MLS Table Talk - The Bordello Is Open
So the Crew are in first place, the Galaxy are clinging to a playoff spot, and DC, Chivas, and Houston are all on the outside looking in? Rrriiiiighhhht. Uh, somebody wake me up now, this isn't really happening, is it? Strange doings in the MLS table as mighty Columbus (um, can those two words be used in succession in a non-ironic sense? Didn't think so.) storm to a lead in both the points and the points-per-game tables with a converted midfielder in the center of defense and an anthropomophized pit-bull as the lone forward.
As was predicted before the season even got under way, the Galaxy are an offensive juggernaut, their 2.20 goals-per-game far outpacing the nearest competitors, Columbus, DC, and Chivas--all knotted at 1.80. And they're doing so with one prong of the trident, Carlos Ruiz, on the shelf. Of course, it should come as no surprise that those self-same Galacticos are conceding at a frightening 2.20 goals-against pace (you've seen the current state of Vanney and Xavier, right?). But it's their cross-town rivals the Goats that are the biggest doormats at 2.60 goals-against. Who's up for renaming the Toolbox? I vote for "The Bordello."
Anybody remember that big negative goal differential that TFC were toting about like their own personal cross last year? Well, surprise, surprise. This year's early-season leaders are last year's defensive stalwarts, Chivas and the Dynamo, at -4. Bizarre stuff. On the other end of the spectrum, Blanco's boys are doing the business to the tune of a +5 goal difference.
You may or may not have noticed that I have the Red Bulls shaded as a playoff team sitting in the #7 spot, but owing to the crazy-ass MLS rules, that's not actually the case. Check out the fact that the #1 side in the Western Conference is actually FC Dallas, currently residing in the 6th spot (five, count 'em, five out of seven eastern sides are above FCD!) in the combined table. The new playoff rules say that the top three from each conference get in automatically, followed by the next two highest finishers. Which means that the #3 side in the West, the #9 Rapids (number 9 . . . number 9 . . . number 9 . . . wait, wait--this is the Rapids, not the Revolution), would actually take a playoff spot away from the #7 Red Bulls.
Oh MLS, how I love thee--with your warts the size of plague boils and all.