MLS Panic Quotient: Galaxy, Toronto and Portland on the spot

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The champs make a second consecutive appearance on ProSoccerTalk’s weekly “MLS Panic Quotient?” (®)  That doesn’t really surprise anyone, now does it?  It’s our weekly temperature check on panic in the streets of MLS.

PORTLAND TIMBERS: There’s just no way to spin the ugliness off two home losses in three home games. Missing elements: goals, leadership, accountability, steadiness, defense when it matters, confidence, communication, consistency … you know, the little things. The players are saying all the right words, expressing outrage in all the right places and demanding that one another stand up and be counted. But what if they figure out the personnel mix just isn’t right? Because huffing and puffing and banging on about intangibles might patch up some of the holes, but will it be enough?

Panic quotient: Mother-in-law coming for a visit. A nice, long visit.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY: Bruce Arena is keeping a brave face, reminding anyone who will listen his center back situation isn’t as dire as all that. Leonardo is on the mend, rookie Tommy Meyer will get there sooner or later and Andrew Boyens … well … I’m sure he had something convincing to say about Andrew Boyens, although I simply cannot recall what it might have been. Meanwhile, he made himself a little trade, quietly bringing in a new center back. (Don’t get too excited, though; this isn’t exactly Kenny Cooper-going-to-Red Bulls stuff.) And this business of David Beckham’s back troubles cannot be good news.

Panic quotient: Fought heavy traffic but finally arrived at stadium for the Big Game. “Wait a minute, you have the tickets, right?”

TORONTO FC: Manager Aron Winter told everyone he had a three-year plan for the Reds. Last year was tough on the BMO faithful (numbers drifting, as they were). Patience was generally afforded for the Dutchman’s dynamic vision. But what, in the name of Rinus Michels, is going on now? After rising and inspiring hope near 2011’s end, the side seems to have regressed in 2012. The numbers are horrible to look at, like dead sturgeon washing up out of Lake Ontario: a 0-4-0 record with a measly two goals scored. Three-year plans are fine and all, but no points from four contests? Surely that’s not an element in the program. Help them Torsten Frings! You’re their only hope.

Panic quotient: Mechanic calls. Your car is ready. “Say, is anybody around who can be with you … ya know, before we go over the final bill?”