By: Matt Vereen
I hope you all enjoyed “Decision Day” as much as I did. The idea of throwing all the final regular season games onto the same day had its critics, but those critics were surely silenced by the pure drama and emotion of last Sunday. With every goal, I was reworking the standings in my head as to playoff seeding implications. I for one hope it becomes an annual tradition. I won’t go through each of the games, but here were the final standings at the end of the regular season:
(All teams above the dotted line made the playoffs)
1) NY Red Bulls – 60 points (Supporter’s Shield winners)
2) Columbus – 53 points
3) Montreal – 51 points
4) DC United – 51 points
5) New England – 50 points
6) Toronto – 49 points
7) Orlando – 44 points
8) NYC FC – 37 points
9) Philadelphia – 37 points
10) Chicago – 30 points
1) FC Dallas – 60 points
2) Vancouver – 53 points
3) Portland – 53 points
4) Seattle – 51 points
5) LA – 51 points
6) Sporting KC – 51 points
7) San Jose – 47 points
8) Houston – 42 points
9) Real Salt Lake – 41 points
10) Colorado – 37 points
That mean’s the playoffs shaped up like this:
(4) Seattle Sounders 3-2 (5) LA Galaxy
The Sounders take advantage of having the single-elimination match at home to oust the defending champs. The match was tied 2-2 within just 23 minutes, but Seattle had the lone second half goal thanks to a beautiful long-distance volley from Erick Friberg to left them into the Conference semifinals. If Portland wins, Seattle will play FC Dallas in a two game home and away series. If Sporting KC wins, Seattle will play Vancouver in a two game home and away series.
(6) Sporting KC @ (3) Portland Timbers – October 29th 9:00 CT
Sporting will open their fifth straight playoff trip with an away single elimination match against the Timbers who have won two straight in dominant fashion.
My Prediction: Portland 2-1
(4) DC United 2-1 (5) New England Revolution
Despite going down 1-0 on an incredible bike-goal from Juan Agudelo, DC United fight back to defeat the Revolution. Some late drama saw a possible handball by a DC Defender (it wasn’t) go uncalled in the DC box. NE’s Jermaine Jones wasn’t happy and got physical with the ref resulting in a red card. A suspension is surely on its way, but Jones may not be returning to the MLS anyway since he’s received some global attention. DC United move on and will play a two game series with either the NY Red Bulls (if Montreal wins) or the Columbus Crew (if Toronto wins).
(6) Toronto @ (3) Montreal
In a rematch from Sunday, Toronto travels back to rival Montreal hoping for a different result. My Prediction: Montreal 2-1
All first legs of the Conference semifinals are set for November 1st. Second legs are set for November 8th.
That’s it for this week’s KCOU MLS column! Be sure to tune in next week for how Thursday’s and the weekend’s playoff matches shakeout. Have a great week, folks!