The late start to the season pushing against the international window left us with only two playoff spots per conference. With all due respect to the new kids, the fact we’ll only see two of RUNY, NOLA, and Toronto in the playoffs is a real shame. These three sides are rounding into shape, and they’d make a heck of a playoff bracket.
Give the new kids their due. The Free Jacks might be the hardest fighters in the MLR. ATL has the league’s second best defense (but not enough firepower on attack to break other elite defenses consistently). DC is the farthest from a championship, but they still have fantastic moments. The worst in the East would likely make the middle third of the West. The old boys will make the playoffs, but the young boys will dent their armor along the way.
LA is a perfect example of why traditional tables don’t work with staggered byes. Yes, the Giltinis are four points clear of the 2 spot, but they also have a game in hand over the next four sides. The same fact doesn’t spare Seattle. Even with a game in hand, this side is fading fast. I want to forgive the loss to Toronto (played at 7:30 Seattle time). However, the gap between 5 and 6 is getting huge.
Think about it like this: it would take LA two weeks to fall out of playoff position. It would take those same two weeks for Seattle to enter a playoff spot. (Houston would also take two weeks, but watch the last two games Seattle and Houston played before telling me they belong lumped together.) Its only the quarter point for these two, but the Giltinis are planning champagne while the Seawolves are sinking to the bottom of the waters.