Toronto: Beast of the East

(Sorry; videos removed because the system still doesn't work right.)

In case you haven't noticed, it's Battle of the Divisions Week for MLS.

Starting last Wednesday with Philadelphia at Saint Joe, all eight league matches had (or, in the case of todays' KC at Chivas match, have) Eastern Division teams squaring off (as they say) against their Western Division brethren.

The returns are in: the East pretty much stinks.

Consider:

- Of the seven matches played, the East is a dismal 1-1-5, and if Dallas doesn't score on themselves at the very end of their match with les Taureax Rouges, the tally would be 1-0-6.

- Four of the five losers were shut out entirely, with only Andy Najars' putback goal keeping DC from making it unanimous.

- So far this weekend the West has outscored the East 11 to 3. On the week the tally is 14 to 5.

Only Torontos' 2 - 1 win over the tanking Houston Dynamo (since beating DC United back on May 29 Houston has won a grand total of one MLS match. No, you didn't misread that) kept the East from being completely skunked.

(In a stunning piece of understatement after yesterdays' loss to the Rampaging Reds, Dynamo coach Dominick Kinnear TOLD REPORTERS that "the season's over" for Houston.

Like the kids say, "No shit, Sherlock".


Otherwise
it was an outright slaughter, starting with the ugly 4-0 beat down Seattle laid on the Crew as previously scoreless import Blaise N'Kufo made up for lost time by scoring his first, second and third MLS goals in the same game, the last one coming on a play which sadly demonstrated why Frankie Hejduk will be unprotected and unselected in the upcoming Expansion draft.

Columbus is now 0-2-2 against the Sounders all time. The fat guy over on the Seattle bench may just have their number. Can't imagine how that could be.

Two matches featured two of the best players in the league - now or ever - singlehandedly taking games which looked lost and turning them into wins.

Which is why Landon Donovan and Dwayne DeRosario are who they are.

Najars' 60th minute goal had DC on top until Donovan hit twice after the clock showed 80, with the game winner a runaway Goal of the Week leader.

A similar scenario played out in Houston as an early Brian Ching goal had the Dynamo hoping they finally had one in the bag but DeRosario answered in the 60th and then, incredibly, with the clock at 93+ he hit a laser that found nothing but net.

Chicago took their paper-thin playoff hopes to Salt Lake and to their credit played their hearts out in about as tough a situation as there is, but their impotant offense couldn't overcome a 47th minute PK after Wilman Conde brought down Ned Grabavoy in the box.

The evening ended with RSL holding a new MLS home unbeaten record and the Fire thinking about next season.

Joining the Dynamo and the Fire in saying Sayonara to the 2010 season was New England whose 3 - 0 thrashing at the hands of the almost-certainly-in-the-playoffs Colorado Rapids was the last straw in a lost season for Steve Nicols' men.

So it's up to Kansas City to salvage some dignity for the East today against Chivas.

Unfortunately for both teams, there's really not much else for them to play for.