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MLS Week 28: A Look Ahead


With the 2010 MLS Playoff race not being much of a race at all, the final weeks of the MLS season will be more about playoff positioning than playoff survival.

The Kansas City Wizards and Chicago Fire are technically alive in the playoff race, but with both teams having mountains to climb, this weekend's marquee match-ups are the ones featuring teams already in playoff position. 

The New York Red Bulls play host to Real Salt Lake in the weekend's marquee match-up. Both teams are trying to win conference titles, but the Red Bulls will have to overcome several key absences due to national team duty if they are going to knock off the defending MLS Cup champions.

Speaking of champions, the Seattle Sounders will try to avoid a U.S. Open Cup hangover when they take on the Wizards, who still have some slim hope of earning a playoff berth, but only if they beat Seattle this weekend.

Here is a look at this weekend's MLS action:

MLS Matches This Week


Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew

The Fire still has the slimmest of chances of earning a playoff berth, but it will take a win against a Crew team desperate for a win after going four matches without a victory. Carlos De Los Cobos is hanging on by a thread in Chicago, and a loss at home tonight could push him one step closer to the door.

For Columbus, the match will be a chance to erase the disappointment if a U.S. Open Cup final loss to Seattle, while also helping the Crew keep pace with the Red Bulls atop the East.


New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake (4pm, Telefutura)

RSL's chase for the Supporters Shield faces a tough test from the Red Bulls, who will still be a threat despite the absences of Bouna Coundoul and Dane Richards. With Designated Players Juan Pablo Angel, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez all available, New York won't have any excuses for dropping points at home. 

Match-ups to watch? Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel vs. Jamison Olave and Nat Borchers. Alvaro Saborio vs. Tim Ream will also be fun to watch.

FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids

The seemingly unstoppable force known as FC Dallas will look to extend its unbeaten streak to 19 matches by beating a Rapids team coming off a disappointing home loss to D.C. United.

Dallas will be favored at home, but Colorado has to play with some urgency knowing that a loss and a Kansas City win would suddenly make the race for the final MLS playoff race a dangerous one. 

D.C. United vs. San Jose Earthquakes

D.C. is playing for pride, and playing to help Ben Olsen keep the head coaching job, but the Eastern Conference cellar dwellars will be taking on a San Jose side looking to move up in the playoff pecking order with a win.

So why care about this match? San Jose can clinch its first playoff berth since the club was reborn.

Kansas City Wizards vs. Seattle Sounders

The Wizards have no real margin for error if they are to have any chance at a playoff berth, so they must beat a Sounders team that just might be vulnerable after winning the U.S. Open Cup title on Tuesday.

The Wizards created more than enough chances last week to beat New York, but poor finishing doomed them. They could find the going tougher against a Seattle defense that has really come together in recent weeks.

Chivas USA vs. Toronto FC

So why should you care about the "Preki's firing killed the only good storyline" Derby?

You've got me.

Seriously though, both teams need to start figuring out which players to keep and which players to expose to the MLS Expansion Draft. It will also be a chance for Justin Braun to score a goal and spark the "Why didn't Bob Bradley call him up" cries.


Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution

Remember when these teams met in consecutive MLS Cup Finals? Yes, that sure seems like so long ago.

Now, both sides are playing for pride, with the loser moving a step closer to a top five MLS Draft pick in 2011.

My, how the mighty have fallen.


Who do you see winning the New York-RSL showdown? Think Kansas City can stay alive in the playoff race?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Let’s watch to see how close Colorado comes to failing again to make the playoffs. They have 3 very tough opponents to end the season, while KC has a game in hand and some winnable games ahead. Hopefully this race will go right to the wire….

  2. Keen to see how well my Red Bulls do without the red hot Dane Richards spreading the right side. Also interested to see who Backe puts on the right. Finally, hoping to see Thierry Henry pull a Nkufo and net a hat-trick against RSL.


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