CARSON, Calif. – Parity in MLS is nothing new, and despite the LA Galaxy’s early season struggles, the club is in striking distance of the top spot in MLS. However, as close as LA are to the league summit, they’re just as close to falling out of the five Western Conference playoff berths.
Currently just seven points separate the Western Conference’s best club Real Salt Lake (34 points) from the sixth team in the West, the Colorado Rapids (27 points). LA sits in the thick of the race just four behind RSL, but three ahead of the Rapids.
“It shows that there’s a lot of parity and no one is running away with it in this league, but you could look at it in two ways—yes, we’re four points out, but we’re also a couple points of being out of the playoffs,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “It could go either way. It’s encouraging on one hand, but we know that there’s a lot of heat coming from behind us as well. Seattle has games in hand and other teams have games in hand as well. It’s close all the way around.”
Should a couple of results go LA’s way this week then the Galaxy will inch ever closer to the top of the table. If LA defeats Portland on Saturday and second place FC Dallas defeat RSL then the Galaxy would sit just a single point back of the conference lead.
“It could go that way or we could be down seven again,” says Dunivant. “It’s tight and it’s going to be tight. We just want to keep collecting points and keep moving up the table. Obviously, the top three is our ultimate goal. We’d love to [have] the Supporters’ Shield, I think that anyone would, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We just want to keep moving up the table, keep getting points, and we’ll talk about that stuff as we get down to the last few games of the season.”
Dunivant admits that while he does watch the standings, he won’t allow LA’s placement to distract him or the team.
“We've been through it enough and we know that top three is the most important thing,” said Dunivant. “Obviously, seeding matters, but at this point we're just over half way through the season and there’s such a long way to go that to talk about that stuff would be foolish at this point.”