With Colorado and Toronto draws, a New England win and a D.C. loss the MLS playoff shuffle is happening just like I thought it would. The addition of a Seattle loss and a Chivas tie has brought even more into this street fight that we’re calling “MLS Playoffs 2009”.
Let's begin the shuffle:
Right now Colorado, Chivas, Seattle and New England are in. New England plays tonight and pretty much everyone plays on Saturday. Let’s hit some predictions and see how messed up this shuffle can get.
New England will more than likely beat my Dallas Disappointments tonight and gain 3 points which will vault them all the way up past Colorado.
On Saturday, New England HAS Colorado. If I’m any judge of human nature I’d say that the Revolution will go into their match with the Rapids ready to draw blood early and often. Think about it. They will have just vaulted above Colorado and will now have a chance to get 3 more points on them in the blink of an eye. These two teams look like they are far apart on the standings table, but they clearly are NOT.
Chivas will tangle with D.C. that same day. If D.C. defeats Chivas then they vault ahead of Chivas in the standings. Surely the United boys must know this and one would think that they would go into the match thinking “If we don’t win this our season is over!”, because, well, if they don’t beat Chivas on Saturday their season is over. I’ll show you why.
Seattle has Columbus on Saturday after Columbus played to a tough draw against Saprissa the other day (a draw in which they had a 1-0 lead almost the entire match and gave up a goal late to allow Saprissa to draw them) and that can’t be good for the spirits in Columbus. Seattle has a chance to strike and they will. If the Sounders win they might be able to get themselves up near L.A. and Chicago and if they lose they lose ground and will either be in the last playoff spot or will have been leapfrogged by everybody and be out of it. They’ll come through on Saturday…they have to.
Now you see why D.C.’s season is over if they don’t win on Saturday, because Seattle is thinking the same thing and they’re getting a worn and depleted Crew on Saturday. With Toronto and Salt Lake sitting idle until the 10th and 14th respectively they could be left on the outside looking in hoping they can make up ground.
At this point nearly every game either IS a “must-win” or feels like a “must-win”. I can’t wait to see if I’m right because someone’s got to do the “musting” and someone’s go to be the loser…