The East’s Powerhouses: D.C., Red Bulls and The Crew

Three top teams in the East show what the conference is made of in 2015
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, August 20, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

How is MLS looking these days? Major League Soccer is about two-thirds of the way through the season with most clubs having played around 25 games. With how the tables are looking for both conferences, the teams at the bottom – to be honest – aren’t too surprising. Colorado holds the spot for the West and Chicago in the East, while MLS debutantes Orlando City and New York City FC are holding right below the playoff line in the East.

Although much attention is spent on the state of the Western conference teams (and rightly so – even if some fans may not believe it, but the West is a stronger conference), the East has some interesting movement going on.

D.C. United is still tops in the East with a strong and steady team. The men who are clad in black and red have firm leadership within the ranks and enough experience to get to MLS Cup; but the questions remain – will the team be able to keep up their strength, not have injuries plague the team (Jairo Arrietta had to sit out injuries this season while Fabian Espindola is out for another game or two and Chris Korb is out the rest of the season for an ACL tear), and sustain consistency? Those questions at hand are important because D.C. has a rival up the road right on its back.

The New York Red Bulls are having somewhat of a renaissance year. The team, which has yet to win an MLS Cup, could very well be the team to make it to the MLS Cup this year. The captain of the Red Bulls, Dax McCarty, is leading the team with some of their best soccer they’ve played…maybe ever. Additionally, defender and homegrown player, Matt Miazga, has been a standout this season so far. The 20-year old (yes, he’s only 20) seemingly plays with the experience of someone who’s been on the team for more than 2 years.

Another team to watch out for, especially as the Midwest team is nipping at the heels of the Red Bulls and D.C. is Columbus Crew SC. With an exciting squad this year, they very well may surprise some people by making a strong push during the playoffs. Not only do they have – similar to the Real Salt Lake mantra of ‘the team is the star’ – a great presence of a solid team, but they do have a few players who shine brightly like Kei Kamara – the current leading scorer in MLS, Ethan Finlay, and Wil Trapp.

These teams may or may not finish their season raising, or even at, the MLS Cup, but D.C. United, the New York Red Bulls, and Columbus Crew SC are certainly clubs to keep an eye on. And though the Western conference is widely known as the stronger conference of the two, don’t count out any of these three teams from the East.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.