MLS: Crew Drops Finale, 4th in East

by Dan Wolfgang on October 24, 2011 at 1:11 am

Major League Soccer

Columbus 2 – Chicago 3

The Crew fell behind early against the Chicago Fire, giving up two first half goals from Jalil Anibaba, the tiebreaker 11 minutes in.  But Columbus didn’t let that get them down.

Playing for a good seed in the new expanded MLS Cup Playoff, the Crew, who had already clinched a postseason berth, rolled off two scores in eight minutes midway through the second half.

Emilio Renteria (72′) and Dilly Duka (’80) helped the Crew tie up the game, and appeared to maybe take the edge for good.  Until a minute later.  Off a rebound, Chicago’s Diego Chaves netted his sixth goal of the year in the 80th minute and Columbus was unable to come back.

The loss keeps the Crew in third place in the Eastern Conference, the last spot that is guaranteed into the last eight.  If Houston beats the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday, Columbus would fall to fourth and would play in the MLS Cup Play-In Round.

That matchup would be at Colorado.  If Houston loses, Columbus would host Philadelphia in the first of a two-leg aggregate the day before Halloween.


Emmanuel Ekpo was ejected in the loss after getting a double-yellow red card for a reckless foul in the closing minutes of the game.


The Dynamo picked up a 3-1 win over the Galaxy on Sunday, jumping into second place in the Eastern Conference.  Houston automatically qualifies for the Conference Semifinals.  The win drops Columbus to 4th, which means they will meet Colorado in the play-in game on Thursday.

The Rapids enter the postseason as the defending MLS Cup Champions, after beatng the Crew in the first round in penalty kicks.

Eastern Conference Standings

1. Sporting KC – 51 points

2. Houston Dynamo – 49 points

3. Philadelphia Union – 48 points

4. Columbus Crew – 47 points

5. New York Red Bulls – 46 point

NOTE: The top five teams from each conference advance to the MLS Cup Playoffs.  The top three qualify for the conference semifinals, while the fourth and fifth team advance to the Play-In Round.

Both Eastern Conference Play-In Teams will play round games in the first round.  The Play-In is not a two-leg aggregate like the semifinals.

Western Conference Standings

1. L.A. Galaxy – 67 points

2. Seattle Sounders FC – 63 points

3. Real Salt Lake – 53 points

4. FC Dallas – 52 points

5. Colorado Rapids – 49 points