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MLS West vs. East: not much of a fight right now


In terms of West vs. East in Major League Soccer this year, it’s a two-hit fight.

You know that old schoolboy slanguage, right? The two-hit fight? “I hit you, you hit the floor.”

Yep. Major League Soccer’s Western Conference is doing all the swinging – the East is doing all the ducking, dodging and deflecting.

As Los Angeles finished out MLS Round 2 last night by pulling D.C. United’s defense apart the way a dog pulls apart an unguarded Holiday turkey, the numbers leaned left on the map and landed with a wallop: The Western Conference teams are 9-2 against the East.

Houston is single-handedly propping up any vestige of Eastern Promises at the moment, holders of the only two “Ws” from the right side of the conference map.

There’s little disagreement that Major League Soccer’s West is best. On the other hand, these numbers do deserve just some closer inspection – because maybe at second glance, it’s not quite as awful as it seems.

  • The schedule is heavy with Western Conference home dates in March. It’s a weather thing. So far, 10 of those 11 matches were at stadiums in the warmer West.
  • Sporting Kansas City hasn’t yet tapped into this intra-conference scrap. The Livestrong Sporting Park outfit looks every bit as brawny as we all expected, with a close win on the road (at D.C. United) and last weekend’s romp-and-stomp over 10-man New England. Kansas City is likely to move the numbers a little.
  • That could begin this week, actually; FC Dallas travels north to meet SKC. In fact, four of six intra-conference tussles play out inside Eastern grounds in Round 3.

There is one more branch on this tree to consider: It’s how the East vs. West skew and this year’s unbalanced schedule dents the Supporters Shield chase. Because some recognizable names already have something interesting to say about it. (I’ll have that a little later today …)