Apparently, you can't tell a Lion that it has lost the fight. If you do, it appears that it will only fight harder.
This week's power rankings, kids:
1. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 1)
I think everyone agrees that football lines (and logos) on the field during a soccer game is a bad look, and it certainly was in LA's game this week at Seattle. It makes the field look busier and it's really distracting to the eye. I would bet that this applies to the players, too. Having those thick football sidelines seems to make players play differently.
So why do we allow this to happen? Surely it doesn't take 24 hours to paint on football lines. Couldn't the CenturyLink Field crew have just painted on those football lines at night. What were they doing at 3 a.m. this morning? I'm not trying to volunteer some dudes to work third shift on a Sunday night, but come on. There has to be a relatively easy way that we can avoid this sort of thing.
2. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 2)
The Red Bulls need to make some kind of impactful run in these playoffs to maintain relevance in the New York soccer scene. I know that it's not as simple as taking things at face value, but the Red Bulls are struggling in the attendance department in comparison to their cross
town state rivals. The Red Bulls are currently 11th in the league in average attendance, while Man City Jr. is third. A deep run in the playoffs could help turn the worm the other direction.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 3)
I'm losing faith in Vancouver as a championship contender, but it's not the Caps' fault. This is a classic, "It's not you, it's me," situation. It's not that I don't think the Whitecaps are a good team, but they just don't scare me the way other teams do.
4. FC Dallas (Last Week: 5)
Like Dallas, for instance. Dallas scares the crap out of me. On one hand, they can look pretty bad (See: Chicago 2, Dallas 0 from Aug. 2) but on the other, they can look pretty great (See: Any of Dallas' wins).
5. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 4)
6. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 7)
Clint, we need to have a word about whatever is going on with your hair (see above). While that's not the best angle, ya boi Dempsey had some funky look goin' on against LA this week.
7. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 8)
SKC's U.S. Open Cup title is a huge factor in where this team goes. It's weird how one victory that was decided by penalties can affect the morale and confidence of a squad. Maybe a trophy was just the medicine SKC needed to chase a bigger one.
8. New England Revolution (Last Week: 6)
Yeesh. New England has two winnable games (against Montreal and NYCFC) to close out the season on the heels of an embarrassing loss to Chicago this week. The Revs better capitalize to salvage any of that momentum they had built up during their recent eight-game unbeaten run.
9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 10)
Toronto's next three are all against teams that figure to make the postseason in the East. Playoff preview, anyone?
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 9)
11. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 11)
If San Jose makes the playoffs over interesting teams like Portland, RSL and Houston, it will be a sports tragedy of the highest degree.
12. Orlando City (Last Week: 14)
While it's thrilling to see the Lions make this late-season push, I can't help but think about what could have been all season if it weren't for some key injuries. This team is good enough to make a run in the playoffs, but it's still an uphill climb. Montreal will be favored in at least one of it's final four games (at Colorado) and Orlando will need to take care of business against two teams (NYCFC and Philly) that it should beat.
13. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 13)
14. D.C. United (Last Week: 17)
15. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 12)
Case in point of a rant I made a couple of weeks ago about Drogba in comparison to an aging Steve Nash. Drogba can really play when he plays, but how many games will he not be able to contribute a full 90?
16. New York City FC (Last Week: 15)
Did you see that Lampard scored?! I mean, who cares that New York lost the game, Lampard scored! Can you believe it?!
(My impression of an employee in the Major League Soccer front office.)
17. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 16)
It's looking like the Owen Coyle Experience will need a year two to record their first hit record.
18. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 20)
Chicago is great at making you think that they should be better than they are. Beating New England is a statement, but it says more about the Revs than it does the Fire.
19. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 18)
20. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 19)
Colorado is trying to break my heart. My love for their defense lasted most of the year, but the Rapids have let in 11 over their last five while only scoring five. That's a recipe for a winless streak.