Montreal moves up one spot with its draw at D.C. United, while Columbus’ draw at home means a slip in the rankings. These are Nos. 13-19 in ProSoccerTalk’s weekly rankings countdown. (Parts II and III are on deck …so check back)
19. Toronto FC – What can we say that hasn’t been said before? Maybe this: the outcry to get things right gets louder with each loss. Aron Winter says TFC needs better defenders. And it’s about time – because most of us were saying that all along. By the way, they’ll make history with a (likely) loss this week at Real Salt Lake.
18. Columbus Crew – Eddie Gaven’s big blast nearly sealed all three points, but gaps at the back meant a late goal against and yet another modest result. Eddie Gaven’s dribbling, passing, off-the-ball bustle and overall positive energy gave the Nordecke something to buzz about, at least.
17. Montréal Impact – Last week’s draw at D.C. United was a big step, the first points away from home for Jesse Marsch’s crew. Yes, the Impact lost a lead, but learning to nurse home a match (at home or on the road) is part of the learning process. Le Impact looks to be in a good spot this week, by the way, with extra rest in a match up against Portland, which hasn’t been great on the road and may still be in hangover mode from last week’s big triumph over the league leaders.
16. Portland Timbers – A rare burst of 2012 sunshine fell on Jeld-Wen field Saturday night, metaphorically speaking. A win over the high fliers from Sporting Kansas City (the Eastern leaders’ first setback this year) does a lot to erase the frustration of two home losses already this year. Lovel Palmer and Diego Chara stood out in the 1-0 win.
15. New England Revolution – It’s hard to like the idle weekend in MLS, but perhaps it worked to benefit Jay Heaps’ side in this case. They travel to New York to face the up-and-down Red Bulls, and the added time has surely helped key cog Benny Feilhaber gain more strength and fitness.
14. Philadelphia Union – Suspensions are possibly coming for Peter Nowak’s team – maybe even one handed to Nowak himself for inserting himself imprudently into last weekend’s late donnybrook at Chivas USA. Disciplinary matters aside, the Union’s second win this year falls under “winning ugly on the road.” Freddy Adu benefitted from Michael Farfan’s good work on the goal, but there wasn’t much style to this one. Then again, style-schmyle. Maybe that’s back at PPL Park.
13. Chivas USA – Winning on the road is fine, but if Chivas USA wants to make any progress up the Western Conference ladder, the Goats simply must find a way to win at home. And is it really too much to ask to score a goal at home? What is this, some kind of sub-conscious protest against second-tenant status at the Home Depot Center? Four games have brought zero goals, a sure-fire antidote to success. Each match comes with the same storyline, that Chivas played well but somehow got unlucky. “Unlucky” perhaps, but it’s hard to wipe away no goals in four home games with the threadbare cloth of misfortune.