As always this report will appear in verbal form, with interruptions and a weird Chivas related Major League daydream, 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, we're getting down to the nitty gritty now, with playoff implications in almost every game and records tumbling all over the place. We'll start with a team that combined both and that's Chicago. They played twice this week, and surprise surprise they got 2 ties out of it, their record breaking 17th and then 18th of the season. Those 4 points dropped meaning they joined Montreal in being officially eliminated from the Eastern playoff race, which is a very fitting end result to the Klopassico ending 0-0 on Sunday. They also more or less took Philadelphia out of the conversation as well, an injury time Robert Earnshaw goal after a horrendous clearance from big summer signing Algerian world cup goalie Rais M'bohli snatching a tie from the jaws of a Union victory to leave them 4 points back of 5th place with only 3 games left.
Staying in the East, New York beat Houston to move into 4th, and put Houston very close to eliminated, 7 points back of 5th with 4 games to play, their game in hand of course this week's game in Toronto, a must win for them. New York will have to do without Tim Cahill in one of their remaining games after he got himself sent off just 3 minutes after coming on as a sub, a fantastic effort.
TFC of course mailed on in against the Galaxy, but are only 3 points back due to Columbus losing in New England, Jermaine Jones scoring another winner to move the Revs into 2nd place. That's ahead of Kansas City, now in 3rd, though they did at least get a point this week in a tie with DC United, who became the first Eastern team to clinch a playoff spot, though their lead at the top is down to 4 points.
Over in the West, Colorado and San Jose both lost, both extended winless streaks to 11 games and both joined Chivas USA as already eliminated.
There are basically 3 races that matter in the west, and we'll start with the race for 5th, and both teams won in that one. Vancouver beat FC Dallas 2-0 on 2 first half goals from Seba Fernandez to take a 4 point lead, only for Portland to get 2 goals from Rodney Wallace to beat San Jose 2-1 to bring it back to 1. That Vancouver/Dallas game got feisty towards the end with Oscar Pareja giving a shove to Vancouver assistant Martyn Pert after the game. Carl Robinson used the old 'I didn't see it' excuse, while Pareja brushed it off, saying nothing happened, but not to worry Whitecaps goalie David Ousted manned up and showed some honest appreciation for the handbags saying "It's always fun to see Martyn get up there, He cares a lot and the players back him up." He later added, when discussing the possibility of them meeting in the wildcard game "If these two teams meet, I think it's going to be a brawl, to say it lightly". Almost makes me want to cheer for the Whitecaps to make it.
In the race for 3rd, that defeat for Dallas means they failed to clinch a spot, but they remain just one point back of Real Salt Lake, who also failed to clinch after they lost 1-0, in what's by far the best moment of the week. You see that defeat came at the hands of Chivas USA. Chivas came into the game riding a 12 game winless streak, a 7 game losing streak and having conceded 3 or more goals in 6 games straight. Most people would have put money on those streaks continuing and los Ameri-goats spiraling off into suspended operations on the back of an 11 game losing streak. But no. They went out to defend, allowed RSL to have 75% possession, but stifled and actually outchanced them and despite Cubo Torres missing a penalty, they still won 1-0. Fantastic stuff to give the long suffering fans at least one happy memory in their last month of existence. More than likely that's all it will be, but don't tell misty eyed romantic Nigel Reo Coker that. He said post game:
"It's the last month of the season. Football is such a fantastic and wonderful game, why can't we win every remaining game from now until the end of the season? You know, it's a possibility, that's what makes it such a beautiful game."
Bless him. someone should probably be checking the dressing rooms for concussion causing bike racks.
Finally the race for 1st, and the Supporters Shield and again nothing changed as both teams won. The Galaxy of course had a fun little run out against TFC, and Seattle matched their 3 goal win with a 4-1 defeat of Colorado. Both teams now have 60 points from 31 games though Seattle hold the first tiebreaker of most wins. Next week Seattle play Vancouver and LA face Dallas, then the final 2 weeks of the season, they play each other twice, which is a bizarre piece of scheduling, but should be a lot of fun to watch.