It's too easy to cite a team's failures on the final weekend of the regular season as primary reasons said team missed out on playoff action, so instead, here's a look on what transpired on the previous 31 weeks to create those no-tomorrow scenarios:
TV Puzzle Created by Tight Playoff Race
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 23, 3:45 p.m.
Which team will draw the short straw in the upcoming MLS postseason, and host its home playoff game next Thursday on national television?
Mariner move may be a loss for MLS
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 19, 4:47 p.m.
Whether or not MLS has let a potentially great head coach slip away with the departure of Paul Mariner back to his native England is open to debate, but what the league and this country have lost is a good chunk of institutional knowledge.
'Biggest losers' rue missed opportunities
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 12, 3:45 p.m.
For a few MLS teams, the playoff race has become a lurching stagger, more a case of "The Biggest Loser" than "Quest for Qwest Field," or whatever postseason marketing slogan the league and ESPN will unveil in a week or so. (MLS Cup 2009 will be played in Seattle Nov. 22)
San Jose's Elliott on long, interesting path toward World Cup
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 9, 4:45 p.m.
International travel is a luxury for most people, so when players who must cross time zones and continents to play for their clubs or national teams complain about fatigue and jet lag they don't always generate a lot of sympathy.
Many teams still alive, but not for long
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 5, 2:45 p.m.
Let's see if we can make some sense out of this MLS playoff race, shall we?
Bargains and busts abound with salary figures
Posted by Ridge Mahoney on Oct. 2, 5:30 p.m.
The updated list of MLS salaries always offers plenty of interesting material, especially regarding who provides the best bang for buck, and those players who are basically stealing money.