Sunday, October 11, 2009

Real Salt Lake -vs- New England

No there wasn't a new game added to the schedule - this is the battle RSL is in for the final playoff spot. While Real Salt Lake could in theory overtake Seattle, Chicago or Colorado, their best shot at the playoffs is to beat out New England for the 8th spot. Still a longshot, but with New England's loss to Columbus last night the possibilities are slightly brighter. In fact, if both teams won out their remaining games then RSL would fall just a point short of tying New England.

Here is RSL's remaining schedule:
  • New York Red Bulls (H)
  • Toronto (A)
  • Colorado (H)
Here is New England's upcoming schedule:
  • Chicago (H)
  • Columbus (A)
Real Salt Lake needs New England to trip up in at least one of their final two matches, AND RSL likely needs to win out in order to make the playoffs. If RSL should stumble along the way, then teams like DC, Toronto or Dallas would likely step in and take the final spot. RSL can finish with 43 points, and it looks like 42-43 or even 44 points (if NE wins their final 2) will likely be needed.

If the two were to end up tied in points at the end of the season then RSL would likely win on goal differential (RSL is currently +9 over NE). Ironically if this were to happen, RSL's early season 6-0 drubbing of New England could prove to be the difference in who gets in to the playoffs. RSL's final battle against Colorado could also lead to a tie in points between the two with RSL likely losing the tiebreaker this year.

Look for a more complete analysis of the playoff picture coming soon with Tapocol's weekly Clinchers and Eliminateds.