Much more movement this time around. There were some real surprises, perhaps the biggest was FC Dallas dropping 3 points to the LA Galaxy. This turned out to be a bit longer than I’d thought, but hopefully it’s all worth while. Read on for my rankings and some explanations.
1) DC United (50 pts, 26 games, 1.92 ppg)—Even missing most of their mid-filed, DC held a strong Fire team to a draw and came home with a point. Facing Toronto in RFK should keep DC on the winning path (and keep their boistrous fans happy). DC and Chivas are tied with a maximum of 62 possible points for the season, and are the co-leaders for the supporters shield.
2) Chivas USA (47 pts, 25 games, 1.88 ppg)—It’s Chivas’ turn to take on the Fire. Playing in LA will help. It’ll be interesting to see how Chivas fans take to Blanco. DC and Chivas are tied with a maximum of 62 possible points for the season, and are the co-leaders for the supporters shield.
3) Houston Dynamo (45 points, 26 games, 1.73 ppg)—Houston didn’t play this week, but moved ahead of the revolution anyway … good way to spend a bye week.
4) New England Revolution (46 pts, 26 games, 1.77 ppg)—The Revs took on a little water by not beating New York on Saturday. Getting to play the Rapids in New England should take the edge off.
Other than the race for the supporters shield, this is the group where all the action is. Six teams are battling it out for four playoff spots. (Well, it’s more like four teams are battling it out for two slots, I think New York and Dallas have pretty well written their invitations.)
5) New York Red Bulls (38 points, 26 games, 1.46 ppg)—Pulling off a tie against the Revolution was big for them, and facing RSL in the Swamp should help them build up some points as well. They did come away with a draw in Salt Lake earlier this year (back when RSL wasn’t playing so well), so this won’t be automatic.
6) Kansas City Wizards (36 points, 26 games, 1.38 ppg)—Losing to Chivas at home wasn’t what they’d hoped for. KC still owns their own fate, but they need to pull things together. Facing LA at home should be good for three points, which will help. With a maximum possible of 48 points, the Wizards are officially out of the race for the supporters shield.
7) Chicago Fire (32 points, 26 games, 1.23 ppg) — The draw against DC is a decent result — the one against KC, less so. The fire just looked old and tired most of their Thursday night game (and the Blanco-cam sucked). Playing at Chivas isn’t going to help them either. With a maximum possible of 44 points, the Fire are officially out of the race for the supporters shield.
8) FC Dallas (40 pts, 26 games, 1.54 ppg)—Losing to LA was just bad. That’s why I dropped Dallas so far this week. Playing the Dynamo on Sunday is a great chance for redemption and if they can squeak out the win against a cross-state and divisional rival, so much the better.
9) Columbus Crew (31 pts, 26 games, 1.19 ppg)—They beat TFC … which is kind of like the the Red Sox beating the PawSox at their annual game. On the other hand, the Crew will also go down in history as the team that let TFC off the hook on their record scoring drought. With a maximum possible of 43 points, the Crew are officially out of the race for the supporters shield.
10) Colorado Rapids (29 pts, 26 games, 1.12 ppg)—Not only did they lose, they lost to RSL and hurt their chances at the Rocky Mountain Cup (the only silverware they still had a chance to take. With a maximum possible of 41 points, the Rapids are officially out of the race for the supporters shield.
Mathematically, all of these teams are still alive in the playoff race. If Chicago can nail down 4 points, Colorado 7, or Columbus 5 each of these teams will be eliminated. I wouldn’t look for any of them to be showing up in the 2007 post season though.
11) Real Salt Lake (23 pts, 26 games, .88 ppg)— After dropping two points to the surging LA Galaxy (can I really call the Gals surging?), RSL came back and took three from Colorado. 4 points in a week isn’t too bad, and the coaching staff and new GM are looking hard at players for the 2008 season (more on this later). RSL will be lucky to get a point this week at New York.
11) Los Angeles Galaxy (21 pts, 24 games, .87 ppg) — On the strength of a draw against RSL and a win against FC Dallas, I’m moving them up a bit— problem is, RSL is looking better too. Playing at the Wizards and then at the Crew doesn’t look like a good way to make up ground on anyone (though the Crew are going nowhere fast).
13) Toronto FC (21 pts, 25 games, .84 ppg)—They broke their scoring slump, but they’re still sitting at the bottom of the table. Playing at DC this week probably won’t put any points on the table for them.