The big news
It has to be Seattle’s ongoing collapse. Following last night’s 1-0 loss to Cascadia Rival and fellow Western Conference champion aspirant Portland Timbers, Seattle has now lost three in a row. Further, Sigi Schmid’s team is winless in its last five matches.
Schmid made four changes but the final result was only better in that Seattle lost by one goal, not by three or four goals, as with the previous two losses.
Just four weeks ago Seattle led the league in points and, with games in hand on pretty much everyone, looked more and more like the team to beat for Supporters Shield. Today the team sits third in the West, with work ahead just to make the playoffs. It really has been a stunning turnabout.
Portland, by the way, thanks to Kalif Alhassan’s goal, have assumed top spot in the West.
No goals for Clint Dempsey
The other story to be explored here is the mounting struggle for Clint Dempsey, who is having horrible injury luck since his high profile move from Tottenham back into MLS. Only recently having returned from a hamstring issue, Dempsey hurt his shoulder in the 12th minute Sunday against Portland. He played into the second half and even popped a close-range header off the crossbar, but … still no goals. Or Assists.
That’s seven games now (including four starts) for Major League Soccer’s highest paid man. This will continue to be a story – especially if Seattle does not make the playoffs.
Another team clinches a playoff spot…
Sure it would have been nice to get the job done on the field, but Kansas City will surely take this. Philadelphia’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United on Saturday officially rang the playoff bell for Peter Vermes’ team. So Kansas City joins New York with officially clinched berth.
This is SKC’s third straight year with playoff soccer.
… and another team eliminated
FC Dallas joined D.C. United, Toronto and Chivas USA as teams officially eliminated from the playoff race. That happened in a 3-2 loss to Chicago at Toyota Stadium outside of Dallas. With New York and Sporting Kansas City having officially qualified, that leaves 13 teams in contention for 8 remaining playoff positions, with two rounds remaining.
Jack McInerney scores again. Finally
What heartbreak it must have been for D.C. United, so close to getting its fourth win this year – which would help the club avoid being single worst club in league history. But it was Jack McInerney to the rescue with a late goal in a 1-1 draw.
It was McInerney’s 11th goal this year, which still sounds pretty good for such a young striker. But consider that it was his first in 14 matches … going all the way back to June 1.