MLS Playoffs Heat Up While Wambach Announces Retirement

Fall is a great time of year for soccer fans: MLS Playoffs and watching Abby Wambach’s last games
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, October 28, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

Decision Day was similar to the month of March. Much of the talk of the last day of the regular season was seemingly built up from Major League Soccer (in like a lamb) and yet when all was said and done, there was goals galore, many talking points, and a handful of different standing changes (out like a lion). With Decision Day finished, now the teams that finished above the red line – and into the playoffs – are focused on the knockout rounds and the conference semifinals.

Most, if not all, of the knockout rounds will be extremely interesting – and a bit of a gut punch for the supporters of the clubs they support – because of which teams play each other. DC United take on New England and Seattle and LA play on Wednesday, October 28th, while two of the three Canadian teams – Toronto FC and Montreal Impact – play each other…again…as Portland visits Sporting Kansas City.

With all the hoopla of the switching of standings between teams 3-6 in the Eastern and Western conferences, in addition to the thrilling games that were produced on Decision Day, the four teams who have byes and will go straight to the conference semifinals should be praised in high regard: New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas, Columbus Crew SC, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Slow and steady wins the race is a solid saying that these teams can rely on – and have done so this season. That vision of playing the team’s way despite who the squad plays will turn out to help in the long run.

We saw that on Decision Day with Columbus Crew SC slaughtering DC United, 5-0; and we’ve also seen at least one team play games their way all season in the New York Red Bulls. Catering a playing style to how Jesse Marsch, coach of RBNY, saw the team succeeding helped the Red Bulls in capturing their second Supporters’ Shield in three seasons. A very impressive statistic that must be mentioned is that the Red Bulls, FC Dallas, and Crew SC have the last, second to last and sixth to last (respectively) player compensations and salaries for all of MLS.

With some teams just hitting their peak right now (Montreal, RBNY, Crew SC) and others waning a bit (Galaxy, DC, SKC), the playoffs are looking to be a great time of year, and will be thrilling (and possibly heartbreaking depending on who one supports) to follow over the next month.

Additionally, not only was, and is, Decision Day (and the impending MLS playoffs) something to be talked about, so is the recent news (that was announced after the US women’s national team was honored at the White House with President Obama) that the holder of the most international goals, men or women, Abby Wambach, is retiring at the end of the 2015. Her final match will be for the USWNT on the Victory Tour in New Orleans against China.

Whether it’s following the MLS playoffs during the month of November and the early part of December or it’s watching the last matches of the USWNT Victory Tour and seeing Abby Wambach for the last few games – or maybe even both – late fall is a fantastic moment in time for soccer fans. It’s onward and upward from here on out, ladies and gents.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
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.
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