Manic race for final playoff berths
Our weekly dose of Major League Soccer quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.
Thirty-one weeks later and we still have no idea who will make up almost half the playoff picture. Chicago (42 points) is in with a tie and Colorado (40) with a win, but four teams -- D.C. United, FC Dallas, New England and Toronto FC -- have 39 points with a single match remaining, while Real Salt Lake finds itself just two behind the quartet. The tiebreaking scenarios are too complex to examine here (see
Seattle defeated Kansas City on the road last weekend and that result -- combined with Chivas USA's home draw with San Jose and the Los Angeles-Houston scoreless draw -- thrust the first-year franchise back into the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Goats have to be the favorite as they boast a game in hand (and are the only squad capable of wresting the Supporters' Shield from Columbus), but there's an attitude about this Sounders team Free Kicks loves. Plus, two words:
The final week of the regular season features eight matches, and every one matters to at least one squad. The Fire open the Sunday-to-Sunday stretch when they play host to Chivas USA. Can