race looks:

Eastern Conference automatic qualifiers (3):
E1 -- Sporting Kansas City (11-9-11, 44 pts.); E2 – Houston (10-9-12, 42 pts.); E3 – Columbus (11-12-8, 41 pts.).
All three teams have three more games to play.

Western Conference automatics (3):
W1 – Los Angeles (17-3-10, 61 pts.); W2 – Seattle (15-6-9, 54 pts.): W3 – Real Salt Lake (15-9-6, 51 pts.)
All three teams have four games left to play.

Wild Cards (4):
WC7 – FC Dallas (13-10-7, 46 pts.); WC8 – Colorado (10-9-12, 42 pts.); WC9 – Philadelphia (9-7-13, 40 pts.); WC10 – New York (8-7-15, 39 pts.).
Games remaining: FCD 4, Colorado 3, Philadelphia 5, New York 4.

11 – D.C. United (9-8-11, 38 pts.); 12 – Portland (10-13-7, 37 pts.); 13 – Chicago (7-8-15, 36 pts.); 14 – Chivas USA (8-12-11, 35 pts.).
Games remaining: D.C. United 6, Portland 4, Chicago 4, Chivas USA 3.

Do the math:
15 – San Jose (6-11-13, 31 pts.); 16 – Toronto FC (6-13-12, 30 pts.); 17 -- New England (5-13-12, 27 pts.); 18 – Vancouver (4-15-10, 22 pts.). Games remaining: San Jose 4, Toronto FC 3, New England 4, Vancouver 5.

No comments yet.

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



Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Sublime scissor kick by Nacho    
Real Madrid's 26-year-old Nacho scored the goal of the week, a 17-yard scissor kick, on Wednesday ...
U.S. Abroad: Julian Green nets first Bayern goal    
Julian Green scored his first goal for Bayern Munich in his first start of the season, ...
LA schedules announced for NSCAA and MLS events    
Los Angeles will be the place to be for soccer in January. It will for the ...
Calendar: 2016-17 MLS offseason    
Major League Soccer won't waste time getting down to the business of preparing for the 2017 ...
What They're Saying: Franz Beckenbauer    
"Carlos Alberto was like a brother to me, one of my best friends." -- Former German ...
MLS: Pending Barnetta exit adds incentive for Union    
Of the 12 playoff qualifiers, Philadelphia compiled the fewest points (42) and drew a daunting match ...
What They're Saying: Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious Burke    
"This project in my opinion is a game changer." -- Sacramento planning and design commissioner Cornelious ...
USL Expansion: Tampa Bay and Ottawa leave NASL    
As the USL and MLS grow, the NASL shrinks. From its membership of 12 teams for ...
MLS Moves: Jahn's goals net him new contract in Columbus    
A rough season for Crew SC did yield some hope for the future, and as part ...
MLS Playoffs: Teams limp into Knockout Round    
Between them, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake have made 11 MLS Cup appearances and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives