I wrote my PE column on the Western Conference and how the playoff picture may sort out. I actually predicted which teams I think will join Houston in the postseason.
Now, I won't reveal who I think will come through but I will add a little bit more here on the Galaxy and why I think it will be hard for them to reach the playoffs. Maybe you can put two and two together and decide if I think the Galaxy is among the two teams I gave a shot at the playoffs.
Before I start, every team in the West is saying the same thing - if we can just win one or two in a row, everything will be okay. Yeah, that's all well and good but let's look at statistics, people, not just some pie-in-the-sky sentiment. How many times has each Western conference team (besides Houston, they are excused and may go to recess early) won two or more games in a row? (And I'm only looking at consecutive wins, not unbeaten streaks because you aren't going to tie your way to the playoffs)
- Real Salt Lake: Zero
- FC Dallas: Twice (won two consecutive games on separate occasions)
- Colorado: Zero
- Chivas USA: Once (won three-in-a-row in late May, early June)
- Galaxy: Twice (won two consecutive games on separate occasions)
- San Jose: Once (won two straight earlier this month)
In other words, it's not just as easy as flipping the switch.
Now, as far as the Galaxy goes, the Galaxy has not beaten a team with a winning record. Four of their remaining nine games are against teams with winning records: at New England, at Chicago, at Columbus, Houston. Also, DC has a 10-10-1 mark now and will play at the Galaxy.
Of the Galaxy's remaining four home games, two could be played without Landon Donovan and David Beckham as international calendars become congested on Sept. 6 (Real Salt Lake at Galaxy) and Oct. 12 (Colorado at Galaxy). I suppose you could throw Eddie Lewis in there as well, and possibly even Ante Jazic.
Five road games loom on the calendar and the Galaxy has a 2-5-3 road record thus far.
Now, you can say what you will about the players and the cohesion and the affect Bruce Arena may have on the team (because I know some of you are thinking that very thing right now!). I'm merely bringing up statistics. And these stats don't lie. It's going to be extremely difficult for the Galaxy to reach the playoffs.
As for my thoughts on the other Western teams, well, you'll have to wait for the column to find out about that.