Monday’s soccer news starts with the churn of games in MLS favoring New England. The Revs clinched 1st-place in the East without having to play in week 29, due to other results finally making their massive lead to great to catch. 18 points ahead of 2nd-place Nashville, the next box to check en route to the playoffs is the Supporters’ Shield. New England leads Seattle by 11 points for 1st overall and hosting rights should they advance to MLS Cup.
As for the rest of the Eastern Conference, Nashville has opened a five-point lead over Philadelphia and Orlando. The Union has a game in hand. Nashville’s 0-0 draw at NYCFC is troubling not because it sealed New England’s regular season conference title, but because it creates the idea of opportunity for the clubs just behind them.
Philadelphia kept pace with a 3-0 home shutout of Columbus while Orlando beat DC United 2-1 at home. Both of those were results, showing the ambition to stay in the race for 2nd-place. It is a race, with none of the clubs theoretically chasing the Revs doing enough to differentiate themselves.
No one wants to end up seeing how easily New England carries their current form into the playoffs. That’s going to fall to whoever advances from the 4th vs 5th-place game. Right now, that would be a rematch of Saturday’s Orlando City vs DC United game at Exploria Stadium, but that card is subject to change.
Level on games played, 6th-place NYCFC is tied on points with DC and 7th-place Montreal at 40. Atlanta is a point out of the playoff picture in 8th. That turns DC at Nashville and Orlando City at Cincinnati on October 16 into bigger games, because form suggests that the table will change. Then there’s the team playing New England in any given week between now and the end of the season.
The Revolution should be the biggest disrupter in the Eastern Conference moving forward. Though their playoff position is now locked, the run of form New England is on could end up creating opportunities for other clubs. They’re at DC United on October 20 and then travel to Orlando on October 24. What the table looks like by that point is an open question, but New England may get a preview of the team that eventually faces them in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Also in the soccer news, the US Soccer Federation announced an independent investigation headed by former US deputy attorney general Sally Yates into the National Women’s Soccer League allegations. “US Soccer takes seriously its responsibility to vigorously investigate the abhorrent conduct reported, gain a full and frank understanding of the factors that allowed it to happen and take meaningful steps to prevent this from happening in the future,” the Federation wrote in a press statement.
MLSsoccer’s Matthew Doyle reviews week 29 in MLS. American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta profiles USMNT and Aberdeen player Christian Ramirez. iNews’ Daniel Storey has what happened in the Premier League over the weekend. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney makes the case for the importance of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. AP’s Rob Harris updates the vaccination issue in the Premier League.
TUESDAY’S SOCCER TV
No games today.
A message from the man of the hour 🐐 pic.twitter.com/1OPdJtLTId
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) October 4, 2021
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