With the MLS regular season winding down, I thought it would be beneficial to give an update of where every team stands in both the east and the west divisions. As well as my predictions of which two teams will be in the final and who will end up taking home the MLS Cup for 2007!
In the Eastern Division, two teams have clinched a playoff spot with the remaining five in a tight points race that will prove to be exciting down to the end. With DC United and New England both in the playoffs, it comes down to New York, Kansas City, Chicago, Columbus and Toronto FC. There is only 15 points seperating the last place Toronto FC and the third place New York Red Bulls, which makes this race the one to watch for guaranteed excitement. The points shape out as follows:
DC United 50
New England 46
New York 38
Kansas City 36
The Western Division is the weaker of the two, however Chivas USA and Houston have both clinched a spot to play after the regular season ends. Unlike the East, the West only has one legitimate team clinch another playoff spot and that would be FC Dallas. With the last playoff spot open, I expect another Eastern Division team to slide into that spot, making the final tally of 5 teams from the East, and 3 from the West. The points in the West are:
FC Dallas 40
Real Salt Lake 23
Los Angeles 21
With DC and New England guaranteed a playoff birth, the focus now comes down to who will accompany them into the series? New York will be in the mix with their veteran leadership and young striker Jozy Altidore, but also look for Chicago to make a run at the end of the season and push their way to become the fourth team from the East. FC Dallas has the third spot locked in for the West (barring any major catastrophe), and thus leaves one spot left for the playoffs. Kansas City is my pick to slide into that last remaining playoff spot and play with the teams from the West.
The MLS Cup is being played in front of the home crowd of DC United, thus giving them an edge if they were to make it to the final game. I expect this to happen as they will represent the Eastern Division behind the beautiful play of Luciano Emilio. From the West, expect to see the defending MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo and their steady play to challenge DC for the title.
In the end you will see Emilio being named the “Man of the Match” as he helps DC United to a much deserved victory in front of their home fans. Should be interesting to watch!