MLS Wins and Losses: Week 29

Cheer up Frank. At least there'll be no more stinky elevator rides.

Cheer up Frank. At least there’ll be no more stinky elevator rides.

As always you can hear rather than read this on this week’s Vocal Minority Podcast when that comes out. It’s remarkable really just how much farting in elevators that Hauptman does, the man has no shame.

Well, it’s a good job TFC won on the weekend as this was a remarkably productive week in the drunken three legged run around a broomstick 10 times then try and run straight race for 6th. Everyone won. TFC, Montreal, Orlando, New York City, Philadelphia all picking up maximum points and thus no-one really went anywhere. Except Chicago. Who went backwards. They lost 1-0 to Orlando and are now 6 points adrift of 9th place. Frank Yallop, when asked about potential changes needed, said “Talking about the roster for next year, right now is not the time to do it”. Management clearly agreed, so instead decided to change something else. Yes, that’s the last comment for Frank Yallop as boss of the Fire, fired on Sunday evening, completing the Frank one-two in this season’s sack race. Nelson Rodriguez takes over as GM, his resume includes time with Chivas USA and the referees oraganisation PRO, soooooo, yeah, nothing can go wrong here. Technical Director Brian Bliss takes over as interim coach. A rough day for the Fire organisation, but owner Andew Hauptman brought some much needed levity to proceedings: “I share our fans’ frustration and, while we’ve enjoyed success off the pitch….” He said from the elevator he was farting in. Unfortunately no-one reported the end of the quote as even the Fire employee transcribing the press release couldn’t stop laughing long enough to catch the end of the sentence given that the Fire have become an increasingly irrelevant shambles under his watch, that now gets regular protests from the more hardcore fans. Success indeed.

Outside of Chicago, a great week for the East, starting from the bottom, Philadelphia beat Houston 2-0, with Tranquilo Barnetta finally getting his first goal. New York City capped off a 6 point week by going 3-0 up against San Jose and holding on for the 3-2 win. Ned Grabavoy got 2 goals and Fat Frank couldn’t be happier for him: “It’s great, it’s brilliant, a testament to his professionalism. I’ve seen him train and the way he carries himself, a squad player. When he’s not playing, a great attitude and when he plays he works for the team. He got what he deserved today.”  Mmmm patronising.

Orlando picked up the easy win against Chicago, 1-0, while Montreal continued their impressive run through a tough bit of their schedule with a 3-0 win over the Tea Terrorists. Dilly Duka scored one of the goals and seems a wee bit starstruck still when talking about playing with Drogba: “It’s easy. He can hold up the ball, and he’s incredibly unselfish. It’s a huge positive to have a guy like that on our team. … And I can say I got an assist from Didier Drogba!”

Moving past TFC and to the serious competitors, the big game was Columbus v DC and recent form very much continued, Columbus getting their 4th win in 5 games, and 4th straight away win, 2-1 with goals from Ethan Finlay and Kei Kamara. DC meanwhile now have one point from their last 5 games. Given New England’s loss, that win put Columbus temporarily on top of the East, while DC are now in 4th, and only 5 points ahead of TFC, perhaps starting to look nervously over their shoulders, though they remain 10 points clear of 7th place they could well fall into the away game section of the wild card spots. Ben Olsen’s been working on his Greg Vanney impression, looking on the brightside of an important defeat:  “I’m pleased with our effort. We looked like ourselves for large stretches of that game, so that’s a positive. It was a better performance than the Colorado game, in a lot of ways it’s the best performance we’ve had in over two months.” That’s nice Ben. Good for you.

On Sunday, the Red Bulls went to Portland and won 2-0, Felipe scoring from a long way out then shrugging off his teammates and going out of his way to run over to the Timbers Army to celebrate in front of them. Love that guy. That put them back to the top of the East and the first team to officially clinch a playoff spot.

Over in the West, things tightened up at the top as all of the top 3 teams lost. Vancouver lost 3-0 to Seattle with Sigi Schmid back behind the bench, but still remain first as FC Dallas lost 3-1 to the Sporks, and the Galaxy lost 3-0 to Real Salt Lake. That means Seattle, after grinding out some decent results and just now starting to play well again, won the Cascadia Cup this year and are now back to just 3 points out of first. The Sporks are just a point behind them and now it’s Portland, winless in 4, 3 points adrift and looking nervously behind themselves from 6th spot.  Fortunately for them, San Jose and Houston both lost and so now it’s the Burrito powered RSL who look like maybe making a run at Portland. Devon Sandoval scored twice in their win and is getting all eye of the tiger about things: “This is what we live for, these big games and every game now is big. So we’re excited. Keep it rolling. Keep improving. We’ve got to win.”

Yes, Sir, catch that Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoff excitement! That’s your MLS Wins and Losses for the week, but I’ll leave you with this. Enjoy.

Author: Duncan Fletcher

Blogging journeyman formerly of Cruel Geography and Waking the Red, also briefly with Sportsnet and every now and then with the Guardian. As a supporter of Darlington, TFC, England and Canada, football's been unfair and poking fun at Duncan for decades now, so it's only fair he does the same right back at it. Follow him on twitter @duncandfletcher

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