Final Week Drama in MLS as Outsiders Leap Into Play-Offs

 | October 30, 2009

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The final week of the Major League Soccer season provided plenty of late drama as a cluster of teams were forced to battle it out for the three remaining play-off spots.

The Week 32 fixtures certainly threw up some unpredictable and hugely surprising results, with the various slip-ups and upsets having a major impact on the make-up of the post-season play-off bracket.

First to book their play-off berth were Chicago Fire, whose midweek defeat of Chivas USA also confirmed Columbus Crew as winners of the 2009 Supporters Shield. Incredibly, Toronto FC somehow contrived to throw away their strong league position after being thrashed 5-0 by the New York Red Bulls.

The result was certainly a great send off for the fans at the Giants Stadium, as the New York club prepare to kick-off next season at the newly-built Red Bull Arena. However, in spite of the defeat, TorontoÂ's play-off rivals DC United and FC Dallas were unable to capitalise after they both succumbed to road game losses.

First United threw away a 2-1 lead in the dying minutes against Kansas City after Fred handled on the line to concede a late penalty, and then Dallas were beaten in Seattle to end their fantastic run of recent form. These results meant that New England Revolution were able to secure themselves a play-off East tie with Chicago after holding their nerve against Columbus at the Crew Stadium.

The Colorado Rapids took on the unwanted mantle of ‘chokers of the weekÂ' after throwing away a favourable opportunity by slumping to a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake. The result, combined with DC United and FC DallasÂ' earlier slip-ups, ensured that RSL bagged themselves the final play-off spot – a turn of events that had seemed impossible in the week leading up to the final set of MLS fixtures.

Major League Soccer Play-Offs:

West: LA Galaxy v Chivas USA
West: Houston Dynamo v Seattle Sounders FC
East: Columbus Crew v Real Salt Lake
East: Chicago Fire v New England Revolution

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