By TRAVIS CLARK
The race for the final MLS playoff spots continued to heat up over the past weekend. A number of contending teams failed to grab the appropriate result needed in order to maintain confidence in a late playoff run. The three teams on the outside looking in, Real Salt Lake, D.C. United and Toronto FC all failed to win.
D.C. United in particular shot itself in the foot, losing 2-1 at home to a San Jose team that hadn't won on the road all season. On top of that, D.C. lost starting goalkeeper Josh Wicks for essentially the remainder of the season with a dislocated shoulder and sprained knee.
Their failure was a success for others, as the Seattle Sounders clung to the bottom spot after losing to New England on the road. New England and Chivas still have a game or two in hand on everyone, leaving their destiny in their own hands. Take a look at the breakdown after the jump.
Columbus………..1.77 points per match (ppm); 46 points from 26 matches
Chicago………….1.52 ppm; 41 points from 27 matches
Houston………….1.59 ppm; 43 points from 27 matches
Los Angeles………1.52 ppm; 41 points from 27 matches
WILD CARD PLAYOFF SLOTS
Chivas USA……..1.52 ppm; 38 pts from 25 matches
New England…….1.48 ppm; 37 from 25 matches
Colorado………..1.44 ppm; 39 pts from 27 matches
Seattle………….1.41 ppm; 38 pts from 27 matches
D.C. United……..1.33 ppm; 36 points from 27 matches
Toronto…………1.30 ppm; 35 points from 27 matches
Real Salt Lake…..1.26 ppm; 34 points from 27 matches
CURRENT FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF PAIRINGS
Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders
Chicago Fire vs. New England
Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chivas USA
No one is all the way out of it quite yet — save for the Red Bulls and the Earthquakes, of course. Even a miraculous finish (combined with miraculous results) could get Kansas City or Dallas in. But realistically, Real Salt Lake, Toronto and D.C. United all need to win out if they hope to snag one of the final spots — or win a couple and hope for one of the above clubs to hit a poor vein of form.
Who do you think will make the playoffs? Can any of the bottom three clubs sneak their way in? Who will join Columbus with a clinched berth over the next weekend?
Share your thoughts below.