(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)
19. Chivas USA – That hideous minus-34 goal difference is awfully close to an MLS record. It’s easily the worst in MLS this year.
18. Toronto FC – A bad season is ending in bad ways. Last week’s result qualifies as “insult to injury,” a scoreless draw at home with Canadian rival Montreal. And tomorrow night, barring something implausible, TFC will be officially eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League.
17. Colorado Rapids – Martin Rivero ran the show as Colorado found a touch of October joy in a 2-0 win over Chivas USA. Shouldn’t we expect to hear soon about Pablo Mastroeni and whether the unfortunate concussion-related issues mean he has already retired?
16. Portland Timbers – Taking the Cascadia Cup gave the Timbers Army a little something to smile about. It even gave owner Merritt Paulson something good to Tweet about. What he said (in consecutive Twitter volleys): “Team showed lots of heart against an opponent pushing for playoffs last night. Says a lot about our player’s character and heart. … Yes…tough season. But this is something to build on. We need to not just play well against good teams. Consistency will come.”
15. New England Revolution – Diego Fagundez hit a great goal in a 1-0 win over Chicago and then showed his social media chops, going onto Twitter to ask fans to vote for his strike as MLS Goal of the Week. We respect and appreciate such a well-rounded approach.
14. Philadelphia Union – Young striker Jack McInerney (pictured) has been a bright point over the Union’s September-October stretch. John Hackworth’s boys, playing for roster spots for at least two months now, finish with two toughies, at Kansas City and then at home against New York.
13. Montréal Impact – This team sure loves it some Italy. Not only do they have former Italian internationals Alessandro Nesta, Matteo Ferrari and Marco Di Vaio, they are about to tour Italy. FYI: the expansion side has collected 12 wins, which is more than Vancouver – and the Whitecaps are headed to the playoffs.
12. FC Dallas – The final playoff embers were extinguished in a 3-1 loss to Seattle. The injury absence of both starting center backs, Ugo Ihemelu and George John, was just too much to overcome, as mistakes in the back created opportunities on which the Sounders’ pounced.
11. Columbus Crew – The good folks of Crew-ville won’t feel better about Saturday’s 3-2 loss at D.C. United knowing that plenty of people who watch plenty of MLS matches thought it was the best game of 2012. Robert Warzycha has decisions to make on a roster that was rebuilt last year but seems to be taking the team the wrong way. (Although a full year with Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain will surely help.)