MLS Table Talk - Everybody Scores in LA
Not much movement on the table this week, and things remain pretty well condensed. The Crew and Fire have created a bit of a gap at the top, but below them, half of the league is separated by only two points. In the points-per-game table, the leading duo's advantage is crystal clear, with both clubs on the plus side of 2.0. Only two other sides are averaging over 1.5 per game--the surprising TFC and New York. But once again, we're reminded of how early in the season it is, because the Red Bulls, fourth in points-per-game, are still on the outside looking in at the playoffs--resting in ninth on goal difference.
Offensively, the clear leaders are the Galaxy. Sexy football indeed--the Galacticos are the only side banging in more than two per game. There are only two other sides averaging more than 1.5 goals per game. Unsurprisingly, those sides happen to be the high-flying Crew and Fire. On the flip side, only two sides aren't managing more than a goal per game--Houston at 0.83 and the expansion-fever afflicted San Jose at a miserable 0.4.
When it comes to keeping them out, the Fire are the ones to beat. At only half a goal allowed per game, they are the run-away defensive leaders. The only sides that are even close are the Red Bulls at 0.8 (the swamp gas must be affecting the opposition) and Dallas at 0.83. At the opposite end, it looks like everybody scores in LA. Chivas and LA just can't keep them out--surrendering at a 2.17 allowed per game clip. Honorable mention goes to DC United, who shipped two this week to maintain their 2.0 per game average.
It was somewhere around this point last year that distinct groupings started to emerge in the table. There was a breakaway pack of 3-4 at the top, followed by about half the table clustered around the remaining playoff spots, and an unlucky few were cut adrift at the bottom. The trend seems to be continuing this year, though the frontrunners are fewer in number. Despite the relative stability of the table this week, the potential for dramatic shifts will still be around for a month or so until the points totals spread out a bit.
That's about it for this week's MLS Table Talk. Stay tuned for the MLS Dogpile, coming to a browser near you in the next 24 hours or so . . .