Here are Nos. 11-19 of ProSoccerTalk’s weekly countdown following Round 3.
(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)
19. Chicago Fire – Who could blame Frank Klopas for parking the bus in Kansas City? The Fire needed a result after two clunkers and got the job done in a scoreless draw at Sporting Park. Chris Rolfe, emerging from a sluggish 2013 start, gave the team just enough offensive threat to keep SKC honest.
18. Colorado Rapids – What a pro debut for Clinton Irwin, who replaced fallen goalkeeper Matt Pickens and got the doggone job done in a 1-1 road draw with Real Salt Lake. Deshorn Brown? Keep an eye on that kid. (He made our weekly Best XI, you know.)
17. Chivas USA – The young Goats are playing hard for manager “El Chelis.” And if you’re looking for wonderful backstories, check out this one about Carlos Alvarez, who nailed the late equalizer in a dramatic 1-1 draw in the L.A. Derby. That young man has Chivas in his bones!
16. Toronto FC – Ryan Nelsen’s team made it tough on Montreal, pressing the home side at the end in a 2-1 loss. Terry Dunfield is far from the most graceful man in MLS, and he’s certainly an unheralded sort, but the guy tends to get the job done.
15. Seattle Sounders – CONCACAF hangover much? None of the teams that played second-leg quarterfinals last week won their Round 3 MLS contest a few nights later. Seattle included, as Sigi Schmid’s men dropped two points in a Cascadia Cup match by conceding a late equalizer to Portland. On the other hand, Steve Zakuani’s curling ball to Eddie Johnson was an absolute beauty.
14. Portland Timbers – Talk about your big leaps forward – and big sighs of relief. After two disappointing results at home, Caleb Porter’s team had to go on the road to grab a slice of MLS success. The moment was big, and Rodney Wallace (pictured) rose to it with his 91st-minute header in a 1-1 draw with Seattle.
13. New York Red Bulls – Thierry Henry will miss this week’s match on the artificial turf of Montreal. Whoa! Who saw that coming? Oh … wait a minute. We kinda did see that coming.
12. New England Revolution – A loss at Philadelphia will be a little easier to stomach thanks to a season-opening win on the road. Jay Heaps’ team opens its 17-game home schedule Saturday – and let’s hope they don’t need the orange balls for this one. C’mon, Spring. You can do it!
11. FC Dallas – Kenny Cooper’s late strike was huge in a 3-2 win over Houston. And Cooper was front and center in the big talker of the weekend, too. Busy lad, that one.