Cascadia Clubs now have hopes and fears for other games

Posted in Other MLS, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver

Published on July 24, 2011 with 3 Comments

With the race for MLS positioning now beginning to solidify, it has become clear what the regular season aims for our three local Cascadian clubs are.

Sounders FC have played themselves into such a good  position that they can legitimately claim two objectives: a first ever Supporters Shield, and a top three Western Conference place.

The latter, as you will recall, guarantees them a position in the last eight of the play-offs.

Fail to make that, and they will enter a play-in round of four, where four sides will battle to join the sides who finished top three in the West, and those who managed the same in the Eastern Conference.

Therefore, as well as being able obviously to cheer their side to victory, fans in the Emerald City now know who Sounders FC need to lose in the other games.

In this case, they have three rivals, Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake.

Last night was unhelpful. RSL won 4-0 over San Jose, albeit in highly controversial circumstances.

FC Dallas did manage a draw in faltering New York, but given they had a lead and a man advantage, Schellas Hyndman will be very disappointed to have thrown away two points after Thierry Henry scored a brilliant individual equaliser to save parity for New York. It was a lucky break for Seattle, possibly to be cheered all the way to Panama.

Portland’s task is different. Their aim is to squeak into tenth place in the MLS Full Table and make that play-in round of four.

After last night’s defeat in Columbus, they trail in 14th place. They have games in hand over their immediate rivals but the MLS Table by Points per Game shows them also to be 14th.

In short, they are not doing well enough to rely on the same performance in their matches in hand to lift them higher.

The Three Cascadian Clubs Now have Very Different Objectives for the Regular Season


The list of sides Timbers fans need to lose is longer. It includes all those sides who are chasing tenth, except the three likely to qualify through the Eastern Conference placings regardless of their position in the full league table.

So Portland can pick three Eastern Conference sides to cheer on. Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew and New York seems for now the best bets. They seem the most likely to qualify through those top three slots in their own Conference.

Timbers fans can cheer on those sides, especially if they are being opposed by any of Sporting Kansas City, San Jose Earthquakes, Houston, Dynamo, DC United, or Chivas USA.

Those five clubs seem to be most likely to provide the rivals for places nine and ten in the regular season, having made the assumption that Colorado Rapids and one other top Western Conference side will finish comfortably in the top eight places.

In short, Portland Timbers are one of six sides seeking the final two places in the ten that will see further action.

To that end, the results last night were mixed.

Chivas USA won, but they did beat Houston. A draw might have been better. San Jose lost which was helpful. Sporting Kansas City did win however, although given they were playing Toronto, that wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Incidentally, Toronto are the side Portland have to beat next week. It’s a crunch game and failure to win all three points will be very serious.

They could also help dear old kitless Vancouver, whose sole aim for now seems to be avoiding 18th place.

Toronto are the most likely rivals to be caught so Caps fans can feel free to wish defeat on their Ontarian brothers, just a little more than normal.

See Also:

MLS Full Table by Points Per Game

MLS Full Table


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Comments for Cascadia Clubs now have hopes and fears for other games are now closed.

  1. Alvaro Saborio = Dirty.Lying.Cheater. His smile in the post-game interview is even more disturbing. Gross.

  2. Article gives a good perspective on where the cascadia teams are, nicely done. I would be interested to hear your perspective on the (non) possibility of instituting relegation into the league. Sport clubs that never have to earn their place in a league is entrenched in america (its not even august and the mariners are just going through the motions)

  3. I have to disagree that NYRB’s are more likely to be in the top 3 in the Eastern Conference than Kansas City.

    KC is only 4 point back of NY with 3 games in hand.

    KC also have 11 games left at home, compared to 6 for NY, home games of which they have a better.

    They have essentially the same Pts/Mtch (KC: 1.3; NY: 1.304). Looking deeper, we actually see that KC has a better Pts/Mtch at home and a better Pt/Mtch Away when compared to NY; though their long road trip to start the season skews the overall Pts/Mtch.

    Basically: KC > NY

    KC has a better Pts/Mtch at home and a better Pt/Mtch Away when compared to NY)

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