Connect in the back of the net

Week 25 in MLS was dubbed “Rivalry Week” as old foes locked horns coast to coast.  

Some teams impressed while other teams continued to fall off the playoff-pace.  One clear message from the weekend is that all the silverware will be coming home with an Eastern Conference team this season.

Toronto FC made easy work of fellow Canadian side Montreal 3-1 to almost lockdown the regular season supporters shield title for the league’s best record.  

The New York Red Bulls battled NYC FC to a 1-1 draw as both of these sides look dangerous entering the final stretch of the season.  The Red Bulls and Bradley Wright-Phillips should find a way to bring home the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup over Sporting KC in a few weeks and NYC FC owes Toronto FC some playoff payback which should carry them to an MLS Cup this season.

Out west only 8 points separate first place from eighth place.  Minnesota, Colorado, and the LA Galaxy are already out of the picture as their seasons have slipped away.  

But in the Western Conference title race that no one wants to win, it really could be any one of the eight teams in contention winning the prize.  Let’s see how the teams did this week.

 

Eastern Conference

Toronto: 56 points.  The class of the league.  Giovinco and friends are running away with the shield.

NYC FC: 47 points.  David Villa is back in the Spain side for World Cup qualifiers and NYC won’t catch Toronto until the playoffs…but they pass them there on the way to MLS Cup as Eastern champs.

Columbus Crew: 42 points.  Will make the playoffs.  Expect an early exit.

Chicago Fire: 41 points.  Slipping as of late, losing 2-1 to Minnesota has the Fire red with embarrassment.

New York Red Bulls: 39 points.  Watch out for the raging bulls down the stretch.  They have one hand already on the US Open Cup.

Atlanta United: 36 points.  Expansion side has played poorly on the road all season.  How the five stripes do inside their new stadium over a long homestand will determine their playoff fate.

Montreal Impact: 36 points.  Drama on and off the field as the season begins to slip away.

Philadelphia Union: 31 points.  Just not enough goals to matter this season.

Orlando City: 31 points.  Confusion and poor results in Orlando as the Lions look for a direction.

New England Revolution: 29 points.  Going through the motions to close out the year.

DC United: 28 points.  Three straight 1-0 wins have salvaged something this season as they have totally turned over the roster the past two weeks.

 

Western Conference

Seattle Sounders: 42 points.  Experience lands them in the playoffs.  A missed opportunity versus the Timbers over the weekend in a 1-1 draw.

Portland Timbers: 41 points. If Adi plays well then the Timbers are a dangerous playoff team…. but first Adi must return from injury to allow the Timbers to make a run.

Sporting KC: 40 points. Going to lose the US Open Cup to RBNY and then will finishing the season wondering “what could have been?”

Vancouver Whitecaps: 38 points.  Still a mystery on the road.  Big trouble ahead when the ‘Caps play away in the playoffs.

Houston Dynamo: 38 points. In a great spot with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

San Jose Earthquakes: 36 points: Made some additions to the team during the transfer window and could be a real dark horse in the playoffs. They just thumped the spiraling Galaxy 3-0 over the weekend.  Fear the ‘Quakes.

FC Dallas: 36 points: Underachieving in Dallas continues down the final stretch and into an early playoff exit.

Real Salt Lake: 35 points: Overachieving in Salt Lake continues down the stretch but the tank is empty by the playoffs.

Minnesota United: 25 points: Big win over the Fire this weekend.  Too far off the pace to matter now.

LA Galaxy: 23 points: Struggling to return to former glory days in LA.  2018 can’t arrive soon enough.

Colorado Rapids: 22 points: Poor Tim Howard.  U.S. No. 1 getting plenty of work to stay sharp every match day.

 

Written by Forrest Wimberly

Follow Forrest on Twitter @ForrestWimberly

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