Major League Soccer, home of the draw? Another weekend where over half of the games ended deadlocked. We can debate the causes, but the effect on the Dogpile is such that any win or loss gets accentuated with so many of the participants gathering one point at a time. The only positive exception to the rule was Chivas, where an early string of wins saw the Goats jump a fair way clear of the rest of the league. But the Tie Trouble has caught up to them at last. To the Dogpile, my friends!
The Alpha Dog
1. Chivas USA (WWWDD)
Back-to-back draws, with the latest coming against 9-man KC, sees Chivas' charge away from the pack come to a grinding halt. Will anybody be shocked to see them reeled back in by the not-so-tender ministrations of the Parity Police as we plow into the summer proper? A loss to Chicago would see their lead trimmed to just three, and the Fire have a game in hand, which they will play this weekend against hapless Dallas. Still, until the Goats are beaten or surpassed, there isn't really anyone else who can claim the Alpha Dog crown. Care to take your chance, Chicago?
Next: Fire (Home)
2. Chicago Fire (DDDWW)
The Playoff Pack
The Fire are finally starting to live up to their pre-season promise as they put together back-to-back wins. Despite the victory and a strong first half performance, they were lucky to survive the Bulls' rally in the second unscathed. Now they've got a double-match week in which to close on a Chivas side that's stumbled as of late.
Next: Chivas (Away), FC Dallas (Home)
3.+2 Houston Dynamo (WWWDW)
Well, there's a useful cure for the Goal-shy Blues! Get yourself a home date with the Quakes and get Ching back in the lineup. Houston break out for another three, and start their push to reel in the Goats in the West. The Dynamo are picking up points in bunches, but how will they handle a visit from their old talisman, DeRo, next weekend?
Next: Toronto FC (Home)
4.-1 DC United (WDDDD)
Yes, the unbeaten streak is long and impressive. But four consecutive draws? Having "crap on the road" visitors put 8 on frame to your pathetic 1? Not so impressive. Is it just a matter of weary legs or are United finally coming back to reality? We'll see next week when they travel to visit a struggling Revs side.
Next: Revs (Away)
The Sounders are wounded and limping, but they're not quite ready to go down yet. If they can manage to stay healthy, they should be able to survive the summer, but how long until their depth is truly tested by injury, fatigue, and MLS defenses figuring out their new additions? Next week brings an interesting visitor in the form of Sigi's old charges.
Next: Crew (Home)
6. +3 Toronto FC (WDDLW)
Ah, so that's what the doctor ordered: a visit from the bumbling, stumbling Revs! Guevara and DeRo combine for a trio, and a whiff of Fortress BMO returns to MLS. It was beginning to look like the Reds might be falling away from the Playoff Pack, but they're right back in the mix with a good victory and draws by their near neighbors. It's still hard to see a side that starts Chad Barrett being anything more than a borderline playoff side. Will DeRo's return to Houston see them exposed as such?
Next: Houston (Away)
7. -1 Colorado Rapids (LDWDD)
I said last week the the Rapids had a chance this week to boost their stagnant league and Pile positions. Sadly for them, they couldn't quite get across the finish line despite a decent performance. Casey continues to look strong, but will he be able to carry them to the post-season promised land?
Next: Red Bulls (Away)
8. Kansas City Wizards (LDLWD)
Lucky for the Wiz that they were playing at home. With two men sent off, they still managed to keep Chivas out, probably by virtue of having so little pitch to cover in that tiny ballpark. From one end of the spectrum, they go to the complete opposite next week--home on a tiny field against the league-leading Goats to away on a big surface against the woeful Gals, who will probably be playing for a draw...as usual.
Next: LA Galaxy (Away)
Bum-Sniffing Omega Mutts
9. -2 Columbus Crew (DDDWD)
Despite another weekend full of draws, Toronto and KC looked just about impressive enough to push the Crew out of the Playoff Pack, mostly by virtue of the Crew's league standing and their inability to post a result of their own as they took a week off. Next week will be an emotional one as the defending champs pay their old boss a visit in Seattle.
Next: Seattle (Away)
10. Los Angeles Galaxy (WDDDD)
Who but the Galaxy could take a 1-0 lead and a 25th minute ejection for the opposition, who just happen to be one of, if not the worst team in the league, and manage to fashion a draw out of it? Who indeed? True, this wasn't your usual "Arena playing not to lose" affair, as the Gals scored first continued to attack until the final whistle, but if they can't beat 10-man Dallas, who can they beat? I wonder what we'll see next week at home to KC? Perhaps another 1-1 draw?
Next: KC Wizards (Home)
11. +1 Real Salt Lake (LDLLD)
Well, that was a little better. RSL claim their first road point and frustrate one of the leading attacking sides in the league while putting a fair few chances on net themselves. Despite being aided by some poor United finishing, RSL deserved their draw and will take a growing, if fragile, confidence on their continued journeys as they travel to lowly San Jose.
Next: Quakes (Away)
12. -1 New York Red Bulls (LLWDL)
So how many chances would the Bulls have needed to knot this one up? They seemed to have a bevy of decent ones down the stretch, but couldn't quite find their way through the Chicago defense. They might find slightly easier pickings in the form of middle-of-the-pack Colorado next weekend.
Next: Rapids (Home)
Two points from the last fifteen available and another multi-goal loss. Nicol's ship is going down fast. Only the terrible form of the Crew and the equally lame Red Bulls keep them off the foot of the Eastern Conference. Will help arrive in the summer in the form of new blood and a healthy Twellman? At least next week's visitors are draw specialists, so maybe the ailing Revs can pick up a point against United.
Next: DC United (Home)
14. FC Dallas (LLLDD)
Two straight draws for Dallas, though this one came after grabbing an equalizer while playing a man down for over an hour. Dallas, a man down...for over an hour...and they didn't concede again? While they managed to score? What manner of incompetent cretins could manage that one? Oh Galaxy, don't ever change! Next up is a visit to the newly draw-free Fire, who probably won't be so forgiving.
Next: Chicago (Away)
Yallop has to be screaming inside. Last year it all seemed to come together in the second half as they added offense to solid team defense and stormed to within a whisker of the playoffs. This year, the offense is stagnant and the defense seems to have deserted them completely. Can they find any answers in the busy week ahead or is it back to the transfer window drawing board?
Next: Crew (Away), RSL (Home)