After the veritable goalfest of last week MLS returned to more normal service this weekend with both goals and wins once again at a premium.
The four lucky recipients of three points were San Jose, Chivas USA, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. Dallas are probably the form team of MLS at the moment and they inflicted a 1-0 scoreline on the New England Revolution that could have been so much more.
In the end they had to wait until the 69th minute for Martin Chavez to get the goal but the win puts them within striking distance of LA at the top. New England though are heading in the other direction having now lost their last three games.
San Jose are gradually dragging themselves into the playoff picture having taken 11 points from their last 15, and a 2-0 win at home to Houston only helped their cause. Houston now haven’t won in seven yet still remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
In fact if you want to be able to survive a bad run of form the East is the place to be. Remarkably six of the nine teams haven’t been able to win a game in their last five outings, which partly explains why the Red Bulls stay in second place despite another disappointing tie at home (to Columbus) and why no team can really count themselves out of the postseason just yet.
Of the two teams who fired their managers this week the Chicago Fire did the marginally better with a 0-0 home draw with Seattle, but the Vancouver Whitecaps looked completely out of sorts as they were easily beaten by Real Salt Lake.
The team from Utah may have lost last week to the Sounders but they still look to have quality in abundance, and calmness in possession, despite losing crucial players to both the Gold Cup and injury.
The LA Galaxy’s winning streak came to an end with a lacklustre 0-0 against a DC United team that looked dangerous on the break and comfortable at the back throughout the full ninety minutes.
After the fiasco of last week Toronto will probably take some solace from a 0-0 home tie with Sporting Kansas City but their long-suffering fans are probably hoping for more than simply solace at the moment.
Kansas though remain the great wild card of MLS, true they are bottom of the East with just six points from ten games, but due to stadium issues they have yet to play a game at home and their away record is better than, or at least comparable to, the likes of New York and Houston.
If they do find their new stadium to their liking then their rise up the standings could be swift, they may well have become used to not being in Kansas anymore but it in MLS there really is no place like home.
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