MLS Week 19 Roundup: LA Galaxy Lost By How Much?

Week 19 of the 2017-2018 MLS season has just drawn to a close, and it saw a bit of a shake-up at the top of the table and near the coveted playoff spots.

Join me as we look at what the heck has been going on in each conference of this crazy league.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Who’s Going to Win It All?

Over in the East Coast, we saw the race for top spot heat up as Chicago Fire were held to a 2-2 draw away to Portland Timbers. In a tough match, this result is by no means a poor one, but it did open the door for Toronto FC to step in.

The Canadian club triumphed in a dominant 3-1 away win against Orlando City, only the second time the Floridians have tasted defeat in their new stadium. With that win, Toronto are tied for first place with 38 points. But it will take a lot to unseat Chicago, who are undefeated in 11 matches.

The Race for the Playoffs

Looking towards the playoff spots, we see that Orlando City and Columbus Crew, currently in 5th and 6th place respectively, are in danger of losing their places. New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew, who occupy the two spots below them, have two games in hand. A string of good results for any of these teams could completely reshuffle the race for the playoffs.

New York Red Bulls appear to be the most likely to eventually secure a top six finish. Their 3-2 away win against New England Revolution means they have three wins out of their last five matches, and they have a relatively favorable schedule coming up.

Biggest Winners and Losers

Overall, the biggest winners of the East were Toronto, Columbus, and New York Red Bulls. Toronto made good progress towards first place while Chicago and New York City both dropped points. Columbus got an important 1-0 away win against the floundering Minnesota United to stay alive in a playoff spot, and the Red Bulls moved one step closer to taking 6th place.

The biggest losers were easily DC United, New England, and Montreal Impact. The current bottom three of the Eastern Conference all lost their matches in disappointing fashion, making it that much harder to qualify for the playoffs.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Now we travel to the collectively under-performing Western Conference to check in on the madness.

Who’s Going to Win It All?

The results in the past week have made the West an even tighter contest than it was before. The difference between 1st and 6th place is only eight points, and that doesn’t even factor in games in hand. Predicting a winner in this conference is almost impossible, especially after current leaders Sporting Kansas City slipped up against Philadelphia.

A 1-1 draw at home makes it very likely that Kansas City will lose their top spot in the upcoming weeks. Although they are undefeated in their last five matches, they have only won once (against LA Galaxy, which is nothing to write home about at the moment).

Meanwhile, FC Dallas are in scintillating form after thumping DC United 4-2 at home. They are undefeated after four games with two strong home wins and two games in hand on the current leaders, making them the current favorites to end up on top.

The Race for the Playoffs

The fight for a playoff spot is even tighter in the West. Everyone from 4th to 8th place will be keeping an eye on their neighbors’ results, as only five points separate these teams and several of them have games in hand.

At the moment, San Jose Earthquakes look to be the most likely to drop out of the top six. They were just routed 4-2 by Atlanta United and their form leaves a lot to be desired. Meanwhile, Seattle Sounders have several favorable matches coming up, giving them the opportunity to close the gap to a playoff spot.

Biggest Winners and Losers

The biggest winners of the West were Dallas, Seattle, and Vancouver Whitecaps. Dallas made good progress towards 1st place, Seattle’s 3-1 away win over Colorado took them closer to the playoffs, and Vancouver’s narrow 3-2 win over New York City will give them a great platform to continue moving up the table.

The biggest losers had to be Minnesota United, Colorado Rapids, and LA Galaxy. Each of these teams lost their last games, have lost three in their last five, and sit in the bottom four of the conference.

Minnesota United have picked up a measly 18 points from their first ever 19 games in MLS, giving them a nightmare start to their debut season. Colorado haven’t done much better, with 19 points in 18 games. The disappointment is exacerbated by their relatively good season the year before. But for both teams, the playoffs look farther away than ever.

LA Galaxy look out of place listed amongst the bottom of the league, but they were quite literally the biggest losers of the past week. The 8th-placed Californians demonstrated exactly what not to do when you’re a serial playoff presence and in danger of missing out. An astounding 6-2 home loss to 9th-placed Real Salt Lake sums up the team’s woes in the league this season. Although they still have an outside shot at making the playoffs, they certainly haven’t made it easy on themselves or their goal difference.

RESULTS

Atlanta United FC 4 – 2 San José Earthquakes
Colorado Rapids 1 – 3 Seattle Sounders
FC Dallas 4 – 2 DC United
Los Angeles Galaxy 2 – 6 Real Salt Lake
Minnesota United FC 0 – 1 Columbus Crew
Houston Dynamo 3 – 1 Montreal Impact
New England Revolution 2 – 3 New York Red Bulls
Orlando City 1 – 3 Toronto FC
Portland Timbers 2 – 2 Chicago Fire
Vancouver Whitecaps 3 – 2 New York City
Sporting Kansas City 1 – 1 Philadelphia Union

LEAGUE TABLE

Eastern Conference

# Club GP GD Points
1 Chicago Fire 19 18 38
2 Toronto FC 19 15 38
3 New York City FC 19 12 33
4 Atlanta United FC 19 12 30
5 Orlando City SC 20 -7 29
6 Columbus Crew SC 20 -2 28
7 New York Red Bulls 18 -5 26
8 Philadelphia Union 18 4 23
9 Montreal Impact 17 -2 21
10 New England Revolution 19 -2 20
11 D.C. United 19 -17 18

Western Conference

# Club GP GD Points
1 Sporting Kansas City 20 10 32
2 FC Dallas 18 12 31
3 Houston Dynamo 19 5 28
4 Portland Timbers 20 3 27
5 San Jose Earthquakes 19 -4 26
6 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 17 -3 24
7 Seattle Sounders FC 19 -3 24
8 LA Galaxy 18 -4 22
9 Real Salt Lake 20 -17 20
10 Colorado Rapids 18 -8 19
11 Minnesota United FC 19 -17 18

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