Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Fight for the 7th and 8th Seed

Seven points seperate the team in 7th place with the team in 10th place in the MLS single table. The Wizards sit on 36 points, while the Colorado Rapids are siting on 29 points. In between, the Chicago Fire are on 32 points, while the Columbus Crew sit on 31.

Four playoff spots have already been clinched, and FC Dallas and the Red Bulls look to be safe enough where they'll make it as well. That leaves the Wizards, Rapids, Crew, and Fire fighting for the two remaining playoff spots. All 4 teams have 4 games remaining on their schedule. The Wizards, finish with LA and DC at home then travel to New York and Dallas to end the season. The Fire play @ Chivas, home against New England, @ DC and end the season at home against LA. The Crew play LA and Dallas at home before traveling to New England and DC. The Rapids end of season run sees them travel to New England, home to Toronto, @ Chivas, and home against RSL.

Of the four teams, Chicago has the most difficult, having to travel to both DC and Chivas, two teams that will be fighting for the Supporters Shield. Kansas City's schedule isn't much easier, having to take on three teams that are likely gonna be in the playoffs. Columbus' looks to be as hard as KC's as they play 3 of the 4 teams the Wizards do. The Rapids, would on the surface, appear to have the easiest schedule playing Toronto and RSL at home. But the RSL-CO games are always intense match ups.

Here's how I see the last four games working out for the 4 teams. KC should take 3 points off LA, be able to get a point against DC at home, and grab a point in one of their last two games against either NY or Dallas. I don't see Chicago getting points in either of their two remaining away games, but see them getting all 3 in each of their last two home games. Isee Columbus getting the full 3 points in their two remaining home games, taking a point on the road against a New England team that has already clinched a playoff spot, but dropping their final match against DC. As for Colorado, I see them only getting points out of their two home games.

With those predictions, I see the final playoff spot breaking down like this.

KC - 41 points
Chicago - 38 points
Columbus - 38 points
Colorado - 35 points

These results would eliminate Colorado and make KC the 7th seed. The 8th seed in the playoffs would come down to the head-to-head tiebreaker between Columbus and Chicago. The Fire would get the 8th playoff spot due to their 2-0-1 (W-L-D) against the Crew.

The Wizards definitely have the advantage heading into these last 4 games, with their 4 point lead over the 8th place Fire.

1 comment:

The Manly Ferry said...

If you're willing to wade through a lot of BS, you'll see I agree with your overall assessment - though only to the point of calling 7th for the Wizards (the part I'm assuming you'd care the most about). I'm not so sure about 8th, which looks like it will come down to Chicago's crappy schedule versus Columbus half-crappy team.