Soccer had what is colloquially known as "an international break" this weekend with national teams from across the world meeting up to decide patriotic bragging rights in living rooms, taverns, bars, pubs, and office water coolers the world over. Despite its best misgivings of being a top-division professional soccer league, Major League Soccer thought it best to contest three regular season games that count in the standings this weekend, perhaps as a much-needed soccer salve to sooth your beleaguered heart that may or may not be in shambles or on fire following Jurgen Klinsmann's most embarrassing moment since he wet his shorts in the third grade during lunch (allegedly).
That being said, this weekend's action actually did make me smile and think about the league as a whole, and that'll be reflected in your most important six-and-a-half-minute read of the week -- the TML power rankings.
1. FC Dallas (Last Week: 1)
Watching Dallas play against D.C. United was an exercise in sadism. The fellows from our nation's capital looked about as able to stop the Dallas attack as our congress is able to do its job without making an ass of itself. The cavernous gap between these teams was so wide and deep in this game that if you used quarters you wouldn't even be able to fill it with the entire national debt. This game was so bad for D.C. that the people of the city nearly voted to give up their District of Columbia status and become a part of the state of Maryland so as to become more anonymous out of shame.
When Fabian Espindola blew that penalty in the 67th minute after what is a serious candidate for weakest penalty call of all time, Rasheed Wallace -- in an alternate universe that exists only in my head where he is a soccer fan -- was smiling.
2. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2)
Here's a thought that I haven't heard on the internets yet: Why doesn't the national team hire Peter Vermes after it fires Jurgen Klinsmann? Oh wait, probably because Sunil Gulati thinks he can convince José Mourinho to coach a team that includes Jozy Altidore.
3. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 3)
4. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 4)
5. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 5)
Somewhere in his crazy, egotistical mind, Caleb Porter probably thinks he ought to be the favorite for the national team gig.
6. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 6)
Don't let your personal bias against Red Bull influence your opinions on the Red Bulls. Until I see MLS allow a team called Monster FC or Five Hour Energy FC to exist, New York is the best team named after an energy drink in the league.
7. Toronto FC (Last Week: 7)
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 8)
Pedro Morales has scored four goals this season and all of them have been on converted penalties. Wouldn't it just be the most adorable, MLS thing ever if he reached double figures without scoring from open play? "Tickled" wouldn't even come close to describing me on the day this happens.
9. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 9)
Though he obviously isn't and hasn't been the Quakes' coach for awhile, I think San Jose fans of the national team might be able to appreciate this tweet.
Frank Yallop would get better results at no aesthetic cost. #USMNT— Jason Anderson (@chestrockwell14) March 26, 2016
10. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 10)
Houston may not have won this week on the field, but they continue to win my heart. I can't remember the last time I saw an MLS team use so many creative dummies in its attack. I have such high hopes for this team, just so long as they can pretend to defend every now and again.
11. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 11)
12. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 12)
13. Orlando City (Last Week: 13)
Cyle Larin is still on pace to score 34 goals this season. Sensing a theme yet?
14. New York City FC (Last Week: 14)
What does it say about MLS and the USMNT that David Villa is the best player on his team and can't even get a sniff from the Spanish national team anymore? He's got teammates (looking at you Mix Diskerud) that routinely get international call-ups despite not bringing an iota of his productivity to the field. If I were Villa in that locker room, I'd be talking enough trash to fill a dumpster.
Also, Frank Lampard has still been unable to make his 2016 MLS debut. I get more glee from this fact than I do from the sound of my morning coffee being brewed, and anyone else with a caffeine addiction will hopefully understand the weight of that statement.
15. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 15)
How miserable must Union fans (and Impact fans, for that matter) be watching Andrew Wenger suddenly spring to life in Houston? It's sort of like after you dump a girl and she suddenly gets way prettier with her next boyfriend; not a good feeling.
16. New England Revolution (Last Week: 16)
Add Jay Heaps to the "Sigi Schmid List of Coaches on the Hot Seat." I'm not saying the Revs are done for this season, but they'll need to create a Jermaine Jones clone or something to salvage it.
17. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 17)
18. D.C. United (Last Week: 18)
Somebody back me up here. Can I get an amen?
Tell me this wouldn't be the coolest thing MLS has done in the jersey department since ever?
19. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 19)
20. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 20)
What? You expected me to make changes to last week's rankings after a three-game weekend? Please. The only thing dumber than the idea of a three-game MLS week is the guy who designed the latest batch of Nike national team jerseys. It's like they just procrastinated until an hour before the meeting to present their designs, but the people in charge were too busy rolling around naked in piles of money to care. Those USA jerseys are by far my least favorite jersey of any team I consider myself to be a fan of in any sport ever. I'd rather watch the Mets in their "Turn Ahead the Clock" Jerseys from 1999 that saw them become the "Mercury Mets." In fact, I'd rather have had my 3-year-old niece design the USMNT strips. At least than we would've gotten something with at least 15 seconds of thought behind it.