Monday, September 8, 2008

It's All in Our Own Hands, Kind of

I don't usually pay too much attention to what the other teams are doing. It only really matters to me how we are playing as to whether we will make the playoffs or not. However, it is getting to that point of the season when it will matter what our closest rivals are doing as the playoff fight refuses to get any looser. The victory over Dallas brought back some hope that the Rapids will possibly make the playoffs. Thursday night's victory in Texas was then somewhat dented by the wins for San Jose and Chivas. The Real Salt Lake draw against LA helped a little. So, now we stand four points behind Salt Lake, three points behind Chivas and a point behind San Jose. We remain one point ahead of both Dallas and LA Galaxy with all the teams having played 23 games. Can't get much tighter than that. Given that Houston look likely to win the Western Conference, that will leave two automatic playoff spots to fight over. Can someone explain to me how the other non-automatic playoff spots are decided on? I can't seem to find that anywhere, including on the MLS site.
Anyway, any one of the remaining six conference teams could win those two spots. Interestingly, we still have to play Chivas (away), LA (away) and RSL (home) so, theoretically, we can make up the point difference more or less by winning those games. What should be more of a concern right now is the two upcoming home games against tough opposition. Chicago and New England look very likely to be with Columbus as the three automatic playoff qualifiers from the Eastern Conference although the Revolution seem to like losing 4-0 these days. These will be difficult games for the Rapids. If we can get something very positive out of these two matches, the whole playoff picture could look a lot rosier.


Bonji said...

I believe the two "wild card" playoff spots will be given to the two teams with the most points not receiving an automatic bid. At this point that would mean DC United and New York would be #7 & 8 in the playoffs.

Nick Thomas said...

Thanks Bonji, that would make sense. It means we still have a lot to do to catch New York and DC. We do at least have the opportunity to play New York in a couple of weeks.