Opening day is a particularly interesting time in sports. After a long off-season of anticipation, the opener always feels extremely important. The crowds are always loud and boisterous, with lots of pent-up energy. It's also very easy to take the opening result of the season and run it to its logical extreme. If your team wins, you think they might be the best team ever. If your team loses, you think they might be the worst team ever. If your team draws, well, there's always next week to make rash over-evaluations.
The 2016 MLS season opener is in the books, and with it a record number of season-opening goals. Does this mean we're in for a record scoring season? Let's not jump to conclusions (but keep our fingers crossed).
1. FC Dallas (Preseason: 1)
The Rootinest-tootinest, fastest, most exciting soccer team this side of the Rio Grande took care of business at home against Philly this weekend. The whole of the Internet and I are enamored with this team.
2. Portland Timbers (Preseason: 3)
The Champs finally won a game in March under Caleb Porter. No, that isn't a typo. Up until Sunday, the team that won the title last season had yet to win a game in the first month of the season in Caleb Porter's three years. Ain't MLS grand?
3. LA Galaxy (Preseason: 6)
Mike "Remember that I won MVP?" Magee played like a man that never wants to play professional soccer in Chicago ever again. He had a hand in every goal of LA's 4-1 romp of D.C., and he did so as just about the least heralded of LA's off-season additions.
4. Columbus Crew SC (Preseason: 4)
Losing on the road to the Champions doesn't warrant a drop in these rankings, and all things considered, C-Bus looked pretty good in the opener. Everything except their uniforms, that is.
5. New York Red Bulls (Preseason: 2)
Disappointing opening day from last year's Supporters' Shield victors. Something tells me this team might grow a little stale after last year's successes.
6. Montreal Impact (Preseason: 8)
Ignacio Piatti still remains the captain of my "All-Underrated MLS" squad. He qualifies as the result of every MLS opinion-head/writer dismissing Montreal as Drogba and a bunch of scrubs. Piatti had a few candidates last season for Goal of the Year, and his effort last this weekend is a (very early) candidate for 2016.
7. Toronto FC (Preseason: 10)
Last season Toronto opened with seven games on the road, won their opener by two goals and proceeded to lose the next four. This season Toronto opens with eight games on the road, and won their opener by two goals. We shall see if history continues to repeat itself.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (Preseason: 5)
Second straight season that Vancouver has lost its opener to a Canadian rival, but the 'Caps will be fine. I think their home loss says more about Montreal than it does about them.
9. Sporting Kansas City (Preseason: 10)
File SKC's win at Seattle as the first game decided by a fluke goal this season.
10. Seattle Sounders (Preseason: 7)
Have you ever been cooking something and thought, "I'll leave the heat on for just another minute," only to burn your food? That's Seattle and Sigi Schmid right now.
11. New England Revolution (Preseason: 11)
Your other (very early) goal of the season candidate:
12. Orlando City (Preseason: 12)
Cyle Larin is on pace to score 34 goals this season! My math skills are excellent!
13. Houston Dynamo (Preseason: 13)
On his third MLS stop, wouldn't it be something if Andrew Wenger could finally tap into some of the potential that made him a first overall pick a few years ago? Owen Coyle gave him the start in his Houston debut, and the former Duke Blue Devil repaid him with a goal.
14. Real Salt Lake (Preseason: 15)
Raise your hand if "Burrito" Martínez impressed you on Sunday.
15. D.C. United (Preseason: 14)
If D.C. has success this season, it is highly likely that someone will refer to them as a "rag-tag bunch." If they don't have success this season, it is highly likely that someone will refer to them as "bad."
16. New York City FC (Preseason: 17)
Hey, Patrick Vieira won his first game! NYCFC ought to begin casting his statue to be placed outside of their new stadium.
17. San Jose Earthquakes (Preseason: 16)
What if I told you San Jose won a game 1-0?
18. Philadelphia Union (Preseason: 18)
Despite six new additions in the lineup, it was business as usual for Philly in their opener. Remember when the Union was riding high after their successful first season and announced intentions to expand their stadium? My, my how time flies.
19. Chicago Fire (Preseason: 19)
If Chicago loses every game in as entertaining a fashion as they did against NYCFC, they might become my new favorite MLS team.
20. Colorado Rapids (Preseason: 20)
What's the over/under on the number of times Jermaine Jones explodes on one of his new teammates once he joins the squad in Colorado? I say 33.5.