MLS Dogpile | Hot or Not?
With only four games on the docket this international week, you wouldn't expect much movement on the Pile. But it's an indication of just how tight things are that even four games, two involving the going-nowhere Quakes, would prompt some significant movement. Let's take a quick dash through how things are shaping up as we sidle up to the post-season bar.
After a momentary setback against the Sounders in a game they really should have gotten something from, the Crew are back in the saddle with the field arrayed beneath them. The Galaxy maintain their lofty status despite Chivas, the second-hottest team in the league, making a late push to get back to the top (imagine what might have been for the Goats if not for that mid-season implosion). The question now becomes: have Chivas just been beating up on lightweights?
The Dynamo are still in a good position, but their recent return hasn't been impressive. That said, they have every opportunity for the last laugh in the West as they finish against their two LA-based rivals for the conference crown. Sigi seems to have put the Sounders' recent bout of Expansion Fever behind him, and the new boys look destined for the post-season. The Fire will probably also back their way in despite being winless in their last five.
Hot or not? Dallas get the jump on the seven-team pack struggling to grab the final two spots in the Playoff Pack by virtue of the simple fact that they're winning games. Compare their last three results with the other six. Dallas has won all three. The other six teams? Nary a win to be found. Did I just blow your mind? Six teams in a playoff dogfight, and not one has won one of their last three games. Un-freakin-believable!
The Rapids will probably tiptoe across the line given their current edge on points and the craptastitude of the competition (as illustrated by the aforementioned "wins in the last three" stat), but can the Revs hold on to their #8 slot? Toronto seems to be sliding towards inevitable failure (again), while the Wizards seem to have left their "push" until too late. It's pretty sad that winning two of their last five games would even qualify as a push, isn't it?
DC United? Between the mounting injuries, a lame duck head coach, and the growing sense that the team's days in the DC metro area may be numbered, it's hard not to be a pessimist at this point. RSL? I suppose they still have a chance, but when push comes to shove, they've generally tripped over their own feet, had their bums scorched by the Fire Swamp, fallen into quicksand, and been gnawed on by Rodents Of Unusual Size.
And, of course, we all know that the Quakes and Red Bulls have been relegation-fodder for most of the year. The only question was who would finish bottom, with the Bulls' recent results all but ensuring that they can claim that ignominious position.