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Final MLS Table

table1 194x300 Final MLS Table

The season is over and, after a wild weekend, we have our playoff teams.  The first round of playoffs looks like this:

West

LA Galaxy vs Chivas USA

Houston Dynamo vs Seattle Sounders

East

Columbus Crew vs Real Salt Lake

New England Revolution vs Chicago Fire

Before we start previewing this first round of the playoffs, let’s spend a moment looking back at how we got here:

For the last month, the MLS essentially had a single table, and it was great!  With six team finishing within three points of each other, all hovering around that playoff line, east and west had little meaning.  Everybody’s results affected everybody else, and the variety of scenarios defied calculation.  Considering the MLS is planning a balanced schedule next year, conferences will have no meaning at all.  The MLS should recognize this reality and just publish a single table.

It seems like nobody from the east wanted to go to the playoffs.  For New England to qualify, they needed a triple bank shot, and they got it.  Dallas lost to Seattle who had already qualified.  Toronto got blown out by the lowly Red Bulls.  DC drew Kansas City.  And finally New England beat the Crew.  As hard as New England seemingly tried to avoid the playoffs over the past two months (nine points out of a possible 27 since September 1), they did just enough to get into the post season.  The MLS came within a hair of having six teams from the west and two from the east in the playoffs.

Special kudos to the Galaxy.  Last year they shared the worst record in the west with San Jose.  They let in an atrocious 62 goals in 30 games.  From the second half of the season on, they had the stink of death about them.  Bruce Arena completely resurrected the team in 2009, played a brand new back five for most of the season, cut their GA number in half, got Beckham and Donovan to play well with each other, and led a team that was consistent from wire to wire.  The Galaxy lost only six games the entire season - a league low.  In the process, Arena proved to be as good a soccer coach and talent picker as exists in the American game.

More special kudos to the Seattle Sounders.  Before their first kick of the season, the Sounders were a resounding success.  From the moment they stepped on the field, they were embraced by their city as passionately as any team in the MLS.  But few expected them to be any good.  Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg were assumed to be on the “thanks for the memories” tour, and the rest of the team was not exactly going to fire anyone’s imagination.  However, Fredy Montero proved to be the find of the season for the MLS, and Coach Sigi Schmid fashioned a cohesive team that constantly did enough to get results.  To make the playoffs in their debut season is a terrific achievement, and Houston is probably looking forward to their visit to Qwest Field as much as they would a trip to tour Chernobyl.

Additional kudos for Jason Kreis.  The world is full of great players who made lousy managers.  Ted Williams, Magic Johnson and Tony Adams were all intense players who were constantly frustrated that they could not teach what came so naturally to them as players.  None of them had more than token careers managing a team.  Jason Kreis has his place booked in the MLS Hall of Fame.  His 91 goals and 65 assists make him a legend.  Yet, he has seamlessly taken off his uniform, put on a suit and tie, and has guided an underwhelming Real Salt Lake team to its second straight post season.

Playoff previews will come later this week.

17 Responses to Final MLS Table

  1. Rachel says:

    Eric -

    Jason Kreis retired with 108 career goals, so I think the numbers you list for him are only from his Dallas playing days – if you include his RSL seasons of 2005, 2006 and part of 2007, he gets up to 108 goals and 74 assists for his career …

    That being said, this talented team is finally performing up to its level, and we shall see if it can do something in the playoffs!

    Rachel

  2. free bet says:

    With the way LA were playing, they deserved a win above Columbus…

  3. dave says:

    If a true single table existed it would be
    1 Colombus v. 8 RSL
    2 LA Galaxy v. 7 NE Revolution
    3 Houston v. 6 Chivas
    4 Seattle v. 5 Chicago

  4. eplnfl says:

    The last month of the season was great. I would hope that those who support a single table winner take all will note what fun would be missed.

    Yes, well done by the Sounders, your fans deserved it. I am no fan of LA but it was good to see the Galaxy play well and hopefully they will provided a lot of playoff interest. Now that money time is here and no qualification games to worry about look for my Chicago Fire to play like Champions. It seemed all season for one reason or another they held back waiting for the post season, Here it is!

  5. daniel says:

    i think it is going to be Seattle vs Columbus In the MLS cup.

  6. daniel says:

    i was shocked last night, they showed a highlights to a MLS game. Columbus Crew Vs New England Revolution.

    what really is messed up is their lack of knowledge of soccer. The guy said i heard goalie is the toughest position of an sport. The woman said that is only Hockey. Now being a Goalkeeper my whole life. i wanted to smack that woman.

    • Lars says:

      Technically she’s right. Goalie is a stupid term to use in football. Any time i hear somebody call a Keeper a Goalie I want to punch them in the teeth.

  7. daniel says:

    but still Keeper is a tough position your the last line of defense.

  8. Tom says:

    Single table with play-offs would be great- more fair and easier to follow. However, LA-Chivas would not have happened this year, and that series is the one to watch.

  9. todd says:

    well I got the two dream west match-ups, DALE DYNAMO.

    shame TFC and DC didn’t make it in, oh well.

  10. Charles says:

    LA-Chivas and Houston-Seattle would not have happened in a single conference, and all of those are going to be great.
    Single conference is VERY short sighted. Are they going to have 36 games in two years ? IF not, what have a single conference for one year ? After that are they going to grow at all ? IF so, single conference means having more games every year.

  11. DCUDiplomat96 says:

    Lets see if Columbus can win Back to back league titles??!!! the SS Choke Bug is on them again, are they the New dynasty??? who knows

  12. Tom says:

    Charles, if you play everyone twice in an 18 team league, that is only 34 games, because you don’t play yourself. Even if they stay on the 30 game schedule – meaning every team will have 4 oppenents they just play once, and twelve oppenents they play twice (home and away, presumably)- they should still do single table. In our current conference set-up the schedules are not the same for teams within a conference. The western teams, for example, played a 3rd game against just 2 of the 8 teams in the conference. I don’t see a big difference between unbalanced conference schedules and unbalanced single table schedules, but I do know this playoff chase would have been a lot easier for causal fans to understand the MLS had used single table.

  13. Rex says:

    Houston isn’t dreading the trip to Seattle. This is the match up we wanted. They are they only team we haven’t beaten and we intend to do so. Show them up in their own house then bring them back to Houston and finish them off in front of 6th straight playoff sellout of orange.

  14. 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League says:

    So now begins the final round of games to determine the final 2 USA participants for the 10-11 CCL. Good luck to all teams involved.

    It does seem that the Galaxy will be hungry to be CCL Champions. It will be good.

    Long live club football.

  15. bagstars says:

    majorleaguesoccertalk.com/open-letter-to-roger-goodell/6892

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