As always this report will appear in verbal form, with interruptions and competing visions of just what 'Rickety Buckshaw' would look like personified, in this week's Vocal Minority Podcast, coming soon to delight your ears. Can't wait until then? Read on, then check out previous episodes here.
Yes, while TFC's bums can now be completely loosened, in just over half the league it's all getting very squeaky, even though it's maybe about anticipation of the playoffs than qualification worries. We'll start in the East, and DC United beat Chicago 2-1 to clinch top spot in the East, worst to first, biggest one season improvement in MLS history, blah blah blah.
2nd place is guaranteed to New England after they beat Houston , 2 goals for Lee Nguyen overcoming a 1-0 deficit. That was Dominic Kinnear's last game as Houston's coach before he goes off to San Jose. There were various displays of thanks from the fans, and speeches, and he was given a cowboy hat, a texas flag and some barbecue sauce. Yee, and might I add, haw.
Below New England there's still something to be decided, Sporting Kansas City lost in Philly, who by the way are now ahead of TFC in 6th place, while Columbus beat New York in New York. The Sporks are now in 3rd with 49 points, ahead of the Crew on the most wins tiebreaker, while New York are in 5th with 47 points. Columbus have a home game against Philadelphia while New York and the Sporks play each other in what might well be a wild card preview.
That New York game might have been Thierry Henry's last game in New York, but for the love of god don't ask anyone about it, Henry himself said ‘No. Not at all' when asked if it was on his mind.
Luis Robles said "That's his own business," "Whatever he decides to do is up to him. It's not like I sit at home at night thinking, ‘What's Thierry going to do next year?' He has every right to decide either way. That's not my business."
Coach Mike Petke was particularly grumpy when asked what he'd talked about post game with henry. "No. No, no, no," "Listen, too many times this year questions have been asked about individual players because of who they are. He's my captain. I went and had a talk with him. You want to know exactly what we said? No. I was talking with Oyongo. I was talking with Alexander. You're not asking about Oyongo or Alexander. You're not asking about Robles You're asking about Thierry. Come on, we lost a game tonight."
Then, on if it was his last game - "Go ask Thierry if it's his last game," "I hope to God it's not. I hope I have him back, or we, this organization, have him back for five more years, because he can still do it. But I'm not talking about it. He'll decide at the end of the season."
Petke also told the half time interviewer he was going to go tell his players to pull their heads out of their you know what's, so um, yeah, not the best day for him apparently.
n the west, nothing was solved this week. Starting at the top and Seattle visited L.A for the first of 2 back to back games to decide the supporters shield. It has of course been public knowledge for a nauseatingly long time now that this was Landon Donovan's last home game so there was of course more hype, Boyz 2 men exciting Danleigh Borman by torturing the anthem, all that sort of thing, as I'm sure there will be next week when it's his last regular season game, and then every week during the playoffs as that might be his last ever game and just kill me already. LA went 2-0 up, but Seattle came back and tied it up to maintain their lead, meaning LA needs to win next week to overtake the Sounders.
In the battle for 3rd, RSL tied with Portland, thanks to Nick Rimando who kept out all sorts of Timbers shots, but FC Dallas leapt above them by beating Colorado. Salt Lake plays Chivas on Wednesday needing a win to overtake Dallas and put pressure on them to get a result against Portland.
Talking of Portland, they're still in the battle for 5th with Vancouver, both teams tied 0-0 on the weekend, Vancouver's David Ousted getting his 12th clean sheet of the season, most in the league, so Vancouver remain a point ahead going into the last game. Portland play Dallas first of all, and their game will be finished when Vancouver are about 15 minutes into their game which is a bit ridiculous. The Whitecaps know they just need to match Portland's result, and they get the chance to do that at home against Colorado, so it's pretty much all in the Whitecaps favour.
Behind them, San Jose and Colorado both just keep on going with their winless streaks, the rapids now have just 2 points from their last 13 games, while San Jose, who played their last game at rickety Buckshaw stadium, have gone on to a team record 14 game winless streak. That means Chivas, riding a 2 game winning streak, are now in 8th place and could actually get up to 7th if results go right for them. It would hurt TFC's draft pick next year, but still, I hope they do just that.