Thoughts on a Stirring Weekend

With DC United off this weekend, I got a chance to sit back and enjoy being a neutral for the most part. Of course, there's always that pesky playoff picture looming in the background...

Almost Perfect

No, it wasn't the ideal set of results this weekend in MLS for DC United, but it was pretty damn close. Although about half of the sides involved in the scrap for the final playoff spots managed draws, none of them grabbed three point hauls. Unless, I suppose, you include the 'Zards keeping their faint hopes alive.

So what does the playoff picture look like? Tossing out the top four (all more than three points clear of United):
  • The Sounders are two points clear and have played the same number of games (boy does that 2-1 home loss sting even more now!)
  • Chivas and the Rapids hold a one point edge, but both have games in hand (one for Colorado, two for the Goats)
  • United currently hold the eighth and final playoff spot, just ahead of...
  • RSL and TFC, two points back and having played the same number of games
  • The Revs are two points back as well, but have two games in hand. Here's hoping their current pace of a point per game (over the last five games) continues
  • KC have a heartbeat, six points behind United but with a game in hand.
The remaining schedule:
  • Home to San Jose
  • Home to Chivas
  • Home to Columbus
  • Away to Kansas City

Defending Optional

If you were going through United defensive brainfart withdrawal this weekend, another United could have provided you with a solid fix (Hello, Rio!). And City chipped in with a few of their own in a thrilling, and controversial, Manchester derby...

Euro-Yanks MIA

Anybody who's been on my Dempsey-bashing bandwagon for the USA of late got more ammo for their anti-Deuce artillery this weekend. Sure, I only saw highlights, but that was enough to see him make yet another miserable decision in the middle of the park, heading backwards to start the move that gave Wolves their game-winner against Fulham. Disinterested defending, lots of jogging, and waving arms at teammates...all from a five-minute highlight clip. Sound familiar? Fulham have bulked up at wide midfield, so I expect Dempsey might be due for a spell on the bench pretty soon.

And he's not the only one. Remember that back line from the Confederations Cup? Let's take a look at their combined playing time this week.
  • Boca went 90 for Rennes (and was part of keeping a clean sheet), but...
  • Spector dressed but didn't make the field for West Ham
  • Gooch dressed but didn't make the field for Milan
  • DeMerit didn't dress for Watford (he's been struggling with an injury)

Happily, it looks like we're a step closer to seeing Jermaine Jones pull on a USA shirt, though his current injury woes mean he probably won't figure in the final two qualification matches. Of course, if there's any position where we're spoiled for choice, it's probably at central midfield, though with Edu injured and Junior fighting for time (he dressed, but didn't play this weekend), it wouldn't hurt to have options.


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