Here are Nos. 11-19 of ProSoccerTalk’s weekly countdown following seven rounds of regular season play.
(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)
19. Seattle Sounders – The hits just keep coming for beleaguered Sounders fans: on the same night they drop points in a scoreless draw at home against New England, supporters discover that popular midfielder Osvaldo Alonso looks quite unlikely to ever suit up for the U.S. national team. Hard times, man. Hard times.
18. Chicago Fire – A loss in Houston wouldn’t be so hard on Frank Klopas’ team – everybody loses in Houston. But when piled onto the rest of the misery that has been Chicago’s 2013 season (just four points in five matches, tied for last in the East) it adds critically to the instability around Toyota Park. At least Chris Rolfe broke the seal, smashing in his first goal of 2013.
17. D.C. United – United needs scoring. United needs a striker. That is all. (Well, and they need to get Dwayne De Rosario healthy and sharp, too.)
16. New England Revolution – They may not have gone into Seattle looking for a scoreless draw, but Jay Heaps’ and Co. are probably happy enough with the result. Once again we say it: the Revs’ defense looks to be in fine shape, but one goal over five matches is not going to work.
15. Toronto FC – Robert Earnshaw (pictured) is king of the breakaway! Through serendipity or skillful instinct (or, most likely, a combination of both) the Welshman keeps finding himself behind defense. He did once again in a 1-1 draw at Philly; Earnshaw shares the league lead with five goals.
14. Colorado Rapids – Two wins in a row for Oscar Pareja’s team (still quite depleted through injury) have the Rapids in a much better place than when they limped sadly into April. A visit this weekend by reeling Seattle puts the Rapids in a good spot to climb even further in the standings.
13. Philadelphia Union – Jack McInerney scored late to prevent a loss to Toronto at PPL Park, but that may be a bit misleading. Philadelphia was dominant in this one; it took an MLS Player of the Week performance from opposition goalkeeper Joe Bendik to keep “Jack Mac” and his PPL Park teammates off the board for 90-plus minutes.
12. San Jose Earthquakes – Sometimes all the fight and emotion works for San Jose. Sometimes the ‘Quakes just take it all too far – which we saw in the team’s 1-0 loss at Portland. On another day, they could have had a couple of players thrown out rather than just one. Frank Yallop’s side looks frustrated.
11. Portland Timbers – A lively debate broke out at Stumptown Footy over Man of the Match in the Timbers’ exciting, eventful late 1-0 win over San Jose. Will Johnson (late goal, another big and busy match in Portland’s midfield) had a good case. But so did Mikael Silvestre, who dealt admirably with all that San Jose offensive muscle and might.