April 9, 2007

MLS Power Rankings: Week 1

Something we'll be doing week in and week out, check back with us as this could be modified to include some sort of tie-ins with music, cupcakes or whatever else we think of.

Eastern Conference

1. Toros Neza (aka Chilango Fire, aka Chicago Fire)

If you haven't seen it yet, take a gander at Cuau El Explorador, a funny cartoon in Spanish from the Medio Tiempo guys about Cuauhtemoc Blanco and his pending journey north of the border.

In all seriousness, Chicago is the only Eastern Conference team sitting on 3 points right now. It wasn't pretty and one of the unlikeliest of players scored the game's lone goal, but 3 points are 3 points, especially against New England. Matt Pickens rivaled Chivas USA's Brad Guzan for MLS Keeper of the Week, which is a good thing since both are on my fantasy team.

2. Goat Food (aka D.C. United)

I know, I'm a little harsh on Shoe, but I'd have to think that maybe if D.C. had come back from Guadalajara with a victory that the high might have carried over into Colorado. All the elements were right, except for D.C.'s fitness on Saturday. Colorado's backup keeper, a less than raucous crowd at the debut of The Big Dick, Luciano Emilio up front.

But to be honest, I really think that D.C. United would have won had they not played and lost in such a heartbreaking manner on Tuesday. I'm still ranking them high because I think that they're still the team to beat in the East.

3. The Village People (aka Columbus Crew)

Not the prettiest match to watch, and Columbus is much better than this. Andy Gruenebaum summoned the memories of his days with the Des Moines Menace and pitched a shutout.

This team will only get better. Robbie Rogers stayed on the bench during the match, with Duncan Oughton (WHO?) coming in for Andy Herron in the 71st.

Plus, they have Ezra Hendrickson. Now that Chris Henderson is gone, I think that Ezra is going to set the record for most teams played for in league history. He very well could be the first pick for the Atlanta expansion team in 2052.

4. Los Toros Rojos de Nueva York (aka New York Red Bull)

Claudio Reyna sucks. Just in case we didn't mention that before. Maybe if Arena would get his crappy ass off the field, this team might be decent.

Seriously, why not start Altidore up front with Clint Mathis? A kick-ass combination like that might make me forget about that 5-foot tall pile of suck in midfield. Nice debut for MLS's first Designated Player to take the field. Let's just hope that Beckham and Blanco don't suck this bad in their first games. Someone please remind me that if I ever meet anyone from Ghana to have me buy them a cupcake.

5. Without Shalrie and The Deuce, We Suck (aka New England Revolution)

Another blah performance from the defending Eastern Conference champs. Deuce is in England, Franchino's undergoing anger management and Shalrie's learning how to play the bagpipes. If you thought Jonathan Davis was the only man with dreadlocks who could play the bagpipes, guess again.

After Saturday's sucktacular performance, I'm actually going to pick Toronto to pick up its first win on Saturday.

Shows how good Twellman really is when he doesn't have help around him. Sorry Revolution fans, Paul Revere isn't coming to save you anytime soon. If I lived in Boston, I'd skip Revolution games and just go on tours of the Samuel Adams brewery. We love our Sam Adams.

6. Tonto FC (aka Toronto FC)

Meh, I really don't think they were hibernating. Well, maybe in the 2nd half, but definitely not in the 1st. Although about the only thing they accomplished in their first game on Saturday was to make Brad Guzan look like the heir apparent to Kasey Keller.

They didn't look that bad, to be honest. Razov's goal in the 1st half came against the run of play, and they had many chances to take the lead early on. But I can't remember any good chances for them in the 2nd.

Greg Sutton looked solid in net, something we can tell you from seeing him with the Montreal Impact for so many years. Conor Casey looked lost out there and the defense looked pretty porous towards the end. This Saturday comes the first big test, with their new park opening and 14,000 season-ticket holders awaiting them.

7. The Yellow-Suck Road (aka Kansas City Wizards)

They didn't play. And they have Eddie Johnson and Kevin Hartman. And they play in Arrowhead Stadium.

About the only person who could suit up for the Whizzinators that could make me change my mind about them would be Oz. Easily the dumbest gimmick ever thought up for Kevin Nash. He kicked ass, but his stupid costume, entrance, and manager Merlin the Wizard made him lame. I remember him getting his ass kicked at the 1991 Great American Bash by Ron Simmons, something I expect many teams will do to the Wizards this season.

Western Conference

1. Goats USA (aka Chivas USA)

Jorge Vergara is a happy man. On Saturday, both Chivas Guadalajara and Chivas USA emerged victorious. Couple that with Chivas Guadalajara advancing to the CONCACAF Champions Cup final earlier in the week, I'm pretty sure that he's going to replace the water in the Glorieta Minerva with Chiva Cola.

So many talking points in this game with the debut of Tonto FC, but it was Chivas USA who stole all the headlines.

99 career goals for Ante Razov. Maykel Galindo with the assist on the goal and a disallowed goal. Sacha Kljestan with a goal and an assist.

But the big story to me was El Guzano. The dude was freaking immense in the 1st half. His saves kept the game scoreless until Ante stunned the Stupidfaces (BigSoccer mod humor there). I hope Señor Bob was watching (which I'm sure he was), so he can start giving Guzan some playing time.

One day I'll explain to you kiddies how I'm credited for starting the El Guzano name. Bedtime stories are always nice.

2. Stuck on the Launching Pad (aka Houston Dynamo)

Another sucktacular 0-0 draw on Sunday, something I'm SURE MLS and Telefutura did not want in their debut. Again, though, it was Thursday's epic duel with Pachuca that did them in.

Houston just looked flat and tired. At the same time the Dynamo were sucking, Pachuca was down in Mexico thrashing Jaguares 3-0 with a bunch of reserves.

I still think Houston will win the whole damn thing, but easily the Match of the Week is coming up on Saturday, when they host Chivas USA. Get to a TV with DirectKick to see this one folks. The Legion 1908 against Houston 1836.

3. Arsenal Colorado (aka The Crapids, aka Colorado Rapids)

A rousing start at The Big Dick for the soon-to-be Arsenal Colorado. New unis, a new stadium and the same old Terry Cooke in a 2-1 win over D.C.

In all seriousness, Terry Cooke is a man among boys. If we had an All-Cupcakes Starting XI, I'm sure you'd see him in there with Juanito Bornstein.

We also love Bouna Coundoul and his Senegalese headdress. Pretty soon Zach Thornton's going to have to head off to fat camp in order to get his job back. Or maybe start doing those training runs in the snow like Rocky did in Siberia while preparing to fight Drago in Rocky IV. Man, that movie rules. Fuck those commie bastards. I hate Drago even more than that commie chess player who was on that Saved By The Bell episode.

4. Thin & Crispy All The Way, NO PAN FOR ME! (aka FC Dallas)

The pizza-delivery men take this spot over the Stormin' Mormons for a few reasons.

1. They tied on the road. 2. Nick Rimando sucks, but not as much as Claudio Reyna, Kevin Hartman or Zach Thornton. 3. I hate him, but I have Carlos Ruiz on my fantasy team.

(disclaimer: Just because someone is on my fantasy team doesn't mean I like OR EVEN root for them. See: Paul Dalglish.)

We like Kenny Cooper, however. Did you know he played for Manchester United? Dave O'Brien came to me in my sleep and told me that he also throws a mean horseshoe.

By the way, who made this schedule? Dallas doesn't play at the Pizza Box until April 22nd, opening at Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy and the Toros Rojos.

At least now we know who Dallas' third keeper is. Ray Burse. From Kentucky. I'm trying to think of something witty, but I know absolutely nothing about this guy.

5. Fake Salt Lake (aka Real Salt Lake)

If Jeff Cunningham wins another scoring title, I'm going to be pissed. And what the hell does #90 stand for? Bofo and his head panties need to come and kick his ass. At least #100 is cool. But #90? Geez.

Can we start the campaign to get Scott Garlick to unretire? The Mormon ladies need some gray-haired loving, plus Nick Rimando looked like crap out there.

He looked even crappier than the field on Saturday. They're going to be Fake Salt Lake until they get a new stadium, cause those football lines IN EARLY APRIL look extremely stupid, not to mention the fact that you can barely see the touchlines and have about 5 centimeters of space on throw-ins.

Didn't see much out of Freddy Adu either, and now the Stormin' Mormons are the oldest franchise in MLS left without an Opening Day victory thanks to Colorado's win.

6. Los Angeles Stoners (aka Los Angeles Galaxy)


The Gals should have taken this one, and they'll be kicking themselves that they didn't. They won't have a better chance to beat Houston at home.

Oh wait, isn't some guy from England coming in July? He's OK, from what I hear.

A good save from Pat Onstad on Landon Donovan in the first half was the best chance for the Gals, but with Ryan Cochrane's red card and an obviously-tired Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles should have had the three points.

I might have to watch Thursday's match against FC Dallas with the mute button on, as I'm sure Dave O'Brien will bring up Beckham at least 20 times.

Well, it's 3:30 a.m. Eastern time here, so I'm going to head out. For folks in MLS towns, GET YOUR ASSES TO THE GAMES! Some of the crowds this weekend made me want to puke. If I can sit in below freezing weather in the nether regions of the North Bank to see Arsenal at Highbury, you can get out there too.

Unless that Claudio Reyna guy is playing, if that's the case, don't waste your money.

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