We are now officially halfway through the 2015 MLS regular season campaign, and, in true MLS fashion, the league is wide open. Here are some observations at the halfway point:
A) D.C. United is running away with the East. MLS' original power is eleven points clear of New England in first place, is tied with four other teams for fewest goals against and is tied with Seattle for second in goal differential.
B) The West is tight. Consider this: the difference between first and second in the East is eleven points while the difference between first and ninth place in the West is twelve. Simply put, no one has any idea who will be making the Western Conference playoffs. Who said the regular season doesn't mean anything in MLS?
C) This is the year of the scoreless draw.
The Ineptitude Standings (Number of times a team is involved in a 0-0)
1. Colorado and RSL (4)
2. SKC, Portland and Dallas (3)
3. New England and Seattle (2)
4. Houston, Columbus, LA, Montreal, NYCFC, NYRB, Philly, Vancouver, San Jose, Toronto and D.C. (1)
Only Chicago and Orlando have yet to succumb to the temptations of a scoreless draw this season.
After two rather bare weeks, MLS jumped into action over the last five days. In total, there were 16 matches this week.
1. D.C. United (Last Week: 1)
2. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2)
3. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 4)
4. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 5)
5. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 7)
What a week for Portland and LA? The Champs thumped the Timbers by 5, then went on to lose at San Jose. Meanwhile, the Timbers came off their worst performance this season to destroy their biggest rivals, Seattle.
6. Toronto FC (Last Week: 8)
7. FC Dallas (Last Week: 9)
Dallas' Craptastic Streaks: 2015 Edition
The streak has ended this week with Dallas 2-0 win over Houston. However, this could just be a blip on the radar! Maybe this column gimmick can regain some steam! Dallas has New England, Orlando and D.C. for their next three! There's still hope for the streak!
8. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 10)
Can we just go ahead and change the Quakes' name to the "Bay Area Earthquakes?" To illustrate, here's a map of the locations in which Wondo and co. have played "home" games this season:
9. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 3)
Seattle without Dempsey and Martins' just isn't Seattle. This would be like taking Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton off of those 90s Sonics teams and expecting Hersey Hawkins and Detlef Schrempf to keep up the pace, except if Hawkins and Schrempf were way less talented then they actually were. If Seattle is gonna rely on Lamar Neagle and USL star Andy Craven up top, then it's just not gonna happen. At this rate, with Martins out for a few more weeks and Dempsey scheduled to miss most of the next month at the Gold Cup, Seattle could be taking a major dip.
10. New England Revolution (Last Week: 6)
11. Orlando City (Last Week: 13)
12. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 15)
13. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 11)
14. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 16)
15. New York City FC (Last Week: 14)
Sal, the Fictional Sports Fan from the Bronx, while seeing the Monday morning headline from NYCFC's loss to NYRB on Sunday, "Eeeey Chawlie, did you see da papuh dis week? It says dat a horse called 'Red Bull' won da Hudson Rivuh Derby at Yankee Stadium! You evuh heard of dis race? Why ain't dey runnin' it at Belmont?"
Apparently Sal doesn't understand the American soccer fan's use of British idioms, and frankly I don't either. I cringed really hard when I heard Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Moreno refer to NYCFC-NYRB as a "Darbee" on ESPN this week. It feels so forced and phony. Why do we have to call rivalries by any other name? Would you refer to Red Sox-Yankees as a "Derby"? Am I wrong to be so bothered by Americans using British phrases?