Welcome back to the MLS Table sandwich. Sandwich? Indeed. Take a look at that points distribution up above. The piece on top is Chivas, still 8 points clear of their nearest competition despite a draw at the weekend. The entirety of the playoff pack behind them is compressed to within three points, meaning a timely win or loss could see you climbing or falling drastically.
(Just as a chicken & egg aside...do you suppose that the overwhelming number of draws are a condition of coaches not wanting to experience such swings, or does the preponderance of draws create said condition? Or are we all victims, or perhaps benefactors, of the dreaded Parity Police?)
Struggling at the fringes of the playoff pack are five clubs, all within a point of each other, and all within a single-game (3 point) striking distance of the bottom playoff sides. And, last and most definitely least, there is the bottom double-helping of thin, moldy rye in the form of the Quakes and Dallas, both of whom need multiple results to pull themselves clear of their lowly position four points adrift.
The one point of departure in the points per game table are the Revs and Reds. Notice that, alone amongst the cellar dwellers, the Revs are still managing to average 1.3 points per game, a figure that puts them level with Toronto FC, who sit five places higher. That said, do the Revs really look like doing much with their games in hand? All right, how about hitting the high points..?
- That's Offensive! RSL have tumbled from their perch atop the goals-per-game charts, with the Fire (1.8 gpg) now leading the way with United in hot pursuit (1.7). Want goals? Then you better be going out to see United, whose 1.7 goals scored per game plus 1.5 goals allowed means you're going to see 3.2 goals per game when they're involved. Unless, of course, they happen to be playing the likes of New England or Dallas, both of whom are hovering below the goal per game mark at 0.9 gpg.
- Hold the Fort! Chivas gave up two goals against free-scoring United this week to take their goals against average to a more mortal 0.5, putting them within striking distance of the Sounders (0.7) and Dynamo (0.8). On the flip side are Dallas (1.8), and somewhat shockingly, the Crew (1.7). So who is involved in games that feature the least goals? I'm sure there will be little surprise that it's the Dynamo, whose games involve just 1.8 goals per outing.
- Making the Difference. Chivas continue to set the pace with a +9 goal differential, and only Seattle (+6) and Chicago (+5) are anywhere close. In a decidedly predictable turn of events, the two adrift at the bottom, San Jose and Dallas, are saddled with identical -8 marks, though it may be a little surprising to note the Revs' disastrous -6 figure, which belies their being amongst the playoff sides based on the points per game table.
Ugh. I just had a vision. If we finished today, the Dynamo and Sounders would be meeting in the first round of the playoffs. The image of the Dynamo's sky blue and bright orange intermingled with the Sounders nasal-infection green and bland blue has me, frankly, feeling quite nauseated. Jeebus, now I'm starting to wonder if the Union's "yawn, yet another team in blue" look is really that bad after all!