By: Matt Vereen
It’s been another great week for MLS Soccer, but the biggest piece of news wasn’t an MLS game at all. Sporting KC defeated the Philadelphia Union in PK’s to win the 102nd US Open Cup Final and bring the trophy to Kansas City for the third time. Meanwhile, it was absolute heartbreak for the Union. They have lost two years in a row now in the US Open Final, and this year it was the only glimmer of hope they have left. The Union are very nearly eliminated from playoff contention and had all their hopes on this Wednesday night’s game.
Enough about that though, lets get to the name of the column. Here’s where the MLS stands now (X – clinched playoff spot, Y – eliminated from playoff contention):
1) NY Red Bulls – 48 points (14-6-9) X
2) New England – 47 points (13-8-10)
3) Columbus – 47 points (13-8-10)
4) DC United – 45 points (13-6-12)
5) Toronto – 43 points (13-4-13)
6) Montreal – 42 points (12-6-11)
7) Orlando – 38 points (10-8-13)
8) NYC FC – 37 points (10-7-14)
9) Philadelphia – 34 points (9-7-15)
10) Chicago – 27 points (7-6-18) Y
1) LA – 50 points (14-8-9)
2) Vancouver – 48 points (15-3-12)
3) Dallas – 47 points (14-5-10)
4) Seattle – 46 points (14-3-13)
5) Sporting Kansas City – 45 points (12-9-9)
6) Portland – 44 points (12-8-10)
7) San Jose – 43 points (12-7-12)
8) Houston – 41 points (11-8-12)
9) Real Salt Lake – 38 points (10-8-12)
10) Colorado – 34 points (8-10-12)
Here’s a recap of Week 30 of the MLS regular season (home teams listed first):
Houston Dynamo 1-0 Sporting Kansas City
Ouch. SKC doing their best to put its playoff spot at risk. Dynamo, meanwhile, cling to fading hopes of taking part in the postseason.
Montreal Impact 2-1 Chicago Fire
NY Red Bulls 2-5 Orlando City SC
Orlando shocks on the road as rookie Cyle Larin nets a hat trick to keep the Lions playoff hopes alive.
Toronto FC 3-2 Chicago Fire
Ex-Toronto player Gilberto nets two goals including one in the first minute for some sweet revenge, but Toronto still gets the win at home thanks to Giovinco’s 20th goal of the season. Chicago Fire are the first team to be officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Montreal Impact 2-0 DC United
Drogba earns MLS player of the week honors as he nets two to lift the Impact past United. DC has only earned one point in its last six matches. Montreal is unbeaten in its last six games. Watch out, folks: Montreal has its eyes on the cup.
New England 1-1 Philadelphia Union
Every game from here on out is a virtual must-win for Philly, this one included. Chances they make it to the postseason are quickly dropping. New England, meanwhile, let some valuable points slip as they could have clinched a playoff berth with a win. Maybe next week, Revs.
Columbus Crew 1-2 Portland Timbers
Speaking of missed chances to clinch, all the Crew needed was a home win. Should see more of these teams clinch during week 31. Portland, however, earns some much-needed points as they continue to fend off San Jose for the last playoff spot.
Houston Dynamo 3-2 Colorado Rapids
In a sad match of virtually eliminated teams, the Dynamo come out on top. Let’s get back to games that matter.
Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 NYCFC
David Villa tucks away a last second PK to give NYCFC the valuable win. That’s three straight W’s for the Bronx Boys as they give the playoff race a good last second run.
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Seattle Sounders
Despite benching most of its best players for the US Open Cup Final, KC still gets a point thanks to a late goal from Dwyer. Dempsey misses plenty of winning opportunities for the Sounders to snatch an easy three.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 Real Salt Lake
Another stellar performance from Rimando falls just short as an 87th minute goal gives the Quakes three points. San Jose continues to stalk the Timbers for the 6th playoff slot.
LA Galaxy 3–2 FC Dallas
Dallas holds close with the Galaxy on the road, but the LA front line proves to be too much in the Stub Hub Center.
Should be an exciting rest of Week 30 as a few teams have a chance to clinch playoff spots. Here’s the weekend lineup:
(all times listed in Central Time)
NYCFC @ DC United (6:00 pm)
My pick: NYCFC 2-1
Toronto FC @ Philadelphia Union (4:00 pm)
My pick: Toronto 3-1
Columbus Crew @ NY Red Bulls (6:00 pm)
My pick: Draw 2-2
Montreal Impact @ Orlando City SC (6:30 pm)
My pick: Montreal 2-1
New England Revolution @ Chicago Fire (7:30 pm)
My pick: NE 2-0
Vancouver Whitecaps @ San Jose Earthquakes (9:30 pm)
My pick: San Jose 3-2
Sporting KC @ Portland Timbers (9:30 pm)
My pick: Draw 1-1
LA Galaxy @ Real Salt Lake (8:30)
My pick: LA 2-0
Houston Dynamo @ FC Dallas (4:00 pm)
My pick: Dallas 3-1
Real Salt Lake @ Colorado Rapids (6:00 pm)
My pick: RSL 2-1
LA Galaxy @ Seattle Sounders FC (8:30 pm)
My pick: Seattle 2-1
That’s it for this week’s KCOU MLS column! Be sure to tune in next week for the results to see who clinches trips to the postseason as the playoffs continue to approach. Have a great week, folks!