MLS Eastern Conference Round 8 Up

Josh Williams via Genesis, L.W. Johnson II

Results, news and notables from MLS Round Eight with focus on the Eastern Conference through the kaleidoscope of Crew.

LAST FIVE FORM

Here is a look at Points Earned per Game (PpGM) over the last five for each Eastern Conf team.

PpGM : TEAM

2.00 : SKC, HOU, MTL

1.80 : NY

1.60 : PHI

1.40 : CHI

1.20 : CLB

0.80 : TFC

0.40 : NER

0.20 : DCU

Not a whole lot to comment on here as results speak for themselves. It does give us a glimpse of likely playoff teams.

BEST XI, BEST ELEVEN

MLSsoccer.com picks a Best XI each week along with seven “bench” players to honor good performers from the previous weekend. Here is how things look thus far:

TOTAL MENTIONS : BEST XI

4 : Jack McInerney : 3

4 : Patrice Bernier : 3

4 : Aurélien Collin : 2

4 : Nick Rimando : 1

3 : Jackson : 2

3 : George John : 2

3 : Darlington Nagbe : 2

3 : Clint Irwin : 2

3 : Matt Hedges : 2

3 : Davy Arnaud : 1

3 : Claudio Bieler : 1

To make the list a player has to have had the most mentions and at least one ‘Best XI’ team of the week.

Columbus is still “Best XI” -less this year. They only team in the league that can still claim that unique honor. Speaking of the Crew...

COLUMBUS HUMBLED, NOSTRADAMUS

A lot of talk going into this season about this team being able to win trophies. Still a lot of season to go but remember the fact that 20% of the season is already gone. Hard to believe, but true. As of this moment the Crew are on 1.29 PpGM. This so happens to equate to a 43 pt season. Not only is that 10 points less than what it took to make the playoffs last year, it just so happens to match the prediction of yours truly. Exactly match (43 pts + a bold prediction of a staffer leaving).

We’ll see. The loss this Crew team endured at the hands of Chicago was humbling. Going back and watching it a second time is more scary than anything in that the Crew *WERE* trying. They just weren’t good enough.

MCINERNEY ON SIX

The Philadelphia Union’s Jack McInerney had two early goals against DC United last week which puts his total up at 6 for the year.

The Union v. United game was nationally televised and featured some of Major League Soccer’s prominent voices. One of them, Taylor Twellman, mentioned the “games” former Union coach Piotr Nowak played during McInerney’s first two years. Hard not to help but think of fellow Polish National Team - mate Robert Warzycha and the way he deals with players. Thankfully, now that Nowak is gone, there are a couple head-turning things going on here with this player.

1st - His breakaway goal vs. DC where he felt a defender behind him and crossed in front and away from the defender in front. It was a true goal scoring move and not just a ‘right place, right time’ goal.

2nd - He is leading the league in Goals + Assists per 90 (G+Ap90) played for players that have played more than 450 minutes.



MLS G+Ap90

Goals + Assists per 90 minutes played is a valuable metric when trying to figure out which attacking player is doing well. Here are this year’s leaders (min of 450 mins, no PKs):

G+Ap90 : NAME : TEAM

1.01 : Jack McInerney : (PHI)

0.75 : Brad Davis : (HOU)

0.71 : Graham Zusi : (KC)

0.68 : Mike Magee : (LA)

0.67 : Alvaro Saborio : (RSL)

0.59 : Ryan Johnson : (POR)

0.58 : Will Bruin : (HOU)

0.53 : Marco Di Vaio : (MON)

0.51 : Jackson : (DAL)

0.51 : Claudio Bieler : (KC)

Some really good US talent at the top. I have a feeling that at least two of them will not be playing in MLS next year. Will Bruin has 2 goals and 1 assist in 465 mins. After a good year last year, his resume is getting better. Is it Coach Kinnear, Brad Davis? His production is understated but this gives you a feeling there may be a few foreign clubs that want to take a chance.

McInerney is getting after it this year. What a better player to have beside you than Conor Casey. He’s been through the wars. He, himself, has 2 goals and 2 assists in just 277 minutes. Not much was expected of Philly this year but if Casey can stay healthy, the Union have a real shot at the playoffs.

NY IS HERE

You get the feeling that the Red Bulls might actually figure it out this year. If they do? Hide the kids. This past week they fought off a pesky New England Revs and opened the game up late on for a 4:1 final. The feeling is this; If NY get it going they may be unstoppable.

Dax McCarty, Luis Robles, Heath Pearce and Thierry Henry get the headlines but behind them you have underrated players in Jonny Steele and Markus Holgersson. That doesn’t even mention Espindola and Cahill. Damn, this team is good. Not fake good, but Good, good.

REPORTERS PICK PLAYERS

National Association of Soccer Reporters have spoken once again this week and Jack McInerney has won with 22 total votes. Not surprising, he had a great game. Patrice Bernier still leads the league here with 31 total votes, Mike Magee is not far behind with 29.

The Crew, as a team, only have 6 total votes. That happens to be third worst in the league. Andy Gruenebaum leads the way with 4 votes. Ben Speas and Federico Higuain each have one.

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All for now. More on other stuff like; MLS Fantasy and Helltown Team of the Week next round. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week!

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