ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS rankings countdown usually falls in three parts – but we usually don’t all have the European Championship to live and to love. So let’s call these the “little rankings.”
19. Toronto FC – Still losing, never mind a new manager at the helm. And to remind everyone that things can always get a little worse, now they’re brawlin’ with the cops.
18. Philadelphia Union – Another team with a new boss, and another one that’s still losing. In this case, the Union looked OK in a 1-0 loss to D.C. United. There was reason for optimism, at least.
17. FC Dallas – Still missing about half the team, Dallas fell in Houston. Meanwhile, if the club keeps playing Jair Benitez, they get what they deserve. The guy simply cannot control himself.
16. Portland Timbers – Kris Boyd has four goals in 13 starts. Let’s just say it nice and simple like: it’s not all his fault, but that concerning rate must change for the Timbers to make the playoffs.
15. Los Angeles Galaxy – The club’s first win since April has people wondering if L.A. can turn things around and make a dash for the playoffs? Three months ago, the chatter was about repeating as champs – now it’s about runs at the playoffs. Josh Saunders’ return is certainly a boost.
14. Chivas USA – At least all those early losses at home were by 1-0 scores. Getting hammered 3-0 at home, even by a good side like Real Salt Lake, is a recipe for lost job if it happens with any regularity.
13. Montréal Impact – Stade Saputo looks marvelous, and so did the team in a 4-1 win over Seattle as the expansion club’s facility debuted in refurbished form.
12. New England Revolution – Home games against mid-pack, fellow Eastern Conference side are a must-have if the Revs are to make the playoffs in Jay Heaps’ first year in charge. So, Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Columbus: not quite good enough.
11. Colorado Rapids – Oscar Pareja’s side may have been on the road, but getting beat on a late goal while a man up is not acceptable. (The Rapids fell 1-0 in Vancouver.)
10. Chicago Fire – They should have been awarded a goal on a controversial close play between the sticks, but no matter. Frank Klopas’ men took care of business against the visiting Red Bulls, 3-1.
9. Columbus Crew – Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was outstanding once again, and the defending from two lines of four was strong, too, in a scoreless draw at New England.
8. Seattle Sounders – No one was happy about a 4-1 loss at Montreal, and no one should be. But complaints about referee Mark Geiger having something against the Sounders are pretty unbecoming, guys. Meanwhile, critical man Osvaldo Alonso is back after serving his brief suspension.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps – Barry Robson was introduced on Monday, two days after Sebastien Le Toux’s late goal (on a wonderful ball from Davide Chiumiento) lifted the 10-man Whitecaps over Colorado. That’s a pretty swell three days around BC Place, where confidence is understandably high.
6. San Jose Earthquakes – A 19-team league means one club must remain idle each weekend. So, which was the lucky club that got to follow a two-week break with an idle weekend? Yep. San Jose last played a league match on May 27. That’s just goofy.
5. New York Red Bulls – Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez won’t play in the club’s mid-week match at Vancouver but should be available for this weekend’s biggie against D.C. United.
4. Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo are undefeated so far at recently opened BBVA Compass Stadium (3-0-1); the latest success was a 2-1 win over rival FC Dallas, which means El Capitan the cannon will remain in South Texas for the next year.
3. Sporting Kansas City – A win over visiting Toronto showed things are moving in the right direction once again for Peter Vermes’ team. On the other hand, it was just Toronto; a mid-week match at Seattle will tell us more. Much, much more.
2. D.C. United – This is what good teams do: they win a match here and there when clearly not at tip-top best. Chris Pontius (pictured) concocted a way to score as Ben Olsen’s Eastern Conference leaders escaped Philadelphia with a 1-0 win.
1. Real Salt Lake – Rare are the 3-0 road wins, so Saturday’s blitz of Chivas USA in Southern California reminded everyone who’s still in charge around MLS. Oh, and what striker Fabian Espindola did to Chivas USA defender Rauwshan McKenzie on the second goal, that really should be illegal.