LA and Houston Reassert Authority – But the News Ain’t All Bad for Seattle


mlscup09 logoThe home draw with Chivas was not a good result by any stretch of the imagination. That “it could have been worse” is something you say after a road accident, and provides cold comfort for Sigi and his troops despite admirable and stolid brave faces after the game.

If you are looking for comfort from the other results, then we may have good news for you. Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo both won. That’s not on the face of it great news if you still harboured ambitions for Sounders to finish in the top two. But Sounders top Los Angeles on head-to-head records and theoretically are just one win behind them. They have tougher games too, so that remains as possible as it was.

No, Sounders fans, the good news comes from not who won, but who lost. The two sides defeated by Galaxy and Dynamo were the two sides on that fringe pack of wild card chasers, Toronto and Real Salt Lake. They now sit forlornly ninth and tenth, four points behind Seattle with four games left. They are probably chasing DC United now for that last wild card. Chivas and Colorado with games in hand, some of them fairly straightforward looking can be expected to solidify their hold on a top eight place. Sounders’ real battle may be jockeying with them for position. If you finish fifth, you’ll almost certainly be shafted into the Eastern Conference to make up the numbers there, and start your post season with a two legged tie with Columbus Crew. (There Sigi, that made you smile, didn’t it?) Although, technically one Conference could supply six sides to the play-offs, but we’ll cross that unlikely bridge over the Mississippi River when we come to it. (I know. Don’t write in. It’s just a saying.)

Given our head-to-head lead over Toronto, Real Salt Lake now represent the realest threat to Sounders playing post-season in their inaugural year. Dallas, New York and Toronto though make up their next three opponents. Colorado are the last. Not tough, but are they good enough to actually beat all three?

Of course there is one name we haven’t mentioned yet. The New England Revs are also on 34 points with RSL and Toronto, but have two games in hand over them, and with Seattle Sounders. The Sounders travel to Boston next week and can do one of two things; win and ensure a play-off place. Feeling like the opinion pollster who predicts a Democrat victory after a small village in Maine records seven for them and five for the Republican, we are confident enough to say that three points in Boston will start a party in Seattle, during which we expect little tea to be drunk. The Revs would then sit seven behind Seattle and with a worse goal difference.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If New England complete the double over Sounders, then the rave green resorts back to wishing ill on DC United, and eyeing up that Eastern Conference title. A draw might not be all that bad, as at this stage points are definitely more valuable than games, especially in this quaint MLS season where there have been so many ties.

Results :

Friday Sep 18
New York 1 : 1 New England
San Jose 1 : 1 Colorado Rapids

Saturday Sep 19
Seattle Sounders 0 : 0 Chivas USA
Houston 3 : 2 Real Salt Lake
Kansas City 3 : 2 Dallas
Los Angeles 2 : 0 Toronto

Here is the latest MLS USA wide table after Friday and Saturday’s results. Columbus and Chicago drew 2-2 today. The Crew came back from two goals down after Peter Lowry had scored twice in the first half. Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored both second half goals for the Crew, the second a penalty. They were his 11th and 12th of the season.

USA League Table

1 Columbus Crew (E1) 25 11 10 4 43 10
2 Houston Dynamo (W1) 27 12 7 8 43 9
3 LA Galaxy (W2) 26 10 11 5 41 3
4 Chicago Fire (E2) 26 10 10 6 40 5
5 Seattle Sounders 26 9 11 6 38 7
6 Colorado Rapids 25 10 7 8 37 8
7 Chivas USA 24 11 4 9 37 1
8 DC United 26 8 12 6 36 1
9 Toronto FC 26 9 7 10 34 -4
10 Real Salt Lake 26 9 7 10 34 7
11 New England Revs 24 9 7 8 34 -4
12 Kansas City Wizards 25 8 6 11 30 -6
13 FC Dallas 25 7 6 12 27 -2
14 San Jose Earthquakes 23 5 6 12 21 -13
15 New York 26 4 5 17 17 -22


New York 1 : 1 New England

John Wolyniec’s late equaliser for New York was a major blow to NE’s quest to turn games in hand into points. The Revs side set a Major League Soccer record with a 13th consecutive game without defeat against New York, always a welcome triumph in Boston, but the result puts a major dent in the Revolution’s playoff hopes. Sainey Nyassi scored a superb individual goal to give the Revs a 13th minute lead. The Revs host Sounders FC for the first time ever next weekend while New York attempt to spike Chivas USA’s play-off charge in Los Angeles.

San Jose Earthquakes 1 : 1 Colorado Rapids

A very controversial penalty award late into stoppage time saved the Rapids from a defeat against the Western conference’s bottom side. Ryan Johnson had headed the Quakes ahead in the 8th and for most of the match, it seemed like San Jose were the better side. But referee Edvin Jurisevic awarded the Rapids a late life saver after Drew Moore was fouled in the 95th minute. Conor Casey converted the equaliser. Frank Yallop was furious and the two sides meet again on Wednesday. Don’t expect the Quakes to take it easy.


Seattle Sounders 0 : 0 Chivas USA
Sounders FC 0 : 0 Chivas USA (Match Report)

Vote for the Man of the Match (Opens in a New Window)

Houston 3 : 2 Real Salt Lake

Houston returned to winning ways after away defeats in MLS and CONCACAF. They scored two goals in the opening five minutes, then saw ten man Real Salt Lake come all the way back. But a late goal from Brad Davis nine minutes from time gave the Dynamo a 3-2 win at Robertson Stadium. Brian Ching and Geoff Cameron opened the scoring in the first five minutes, but Kyle Beckerman and Yura Movsisyan leveled the score for RSL as Jamison Olave was sent off in the first half. The defeat leaves RSL needing to win every remaining game to see any postseason action, but returns Houston as hot favourites for the Western Conference title after all but one of the chasing pack failed to win. Houston have next week off, and RSL play Dallas.

Kansas City 3 : 2 FC Dallas

A pair of errors by Kansas City Wizards defender Jimmy Conrad led to two FC Dallas goals, but the Wizards captain redeemed himself by scoring the winning goal in the 81st minute to give Kansas City a 3-2 win before a sell-out crowd.  The win moved Kansas City’s record to 8-11-6 and, with five games remaining in the regular season, kept alive the Wizards’ slim playoff chances. FC Dallas dropped to 7-12-6 and are not going to play after the regular season. Kansas can do themselves an enormous favour next week when they play Colorado, one of the sides they desperately need to drop points if their late push is not to be in vain. Santiago Hirsig and Josh Wolff scored the other KC goals, and Dax McCarty and Jeff Cunningham (again) notched for Dallas.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2 : 0 Toronto

Goals from David Beckham and Edson Buddle ensured an important victory for the Los Angeles Galaxy against Toronto FC at The Home Depot Center. Beckham put his side ahead in the ninth minute before assisting Buddle on the second goal in the 83rd. Toronto’s new Designated Player Julian de Guzman joined Dwayne De Rosario in the Toronto line up but wasn’t enough to avoid a critical defeat in the race to save Toronto’s fading season. De Guzman was booked 24 minutes into his debut. Toronto now have just 34 points with four games left and visit Chicago next week. LA Galaxy begin a tough run of opponents when they travel to Columbus to play the Crew. With this crucial win, they have given themselves an important cushion in the Western Conference, especially as their chasing pack all drew.


Chicago Fire v Columbus Crew 12pm

The big clash in the Eastern Conference takes place on Sunday. Chicago have to win to retain any hope of the Supporters Shield, while Columbus, having defeated Houston last week, can probably go a long way to clinching the trophy with a win. Fire’s recent form has been patchy with just one point taken from the last six. These two sides have already met twice and drawn twice, which means the winner, will walk away with a head-to-head advantage over the other. You could therefore reasonably argue that Chicago will go top of the league with a win, if Houston haven’t won the day before.

Adam Moffat is suspended and Chad Marshall is injured for Columbus. The Fire are without Tim Ward with a metatarsal fracture and fellow defender Gonzalo Segares is listed as doubtful.

Sunday Sep 20
Chicago Fire v Columbus Crew 12pm

Also See:


Club P W D L Pts
Houston 27 13 7 8 43
Los Angeles 26 10 11 5 41
Seattle 26 9 11 6 38
Colorado 25 10 7 8 37
Chivas USA 24 11 4 9 37
Real Salt Lake 26 9 7 10 34
FC Dallas 25 7 6 12 27
San Jose 23 5 6 12 21

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1 Comment

  1. Well at the very least the New England game will tell us if we have a legitimate road streak going or just have a fluke beatable opponent in DCU.

    If you take away the two DCU games, we haven’t done very well since July. Here’s to hoping we bolster our playoff chances against the Revs!