What an incredible season for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions D.C. United. In the midst of the worst season in franchise history, they set their sights on winning the United States' oldest soccer trophy and then went out and did it with two wins in the final rounds against hot teams on the road. That's the beauty of knockout competitions--they run parallel to league play, but they are independent and you have to show up and deliver a win every round to be named champions. And that's just what Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions D.C. United did, and now they've sealed their spot in next season's CONCACAF Champions League.
But, in the warm afterglow of winning U.S. Soccer's centennial Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, D.C. United still finds itself in a race to earn the top spot in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Certainly winning major trophy #13 is the dominate stat of the week/month/year, but earning the #1 pick in the SuperDraft and in various other player allocation processes is pretty important as well. So, how's D.C. United doing in securing the SuperTopPick, and what are their SuperMagic Numbers?
Here's the latest Supporters' Shield table showing where Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions D.C. United sit in the overall standings:
|Team||Total Points||Games Played||Wins||Losses||Draws||Goals||Potential Points|
|New York Red Bulls||52||31||15||9||7||48||61|
|Real Salt Lake||51||31||15||10||6||54||60|
|Sporting Kansas City||48||30||14||10||6||43||60|
|San Jose Earthquakes||44||31||12||11||8||32||53|
|New England Revolution||41||30||11||11||8||42||53|
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions D.C. United took a big step toward securing the #1 overall pick last weekend with their 4-1 loss at Toronto FC. That proved to be a six-point swing in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions race to guarantee the top pick from slipping to Toronto. It also ensured that the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions improved their standing against Chivas USA, even though the Goats dropped a heartbreaking loss to a resurgent San Jose Earthquakes side. Based on these results, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions' SuperMagic Numbers are now:
- SuperMagic Number vs Chivas USA: 2 (was 5 last week)
- SuperMagic Number vs. Tortonto FC: 2 (was 8 last week)
One important note, brought to us by regular commenter Brad Pollack, is that the Philadelphia Union own Chivas' pick in the 2014 SuperDraft, while Toronto's pick belongs to the Vancouver Whitecaps due to various trades.
We're now entering the final month of the Major League Soccer season. With only four matches left in the season for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions D.C. United, they are in a position for the first time to clinch the Wooden Spoon and the SuperTopPick this weekend based only on their own results without any help from Toronto or Chivas. If the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions don't win against the Chicago Fire on Friday night, they will clinch the top spot. If they do win, however, they can still finish the weekend having secured the SuperTopPick if both Toronto and Chivas win. Said more generically, any combination of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions dropping points or the Reds/Goats earning points that equals 2 or more means we are on the clock with the top spot in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
No one would have guessed 2013 would turn out the way it has for D.C. United. Now that we know, however, about the stadium announcement, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship, and the likely SuperTopPick, what else do you want to see in the final months of 2013 and into the offseason?