So here we have it: Between Thursday and Sunday, all 16 teams will close out their regular-season campaigns.
And that means that the MLS Cup Playoffs are right around the corner. Heading into the final fixture of the 2010 season, the Thermometer takes one last look of who’s caught fire at the right time of the season.
Beware of Oz
The Seattle Sounders are the hottest team in MLS right now.
It’s not even close. Forget their midweek loss to Saprissa; the Emerald City had already been eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League. That game didn’t matter.
[inline_node:320889]What does matter is the five straight regular-season games they have won. You heard that right. The Sounders have taken 15 of a possible 15 points from their last five games.
They also won a little trophy called the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in that stretch. Fair to say that Seattle are a team with momentum heading into the final weekend of the season and the playoffs beyond. And if the playoffs were to start today, the Sounders would take on the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Galaxy have a respectable nine points from their last five fixtures, but they have looked mortal in losses to the New York Red Bulls and the Colorado Rapids. And lest we forget, that’s six points less than Seattle.
Beware the Emerald City, LA. Beware.
Gotham Needs a Hero
The New York Red Bulls are sitting pretty right now. They have a one point lead over the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference. Their last remaining regular-season fixture is against the lowly New England Revolution.
What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty. New York have not beaten New England since September of 2005, and the Revs have picked up their form. As a matter of fact, the Red Bulls and Revolution have the same number of points in their last five games.
Looks like Gotham will need a hero if they are to clinch the Eastern Conference title.
Whither the Shield?
[inline_node:320622]The Thermometer has plugged all the data into its high-tech machine, but to no avail. We have no idea who will win the Supporters’ Shield.
Real Salt Lake have 11 points from their last five games. LA, as we’ve mentioned, have nine.
RSL will be taking on their Rocky Mountain Cup rival Rapids, while LA host FC Dallas. Both opponents have eight points from their last five matches.
Too close to call. You decide.
What’s Cooler than Cool?
Three teams take the dishonor of being the coldest in MLS as the season draws to a close.
They are: the Columbus Crew, Chivas USA and the Kansas City Wizards. Strange to see the Wizards here, as only a few weeks ago they were the hottest team in MLS.
Strange also to see the Crew here, as they are coming off a dramatic tie with Toronto FC, are heading into the playoffs and still have a shot at the Eastern Conference title.
Crew fans might want to buy a parka. A thick one. And do it today.