MLS Table Talk - Tablequake!
Tablequake! The table is topsy-turvy this week, with everybody bouncing about save for (oh, the irony!) the Quakes, stuck fast at the bottom despite their big win over their former selves this week. A look at the combined table shows that the trio at the top (Fire, Crew, Revs--all still from the East) continues to maintain a gap over the rest of the league. LA and Toronto, somewhat surprisingly, make up a second tier that's detached itself from the five-team block vying for those final playoff spots. Nestled in beneath them is the Cape Canaveral Countdown: 10 (Houston) . . . 9 (United) . . . 8 (RSL) . . . 7 (Quakes) . . .
The points-per-game table is somewhat more segmented. The Fire and Crew are perched atop the league as the only sides averaging over two points per game. The Revs are making a push to join them at 1.9 and hold a significant lead over the trio (TFC, LA, New York) packed in around 1.5 per game. Numerology nuts will be intrigued by the next strata, with the Rapids and Dallas knotted at 1.33, Chivas and KC at 1.22, and Houston hovering behind at 1.11. The bottom three (DC, RSL, Quakes) can't manage even a point per game, all clustered about the 0.9 mark.
Chicago continue to dominate the goal difference charts, their 5-1 thrashing of the Red Bulls propelling them to a substantial +13--miles ahead of the Gals at +5. The flip side would be DC, whose leaky defense sees them to a lowly -7, with the Quakes threatening at -5.
Offensively, Chicago are still banging in over two goals per game at 2.11, but it's sexy football that's taking home the honors as Gullit's LA are setting a high bar with a titillating 2.44 goals per game. Most of the league can manage at least a goal per game save for San Jose, whose 0.75 mark continues to be the worst in MLS.
When it comes to keeping them out, it's Chicago again who are the dominant force. At 0.67 allowed per game, they're the only side in MLS that doesn't allow at least a goal per game. Their inverse is DC United, who can't seem to keep balls out of their own net, surrendering a league-worst 2 goals allowed per game.
Results this week have seen the bottom half of the table become an almighty mess. Places 6 through 14 are separated by just 5 points as cellar dwelling DC and San Jose managed victories to condense the table even further. At this point, despite the three way tie for first, you've got to feel that Chicago have planted their flag as the early season favorites. Stingy at the back and able to stick the ball in the net in bunches, they are the class of the league at the moment. Anything else in the table catch your eye, dear readers?
Stay tuned for the Dogpile, which should be coming to a browser near you sometime this afternoon or evening. Enjoy the holiday, folks in the USA--I'm off to mow the lawn.