October 2, 2017

The Semper Soccer MLS Week 30 Recap

Welcome to the final month of the Major League Soccer regular season. The league wrapped up September and forged ahead into October as the playoff push rolls on. With so few weeks left, MLS Week 30 loomed large with a total of 18 games and an array of games that were vital to postseason positioning. The Semper Soccer Blog is here to recap it all with our weekly MLS recap.

The Games

MLS Week 30 was one of the largest on the season schedule. Teams played a total of 18 matches this week, with many clubs pressed into double duty as the calendar turned to October. It’s time for a look at the scoreboard.

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

5 Things To Know

  1. The Eastern Conference playoff picture is almost complete. Atlanta, Chicago and Columbus all clinched spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs during MLS Week 30 play. The Fire and Atlanta wrapped up their places with mid-week wins while Columbus punched their ticket on Saturday. Now with just one spot left open, the New York Red Bulls have the inside track to the sixth seed. With 43 points, they have a four-point advantage above four teams. Montreal, New England, Philadelphia and Orlando City all sit on 39 points with their chances to pick up points dwindling. These four teams only have two games remaining while New York still has three to play so catching the Red Bulls is a tall task.
  2. Meanwhile, things aren’t so clear in the West. The Vancouver Whitecaps became the first Western Conference club to book a spot in the postseason. They grabbed a skin-of-their-teeth victory against Sporting Kansas City, becoming the first road team to earn three points in KC this season. Vancouver’s 51 points are four head of Portland, Sporting KC and Seattle who all have 47. Portland and Seattle each have two games left while Sporting still has four to play, the most in MLS. The next three weeks could see a lot of shifting among spots one through four so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this race.
  3. Toronto FC wrapped up the 2017 Supporters’ Shield. With 65 points, they’ve outpaced the league this season. The regular season championship means if Toronto returns to the MLS Cup final, they’ll defend their title on home ground. It also marked the first time a Canadian club won that honor. They finish their season with a home game against Montreal before a trip to Atlanta. This is sure to be a team that’s rested and in fine form heading into the playoffs.
  4. Seattle rode the MLS roller coaster. MLS Week 30 was a true up-and-down experience for the Sounders. On Wednesday, they ran wild on Vancouver, earning a 3-0 win over the Western Conference leaders and moving into a tie for second place. Then Sunday’s trip to play the Philadelphia Union let them down. A 2-0 loss saw their chance to jump up to 50 points and second place by themselves fall by the wayside. They’re still in good shape though. Seattle’s last two games are at home versus Dallas and Colorado so they’ll have a solid chance to grab six more points.
  5. Prepare for a lighter week ahead. After so many games during week 30, next week only has four games on the schedule. Many MLS teams are without players as the United States men’s national team prepares for their last two World Cup qualifying games this week. Teams will make up the games they have in hand instead of taking a full international break. Watch the Semper Soccer blog throughout the week as we’ll be posting about the USMNT’s upcoming matches as well.

Player Of The Week

Toronto defender Justin Morrow scored a hat trick on Saturday, leading his team to a win that clinched the Supporters' Shield and our MLS Week 30 Player of the Week honor.

Toronto defender Justin Morrow scored a hat trick on Saturday, leading his team to a win that clinched the Supporters’ Shield and our MLS Week 30 Player of the Week honor.

Hear that alarm? That’s the defender hat trick alert! Justin Morrow tallied three goals for Toronto FC in their 4-2 win Saturday over the New York Red Bulls. Morrow led the way for a very special win as Toronto secured the 2017 Supporter’s Shield. He started off in the 32nd minute, sending a loose ball into the back of the net to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, another loose ball fell to Morrow’s feet and he bagged his second in the 37th minute. The Red Bulls stormed back to tie the game at two goals apiece. After Toronto regained the lead in the 80th minute, Morrow got on the end of a Jozy Altidore cross in stoppage time. The result? Justin Morrow becoming the first defender to score a hat trick since 1997 and earning our MLS Week 30 Player of the Week honor.

The Standings

As MLS begins the October schedule and more teams wrap up playoff spots, let’s take a look at the standings.

MLS Week 30 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 30 Eastern Conference Standings

MLS Week 30 Western Conference Standings

MLS Week 30 Western Conference Standings

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