Standings Watch: Conference leaders pull away

After the latest round of games in the Eastern Conference, the leaders are starting to separate from the pack, but the Dynamo remain right in the thick of things on the edge of the playoff hunt.

While currently in a rut following a 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls, the teams around the Dynamo didn’t fare much better as the Dynamo remain in sixth place in the conference. Let’s sift through the results from the weekend and see how they affect the conference race.

Sporting Kansas City 3, Columbus Crew 0
Columbus received a bit of a lifeline after beating the Dynamo in a midweek match, but Sporting Kansas City brought them back down to earth with an authoritative effort.

Kansas City briefly moved into sole possession of first place in the East with the win, but their co-leaders quickly caught up with them as the weekend wore on. As of now they sit in third place with 45 points due to tiebreakers.

Columbus’ situation looks bleaker and bleaker each week, as they’re still five points back of the red line marking who’s in and out of the playoffs. What’s worse for them is that the teams they’re chasing hold at least one game in hand over the Black and Gold. They’re still in this, but only barely.

Seattle Sounders 2, Chicago Fire 1
Chicago looked to be headed for a well-earned road point at CenturyLink Field, but a Zach Scott cross bundled off of Gonzalo Segares for an own goal in the 89th minute to send the Fire home with nothing.

With the loss, Chicago stays two points back of Houston and New England with 35 points, though the Fire hold a game in hand on both clubs. They will make that difference up on Wednesday night against Toronto FC at BMO Field.

Montreal Impact 4, New England Revolution 2
New England went down to 10 men in the 5th minute at home against Montreal, and Patrice Bernier and Marco Di Vaio scored two goals each to push Montreal back to the top of the standings.

The Impact continue to lead the East with 45 points and still carry two games in hand over New York and Kansas City, who are tied with the Canadians on points.

The Revolution stay at 37 points, tied with the Dynamo. New England holds the fifth and final playoff spot, however, due to the goals scored tiebreaker (the first tiebreaker is wins—both teams have a 10-10-7 record).

San Jose Earthquakes 1, Philadelphia Union 0
Philadelphia went down a goal in the 15th minute in San Jose, the Earthquakes went down a man in the 57th minute, but the Union weren’t able to find an equalizer at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Philadelphia holds their place in fourth, but the gap between them and third place has widened to six points. The Dynamo remain only two points behind the Union, meaning they could leapfrog into sole possession of the fourth spot with a win in Philly this Saturday.

While the Dynamo’s own result didn’t go their way on Sunday, the rest of the clubs fighting for the last two playoff spots didn’t do any damage either. Every team in the East retained their spot in the standings, with the top three clubs starting to pull away from the rest.

Keep your eye on the scoreboard for Wednesday night’s Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire match, a Chicago loss or draw will keep them behind the Dynamo going into next weekend.