Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Kansas City goes top of -- and Chicago joins -- Eastern logjam
by Ridge Mahoney, September 29th, 2011 2:08AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[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.

CREW CRUMBLES.
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.

Chasers:
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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Ohio Wesleyan mourns freshman Luke Gabbert's death    
Luke Gabbert, who had just completed his freshman season at perennial Division III power Ohio Wesleyan, ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"We are very excited about the possibilities in St. Louis. We believe it's MLS-ready. We've got ...
USA-Canada Takeaways: Year makes big difference    
The USA swept two games at a January camp for only the second time in a ...
Ashley Cole: 'I'm not a diva'    
Ashley Cole was not going to get away with his introductory press conference in Los Angeles ...
What They're Saying: Ashley Cole    
"I didn't come here to sit on the beach, to rest." -- Ashley Cole, the 35-year-old ...
U.S. Abroad: Gonzalez and Wood get big goals    
Omar Gonzalez kept Pachuca unbeaten in the Liga MX's Torneo Apertura when he scored on a ...
Video Picks: Top 5 EPL Goals of the Week    
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea), Alex Chamberlain (Arsenal), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City) and Jesse Lingard ...
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
Newly acquired Jack McInerney scored two goals as the defending champion Portland Timbers defeated their Cascadia ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 5-6)    
Walker Zimmerman is back with FC Dallas. The 22-year-old defender whose late goal kept it in ...
What They're Saying: David Wagner    
"It wasn't a surprise for me. I spoke with Jurgen Klinsmann maybe a year ago and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives