For those of you who have never followed the Major League Soccer (MLS), it is split into two Conferences, the Eastern which has 10 teams and the Western that has 9 teams. Unlike most leagues who play everyone Home and Away MLS does not.
Every club will play each cross-conference opponent once. All Western clubs will play everyone else in their conference 3 times, and the East will play 2 intraconference opponents twice and face the rest 3 times.
Tomorrow I will look at the Western Conference, but tonight I will take you through the Eastern Conference.
Leading the way on 36 points is Sporting Kansas City, formerly the Kansas City Wizards, a founding member of the league and a team that has won the MLS championship in 2000.
Second placed 32pts is one of three Canadian teams, second year team Montreal Impact. After struggling like most new franchises they will be looking to have an impact this term and in Italian forward Marco Di Vaio (11 goals so far) they have someone who can find the net.
Tied with them on 32 pts is the big money team in the East the New York Red Bulls. Bolstering a squad that includes Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and the newly acquired Bradley Wright-Phillips surely it can not be long before they claim their first MLS title.
Fourth just 1 pt behind is the Philadelphia Union who joined the league in 2010. Their best season so far was 2011 when they reached the playoff Conference Semi Finals, but with the top assist man Sebastien Le Toux 9 setting them up and Jack McInerney with 10 goals so far they may well be able to better that this term.
Sitting 5th in the last playoff spot with 29 pts is the Houston Dynamo. They have won the championship twice in 2006 & 07 and have been runners-up for the last two season to the LA Galaxy.
Sitting just 2 pts outside the playoffs is the New England Revolution. Always seems to be the Bridesmaids as they have being runner-up 4 times including 3 times in a row 05-07 under the leadership of former Liverpool Player Steve Nicol.
3 pts further back is the Chicago Fire. A runner-up spot in 2003 was their most recent chance to add to their championship total. They do posses the goal scoring talents of Mike Magee who currently sits second on the goal scoring charts with 12, so a push for the playoffs is not out of the question.
Also tucked in a further point adrift is the Columbus Crew who’s lone triumph was in 2008. Supported by some of the most fanatical spectators going to Crew Stadium is always a daunting prospect.
Bringing up the rear are Toronto FC who joined the league in 2007 with Mo Johnston as coach and the once mighty DC United whose early domination saw them claim 3 of the first 4 titles along with a runner-up spot as well. Their 4th championship came way back in 2004.
So that is how we stand so far as the season moves closer to the business end.