Major League Soccer
Another weekend of results, and there’s still not much clarity in the Eastern Conference playoff race. A draw on the road against Chicago kept the Dynamo right in the middle of that mix; let’s look around at the other results from the weekend and how they impacted the standings.
Toronto FC 1, New England Revolution 1
New England could only come up with a draw in Toronto on Friday night, which keeps them level with the Dynamo at 37 points for fifth in the conference. Still, the Dynamo hold a game in hand on the Revs and could leapfrog them into sole possession of the final playoff spot with a result on Wednesday against the Columbus Crew.
Columbus Crew 0, Seattle Sounders 1
At home and up a man for over 80 minutes, the Crew could not get past the Sounders and wound up with a devastating loss that could just about end their playoff hopes. Columbus is now eight points adrift of the last playoff spot with just eight games left to play (and seven of those coming against teams above them in the Eastern Conference).
Columbus announced Monday morning that they have parted ways with head coach Robert Warzycha and appointed technical director Brian Bliss as his interim successor in an effort to push the team into the playoffs over the last few weeks of the season.
Philadelphia Union 0, Montreal Impact 0
A week after hanging five goals on the Dynamo, the Montreal Impact were held scoreless by the Philadelphia Union. The draw kept Montreal at the top of the standings with 42 points, but their lead over the Dynamo remains only five points.
Philadelphia remains in fourth place and only two points ahead of the Dynamo with two more games played than Houston. A Dynamo win on Wednesday evening would push them into sole possession of fourth place and only two points behind the conference leaders.
New York Red Bulls 2, D.C. United 1
D.C. United nearly pulled out a draw in this Atlantic Cup match, but Dwayne De Rosario’s penalty was saved by Luis Robles and the Red Bulls came out unscathed and with three points. The win pushed them into a tie for the top spot in the East, but Montreal still holds two games in hand over New York.
Sporting Kansas City 2, Colorado Rapids 1
Graham Zusi struck in the 88th minute to break the deadlock and give Sporting KC the win. Like the New York Red Bulls, Sporting is now tied with Montreal on points for the conference lead, but have played two more games at this point.
Sunday’s late draw keeps the Dynamo well within striking distance to move up in the standings, and they could do so as early as Wednesday against the Crew with an eye to do even more damage at home next Sunday against the New York Red Bulls (TICKETS). The draw also kept Chicago two points behind the Dynamo. Both teams have played the same amount of games.
The Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo meet for a third time in a match with massive implications on the Eastern Conference playoff race when they face off Sunday afternoon at Toyota Park. The teams are separated by just two points in the standings, and both find themselves outside the top five positions at the start of the weekend. The Fire come in off a 1-0 home win vs. Sporting KC, while the Dynamo continue their road swing following a club-record 5-0 defeat at Montréal last weekend.
Dynamo:Hall; Sarkodie, Boswell, Brunner, Taylor; Garcia, Moffat, Creavalle, Davis ©; Barnes, Bruin
Subs: Marscheider, Ashe, Driver, Lopez, Ching, Johnson, Weaver
Chicago Fire: Johnson; Anibaba, Berry, Soumare, Segares; Alex, Larentowicz ©, Rios, Duka; Rolfe, Magee
Subs: Tornaghi, Jumper, Pause, Nyarko, Lindpere, Amarikwa, Anangono
Dynamo broadcaster Glenn Davis is back on the air tonight with a new episode of Dynamo All-Access, presented by Houston Community College. The show will air on Yahoo! Sports Radio 1560 AM from 7-9 p.m.
Glenn will preview the Dynamo's Eastern Conference matchups against the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew with Dynamo players and coaches, and recap the midweek Champions League win over Árabe Unido.
Listen in as Glenn talks everything Dynamo!
The call-in number for the show is 713-439-1560.
Only eight weeks remain in the 2013 MLS regular season, and both conferences are stuck in some of the tightest playoff races the league has ever seen. Following the Dynamo’s loss to Montreal over the weekend, let’s check in on results around the Eastern Conference and how they affect Houston’s position.
Entering the weekend, the Dynamo sat in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New England’s win at home over the Union now has them level with the Dynamo at 36 points and in fifth place by virtue of tiebreakers. The Dynamo, though hold one game in hand over New England.
Philadelphia remains on 38 points, good for 4th place in the conference standings. The Dynamo have one game remaining against both New England and Philadelphia.
Chicago pulled out a win against their Midwest rivals to keep their name in the playoff race, while Sporting stay close to the pack after starting the weekend tied for the conference lead.
The Fire are two points behind the Dynamo in seventh place with the win, and have played the same number of games. The two teams match up this weekend at Toyota Park.
Kansas City stays just three points ahead of the Dynamo, while Houston holds two games in hand. Houston and Sporting still have one match remaining against each other.
Upset of the weekend. Co-Eastern Conference leaders New York drop a stunning result at Western Conference bottom dwellers Chivas USA. As with Kansas City, it keeps the Red Bulls within three points with two games in hand for the Dynamo.
The Dynamo face New York on September 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium (TICKETS) and then once more at home in their penultimate regular season match.
Columbus has been hanging just on the edge of playoff contention for a while now, with back-to-back wins keeping them in the conversation. The Crew now are seven points adrift of the final playoff spot and have played 25 games, only giving them an advantage over New York, Kansas City and Philadelphia.
A mere five points separate top-seeded Montreal and the Dynamo with ten games left for both teams. All but one of the final ten matches for the Dynamo are against Eastern Conference opponents, with six of those against teams currently above them in the standings.
Despite the loss in Montreal, the Dynamo are tied with Kansas City and New York for the second best points per game (PPG) average in the conference. The Dynamo will look to capitalize down the stretch with games in hand and matches against teams in front of them as they aim for their seventh playoff appearance in eight seasons.
Tune in to ESPN 97.5 FM tonight for a new episode of Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis! Glenn will talk everything soccer, from the weekend in Europe and MLS to upcoming CONCACAF Champions League matches. Hear from Dynamo players!
Tonight's episode airs from 7-9 p.m. and can be heard on the radio on 97.5 FM or online at www.espn975.com.
The call-in number for the show is 713-780-3776.