Dear Orlando City fan,
I'm sure you have lots of problems with the Professional Referee Organization and its affiliated referees. I feel your pain. However, as I've argued in this very space recently, I don't believe that we should hold Major League Soccer or its on-field officials to any standard that they are so obviously incapable of reaching. Let's embrace it. MLS refs suck, but hey, at least you had a really exciting finish to a game your team should have won! Look on the bright side! Orlando is in the East and probably won't need those measly extra two points in the end anyway!
1. FC Dallas (Last Week: 1)
Business as usual for Dallas this week, which means three things:
- Dallas won
- Dallas looked impressive
- Almost no one was there to see it
Now, I'm not from the area -- so I'm super ignorant as to how Frisco actually relates to DFW -- but I know that if I lived if Fort Worth, I probably wouldn't feel like going almost an hour out of my way, through tolls, to go see FC Dallas play.
2. Real Salt Lake (Last Week: 4)
RSL is the only undefeated team left in MLS. I'll repeat that: RSL is the only undefeated team left in MLS. It's week 7 and the team from Utah hasn't lost after a month and a half of MLS play. RSL's GM Craig Waibel has put his name in the ring for the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year Award (yes, that is a thing).
3. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 3)
Drogba scored for Montreal. Sure that's news, but the bigger story is that Montreal appears to have the talent and depth to give them serious staying power in the contenders conversation.
4. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2)
Two losses in a week for Kansas City. Regardless, this team will be fine in the long run. I'm not certain if Peter Vermes knows his best lineup, or rather if he's been able to unleash it upon the world yet.
5. LA Galaxy (Last Week: 5)
LA started to look the way a lot of folks expected them to this week, and Steven Gerrard had what might be his best game with the Galaxy sash across his chest. All without the services of Nigel de Jong (of leg-breaking fame) and Robbie Keane.
6. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 18)
I've been writing this column since the start of last season and I don't think in that span a team has ever jumped 12 spots in one week. Colorado continues to defy my expectations by winning. After the first week of action, it appears The Jermaine Jones Experience: Rocky Mountain Edition is going to be a massive hit. I don't know what I'll do if I can't keep making jokes about Pablo Mastroeni. Frankly, I'm at a loss for words about the Rapids.
Our friends over at Burgundy Wave aren't though:
Man, this whole "scoring two goals in a game" thing is awesome #Rapids96— Burgundy Wave (@Burgundywave) April 17, 2016
7. San Jose Earthquakes (Last Week: 7)
8. Orlando City (Last Week: 7)
I think we're going to retire the "Cyle Larin is on pace for X goals" bit until further notice. If you need my ego, it'll be in the bathroom crying in a pair of cutoffs. Like this:
9. Toronto FC (Last Week: 8)
Despite impressively winning its second road game of the season, TFC drops as a result of Colorado's ascension into the top 10. On the bright side, Toronto is halfway to its entire road-win total from last season and is one point away from matching its season-opening road trip from a year ago. Trips to Montreal and then Portland await before the Reds take the field at a newly roofed BMO Field.
10. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 9)
The Champs recorded their second victory of the season this week, but get bumped because of my aforementioned lack of respect for a Colorado team that is trying its best to appear legit. Admittedly not the ideal start to a championship defense, but Portland certainly will try to grab hold of some of last season's magic that is probably hiding somewhere in Liam Ridgewell's beard.
11. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 11)
Philly is a really good candidate for "Jekyll and Hyde Team of the Year" so far. I have no idea if they'll remain that way by season's end.
12. Seattle Sounders (Last Week: 17)
Undefeated in three straight for Seattle. If the young core of Jordan Morris (who scored this week), Oalex Anderson (who has scored against the USA) and Cristian Roldan can grow together and improve around the Dempsey, Seattle might not be out of the argument yet.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 10)
Vancouver's next two games will show what this team is capable of: Dallas and SKC at home. If they can sneak a victory from either of those two, I'll keep considering them as an actual team that matters this season.
14. New England Revolution (Last Week: 15)
A pretty meh draw for New England this week. The Revs appear to be just good enough to annoy good teams and occasionally take wins but not actually contend, although that will probably be good enough to make the playoffs in the East.
15. New York City FC (Last Week: 13)
The Soccer Yankees haven't won since their first game, and I blame Patrick Vieira. Not because of any tactical decision he has made, and not because he hasn't forced Frank Lampard
to come out of retirement to play, but because of his wardrobe choices. His first game, Pat was all dolled up in a nice suit with a tie and an air of seriousness about him, but since he has relegated himself to wearing t-shirts with collars (aka a "polo") and sweat pants. Dress for the job you want, Pat, not the one you have.
16. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 12)
I'm an unabashed Owen Coyle fan. I'm a sucker for a charmer in the Head Coach's seat, and I fell prey to Owen Coyle back when he was at Bolton. Perhaps Houston management did, too. Whether that is the case or isn't, Houston isn't winning so far this year after putting pieces in place that ought to have made them a contender. I'm not saying give up yet on Houston, but they're certainly not the team I think they can be.
17. D.C. United (Last Week: 14)
D.C. scores a perfect 10 on the "Teams I Really Don't Care About" scale.
18. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 19)
You can look at what I wrote about Dallas and just copy and paste it here, but replace "Frisco, Texas" with "Bridgeview, Ill." Jesus, I hate being a soccer fan sometimes because the people in charge have no idea what they're doing.
19. Columbus Crew SC (Last Week: 20)
C-Bus finally put one in the win column on a night when they were outdrawn by nearly 4,000 fans by would-be in-state rival Cincinnati two leagues down the pyramid in the USL. Not a good look for the team that plays in the supposed "Spiritual Home of U.S. Soccer."
20. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 16)
When it rains, it pours. Last season NYRB lost only 10 games. The Red Bulls are 60% of the way to reaching that total in just their seventh game of 2016. Luckily for them, and despite their on-field atrocities, they are only three points out of being tied for the last playoff position in the East, whereas it would be eight over in the West. The Red Bulls still can make the postseason, but their slow start almost assuredly means they'll be waving goodbye to their defense of the Supporters' Shield.