ProSoccerTalk’s weekly Panic Quotient

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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly soccer Panic Quotient (®) takes the temperature of stress and distress in the streets of Major League Soccer and along the boulevards of the global game.

Chivas USA and Philadelphia: Can Chivas USA make the playoffs? Sure. But the Goats will have to graze their way closer to goal, because the production has been ridiculous in 2012. They have 11 in 20 matches, a rate of misery that will set an MLS record if not improved. From manager Robin Fraser: “I’d say I’m running short on patience in terms of scoring goals.” Don’t say.

Meanwhile, John Hackworth’s Union has the same problem: MLS playoffs aren’t out of sight, but mapping out the route to post-season grace is getting tougher by the day.

So … there was a lot riding on Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinals. With playoffs slipping from sight, they needed an Open Cup crown to take something out of 2012. And “Poof!” … that chance is gone now.

Panic quotient = moderate low, along lines of: Think “seriously bad paper cut” or “Where are those doggone car keys?”

FC Dallas: A three-game unbeaten streak doesn’t sound terrible for a side still missing nearly half its starters due to injury. Then again, those were three home games. And just when they finally get David Ferreira back on the field, the concern certainly must be growing that veteran center back Ugo Ihemelu will have to play it safe and shut himself down for the season, taking no chances with those ongoing concussion-related issues.

On the one hand FC Dallas is just seven points out of a playoff spot. On the other, last place is a real hole because you have to make up points on everybody, a tough Texas haul, indeed.

Panic quotient = moderate, along lines of: Just dropped your cell phone in the toilet.

Merritt Paulson: The Portland Timbers owner knows he’s on the spot here. On the one hand, his job isn’t exactly on the line; after all, the owner can’t fire himself.

On the other hand, his reputation in the business is, in fact, in a precarious place. He knows so. Said Paulson: “There is egg on my face in making this decision so soon into our MLS existence. No question about it.”  I mean, the man has even disappeared from Twitter – that seems to suggest he’s having a serious “think” about things.

Portland doesn’t need to start notching off the “Ws” left and right immediately. But if things turn worse around Jeld-Wen …

Panic quotient = Moderate high, along lines of: Favorite lunch spot Tweets out: “anyone who dined with us in last few days, please see their personal physician”