We are mid-way through September, with about six weeks left in the season, and there is a very real chance that neither Los Angeles team will make the MLS playoffs. That’s a sad statement considering MLS Cup will be held at Home Depot Center this year.
Though neither team is eliminated from playoff contention yet, neither team is looking all that dangerous. Chivas USA actually holds the final playoff spot in MLS at the moment with 30 points (winning the tie-breaker vs. Colorado based on their win in their only meeting with the Rapids).
That hold on third place in the West doesn’t seem likely to hold with San Jose storming up the standings. The Earthquakes have put together a nine-match unbeaten streak 4-0-5 and are playing some of the best soccer in the league. Chivas USA? The Goats are barely holding on, with a pair of gift wins against a struggling Toronto FC squad the only thing that breathed life into Chivas USA’s playoff hopes.
And the Galaxy? That’s another sad story altogether.
When was the last time the Galaxy won an MLS match? Try 12 games. TWELVE. An 0-6-6 mark during that stretch is ugly to look at, and new coach Bruce Arena hasn’t been able to stop the bleeding. The funny thing is LA is still just four points out of the final playoff spot, but there has been little, make that no evidence that the Galaxy can turn things around and post enough points in its final six games to avoid missing the post-season for a third straight year.
With road games still to play against Chicago, Columbus and Houston, three of the league’s strongest teams, Arena and friends may want to start scouting for the 2009 MLS Draft.
As for Chivas USA? The Goats have yet to truly replace Brad Guzan in goal and injuries throughout the year have kept them from looking anything like the team that won the Western Conference regular season title last year. The additions of Sasha Victorine and Dejair might provide some spark to an inconsistent attack, but the team’s shaky defense is still an issue and the Goats just don’t look capable of holding off hard-charging San Jose.
Can things change? Can Arena find some magic and return the Galaxy to that exciting, goal-machine of a team we saw earlier in the year? Can Preki coax a late run from a team sorely lacking an identity?
It’s time for a poll:
What do you think about the disappointing seasons in LA? Share your thought on the Galaxy and Chivas USA in the comments section below.