Chicago and New York are battling for playoff positioning in the East. (Getty Images)
The MLS Playoff race is hot folks. As we head into the final two months of the season, both
conferences have different but good races going on as we try to figure out who will be the ten
clubs that go to the post season dance.
With the recent run of good form under interim head coach John Hackworth, talks have re-emerged
of the possibility of the Philadelphia Union making the playoffs. However, there may be some doubt
in the back of people's mind that the poor run of form under the now departed Peter Nowak may have
put the Union in too big of a hole to bounce back.
By J Hutcherson - WASHINGTON, DC (May 7, 2012) US Soccer Players -- There won't be a magical moment
when talking about the Major League Soccer table starts to make sense. The unbalanced schedule, the
staggered games, and the off weeks make comparisons within and across conferences difficult. Yet
there are some not exactly hasty conclusions that can already be made courtesy of the team with the
worst record in the League.
Major League Soccer will again operate its Reserve League in 2012 season. The 19 clubs will be
divided into three conferences and play only 10 matches per team.
The league will give clubs an opportunity to use players who aren't getting first-team minutes,
trialists and notably academy players whose amateur eligibility won't be jeopardized by playing
alongside older pros.
Just in case you didn't hear, the MLS reinstated the Reserve League last season as part of the
new collective bargaining agreement signed between the league and the player's union. If you'd like
to check out all the rules and regulations associated with the Reserve League, you can enjoy them
Sounder at HeartÂ reacted immediately yesterday to the MLS schedule announcement, posting an
analysis of strength of schedule. They did a great job collecting the data, and concluded that
"Seattle's getting it about as good as you can get it in the West, but of course the league bends
over backwards for the Galaxy once again.
So now we enter into that long, dark, cold, lonely time that the more cavalier among us call the
"offseason". Basically, we won't be seeing any real MLS action until March. Granted, there's the
Superdraft and some other small events in between, but for the most part we're now adrift in an
Gonzalo Segares (left) -- Associated PressBy Charlie Corr
The Chicago Fire struggled mightily against Major League Soccer's expansion clubs this season. And
unless there is a miraculous stretch somewhere within this Fire roster, Sunday's effort against the
Vancouver Whitecaps likely spelled the end toward any playoff aspirations.
Major League Soccer's Sunday game ended scoreless at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Though the Rapids
had more opportunities, putting 8 shots on goal to Houston's 2, neither team could find the back of
the net. Splitting the points leaves both teams 5th in their respective conferences.
Two and a half months ago, the Portland Timbers kicked off their inaugural MLS season with a
defeat. Not just any defeat, mind you, with a harrowing 3-1 loss where the opposing team dominated
almost every aspect of the pitch. That team was tonight's foe, the Colorado Rapids.
It was a harrowing experience for those of us who thought that the pre-season would be
indicative of the regular season.
Paul Kennedy of Soccer America reports of the growing attendance within College Soccer in the
With five weeks to go before the men's regular season ends, seven teams, led by UC San Barbara
(5,033), are averaging more than 3,000 fans a game, 12 teams, including four from the ACC, are
averaging more than 2,000 a game, and five conferences, led by the ACC (1,844), are averaging more
than 1,000 fans a game.
You've probably read a hundred times by now that the MLS Western Conference is 9-2 versus the
East so far this season. It's been less remarked that the two wins are by the Houston Dynamo and
that Houston is a pretty tenuous Eastern Conference team. They're the westernmost team in the
conference, are only a few miles east of the Western Conference's FC Dallas and they were in the
West up until last season, when the MLS head office made the perverse decision to 'balance' the
conferences by giving them an equal number of teams for exactly one season before the addition of
Montreal unbalanced it again in favor of the East.
With the opening of the international transfer window about to open on Friday, there's a
distinct possibility the Seattle Sounders will not be announcing a new Designated Player before
then. As best as we can tell, the rumored African DP who is supposedly set to be announced this
week, is not someone being tied to the Sounders.
MLS' Eastern Conference is generally thought of as the weaker of the two conferences and with
the schedule/play-off overall for this year they no longer have to worry as much about playing
against the tougher teams from the West. Even with all the changes the East has 2 great teams 6
middle of the pack teams and 2 not so good (I am trying to be nice) teams.
So the playoffs are impending, and it hasn't escaped notice that the way it worked out this year
is just plain wrong. Playoffs, however, are here to stay and especially because schedules are
likely to become unbalanced. So how do we set up playoffs so that playing better is always
In my opinion, the biggest problem with the playoff system as it stands is what this year's
playoffs highlight: the possibility that superior teams will face off prematurely, thereby
eliminating better teams while inferior teams skate by against equally inferior opposition.
During the 2010 MLS Cup game, Commissioner Don Garber went on the ESPN halftime show to answer
some questions about the state of the league. Â The major issue circulating in the mediaÂ was the
playoff structure - a team from Colorado had just been named the Eastern Conference champion and,
with two more teams entering the league next year, fewer than half of the teams playing in MLS
would qualify for the playoffs under the existing format.
During the 2010 MLS Cup game, Commissioner Don Garber went on the ESPN halftime show to answer some
questions about the state of the league. Â The major issue circulating in the mediaÂ was the
playoff structure â€“ a team from Colorado ...
The long rumored demise of Chivas USA was finally confirmed today by MLS. The team has ceased operations and their players will be dispersed via a draft. The team folding and the addition of New York City FC and Orlando City SC means that the Eastern Conference has 12 teams and the West has only 8, meaning realignment has taken place as well.
With the 2012-13 Development Academy season on the horizon, the program has a fresh look as the
Academy has designed a new logo heading into its sixth campaign.
The two stars represent the two Academy mixed-age groups at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 levels. The
four stripes â€“ two white and two red â€“ represent the four pillars of the Development Academy:
Excellence, Pride, Tradition and Education.
The last August episode of the MajorLeagueSoccerTalk podcast is devoted to taking stock of both
Conferences in depth. Every match matters this week, with no real battle of the doormats. The
Eastern Conference goes first, and Earl Reed, Daniel Feuerstein, ...
The Madison 56ers shoot for their fourth National Premier Soccer League Midwest Region
championship, and a berth in the national semifinals, when they take on host AFC Cleveland on
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School in Cleveland.
The 56ers (14-6-0 overall, 9-3-0 NPSL Midwest Central) previously won regional titles in 2006,
'07 and '10, but this is the first season the Midwest was split into two conferences with a playoff
to determine the regional champion.
The Revolution will be counting upon Benny Feilhaber to deliver against the red-hot Whitecaps on
Saturday. (Photo: Tony Biscaia/RevsNet)
AfterÂ falling short of theÂ playoffs two years in a row, the RevolutionÂ scrapped the old and
embraced the new during the offseason. And that new approach has yielded a new coach and a fresher
style of play that has made the Revolution competitive in each of their matches so far this
Chris and Ted close out the preseason by giving their thoughts on last night's CONCACAF
Champions League clashes and take a look ahead at all three MLS teams chances in the next round.
Also, the tables get turned and both the hosts try their best to predict where each team will
finish in their respective conferences.
The day before a match is the media's time to meet with players and managers to ask questions
and talk about team news. For most reporters this is their only opportunity to ask the manager a
question. Here are some video's from today's conferences involving Roberto Mancini, Andre
Villas-Boas, Landon Donovan and Steve Kean:
It was widely believed that nothing could out incompetence the previous regime at the Indonesian FA
but the new mob are doing their damnedest. Days after announcing clubs like Persis were among the
most professionally run in the country they decided to keep the league as it began last season,
promote the four clubs who got promoted, reinstate the three clubs who quit mid season, promote the
only team who got relegated and promote two other teams because they were big clubs!
Once again this year IMSoccer News brings you the MIAC Men's Soccer Preview.Â The Minnesota
Intercollegiate Athletic ConferenceÂ or as it known to many,Â MIAC,Â is one of the strongest D3
conferences in the nation. Most seasons, Minnesota sends several teams to the year-end NCAA
Tournament and some years MIAC teams have gone deep into the playoffs.
Tonight kicks off what I would consider to be the second most important international soccer
competition outside of the World Cup for the United States, and, yes, I'm including the Summer
Olympics in that statement. The Summer Olympics are fun, but largely resides outside the world of