John Thorrington’s memorable goal versus the Galaxy last season kick started what was previously an underwhelming career/Goal.com
Sigi Schmid has a team which I tipped as an MLS Cup contender last season in a position to contend for the cup a year later. Guille B. Schelotto is one of the most skilled player to ever play in MLS.
2- Chicago Fire
What is it about former Man United reserve players who face David Beckham? Seriously, John Thorrington’s long road littered with injuries and unfulfilled potential finally turned in the right direction in the epic clash last October with the Galaxy. A National Team call back after seven years has to be in offing soon for Thorrington, and it should be for Chris Rolfe as well.
A tough two points to drop at BMO field against Red Bull. Amado Guevara didn’t seem as spunky or spectacular as he had in his first three games with the club. Sadly the match was over shadowed by the behavior of fans whom Mo Johnston referred to as a “some bad apples.” Let’s hope that is all it is.
4- New England
Steve Ralston returns but this team has issues at back that weren’t apparent last season. Swapping Avery John now with Miami FC in USL-1 for Chris Albright doesn’t appear to have been a good move thus far.
5- New York
The squad with the least talent in MLS is in the top half of the power rankings. Juan Carlos Osorio is a tactical genius compared to some of the poor managers here in the U.S. Actually Osorio would do well just about anywhere. Thaskin Shinawatra, here is a guy with City ties, who would good. Never mind, I wouldn’t wish City on anyone, especially after six point Sven is going to be sacked. (six points for the two victories over Man United this season).
6- Kansas City Wizards
This team needs Davy Arnuad back in the worst way. Arnaud is one the most under appreciated players in the league and his absence is showing Kansas City’s attack.
This team has the makings of a good side. Solid play at the back, great leadership from Mastroeni and Gomez in the midfield and a potential superstar in MLS with Tam McManus who was outstanding in the SPL up top. Now can all the parts continue to gel?
8- FC Dallas
The more things change in MLS, the more they stay the same. This team is good, but simply not good enough. One thing is encouraging: the defense and Dario Sala continue to play well.
9- LA Galaxy
Well, the Galaxy are always involved in controversial games. For the fourth time this year a very poor call helped decide the outcome of a Galaxy match. For the second time the call went LA’s way and saved a point for them. Great work by David Beckham, but the rest of the Galaxy team save Steve Cronin was as poor as I expected them to be before the season.
10- Real Salt Lake
The officiating didn’t help, but the culture of losing is harder to shake than simply bad officiating. What is going on with RSL? If you look at this squad top to bottom it can be strongly argued this could be the best team in the league. We see flashes, actually more than flashes of this but something isn’t clicking. It’s also pretty interesting to note that despite all of RSL’s acquisitions over the past two years, that Andy Williams an eleven year veteran of this league remains the most comfortable looking attacking player. Once, again MLS is not that easy to get acclimated with for new signings.
11- DC United
Kevin Payne normally doesn’t make any bad moves, but what is going on with this club? Marcello Gallardo as frequent contributor Liverpool John put is looks “slow and old,” while Gomez is “the best player in the league,” according to John’s trained European football watching eyes. While I think he is exaggerating slightly on both counts, you get the point. This move hasn’t gone over big with most observers. Gallardo may have played in multiple World Cups, while Gomez has never been capped for Argentina, some guys are more comfortable in MLS than others.
12- San Jose
A solid draw at home against FC Dallas. Frank Yallop built this team from the back and they have been impressive defensively. I don’t see any reason why the Quakes cannot continue to get results in the weak Western Conference.
13- Chivas USA
Out of last place after a solid defensive showing this past weekend at Houston. Lawson Vaughn’s injury is the latest challenge for Preki to deal with, but Brad Guzan’s confidence seems to have returned. Now a healthy Ante Razov and Maykel Galindo can combine to try and get Chivas back on track.
It is not unprecedented for the a team that has ravaged the league the previous few seasons to collapse. It happened with DC United in 2000, after winning eight trophies in a four year period from 1996 to 1999. It basically happened with the Galaxy in 2003 who a year after clearly being the league’s best team and after seven years of sustained success were arguably the second worst team in MLS. I don’t think the Dynamo will be quite as bad as those two clubs but I am getting concerned. I had assumed a limping Chivas team coming to Robertson would be the perfect opportunity for the Dynamo to strike back and assert themselves. Instead it seemed the finishing problems continued and the team began to look shakier at the back.