Oh, Toronto. What are we going to do with you? You got off the bottom of the pile temporarily, but it must be true what they say: “We always come home.” Here are Nos. 13-19 in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly rankings countdown.
(Parts II and III are on deck …so check back)
19. Toronto FC – Four games, no wins, just two goals. Two of the losses were at home. And about that one win that got everyone so excited, taking down the Galaxy out in Southern California: we all see that one a little more clearly now, given the ongoing struggles in L.A. Get it together, guys. (Pssst: center backs. Remember how we keep telling you to go get better center backs?)
18. Montréal Impact – What a nice feeling it must have been to get that first win. And not just any first win – the Impact’s initial “W” in Major League Soccer came against the club destined to be its most natural rival, Toronto. Major League Soccer’s No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wenger (pictured) pocketed the big game-winner.
17. Philadelphia Union – Four games have seen four different starting lineups from Peter Nowak. He had a week off to re-examine things, so Saturday’s reshuffle will be interesting. As this will be home game No. 3, and since the Union remains on the lookout for home win No. 1, and since Columbus is a team that doesn’t exactly scream “contender” at the moment, it seems fair to file this one under “gotta have” for the Union.
16. Portland Timbers – Sports fans may who know nothing of MLS and might not know Timber Joey from Ross and Chandler buddy Joey Tribbiani, but they can still enjoy watching a match from mighty Jeld-Win Field. The place is simply off the chain – no pun intended. So why in the wide world of sports isn’t the Timbers’ home record any better? John Spencer’s men are just 10-7-3 there in two years. It’s not a terrible mark, but it sure seems like it should be better.
15. Chivas USA – Hard to figure Robin Fraser’s Ameri-Goats. We have seen this from time to time, where clubs are somehow better on the road than at home. (Saturday’s win at Portland was Chivas USA’s second surprising victory this year, following an earlier shocker at Real Salt Lake.) Perhaps it simply underscores the need to find a home. As in, an actual place to call its own, rather than one “borrowed” once a week from the L.A. Galaxy.
14. Columbus Crew – Suggested rankings system for Saturday’s disaster in Ohio, a 4-1 stinker to the Red Bulls where the side’s very pride deserves questioning: players get one of three grades – “Poor,” “Outrageously poor” or “Begging to be immediately waived.” Robert Warzycha’s team looked better in the second half, but who could blame the Red Bulls for gliding into the finish line after taking a 3-0 lead at the break?
13. Los Angeles Galaxy – A 1-0 loss at undefeated, untied Sporting Kansas City isn’t the end of the world. But a team with Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle couldn’t trouble Kansas City’s goalkeeper to make even one little save? We can talk all day about the Galaxy’s porous defense, but zero shots on goal simply isn’t good enough.