This week saw only three MLS games. A full third of those games were scoreless. Hopefully this will be the last time I drag this column gimmick out of the attic.
The Ineptitude Standings (Number of times a team is involved in a 0-0)
1. Portland (5)
2. Colorado, RSL, SKC and Dallas (4)
3. New England, Seattle, San Jose, Philly, LA, Montreal and Vancouver (2)
4. Houston, Columbus, NYCFC, NYRB, Toronto, D.C. and Orlando (1)
Chicago, despite being awful, is the only team to not succumb to the siren-like call of the scoreless draw.
I've made no changes to the rankings this week, so as to make busy your idle eyes on this Tuesday I've decided to include my biggest takeaway from each team this season. Enjoy, kids.
1. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 1)
Biggest Takeaway: The stars keep rolling in. Perhaps the biggest story of the summer in MLS was the arrival of Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos. As long as there is MLS, it seems the LA Galaxy will have a star.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 2)
Biggest Takeaway: Jesse Marsch's coaching prowess. The former USMNT assistant and Montreal head man has taken what seemed to be a a rebuilding project coming into the year and turned it into a championship contender. You can't forget how beloved Mike Petke was by some Red Bulls fans. Just this week, I saw a Red Bulls fan on Reddit list Petke as a candidate to replace Jürgen Klinsmann as the USMNT's head coach.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 3)
Biggest Takeaway: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Outside of Pedro Morales, there aren't very many Whitecaps that put the fear of god in you. Kekuta Manneh has his moments and David Ousted is a solid goalkeeper, but I think the 'Caps have just about maxed out their potential.
4. FC Dallas (Last Week: 4)
Biggest Takeaway: Fabian Castillo. The Colombian speedster represents a new kind of star in MLS and proves that this league is capable of developing talent that can eventually represent some of the better soccer nations on the planet.
5. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 5)
Biggest Takeaway: Kei Kamara is a stud. The former Houston and SKC player has 22 goals this season for the Crew and is the biggest reason that C-Bus has a chance at the title.
6. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 6)
Biggest Takeaway: TBD. MLS Cup Final or bust. That sums up Seattle's season. The Sounders have certainly had an up-and-down year, but the question of whether this team ever lived up to its potential will be answered in the playoffs.
7. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 7)
Biggest Takeaway: Benny Feilhaber for USMNT. Benny should have played in the Gold Cup.
8. New England Revolution (Last Week: 8)
Biggest Takeaway: Just make the tree flag the new logo. Adidas gave it prime placement on the back of the Revs' jerseys, and there's no way the original flag logo from '96 hangs around long enough to become retro.
9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 9)
Biggest Takeaway: Giovinco. The former Juventus player lit the league on fire with the way he has nearly single-handedly carried Toronto on his back this season. For my money, the most talented player in MLS history. (Yes, including Landon Donovan during his prime.)
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 10)
Biggest Takeaway: How much I have grown to dislike Caleb Porter. Maybe it's the silly way he wears a scarf with his suits. Maybe it's the bratty look that seems to stay on his face. Maybe it's the fact that his team leads the league in scoreless draws. Maybe it was tissue-gate. Whatever it was, Caleb Porter has fallen from grace in the Milby household.
11. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 11)
Biggest Takeaway: How much I have grown to dislike this team. San Jose does nothing but win ugly, and I hate that. The Quakes have caused me to take so many naps this season I've been forced to take up drinking coffee.
12. Orlando City (Last Week: 12)
Biggest Takeaway: Cyle Larin. The kid from Brampton, Ontario is the present and the future in Orlando. The first rookie superstar since Clint Dempsey in 2004.
13. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 13)
Biggest Takeaway: The window is closed. The days of RSL competing for MLS Cups and Supporters' Shields are over. We're one more season away from seeing RSL's GM, Craig Waibel, blowing this nucleus up. It's been a good run, but all good runs come to an end when you're in just about any market not named LA.
14. D.C. United (Last Week: 14)
Biggest Takeaway: Death to RFK. Try not to laugh when the camera dramatically pans over a rusty RFK exterior in this behind the scenes video U.S. Soccer put out on its YouTube channel (skip to 4:25). RFK still being in use is like a weird Weekend at Bernie's sequel that stars a sports venue.
15. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 15)
Biggest Takeaway: The death of the best jersey in the league. If Montreal doesn't bring these babies back as their home unis within the next couple of years I'll write an angry letter to Adidas.
In other news, of the three games this week, the Impact were involved in two of them. I suppose that's the price you pay to have the league pull strings for a CCL run.
16. New York City FC (Last Week: 16)
Biggest Takeaway: New York could probably have three or four teams, if only they had the room. Despite management trying everything in its branding power to ruin this team, NYCFC has been a resounding off the field success, so much to the point that if MLS brought the Cosmos into the league I'd bet they'd be successful too. New York is a huge city, but it needs more space to build soccer stadiums in the city limits.
17. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 17)
Biggest Takeaway: Owen Coyle is here to stay. If you watch any of Coyle's press conferences you know that Houston has invested in the Scotsman for the long term. He often refers to this as a "project" and is beaming with confidence despite his squad likely not qualifying for the playoffs.
18. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 18)
Biggest Takeaway: Bridgeview, Ill. is not at all the same place as Chicago. I made the trip up to the Land of Lincoln to see Lousiville City take on the Fire in the U.S. Open Cup and let me tell you, Bridgeview, Ill. is an awful place to put a soccer stadium. It's across the street from a quiet neighborhood, the only hotel within distance is a Motel 6, the only place to get food before the game is the gas station next to it, and downtown Chicago is so far away you wouldn't be wrong to consider flying in. There's literally no reason you'd be in Bridgeview unless A) you live there, or B) you got lost on your way to Chicago.
19. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 19)
Biggest Takeaway: Jim Curtin isn't going to be around for long. Philly should have just kept calling him the "Interim Manager." If the Union get a good team in the next few years, I'll bet Curtin is no longer the coach.
20. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 20)
Biggest Takeaway: Pablo Mastroeni's Mustache. Just look at that thing. It's glorious.