Blog Archives

MLS Power Rankings: March 25

1 (4) Montreal (4-0-0, 9 points). Beat New York 1-0; Beat Toronto 2-1. Montreal No. 1, really? Yeah, I know, but they’re the only team that has performed in every match so far this season.

2 (16) Dallas (3-1-0, 9 points). Beat Real Salt Lake 2-0; Beat Houston 3-2. Until the win over RSL, Dallas hadn’t been exactly convincing, but as the second 3-win team in the league, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

3 (1) Los Angeles (2-0-1, 7 points). Beat Colorado 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Chivas USA. Two sluggish performances kept the Galaxy undefeated, but just barely. They need to put teams away, though.

4 (2) Houston (2-1-0, 6 points). Beat Vancouver 2-1; Lost 3-2 to Dallas. A nice comeback against Vancouver kept the Dynamo’s long home undefeated streak going and also ended a bad stretch of results.

5 (15) Chivas USA (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat Chicago 4-1; Drew 1-1 with Los Angeles. A crushing win at Chicago hopefully will be enough to get by far the lowest-attended team in the league to start drawing a crowd.

6 (3) Vancouver (2-1-0, 6 points). Lost 2-1 to Houston. For about an hour, the Caps were the best team against Houston. Then Darren Mattocks failed to score on a break away and the Dynamo scored twice. Still, the Caps are pretty decent.

7 (11) San Jose (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat Seattle 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Columbus. Like Dallas, San Jose haven’t been exactly convincing so far, but a good win against a quality team should be enough.

8 (8) Columbus (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat DC United 1-0; Drew 1-1 with San Jose. The Crew’s win at DC might have been mostly down to good goalkeeping and some luck, but they have to feel like a solid playoff team.

9 (12) Philadelphia (2-1-0, 6 points). Didn’t play; Beat New England 1-0. The Union have only shown glimmers of their potential this season but have been eking out results against so-so teams while their new players try to gel.

10 (6) Kansas City (1-1-2, 5 points). Drew 0-0 with New England; Drew 0-0 with Chicago. Two matches, two excruciating goalless draws. KC were the more dominant in both matches, but aren’t creating – or scoring – chances.

11 (5) Real Salt Lake (1-2-1, 4 points). Lost to Dallas 2-0; Drew 1-1 with Colorado. We’ll probably give RSL a pass this week with so many internationals not playing, but they haven’t looked like the same team so far this season.

12 (7) DC United (1-2-1, 4 points). Lost 1-0 to Columbus; Drew 0-0 with New York. Good defense, virtually no attack whatsoever. Not sure what’s wrong in DC, but they need to get it right before they’re far back of the playoff pack.

13 (9) New England (1-1-1, 4 points). Drew 0-0 with Kansas City; Lost 1-0 to Philadelphia. No shock that the Revs didn’t score against the league’s best defense and minus Jerry Bengtson and Saer Sene. Still waiting for Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja to get on the same page, though.

14 (14)  Toronto (1-2-0, 3 points). Didn’t play; Lost 2-1 to Montreal. I’m enjoying Toronto, who probably have the worst squad – on paper at least – in the league, but seem hungry. The two signings from England are looking good as well.

15 (18) Portland (0-1-2, 2 points). Didn’t play; Drew 1-1 with Seattle. Well, Portland looked better against Seattle, though they gave up the first goal for the third straight match. Now if they can equate dangerous play with goals.

16 (10) Seattle (0-2-1, 1 point). Lost to San Jose 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Portland. It’s great that the Sounders advanced to the Champions League semifinals, but are they doing it at the expense of their league position?

17 (13) New York (0-2-2, 2 points). Lost 1-0 to Montreal; Drew 0-0 with DC United. Another scoreless match, though at least in this case it was because Thierry Henry refuses to play on turf was injured. New York have been desperately poor, though.

18 (17) Colorado (0-3-1, 1 point). Lost 1-0 to Los Angeles; Drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake. Two decent performances (three if you count the loss to Dallas) have only resulted in one point for the Rapids, who, predictably, are still missing Martin Rivero and Edson Buddle.

19 (19) Chicago (0-3-1, 1 point). Lost 4-1 to Chivas USA; Drew 0-0 with Kansas City. On the bright side, it can’t get any worse for Chicago. Can it?

MLS Power Rankings: Birthday Edition

1 (1) Los Angeles (1-0-0, 3 points). Didn’t play. The Galaxy got a week off for Champions League matches, though that now means they have a three-day window between that and the Chivas match. Up next: Chivas USA on Sunday

2 (2) Houston (1-0-0, 3 points). Didn’t play. With Seattle’s Champions League win, the pressure is on Houston, sort of, to get a result at Santos Laguna, which seems a bit unlikely. Up next: At Dallas on Sunday

3 (7) Vancouver (2-0-0, 6 points). Beat Columbus 2-1. Vancouver were occasionally dominant against Columbus, but their finishing was poor. Also, Darren Mattocks is still 20 goals shy of his 20 goal prediction for this year. Up next: At Houston on March 23

4 (6) Montreal (2-0-0, 6 points). Beat Portland 2-1. There isn’t really a question that Montreal is pretty good. The question is more whether they can keep this up all season. Up next: Toronto on Saturday

5 (4) Real Salt Lake (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to DC United 1-0. It was an uninspiring – if a little cruel – defeat in DC this weekend. Nonetheless, Real looks playoff-quality. Up next: Colorado on Saturday

6 (3) Kansas City (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Toronto 2-1. For the second consecutive match, KC gave up an early goal in a road game, except this time they couldn’t come back to win. They can’t keep doing that if they want to stay among the elite. Up next: Chicago on Saturday

7 (11) DC United (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Real Salt Lake 1-0. It was a mostly mediocre performance against RSL, but three points are good, and they’re bound to figure out their striker situation at some point. Up next: At New York on Saturday

8 (5) Columbus (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Vancouver 2-1. The Crew were less convincing against Vancouver than they were against Chivas, but still could’ve gotten a point. Up next: San Jose on Saturday

9 (14) New England (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chicago 1-0. Well that was a nice way to open the season, wasn’t it? Sure, the Fire were better early on, but the Revs grew into the match and could’ve won by multiple goals. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday

10 (8) Seattle (0-1-0, 0 points). Didn’t play. The Sounders became the first MLS team to beat a Mexican team in the Champions League quarterfinals. And apparently Obafemi Martins is on his way. Up next: Portland on Saturday

11 (13) San Jose (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat New York 2-1. For 80 minutes, it looked like the Quakes were going to go goalless and lose again, then they rallied and grabbed a crucial three points. Still, they really need their wounded players to get healthy. Up next: At Columbus on Saturday

12 (17) Philadelphia (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Colorado 2-1. It’s debatable whether the Union deserved three points against Colorado in terrible conditions, but the Union will take it. They have a winnable match at home against the Revs up next. Up next: New England on Saturday

13 (12) New York (0-1-1, 1 point). Lost to San Jose 2-1. The Red Bulls are still all over the place defensively, but they look decent in attack and get to play at home next. Up next: DC United on Saturday

14 (18)  Toronto (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Kansas City 2-1. Wow, that’s probably the best Toronto has played in a year, at least. They probably still won’t win much this season, but their fight is encouraging. And Robert Earnshaw could score 15 goals this year. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

15 (19) Chivas USA (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Dallas 3-1. OK, so is Chivas the team that were hammered by Columbus at home or the one that wore Dallas out at the end to romp to an easy victory. Will anyone watch? Up next: At LA Galaxy on Sunday

16 (9) Dallas (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Chivas 3-1. You could certainly make the argument that Dallas are still better than Chivas, but nonetheless, falling apart as they did late is worrying. Up next: Houston on Sunday

17 (15) Colorado (0-2-0, 0 points). Lost to Philadelphia 2-1. The Rapids desperately need Edson Buddle, Jaime Castrillon and Martin Rivero back. And some decent goalkeeping. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday

18 (10) Portland (0-1-1, 1 point). Lost 2-1 to Montreal. I still think the Timbers will get it going at some point this year. It might not be enough to get them into the playoffs, but it’ll happen. Up next: At Seattle on Saturday

19 (16) Chicago (0-2-0, 0 points). Lost to New England 1-0. Arne Friedrich is out for at least a few more weeks, if not longer. Sherjill MacDonald is a disappointment. The midfield isn’t working. Am I missing anything, Fire fans? Up next: At Kansas City on Saturday

MLS Power Rankings: March 4

1 (1) Los Angeles (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chicago 4-0. Mike Magee and the Galaxy announced they wouldn’t be pushovers sans Donovan and Beckham by thrashing the Fire. Now they deal with Champions League matches. Up next: Chivas USA on March 17

2 (2) Houston (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat DC United 2-0. Houston did what they were supposed to, beating a surprisingly defensive DC United. Next up is the Champions League. Up next: At FC Dallas on March 17

3 (3) Kansas City (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Philadelphia 3-1. KC was a bit shaky initially against Philadelphia, but cruised in a dominant second half. Up next: At Toronto on Saturday

4 (6) Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat San Jose 2-0. RSL might have been a bit lucky that San Jose’s finishing was so poor, but the attack – particularly Joao Plata – looks good. Up next: At DC United on Saturday

5 (5) Columbus (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chivas USA 3-0. Since Chivas were arguably the worst team in opening weekend, it’s hard to give the Crew too much credit. They were very good, though. Up next: At Vancouver on Saturday

6 (17) Montreal (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Seattle 1-0. The Impact could’ve been three goals up against Seattle in the first half, but will have to just settle for three points on the road. Up next: At Portland on Saturday

7 (11) Vancouver (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Toronto 1-0. It wasn’t a vintage display from Vancouver against Toronto, but this still looks like a fairly solid team. Now for Kenny Miller to start scoring. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

8 (4) Seattle (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost 1-0 to Montreal. Perhaps their opener wasn’t a true indication of Seattle’s quality, but it was still disappointing. Up next: Portland on March 16

9 (12) Dallas (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Colorado 1-0. A win is a win, but Dallas’s inability to put Colorado away in the second half was a warning sign. Up next: At Chivas on Sunday

10 (13) Portland (0-0-1, 1 point). Drew 3-3 with New York. Based on one match, the Timbers will be a fun attacking team that can’t stop anyone. Mikael Silvestre in particular had arguably the worst MLS debut EVER. Up next: Montreal on Saturday

11 (9) DC United (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost 2-0 to Houston. United were perhaps a bit unlucky to not leave Houston with a point, but they were surprisingly flat. Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday

12 (8) New York (0-0-1, 1 point). Drew 3-3 with Portland. What’s worse, giving up 3 goals at home or blowing a 2-goal lead on the road? Not sure, but the Red Bulls look all out of sorts on defense. Up next: At San Jose on Sunday

13 (7) San Jose (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Real Salt Lake 2-0. Uncharacteristically poor finishing from Chris Wondolowski and Mike Fucito … well, Wondolowski, anyway … was mostly to blame for the Quakes loss. Up next: New York on Sunday

14 (15) New England (0-0-0, 0 points). Didn’t play. Chicago on Saturday will either be a rude awakening for a young team or a good opportunity to take advantage of a struggling one (Chicago). Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

15 (14) Colorado (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Dallas 1-0. The Rapids were probably a bit unlucky against Dallas, but were sorely lacking a creative presence in midfield with Martin Riveros injured. And decent goalkeeping … Up next: Philadelphia on Saturday

16 (10) Chicago (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Los Angeles 4-0. The Fire probably aren’t as bad as this scoreline indicates, but wow, when you say “At least it wasn’t 5-0!” that’ s not the way a playoff team wants to start. Up next: New England on Saturday

17 (16) Philadelphia (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Kansas City 3-1. After a very good start against Kansas City, the Union were steamrolled. But, all things considered, they looked mostly OK. Up next: At Colorado on Saturday

18 (18)  Toronto (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Vancouver 1-0. As lacking as Toronto is in the squad department, they were well-organized against Vancouver. Not a playoff team, but maybe they’ll fight their way out of last place. Up next: Kansas City on Saturday

19 (18) Chivas USA (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Columbus 3-0. Well, based on one match, the Chelis’ experiment is an unmitigated failure. Let’s hope it gets better. Up next: Dallas on Sunday

MLS rankings: May 8

1 – 3. Seattle Sounders (6-1-1 – 19 pts, 11 gf, 3 ga). This week: Beat Philadelphia 1-0. The Sounders have been virtually flawless the last couple weeks, hence the jump up to first this week Up next: At Dallas on Wednesday

2 – 2. San Jose Earthquakes (7-1-2 – 22 pts, 21 gf, 11 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Vancouver. The Earthquakes weren’t bad against a good Vancouver team, but their defense is definitely their weak point. Up next: Chivas USA on Sunday

3 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (7-0-2 – 21 pts, 12 gf, 5 ga). This week: Lost to Montreal 2-0. More worrying than a home loss to Montreal was KC’s complete inability to muster anything offensively against an expansion team. Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

4 – 4. Real Salt Lake (7-1-3 – 22 pts, 18 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat New England 2-1. Poor refereeing overshadowed a decent performance by RSL defensively with only 10 men. Up next: At Chicago on Wednesday

5 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-2 – 17 pts, 9 gf, 7 ga). This week: Beat San Jose 2-1. With the win against San Jose, can we finally call Vancouver elite? Not quite yet, I don’t think. Up next: At New England on Saturday

6 – 6. DC United (5-3-3 – 18 pts, 20 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 2-0. United get back on track at Toronto, but it WAS Toronto. Up next: At Houston on Saturday

7 – 9. New York Red Bulls (5-1-3 – 16 pts, 19 gf, 14 ga) This week: Beat LA 1-0. Two matches, two clean sheets? What happened to this team? Up next: Houston on Wednesday

8 – 8. Houston Dynamo (2-2-2 – 8 pts, 7 gf, 8 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Dynamo had their third weekend off of the season already and close out their season-opening road trip at New York on Wednesday. Up next: At New York on Wednesday

9 – 10. Colorado Rapids (5-0-5 – 15 pts, 15 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 2-0. It might have been mostly thanks to the two red cards, but the Rapids come back from a bad loss to get a big win. What’s next? Up next: At DC United on May 16

10 – 11. Chicago Fire (3-2-2 – 11 pts, 9 gf, 9 ga). This week: Beat Chivas USA 2-1. Can a win at Chivas get the Fire’s season going? Up next: Real Salt Lake on Wednesday

11 – 7. FC Dallas (3-3-4 – 12 pts, 10 gf, 14 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Colorado. Moments of madness from Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez condemned Dallas to a home loss, but they didn’t look like winning before the sendings-off. Can they beat Seattle without the two? Up next: Seattle on Wednesday

12 – 16. Montreal Impact (3-2-5 – 11 pts, 11 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Kansas City 2-0. Based on their performance of the last two weeks, maybe the Impact can make it to the playoffs. They’re only another mid- to late-thirties Italian away! Up next: LA Galaxy on Saturday

13 – 12. LA Galaxy (3-1-5 – 10 pts, 11 gf, 14 ga). This week: Lost to New York 1-0. Congrats, Galaxy, you’ve officially dropped below an expansion team in the power rankings. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

14 – 13. New England Revolution (3-0-6 – 9 pts, 8 gf, 12 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Real Salt Lake. The Revs were unlucky to come away from Salt Lake City with a loss, due to some horrendous ref’ing. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday

15 – 14. Columbus Crew (2-2-4 – 8 pts, 6 gf, 10 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Portland. I suppose a scoreless draw at Portland counts as a positive result for the Crew now, right? Up next: Dallas on Saturday

16 – 17. Portland Timbers (2-2-5 – 8 pts, 9 gf, 13 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Columbus. The Timbers’ play was much-improved against Columbus, but if they want to get back in the playoff race (and keep John Spencer in a job), they’re going to have to start winning games. Up next: At Houston on May 15

17 – 15. Philadelphia Union (2-1-5 – 7 pts, 5 gf, 9 ga). This week: Lost to Seattle 1-0. Kai Herdling looks like a decent signing at forward, but the Union just are not creating goal-scoring chances for him or Lionard Pajoy. Up next: New York on Sunday

18 – 18. Chivas USA (3-0-6 – 9 pts, 5 gf, 11 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Chicago. The last-second loss to Chicago must have been hard to take, but it was deserved. Up next: At San Jose on Sunday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-8 – 0 pts, 6 gf, 18 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to DC United. Toronto is doomed. Seriously, why haven’t they fired Aron Winter yet? Up next: At DC United on May 19

MLS rankings: May 3

1 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (7-0-1 – 21 pts, 12 gf, 3 ga). This week: Didn’t play. A week off never hurts, but Kansas City now find themselves trailing San Jose in the Supporter’s Shield race. Up next: Montreal on Saturday

2 – 2. San Jose Earthquakes (7-1-1 – 22 pts, 20 gf, 9 ga). This week: Beat DC United 5-3; Beat Philadelphia 2-1. The Quakes keep scoring, though their defense hasn’t looked quite so airtight lately. Now they play the Whitecaps. Again, already? Up next: At Vancouver on Saturday

3 – 3. Seattle Sounders (5-1-1 – 16 pts, 10 gf, 3 ga). This week: Beat LA Galaxy 2-0; Beat Chicago 2-1. A workman-like win at Chicago is followed by a convincing display against their arch-nemeses. Are the Sounders the most complete team in the MLS? Up next: Philadelphia on Saturday

4 – 4. Real Salt Lake (6-1-3 – 19 pts, 16 gf, 11 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 3-2. Drew 1-1 with Dallas. RSL’s defense has looked uncharacteristically porous lately, but a home date against New England should probably do the trick. Up next: New England on Saturday

5 – 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (4-2-2 – 14 pts, 7 gf, 6 ga). This week: Beat Columbus 1-0. A good week for the Whitecaps, who all but booked their place in the Canadian Championship title game in midweek. Their defense must be better in the rematch with San Jose. Up next: San Jose on Saturday

6 – 5. DC United (4-3-3 – 15 pts, 18 gf, 15 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 5-3; Beat Houston 3-2. Scoring 6 goals in their last two matches? Great. Giving up 7? Not so much. Up next: At Toronto on Saturday

7 – 8. FC Dallas (3-3-3 – 12 pts, 10 gf, 12 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with LA Galaxy. Drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake. At this point, Dallas isn’t everwhelming anyone, but they’ve managed to keep picking up points, which is the important thing. Up next: Colorado on Sunday on Sunday

8 – 6. Houston Dynamo (2-2-2 – 8 pts, 7 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost 3-2 to DC United. The Dynamo have their third bye week of the season so far this weekend, but at least their road trip ends on May 9. Up next: At New York on May 9

9 – 11. New York Red Bulls (4-1-3 – 13 pts, 18 gf, 14 ga) This week: Beat New England 1-0. The next month will give Kenny Cooper a great chance to boost his USMNT credentials with Thierry Henry injured. Up next: At LA Galaxy on Saturday

10 – 12. Colorado Rapids (4-0-5 – 12 pts, 13 gf, 12 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to New England; Beat Chivas USA 4-0. Great win against Chivas, poor performance against the Revs. The Rapids are the up and down team of the season so far. Up next: At Dallas on Sunday

11 – 9. Chicago Fire (2-2-2 – 8 pts, 7 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Seattle. A trip to visit struggling Chivas presents a good opportunity for the Fire to kickstart their season, finally. Up next: At Chivas USA on Friday

12 – 10. LA Galaxy (3-1-4 – 10 pts, 11 gf, 13 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Seattle; Drew 1-1 with Dallas. Back-to-back flat performances has coach Bruce Arena looking for answers. Here is one, coach: Don’t bench Beckham and Robbie Keane. Up next: New York on Saturday

13 – 15. New England Revolution (3-0-5 – 9 pts, 7 gf, 10 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 2-1; Lost 1-0 to New York. The Revs finally ended their losing streak by beating Colorado, but they’re still struggling to impose themselves on games. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday

14 – 13. Columbus Crew (2-1-4 – 7 pts, 6 gf, 10 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Vancouver. A punchless offense and mistake-prone defense has the playoffs looking like a far-off prospect. Up next: At Portland on Saturday

15 – 16. Philadelphia Union (2-1-4 – 7 pts, 5 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 2-1. The Union are piecing together better performances, but just seem to be missing something on the attacking end. Sebastian LeToux, perhaps? Up next: At Seattle on Saturday

16 – 18. Montreal Impact (2-2-5 – 8 pts, 9 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Portland 2-0. Maybe they haven’t reached the point where you can say they’re “acquitting themselves nicely,” but the Impact are certainly not the worst expansion team the MLS has ever had. Up next: At Kansas City on Saturday

17 – 14. Portland Timbers (2-1-5 – 7 pts, 9 gf, 13 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Montreal. Go here for my insightful analysis of Portland’s struggles. The Timbers are at a worrying point where the fans are starting to get fed up with their disappointing start, so they’ll need some good results before heat builds even more on coach John Spencer. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

18 – 17. Chivas USA (3-0-5 – 9 pts, 4 gf, 9 ga). This week: Lost 4-0 to Colorado. With Toronto in the MLS, Chivas are a long way from being the worst team in the MLS, but they sure are lousy. Up next: Chicago on Friday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-7 – 0 pts, 6 gf, 16 ga). This week: Lost 3-2 to Real Salt Lake. It’s a measure of how bad Toronto has been that a scoreless draw at Montreal is seen as a positive result. Up next: DC United on Saturday

MLS rankings: April 10

"Ladies, see anything you like that reminds you of your 8-year-old nephew?"

1 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (5-0-0 – 15 pts, 8 gf, 1 ga). This week: Beat LA Galaxy 1-0. Kansas City escapes from their match with the Galaxy unscathed. Next up is Real Salt Lake, who at least based on form, look like their principal challenger so far. Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday

2 – 2. Real Salt Lake (5-0-1 – 15 pts, 11 gf, 4 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 2-0; Beat Montreal 1-0. Probably most impressive about RSL’s win over Colorado is that except for an early chance for Omar Cummings, the Rapids never really looked like scoring. Up next: At Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

3 – 4. San Jose Earthquakes (4-0-1 – 12 pts, 8 gf, 2 ga). This week: Beat Vancouver 3-1. For most of the first half and part of the second half against Vancouver, the Quakes looked like they were headed for their second loss of the season. Then suddenly they caught fire. Is this a good team? I’m still not totally convinced, but maybe. Up next: At New York on Saturday

4 – 3. Seattle Sounders (2-1-1 – 7 pts, 5 gf, 2 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with DC United. Aside from David Estrada’s hat trick against Toronto in the opener, Seattle has looked out of sorts offensively. Can Eddie Johnson be the answer? Ha ha, I just made myself spit coffee all over the keyboard. Up next: Colorado on Saturday

5 – 10. New York Red Bulls (3-0-2 – 9 pts, 14 gf, 8 ga) This week: Beat Columbus 4-1. That now makes three straight matches where the Red Bulls have scored four or more against awful defending. Can they do the same against a resolute and composed San Jose defense? Up next: San Jose on Saturday

6 – 6. Houston Dynamo (2-0-1 – 6 pts, 2 gf, 2 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Two bye weeks in a row? That’s the most ridiculous scheduling thing the MLS has done in the last day or so. Houston is playing Chicago without Brad Davis. Up next: At Chicago on Sunday

7 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-2-1 – 8 pts, 4 gf, 3 ga). This week: Lost 3-1 to San Jose. For 65 minutes, the Whitecaps looked comfortably superior to San Jose, before the wheels came off. Now their shutout streak is up, and they still can’t seem to score. Up next: Kansas City on April 18

8 – 7. Colorado Rapids (3-0-2 – 9 pts, 7 gf, 7 ga). This week: Lost to Real Salt Lake 2-0. Against RSL, Colorado showed worrying signs of the haphazard defense that they exhibited against New York. They can’t afford to do that against the Sounders. Up next: At Seattle on Saturday

9 – 11. Chicago Fire (1-1-1 – 4 pts, 2 gf, 3 ga). This week: Didn’t play. The Fire moved up in the rankings thanks to some less than impressive performances by some of the MLS’ other mid0table clubs. An understrength Dynamo squad should be a good team to rediscover their scoring form against. Up next: Houston on Sunday

10 – 15. FC Dallas (2-1-2 – 7 pts, 6 gf, 8 ga). This week: Beat New England 1-0. Despite the late win against New England, Dallas dominated the contest and deserved a 2- or 3-goal victory, which certainly helps fans forget how awful they’ve been so far. Plus, Brek Shea actually showed up! Up next: Montreal on Saturday

11 – 8. LA Galaxy (1-0-3 – 3 pts, 5 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost to Kansas City 1-0. A visit from the reeling Timbers represents a perfect opportunity for the Galaxy to turn around their extremely indifferent start to the season. Up next: Portland on Seattle

12 – 13. DC United (1-2-2 – 5 pts, 5 gf, 5 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Seattle. United are probably disappointed only to draw against Seattle, which represents a positive step for the team after their rough start. Up next: At New England on Saturday

13 – 9. Columbus Crew (2-0-2 – 6 pts, 4 gf, 6 ga). This week: Lost to New York 4-1. Everyone’s getting thumped by the Red Bulls right now, but how bad were the Crew in that match? Yeesh. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday

14 – 12. New England Revolution (2-0-3 – 6 pts, 4 gf, 6 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Dallas. After back to back wins, the Revs returned to Earth with a thump against Dallas, though they looked oh so close to grabbing an undeserved point. Up next: DC United on Saturday

15 – 16. Chivas USA (2-0-3 – 6 pts, 3 gf, 4 ga). This week: Beat Portland 2-1. Chivas could very well finish the season with 42 points in 11th place this year, and every week I’ll say the same thing: This team isn’t very good. But they defend OK, at least. Up next: At Toronto on Saturday

16 – 14. Portland Timbers (1-1-3 – 4 pts, 7 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Chivas USA. A visit to the struggling Galaxy represents an opportunity for the Timbers to forget their troubles of the last three weeks. Or lose by three goals. Up next: At LA Galaxy on Saturday

17-18. Montreal Impact (1-1-4 – 4 pt, 5 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 2-1; Lost 1-0 to Real Salt Lake. The Impact won one and lost one last week, but played well in both matches. They don’t look like a playoff team, but they can certainly hang with teams like Toronto and Philadelphia. Up next: At FC Dallas on Saturday

18 – 17. Philadelphia Union (0-1-3 – 1 pt, 2 gf, 6 ga). This week: Didn’t play. The Union had the week off. Maybe a little rest – and taking on the still-embarrassed Crew – can see them notch their first win of the year. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-4 – 0 pts, 2 gf, 9 ga). This week: Lost to Montreal 2-1. Don’t be surprised of Aron Winter’s “Total Football” experiment comes to a premature conclusion if Toronto can’t beat Chivas this weekend. Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday

MLS rankings: April 4

If you thought I'd be averse to posting photos of myself on this site, you'd be sadly mistaken. As for the other two? Well, it's too late to worry about that.

This is a special “My sister’s birthday” edition of MLS rankings. Happy birthday Melani! There were a couple dramatic movers in the rankings – San Jose and New England both notched impressive wins, while the Galaxy continue to drop and face the No. 1 team this week.

1 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (4-0-0 – 12 pts, 7 gf, 1 ga). This week: Beat Chivas USA 1-0. Once again, it wasn’t pretty, but if Sporting keeps racking up points, it won’t matter. Up next: LA Galaxy on Saturday

2 – 4. Real Salt Lake (3-0-1 – 9 pts, 8 gf, 4 ga). This week: Beat Portland 3-2. RSL were a bit lucky to grab the win against Portland, but it’s the type of match that the top teams grind out. Up next: Montreal on Wednesay

3 – 2. Seattle Sounders (2-0-1 – 6 pts, 5 gf, 2 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 1-0. One loss certainly isn’t enough to cause worry, but the Sounders have yet to put together a complete performance. Up next: At DC United on Saturday

4 – 7. San Jose Earthquakes (3-0-1 – 9 pts, 5 gf, 1 ga). This week: Beat Seattle 1-0. A solid defense and opportunistic offense have the Quakes thinking playoffs. Whether they can keep this up is the question. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday

5 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-2-0 – 8 pts, 3 gf, 0 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Philadelphia. OK, they were outplayed by the Union, haven’t scored in two matches, and Hassli, LeToux, Camilo and Long don’t seem to be on the same page. But, they still haven’t given up a goal. Up next: At San Jose on Saturday

6 – 6. Houston Dynamo (2-0-1 – 6 pts, 2 gf, 2 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Aside from Kansas City’s continued dominance, the Dynamo didn’t lose any ground by not playing. A quirk in scheduling has them not playing this week either. Up next: At Chicago on April 15

7 – 12. Colorado Rapids (3-0-1 – 9 pts, 7 gf, 5 ga). This week: Beat Chicago 2-0. It was a return to normal service for the Rapids, who were efficient and clinical, and once again good on defense in beating the Fire. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday

8 – 3. LA Galaxy (1-0-2 – 3 pts, 5 gf, 7 ga). This week: Lost to New England 3-1. I still think the Galaxy will be there come playoff time, but after three matches, they are as bad defensively as any team in the MLS, save perhaps Toronto and Montreal. Up next: At Kansas City on Saturday

9 – 11. Columbus Crew (2-0-1 – 6 pts, 3 gf, 2 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 1-0. The Crew gave Toronto a lesson in game management in winning their second match of the year. Columbus looks like one of the better teams in the East at this point. Up next: New York on Saturday

10 – 13. New York Red Bulls (2-0-2 – 6 pts, 10 gf, 7 ga) This week: Beat Montreal 5-2. The Red Bulls offense (and Henry in particular) have come to life in the last two matches, though how much of that is due to bad defending? Up next: At Columbus on Saturday

11 – 8. Chicago Fire (1-1-1 – 4 pts, 2 gf, 3 ga). This week: Lost to Colorado 2-0. Aside from the second goal in the Colorado match, the Fire are defending well, but have disappointed in attack so far. Up next: Houston on April 15

12 – 16. New England Revolution (2-0-2 – 6 pts, 4 gf, 5 ga). This week: Beat LA Galaxy 3-1. I’m sure MLSsoccer.com’s rankings have the Revs in the Top 5 after their second straight win – I’m going to err on the side of “I’ll believe it when they keep doing it,” though. Up next: At Dallas on Thursday

13 – 14. DC United (1-1-2 – 4 pts, 5 gf, 5 ga). This week: Beat FC Dallas 4-1. OK, there’s the United offense, finally. Nick DeLeon looks like a really good MLS player. Up next: Seattle on Saturday

14 – 9. Portland Timbers (1-1-2 – 4 pts, 6 gf, 6 ga). This week: Lost to Real Salt Lake 3-2. The Timbers threw away a win against RSL. Until their defense improves, they’ll struggle to make the playoffs. Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday

15 – 10. FC Dallas (1-1-2 – 4 pts, 5 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost to DC United 4-1. For such an experienced team, Dallas were all over the place defensively. Plus, the David Fereira situation looks like a season-long distraction. Up next: New England on Thursday

16 – 15. Chivas USA (1-0-3 – 3 pts, 1 gf, 3 ga). This week: Lost to Kansas City 1-0. If you disregard the RSL match, Chivas have yet to score and have lost three out of three matches at home. Up next: At Portland on Saturday

17 – 18. Philadelphia Union (0-1-3 – 1 pt, 2 gf, 6 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Vancouver. The Union play better and pick up their first point, but still can’t seem to get Lionard Pajoy involved in the attack. Up next: Columbus on April 14

18-17. Montreal Impact (0-1-3 – 1 pt, 3 gf, 10 ga). This week: Lost 5-2 to New York. The Impact gave it a go against New York and were punished in the second half. They should be a fun team for their fans to support this year, though. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Wednesday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-3 – 0 pts, 1 gf, 7 ga). This week: Lost to Columbus 1-0. Ugh. Toronto are bad. Torsten Frings will whip these guys into shape, though they could be out of the playoff race by the team he gets back. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

MLS Weekend Recap: March 30-April 1

By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood | Only Love Soccer

Friday

DC United 4 v. FC Dallas 1. A very good match from Nick DeLeon, and the most rare of sightings in the MLS, a good shift from Maicon Santos, leads United to a surprisingly easy romp over Dallas. DeLeon had a goal and an assist, and Santos scored two and assisted on one. The other goal for DC was from Danny Cruz, who I think will be a nice signing. Dallas scored a goal through Blas Perez, but are really, really struggling so far this year. Prediction: DC 1-0

Saturday

Toronto 0 Columbus 1. Toronto are officially the worst team in the MLS after this loss. Once again, wayward passing (from the increasingly lousy Julian De Guzman) and a defensive error from Logan Emory this time, led to the lone goal of the match, Bernardo Anor’s first in the MLS. This match was instructive in showing why Toronto are usually bad and Columbus are generally a playoff team. The Crew were calm and patient defensively, didn’t try to do too much with the ball, and were rewarded with three points. Toronto were harried in possession in midfield and defense and for all their possession couldn’t force the ball in for the equalizer. Toronto needs Torsten Frings back, because a midfield with De Guzman AND Terry Dunfield is not good enough. Prediction: 2-2

New York 5 Montreal 2. Montreal probably edged this match in the first half, before getting swamped by New York’s superior attacking power in the second half. Thierry Henry had a hat trick and an assist, and Kenny Cooper and Mehdi Ballouchy scored the other goals. Toronto opened the scoring through Sanna Nyassi and took the lead again at 2-1 thanks to Justin Mapp, who is actually one of my favorite MLS players, I think. New York equalized just before halftime on Cooper converting a penalty that was a bad call, then the floodgates opened. After watching Montreal play, they actually pass the ball quite nicely, though I’ll be surprised if the Nyassi/Corradi/Braun forward line combines for more than 12 goals this year. Nonetheless, the Impact gave it a go, but were perhaps a little bit naive defensively. New York looks good in attack, but they’re still a wreck defensively – Ryan Meara probably shouldn’t be starting in the MLS yet, and Markus Holgersson is my early favorite for Worst Defender of the Year (New idea for season ending blog post!). Prediction: New York 4-1

Philadelphia 0 Vancouver 0. Another painfully dull Vancouver match. They sure defend well, don’t they? This probably staves off the calls for Peter Nowak’s head. (Is anyone actually calling for Peter Nowak’s head? I don’t know). Sebastian LeToux had a poor match for Vancouver who had no shots on target in the match (Philadelphia only had two). Vancouver still hasn’t conceded, but they’ll need to get their offense firing if they want to keep picking up points. The Union at this point should hope for finishing with a better record than Montreal and Toronto. Prediction: 1-1

Portland 2 Real Salt Lake 3. The Timbers rally for a late lead against RSL, then somehow contrive to give up two goals the last five minutes and lose. The loss overshadowed a great performance from Darlington Nagbe, who scored both goals, completed 35 of 36 passes and is *this* close to becoming a star in the MLS. Really, this match showed the difference between a veteran, tested squad and one with only aspirations of making the playoffs. Real Salt Lake kept fighting, and Portland panicked a bit. It’s still early, yet. The other goals were from Alvaro Saborio (penalty), the finely named Luke Steele and Kyle Beckerman (the winner). Eric Brunner could’ve won the match for Portland but skied a Jack Jewsbury free kick over the bar right before Steele’s equaliser when it probably would’ve been easier to score. Prediction: 1-1

Seattle 0 San Jose 1. There is a big difference between this San Jose team and last year’s. Steven Lenhart drew a penalty on a fairly dumb play from Marc Burch, and Chris Wondolowski netted the penalty for the only goal of the game, and the Earthquakes got another scrappy victory. Is Wondolowski the only Quake who has scored this season? Regardless, they’re off to a good start. It was a deserved win, even though San Jose isn’t exactly Barcelona with the ball with their horrifically bland hoof and rush style of playing. Seattle is just not incisive enough at this point – Fredy Montero once again didn’t score, and Alvaro Fernandez and Christian Sivabaek were both pretty dreadful on the wings. You would expect the Sounders to improve in their next match, but how much do they miss Mauro Rosales? Prediction: Seattle 2-0

LA Galaxy 1 New England 3. The Galaxy concede three goals at home again – this time to New England of all teams – and fall to their third loss in three matches. That’s now seven goals conceded in three home matches. New England scored twice in the first 13 minutes, from Kelyn Rowe and Lawrence Tierney, and then extended the lead to three in the second half on a Saer Sene header (his second goal of the season). Robbie Keane scored the consolation for the Galaxy. I think the Galaxy will be in the MLS Cup race at the end of the season, but losing to KC this weekend could all but extinguish their hopes of winning a third straight Supporter’s Shield. I know Omar Gonzalez is good, but the Galaxy only have themselves to blame for signing Andrew Boyens as his backup. New England are OK, though I don’t expect them to keep up their recent success. Also, David Beckham was subbed at halftime, and apparently got an angry stylish tattoo and then modeled some boxers in response. Prediction: LA 3-0

Sunday

Colorado 2 Chicago 0. Colorado get second-half goals from Omar Cummings and Kamani Hill (poor defending from Chicago) and get back to their winning ways. It’s amazing how much better the Rapids are with Jeff Larentowicz playing. He’s probably not international quality, but he is certainly a calm, assured presence in the heart of their midfield. Chicago were a little disappointing – it seems like Dominic Oduro suddenly realized that he was Dominic Oduro and started shooting like it again, which is to say, poorly. Chicago might need to try someone else out at forward. Prediction: Colorado 2-1

Chivas USA 0 Kansas City 1. Sporting Kansas City scrape by for another victory to run their record to 4-0-0. Chivas were toothless again. I’m sure there were quotes from them about how they should’ve won, but when you don’t have any shots on target, don’t successfully complete any dribbles and have one corner you don’t even get into the box, well, you get what you get. This should be the lowest scoring MLS team by season’s end, at least unless Juan Pablo Angel gets some games, and possibly even then. As for Kansas City, well, a win’s a win – and it speaks volumes that they have yet to dominate a match but haven’t yet seemed like losing either. Prediction: Kansas City 1-0

MLS weekend picks: And we’re off!

Too late, Frank and Rita realized that photographers weren't interested in their family logging expedition, but rather, something far more insidious.

By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood | Only Love Soccer

Hello everyone. After a fairly nondescript offseason, America’s No. 1 professional American soccer league is back for its 17th season. Incidentally, MLS Live is a decent service if you feel like being able to watch most of the games in the season. Better than paying for the DirectTV package, anyway. Lots to watch for this weekend, with Canada vs. Canada (Montreal vs. Vancouver), the defending champs against the stingiest defense (Galaxy vs. RSL) and San Jose vs. New England. (anyone?) All times Pacific.

Saturday

Colorado vs. Columbus. (3 p.m.) I’ll be in Denver for this one, though I won’t actually watch the game, probably. Maybe on TV? Both teams have a couple new foreign players, but Colorado just found out a couple might not be able to play. Bummer. Crew fans are eager to see new signing Milovan Mirosevic, who they’re hoping is good enough to carry them into the playoffs. Colorado won’t have Conor Casey, so it’ll be up to Omar Cummings to carry the scoring load, something he didn’t do very well last year. (3 goals) Prediction: 1-1

Vancouver vs. Montreal. (3 p.m.) Last year, in their first-ever MLS match, the Whitecaps destroyed the other Canadian team, then proceeded to not win for their next 14 matches. Will the Impact suffer a similar fate? Well, not likely, given that A) Vancouver is much better than last year and B) The Impact are playing in Vancouver and aren’t very good. It should be fun to watch, anyway. Prediction: Whitecaps 4-1

DC United vs. Sporting Kansas City. (4:30 p.m.) In 2011, Sporting Kansas City played their first 10 (TEN!) matches away from home, were predictably in last place, yet somehow managed to make the playoffs and finish first in the East anyway. With LiveStrong (Don’t misspell it or they’ll sue!) Park now widely acclaimed as the best field in the MLS, they should have no such worries. But this weekend, they’re playing in Washington DC. Prediction: United 1-0

San Jose vs. New England. (7:30 p.m.) I’m actually pretty excited for what San Jose has done with their roster. They also have the momentum of having a new stadium on the way, though that won’t happen this year. New England had a surprisingly good preseason, which has gotta factor into their regular season, right? Prediction: San Jose 2-0

LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake. (7:30 p.m.) The Galaxy open their season against RSL, so in terms of sheer quality, this should be the match to watch this week. But…the Galaxy are dull, and Real Salt Lake like to take the sting out of the game by passing it around the back a bit. I think I’ll pass. Prediction: Galaxy 2-1

Sunday

FC Dallas vs. New York. (Noon) I haven’t seen any FC Dallas preseason highlights, but I guess they’ve had a somewhat rough go of it in Mexico. I’ll be curious to see how new signing Blas Perez is bedding in at forward, if Colombian Fabian Castillo can take the next step in his development, and if Brek Shea returns to his early 2011 form as opposed to how he’s played since for club and country. New York has the potential for excitement but will probably fall short of expectations, just like George Lucas has done the last 29 years. Prediction: 1-1

Chivas USA vs. Houston. (4 p.m.) I couldn’t find the Spanish translation for “Gawdawful” (the closest I could get was “pinche terrible, ese”) to describe Chivas USA’s offseason/preseason, and they’re taking on the defending MLS Cup runners-up, which, well, doesn’t really mean anything. But Houston should be able to nab at least a point on the road, which is always a good way to start. Prediction: Houston 2-1

Monday

Portland vs. Philadelphia. (6:30 p.m.) The Timbers get to show off their new signings against 2010′s expansion team, so it should be a typically raucous affair with ironic mustaches shining with drops of PBR and home brew and the smell of food cart Korean tacos in the air as the sounds of cheering are mingled with arguments over questionable resource trading in Settlers of Katan games around Jeld-Wen Park. Then after the match, all the soccer dads in their vegi-oil-powered Priuses will gesticulate politely at the people stopping traffic with their unicycles and double-decker bikes covered in green and white streamers and confetti, before everyone meets at Hawthorne Theater for a midnight showing of “The Go-Bots Movie.” Prediction: Portland 3-1

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 126 other followers

%d bloggers like this: