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We are of course getting down to the wire and the playoff picture is starting to come into shape, with a bit more clarity achieved this week. First up, Montreal who won again and are doing quite well since Ignacio Piatti came along. He's presumably impressing the brain trusts at New York and Miami. They beat San Jose 2-0 but due to results elsewhere, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention, though at least they still have the CCL to focus on.
That was San Jose's 9th straight winless game, Coach Mark Watson adds another good quote to San Jose's recent run of them
"To concede a goal against the run of play like that, it was just too soft. It’s been happening too much recently. It’s a disappointing night for us. Again."
At the other end of things, LA became the 2nd team to clinch a playoff spot after beating FC Dallas 2-1. They're now equal with Seattle after the Sounders had themselves a big US Open cup hangover losing 4-1 in New York. Bradley Wright Phillips got a hat trick on his return to the starting lineup, and with 24 goals now he is making a very serious attempt at the all time MLS record of 27 in a season.
Seattle's Djimi Traore was a wee bit embarrassed with himself
"I feel ashamed. It was an awful performance from us. We came in with a lot of expectations and we didn’t perform well. They have good players and today they all performed well. If we don’t perform at that level, we get punished and that’s what they’ve done to us."
MLS records you say? Well, we got one this week, or at least the tying of one as Chicago got their 16th tie of the season. They were 2-0 up, then 3-2 down before coming back to get the point that really does their playoff hopes no good at all really.
You remember Chicago's terrible pitch? Here's Mike Magee's thoughts, and Bakary Soumare's agreement:
Seriously!! "@magee9: @ChicagoFire Trying to play soccer on our $h1+ field is like trying to play hockey with a football."— Bakary Soumare (@BakySoumare) September 21, 2014
DC's Bobby Boswell was alright with it though.
"It wasn’t awful. I never like to blame the field because both teams have to deal with it. It wasn’t like anyone slipped and gave up a goal that way, it just wasn’t the most ideal. I don’t think it changed the game too much."
Frank Yallop meanwhile was more bothered about the ref Fotos Bozakis (you'll remember him from Frank Klopas' complaints a few weeks ago, apparently it's not about the Greek thing, he just hates Franks). Yallop said
"We deserved to win that, because two calls go against us in the match that cost us the game. Momentum is everything. We’re 2-0 up, he gives a phantom penalty-kick, I don’t know what the call is, so they go to 2-1 and they’ve got life. He gives them another foul that was not a foul, Razvan wins the ball, pokes it away and he gives the foul to a good player in a good spot. It was a great free-kick area for a great finisher like Silva is."
Over in the West, the big playoff matchup was between the 2 teams aiming for the 5th spot, and Portland crushed Vancouver 3-0 to move into the playoff spot.
Finally, Colorado broke a 7 game losing skid last week, but got right back on that horse with a 5-1 defeat against Real Salt lake, maintaining their grip on the Rocky Mountain Cup, which as we all know is the urn containing John Denver's ashes. Over their 9 game winless streak, the Rapids have been outscored 29-9. It does at least set up a great game next week as the Rapids will take on San Jose. Two 9 game winless streaks on the line, I'd bet on a really sloppy draw in that one.
Anyway, with the following bonus footage for the written version of Clint Dempsey rapping, that's your MLS wins and losses for this week.