Friday, October 2, 2009

Playing the (playoff) slots and weekend picks

Wow, and here I thought with Shalrie Joseph still playing and (reasonably) healthy, the Revs would be OK and make the playoffs, even without Steve Ralston.

And then came the Debacle at the Cotton Bowl, losing 1-0 and being run around and off the field by FC Dallas (FC DALLAS!) Wednesday night. You know, even though some prominent Houstonians are promoting the unlikely Frisco Playoff Push, I really don't see it. So here are Martek's official predictions of qualifiers for the MLS Playoffs:

The Easy Ones: Crew, Dynamo, Galaxy, Fire

Anyone can pick those four. It's the next four that will separate the winners from the losers, the true visionaries of the future from the ones who will level a curse with their predictions and single-handedly be the cause for elimination and thus dashing the hopes of the faithful. So firmly hoping I'm a member of the latter, here's my prediction:

FC Dallas

OK, OK, now my real predictions for the final four qualifiers. (And I'm not saying I'm not a curse-leveler here, just that I am trying my best to tell you what I really think.)

Six contenders for the four final slots: Rapids, las chivitas, Sounders, Revolution, (That)D(amned)CU(nited), Toronto FC

Still alive but fugeddaboudit: RSL, FC Frisco, Wizards.

Here's the remaining schedule and points so far for the Still-alive Six

Rapids (39): host Revs, at FCD, at RSL
Chivas (38): at DCU, host KC, host San Jose, at Fire, host Dynamo
Sounders (38): at Crew, at KC, host Dallas
Revolution (37): at Colo, host Crew, host Fire, at Crew
DCU (36): host Chivas, host Crew, at KC
Toronto (35): host San Jose, host RSL, at NYRB

Now you may wonder why I'm saying that Toronto, at 35 points, has a chance while RSL, at 34, FCD, at 33, and KC, at 31,, have no chance. Well, I have two reasons, one is this guy and the other is that schedule. The two worst teams in the league and one of the worse road teams in MLS history, and I think TFC comes down the stretch with at least seven points and possibly all nine. The only worry here is that TFC won't be playing, and thus won't be knocking off, any of the teams ahead of them. This could be the fatal flaw, but then again, I think after it's all done, the points total will be:

Rapids (46):
Toronto (44)
Sounders (43)
Chivas (42)
DCU (41)
Revolution (40)

Not only that, but when Dynamo destroy Chivas on the final day of the season, it still won't matter as with five games left, the Amerigoats will barely make it in over DCU. And my favorite thing about this prediction is that for the first time in awhile (ever?), there will be more Western Conference teams than East.

So chime in here, what are your predictions?

On to the weekend.

Last week: 3-5
Year to date: 80-109 (.423 or 17 games over blind chance)

FIRE at GALAXY: 1-1 Draw Becks will be playing and Blanco may not, but I think the Fire are getting it together now. I still think the Gals will not lose this one at home, and the Fire seem to have trouble closing out games, but overall, I'm seeing this as a draw between two teams fighting for playoff position.

CHIVAS USA at DC UNITED: 2-1 CUSA The win in CONCACAF propels DC and gives them hope, but in the end, it won't be enough for that team. But Milos Kocic, you are no Josh Wicks, and while that means you may have to spend less in anger management classes over the long run, for now, it means that you cannot lead DCU to a win here. (This game will haunt the Black and Red all offseason, especially if, nay when, my predictions above come true.)

SOUNDERS at CREW. 1-1 Draw Hear that? That's the sound of the Crew putting the finishing touches on the Supporter's Shield race, and at Sigi Schmid's expense. NO WAIT!! Ljungberg sends an awesome ball through to Montero in the 92nd minute, beating Hesmer and Seattle draws this game for a crucial point they need in playoff race!! You heard it here first.

REVOLUTION at RAPIDS. 1-0 Colorado New England, you can't beat Dallas in midweek at the Cotton Bowl and think you can sneak by the inconsistent Rapids? Without Steve Ralston? Well, Preston Burpo is in goal for the Rapids, while you guys have Matt Reis, so you might just have a shot there. But then again, Reis isn't going to score for you there, so put those hopes behind you because you're going down in flames here.

NYRB at EARTHQUAKES. 0-0 Draw Oh. My. God. Back away. And not slowly either. Scooby, LET'S GET OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WIZARDS at DYNAMO. 3-1 Orange My main prediction here is that Kei Kamara will shoot, and shoot and shoot some more, and he will not put a single one on frame. I love Cobra Kei, don't get me wrong, but I find it hard to believe he's going to be all that focused. Remember how poorly he played against San Jose when he was in Orange? Expect to see that Kamara Sunday. Meanwhile, Holden, Landin and Weaver all score for Dynamo, who are never seriously threatened.

No comments: