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The Daily Dirt, August 14: Pieces of the Puzzle

Philadelphia and NYRB make playoff statements

MLS: Philadelphia Union at New England Revolution Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

With a little over two months to go in the MLS season, a few things are beginning to come into focus while other questions still remain.

In the Eastern Conference, New England suffered an alarming 4-0 home defeat to Alejandro Bedoya’s Philadelphia Union. The Revolution lost their third straight in league play and are now on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs. DC United’s 2-0 win at home over Portland puts them into a playoff spot at New England’s expense.

While three teams are separated by a point in the scramble for the last playoff spot, the top five teams in the East are separated by five points. The Red Bulls win over Montreal, combined with NYCFC’s draw in Columbus, separates them by two points. Toronto can go on top with a win in Houston in tonight’s rescheduled match.

Colorado’s draw in LA means they are three points behind Dallas with two games in hand at the top of the Western Conference. The real battle is for the last playoff spot in the West, as San Jose is a point behind Portland with two games in hand. Vancouver is only two points back, but their three game losing streak is raising eyebrows in British Columbia.

Will Seattle do the unthinkable and get back into the playoff hunt? They are currently eight points behind Portland with three games in hand. One of those games is tonight as they host Real Salt Lake.

Who are your picks for the MLS playoffs? Who will win each conference and who will surprisingly miss out this year? Let us know your predictions in the comments.


Domestic

Montreal scored first, but the Red Bulls scored three unanswered goals to secure a big win at home (Once a Metro)

Columbus and NYCFC trade stoppage time goals to share the points (Massive Report)

The Union make a huge statement on the road with a 4-0 demolition of the Revolution (Brotherly Game)

Big home win for DC United over Portland to move into the Eastern Conference playoff picture (Black and Red United)

A wild second half sees Kansas City and Dallas share the points after a 2-2 draw (Big D Soccer)

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Atlanta United’s Kenwyne Jones and Central FC, Kansas City’s Peter Vermes said:

In a battle of two Western Conference heavyweights, Colorado gets a point on the road as they draw with LA 1-1 (Burgundy Wave)

Questions raised about some of Jill Ellis’ decisions at the Olympics (FOX Soccer)

Jonathan Bornstein wants to get back into the U.S. National Team picture (MLS)

Another look at the Rayo OKC drama (Midfield Press)


International

Honduras beat South Korea to advance to the Olympic semifinals where they will meet the hosts Brazil (NBC Olympics)

Colombia and Brazil do not get along:

Lynden Gooch, U.S. U20 vet, started yesterday for Sunderland against Manchester United in their Premier League opener (MLS)

Claudio Bravo to Manchester City? (Mundo Deportivo)

In the final game of Chris McCann’s suspension, Coventry drew 0-0 with Shrewsbury Town. Atlanta United’s McCann is eligible to debut for the Sky Blues on Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. Eastern against Bury. (Coventry Telegraph)


Local

Projecting the Falcons’ final roster after Week 1 of the preseason (The Falcoholic)

Washington beats the Braves 7-6 (Talking Chop)

Kirby Smart: “We got a lot of improving to do” (Dawg Sports)