MLS Table Talk (Week 13) - The Peloton
Not much change this week in the points table, but reading the points per game table is like looking at a bicycle road race. You've got a big pack, the peloton, out in the lead with seven teams averaging 1.62-1.67 points per game. That's an insanely close title race by any stretch of the imagination, but how long can it possibly stay this close?
On the wrong end of the table, TFC, Colorado, and Chicago are part of a little pack that is being pulled back towards the Galaxy and RSL, the only clubs averaging less than a point per game. But Columbus has managed to detached itself from the trailers and is making a run towards the leaders, claiming the last playoff spot in the process.
Offensively, the Revs, Red Bulls, and Wizards continue to lead way in goals scored, but four goals against the Rapids this week mean that United have made a strong run to join them. At the other end of the spectrum, RSL is joined by the struggling Fire and Rapids in the "under a goal per game" club. The Fire will be hoping that the return of Rolfe and the addition of Blanco will get the goals flowing again and RSL will look to integrate new arrivals Eskandarian and Findley in a bid to do the same. The Rapids, however, don't seem to have made any moves up top and will have to hope that one of their underperforming strikers starts to find the net with regularity.
Defensively, the Dynamo rule the roost, averaging only 0.71 goals allowed per game, with their nearest competitors being Chivas, who are a long way off at 1.0 goals allowed per game. Predictably, Toronto, LA, and RSL are leaking the most goals and are fittingly fixed to the bottom of the table as well.
July 4th brings on a heavy case of fixture congestion, with 12 games over the next week. Will the peloton remain or will clubs start to make a move out of the pack? Will Columbus inch closer to the leaders? Can some of the strugglers start to pick up points or will the gap increase? One thing is certain, it's highly unlikely that such a closely packed table will remain unchanged by the time Sunday night rolls around.