MLS Thermometer: LA show warmth, Fire still cold

Race for the Supporters' Shield coming down to the wire

The horror! The horror! The season is over for the LA Galaxy after a 2-0 loss to New York on Friday night at The Home Depot Center. All is lost! Oh, the humanity!

Well… no. Not actually. The Thermometer is back for another week, and a quick check of the temperature in Los Angeles indicates that there is still life after Red Bulls.

Oh, yeah, and the rest of the league took the field on Saturday in what was actually a much more dramatic match day. Which teams have playoff fever, and which teams have caught a chill?

We’ll Take That Back, Thank You

Last week, the Thermometer projected Real Salt Lake to win the Supporters' Shield by a single point over the Galaxy. A thrilling stoppage time equalizer from Nat Borchers on Saturday kept "Fortress Rio Tinto" standing and extended RSL’s now 24-game unbeaten streak at home. LA, meanwhile, fell flat in a loss to New York. So RSL should still be the frontrunners to take the Shield, right?

Wrong. For the reigning champs, gaining one point per game on the Western Conference-leaders just isn’t going to cut it. Real Salt Lake are taking on the New England Revolution this week, though, and the Galaxy will have a tough derby game in the SuperClásico. The next edition of the Thermometer may see RSL back on top in a race that couldn’t be any closer.

You Get a Hot Streak!

Last week, the Kansas City Wizards were the hottest team in the league by a mile. Who takes the top spot this week?

Kansas City! And New York! And Seattle Sounders FC! And the San Jose Earthquakes! And the Colorado Rapids! Yes, each of these teams has 10 points in their last five games. So the Thermometer grants a five way tie for the title of “Hottest Team in MLS.”

Cheesesteak, Anyone?

Actually, make that a six-way tie. It’s too bad that the Philadelphia Union won’t make the playoffs, because they really have been playing well recently. A 3-0 mauling of Chivas USA this weekend was, according to head coach Peter Nowak, their best result of the season. It’s hard to fault that assessment, but it doesn’t tell the whole story of their recent form. Kudos to Philadelphia. The Sons of Ben have a lot to be excited about next season.

Whoops…

Last week, the Thermometer said that it was perhaps the right time to hop on the Wizards’ bandwagon.

Oh, what a week will do. A 3-1 drubbing at the hands of FC Dallas was bad for Kansas City’s playoff dreams, but the Sounders’ subsequent victory over the Chicago Fire made that dream a nightmare. It may be that the Wizards have woken up, if you’ll allow the Thermometer to beat a metaphor to death. Kansas City will need to work some serious magic if they expect to overtake Seattle.

What’s Cooler than Cool?

Ironic that it should still be the Fire. Another loss gives the dubious honor of coldest team in the league to Chicago for another week. But, it should be noted, that this Tifo display by Section 108 actually was cooler than cool. And we mean that in a good way.

Team Points Games remaining Last 5 (pts/gm) Projected Pts.
LA Galaxy 50 4 1.4 56
Real Salt Lake 48 4 1.8 55
Columbus Crew 45 4 1 49
New York Red Bulls 44 4 2 52
FC Dallas 46 4 1.8 53
San Jose Earthquakes 39 6 2 51
Seattle Sounders 39 4 2 47
Colorado Rapids 38 5 2 48
Kansas City Wizards 33 5 2 43
Toronto FC 31 4 .8 34
Philadelphia Union 27 5 2 37
Chicago Fire 26 6 0.4 28
New England Revolution 26 4 1 30
Houston Dynamo 26 4 0.6 28
Chivas USA 25 5 1.2 31
D.C. United 18 4 0.6 20