MLS playoff permutations, six teams could make postseason this week

5 Comments

With just a few games left in the MLS season, things are getting tight.

Congested conferences are probably causing plenty of MLS fans to lose sleep right now but the good news is, ‘the end is near.’

On Wednesday night there are three MLS games, and this week could see up to six teams stamp their ticket in the dance, and three fall by the wayside. Make sure you put your glasses on and focus in, ‘cos this is about to get serious.

Here are your 2013 MLS playoff permutations direct from Major League Soccer, as the business end of the season has arrived.

Sporting Kansas City will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Sporting Kansas City win vs. Houston Dynamo on Wednesday OR
  • Chicago Fire tie or lose vs. FC Dallas on Saturday OR
  • Philadelphia Union lose vs. D.C. United on Saturday

Houston Dynamo will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Houston Dynamo win vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday AND
  • New England Revolution tie or lose vs. Montréal Impact on Saturday AND
  • Chicago Fire lose vs. FC Dallas on Saturday

Columbus Crew will be eliminated from playoff contention IF

  • Houston Dynamo win or tie vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday AND
  • Montréal Impact win vs. New England Revolution on Saturday AND
  • Philadelphia Union win vs. D.C. United on Saturday

OR

  • Columbus Crew lose vs. New England Revolution on Oct. 19

OR

  • Columbus Crew tie vs. New England Revolution on Oct. 19 AND
  • Philadelphia Union win or tie vs. D.C. United on Saturday OR
  • Chicago Fire win vs. FC Dallas on Saturday

Seattle Sounders FC will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday

OR

  • Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday

OR

  • Seattle Sounders FC win vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday

Real Salt Lake will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday

Colorado Rapids will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday AND
  • Seattle Sounders FC win or tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday

Portland Timbers will clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs IF

  • Portland Timbers win vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday AND
  • Colorado Rapids win or tie vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday

OR

  • Portland Timbers tie vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday AND
  • Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday AND
  • Seattle Sounders FC win or tie vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Wednesday

Vancouver Whitecaps FC will be eliminated from playoff contention IF

  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC lose vs. Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday AND
  • Colorado Rapids win vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday

FC Dallas will be eliminated from playoff contention IF

  • FC Dallas lose or tie vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday

Valencia extends Man Utd deal to great Mourinho praise

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jose Mourinho has made no secret of his Antonio Valencia appreciation, and the Manchester United manager has rewarded his fullback with a new deal.

Valencia is nine appearances away from 300 in a Manchester United kit, with 22 goals and 61 assists as a Red Devil.

[ MORE: Monaco star’s Man City medical ]

Valencia said United has “been my life” since arriving from Wigan Athletic in 2009, while Mourinho heaped praise on the Ecuadorian captain’s character with glowing praise.

“It is no secret that I had been an admirer of Antonio’s long before I joined the club. I knew what a fantastic player he was and he has not disappointed me on that front. However, what I could never have imagined was what a great person he is. I know I have said this before but I truly believe it is a real privilege for us to have such a good player and such a good man. I am delighted he has extended his contract.”

Only Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly recorded better tackle rates at Old Trafford last season, and Valencia was credited with a team-best 1.5 crosses per game.

USMNT veteran Geoff Cameron extended by Stoke City

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Forget a return Stateside, as Geoff Cameron is sticking around the Potteries.

The versatile American midfielder and defender, 31, has extended his stay at Stoke City by two years, the Premier League club announced Friday.

Cameron has played 165 times for Stoke since arriving from the Houston Dynamo in 2012. He’s been capped 50 times by the USMNT.

Turning 32 next in mid-July, Cameron missed three-and-a-half months with a knee injury this season. That span saw Stoke go 6-5-5.

Advanced stats site WhoScored rated Cameron as Stoke’s best player — by far — this season. He was a bright spot along with loan man Bruno Martins Indi, and his extension is good news for both U.S. and Stoke fans.

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is preparing for more banter:

Double the Silva? Monaco star undergoing Man City medical

Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pep Guardiola is looking to Monaco in his chase for (lowers sunglasses) Silvaware.

Thanks, we’ll be here all day.

Bernardo Silva is in Manchester on Friday, with the Manchester Evening News saying the playmaker is close to joining unrelated surname sharer David Silva in the Sky Blues’ attack.

[ MORE: Three key battles in FA Cup Final ]

“The 22-year-old arrived at Manchester Airport on Thursday night on a flight from Mallorca and is believed to have had a medical at the club’s academy on Friday morning,” writes James Robson.

At 22, Bernardo Silva has already made 124 appearances for Monaco, registering 25 goals. He scored eight goals in Monaco’s Ligue 1 title run, adding three in the Champions League.

He’s also been capped 12 times by Portugal.

Where does Silva fit? He featured heavily at right wing for Monaco this season — 43 of 56 apps — also spending time in an attacking central midfield role. In City’s final match of the PL season, Gabriel Jesus lined up wide right next to David Silva

MLS Snapshot: FCD lose 2nd in a row; Fire win 4th straight

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): After starting the 2017 season nine games without a loss, FC Dallas, the longest-lasting unbeaten team in MLS, has lost two straight. Saturday saw their unbeaten start come to an end, against the San Jose Earthquakes, just as Wednesday’s trip to Toyota Stadium saw Oscar Pareja’s side drop all three points to the Chicago Fire. All three of the game’s goals were scored during the opening nine minutes, as FCD fought back from 1-0, but couldn’t find a second equalizer on the night. Nemanja Nikolic bagged the opener, his 11th goal in 13 games to extend his lead in the Golden Boot race to two, in the 3rd minute. Roland Lamah brought FCD back to level terms three minutes later, but David Accam restored the home side’s advantage after three more minutes. Nikolic had every opportunity in the world to take his goals tally to a dozen during second-half stoppage time, but Chris Seitz denied the Hungarian international from the penalty spot. For the first time since Sept. 2012, Chicago have won four straight league games, and sit just two points back of Eastern Conference-leading Toronto FC (26 points).

[ WATCH: Chicharito-to-MLS in doubt due to $10M contract demands ]

Three moments that mattered

3′ — Nikolic redirects past Seitz for 1-0 — Nikolic ran 15 yards straight ahead without a single FCD player picking him up or impeding his path to the near post, and they paid for it.

6′ — Lamah taps it in to make it 1-1 right away — Lamah has been quite the disappointment since arriving in Dallas this winter, but he happened to eb in the right place at the right time in this one, as a failed clearance fell to the five-times-capped Belgian international for an easy tap-in, and his first MLS goal.

9′ — Accam cuts inside to make it 2-1 just as quickly — At some point, Accam will be properly rated by the wider MLS audience, as he’s been Chicago’s best player for two full seasons, and has only hit a new high with capable attackers all around him.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Dax McCarty

Goalscorers: Nikolic (3′), Lamah (6′), Accam (9′)