Photo by ISIphotos.com
By TRAVIS CLARK
With the International break taking most other leagues around the world out of action, the reduced schedule left just three fixtures over the weekend. All three had playoff implications, however slight, as more than half the clubs involved remain in the thick of the race.
Colorado improved their chances the most with a win against Toronto FC, and sit just four points behind Houston, whose lead has suddenly dwindled down. The Rapids also have two games in hand on the West leaders, sitting just behind LA for the second spot in the West. They face a touch matchup in Toronto this weekend, but three points there would be another bonus. With just two home games left in Commerce City, performing on the road will be crucial to a playoff spot.
One team that couldn't get it done on the road was D.C., which drew 2-2 in Frisco. It's looking ever precarious for the club fresh off the Open Cup defeat. The good news for United is that it now has five consecutive league matches at home. Tom Soehn's team cannot afford many more draws.
Here's a look at the current breakdown:
Columbus………..1.69 points per match (ppm); 39 points from 23 matches
Chicago………….1.58 ppm; 38 points from 24 matches
Houston………….1.6 ppm; 40 points from 25 matches
Los Angeles………1.58 ppm; 38 points from 24 matches
Wild Card Playoff Slots
Colorado………..1.57 ppm; 36 pts from 23 matches
Chivas USA……..1.5 ppm; 33 pts from 22 matches
New England…….1.5 ppm; 33 from 22 matches
Seattle………….1.41 ppm; 34 pts from 24 matches
D.C. United……..1.38 ppm; 33 points from 24 matches
Real Salt Lake…..1.38 ppm; 33 points from 24 matches
Toronto…………1.29 ppm; 31 points from 24 matches
Current First-Round Playoff Pairings
Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders
Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution
Chicago Fire vs. Chivas USA
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids