Eastern Conference Roundup: Week 25

Didier Drogba

1. D.C. United – 44 pts. | 1-0 win at Arabe Unido (CCL), 2-0 loss vs. San Jose; this week: vs. Montego Bay (CCL), at New York Red Bulls
D.C. United kicked off its CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a strong start after defeating Panamanian side Arabe Unido, but succumbed to a red-hot San Jose squad that is riding a three-match win streak. United conceded an early goal courtesy of Chris Wondolowski and could not recover despite leading in shots 23-9 and controlling possession 58.2 percent of the time.

2. New York Red Bulls – 39 pts. | BYE; this week: at Chicago Fire, vs. D.C. United
After a bye week, the Red Bulls will look to seize a golden opportunity to catch up with D.C. United, which leads New York by five points in the standings, yet has played four more matches than the East’s second-place team. With two games in five days, the Red Bulls will have the chance to take control of the Eastern Conference in what is a much-anticipated matchup between the East’s top two teams.

3. Columbus Crew SC – 38 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. NYCFC, 3-2 win vs. Sporting KC; this week: vs. NYCFC
Crew SC was able to come from behind to earn a draw against New York City FC, seemingly in practice for Saturday’s matchup with Sporting Kansas City. In that match the Black & Gold mounted a comeback after trailing twice to secure three points at home and retain a four-point lead over Toronto FC and the New England Revolution. Crew SC’s Ethan Finlay, Tony Tchani and Jack McInerney all tallied a goal.

4. Toronto FC – 34 pts. | 5-0 win vs. Orlando City SC; this week: vs. Montreal Impact
It was a stunning performance for Toronto FC’s highly-touted trio, as Michael Bradley recorded three assists in addition to Jozy Altidore’s two-goal performance, only to be topped off by a wonder-strike from Sebastian Giovinco. Friday’s victory was Toronto’s third win of the season over Orlando City SC.

5. New England Revolution – 34 pts. | BYE; this week: at Philadelphia Union
The Revs were off this past week but look to continue their recent form, being undefeated in their last four matches, including three victories. After two weeks off from regular-season play, New England will face the Philadelphia Union, a team that is coming off a big victory over the Montreal Impact.

6. Montreal Impact – 28 pts. | 1-0 loss vs. Philadelphia; this week: at Vancouver Whitecaps, at Toronto FC
Didier Drogba made his MLS debut coming on in the 59th minute for Montreal’s Dilly Duka. But the Chelsea FC legend couldn’t help the Impact break down a defensively solid Union squad that, despite giving up 16 shots, only allowed four of them on frame. Montreal dominated in possession, controlling the ball 64.5 percent of the time, but could not find the back of the net. The Impact now looks to rebound against fellow Canadian rivals, Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC.

7. NYCFC – 28 pts. | 2-2 draw at Columbus Crew SC, 5-1 loss at LA Galaxy; this week: vs. Columbus
NYCFC’s star-power couldn’t match that of LA’s as New York City conceded five goals against the Galaxy four days after earning a hard-fought draw in Columbus. David Villa scored the lone goal for NYCFC in the 80th minute on a penalty kick. It was Villa’s 15th goal of the season. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard did not make an appearance, sitting out for the third successive game while seeking to amend a quadriceps injury sustained over a week and a half ago in training.

8. Orlando City SC – 28 pts. | 5-0 loss at Toronto FC; this week: vs. Chicago Fire
A balanced attack from Toronto FC proved too much for Orlando City SC that, despite the blowout loss, remains tied in points for the sixth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. With Week 25 completed, Orlando has nine games left to solidify its chance for a playoff berth in a tightly-packed mid-section of the Eastern Conference table.

9. Philadelphia Union – 27 pts. | 1-0 win at Montreal Impact; this week: vs. New England Revolution
Philadelphia’s Sebastien Le Toux was the difference in this match, providing the game’s lone goal in the 78th minute after redirecting a shot attempt from C.J. Sapong towards the far post. With the victory, the Union remains in ninth place but closed the gap on Orlando City and New York City FC in what will be an exciting final two months in the Eastern Conference.

10. Chicago Fire – 23 pts. | 1-0 loss vs. Colorado Rapids FC; this week: vs. Red Bulls, at Orlando City SC
A first-minute counterattack from Colorado was the difference in this match, as the Rapids’ Dillon Serna slotted in a back post finish 51 seconds into the match to secure three points at Toyota Park. Despite being last in the East Conference, Chicago only needs five points to make up the difference to the last playoff seed.

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