MLS Dogpile | Red Bull Win-Streak? Chaos Abounds!
Welcome back to the Dogpile, my friends. The kennel is in chaos with the top dogs from last week all sitting on the wrong side of 1-0 results, the majority of those engaged in the mad playoff scramble holding serve, and, of course, the Red Bulls posting their second consecutive victory. Can any mortal man make sense of this madness?
The Crew suffer their first setback in seemingly ages, but they remain the hottest team in the league over the last five matches and sit just one point off the top with two games in hand. Yes, yes, they lost to the Red Bulls, but they lost on the bouncy stuff in the Swamp, and that's not really a test of their abilities as a soccer team, is it? They've got a new contender to deal with at the top, however, as the Galaxy ride their current hot streak to within two points of the top. Are you kidding me? Guess Bruce knows what he's doing, eh?
Dropping down to make way for the Gals are the suddenly chilly Fire and Dynamo, who have managed just six and five points respectively from the last fifteen on offer. They may be a couple of games clear of the chasing pack, but with form like that, you've got to wonder if the pack might be scenting blood. The Rapids and Revs are among those trailers and crucially, both have games in hand on most of their opposition in the scramble for post-season placement.
And while both of those clubs have managed three wins in their last five outings, the Sounders are looking increasingly like a side that is slowly succumbing to Expansion Fever. One win and averaging just a point a game over the last five has seen Seattle's once comfortable lead erode. Sigi better find an answer fast, because RSL are suddenly starting to live up to pre-season expectations, just in time for a post-season run. It'll take more than the one victory to get DC United experiencing a similar renaissance, but two consecutive shutouts are a promising sign for one of the league's most scored-upon sides.
You wouldn't ordinarily think that a road draw in one of the tougher places to get a result (Seattle) would be a bad thing. But when most of those on the table around you secured three-point hauls, it gets to be a problem. Witness TFC dropping out of the playoff places and looking increasingly desperate. But not quite as desperate as Chivas, where those two wins to halt the long slide are quickly forgotten in the wake of a 4-0 spanking by RSL and a Superclasico power failure against the Gals. They may be level on points at the bottom of the playoff picture, but they need a crash cart, and they need it quick. Paging Dr. Preki!
Of course, all the woes of United, TFC, and Chivas pale by comparison with those looking at a ten point gap between themselves and the post-season. The Quakes mini-revival looks to have stalled as they come up short in New England, while FC Dallas sat idle and unloved, wondering how they could possibly alienate their fans more. And I struggled mightily about what to do at the bottom of the Pile. The Red Bulls still have a ways to go until they catch anybody on the table, and the sides they could potentially catch all have games in hand. But two consecutive victories, combined with four consecutive losses for the Wizards (this last one particularly egregious as they were at home and up a man for over half the match) are enough to temporarily earn them a reprieve from their near season-long residency at the foot of the Dogpile.