You know, it gets so tempting to make broad generalizations about East v. West some times. And when you look at the bottom of the league, you do have three clear poor teams in the East rather than just one in the West, but you also then have weeks like last week where the East seemed to win every matchup with the West. Well, other than New England….
But with Seattle in a tailspin, and our lack of confidence in Vancouver and hesitation with Sporting Kansas City, we still will not have a “Quality” grouping, although the addition of Steven Gerrard to a Galaxy side that has been pretty solid of late might give us something to think about.
As a reminder, we list the team’s Pace number (against the barometer that teams win at home and tie on the road) and points per game average after their name as those are some key statistics we look at to wash out scheduling anomalies such as number of games or imbalance between home and away matches.
1 (3) Vancouver Whitecaps (-2, 1.78). Once again, the British Colombians have made it to the top of the rankings, in large part due to a road victory against an East Coast team. It seems like the schedule has really helped them out some, but then again, they are winning games on the road consistently, which is hard to do no matter the circumstances.
2 (2) Sporting Kansas City (-7, 1.69). Another solid result and this team keeps on rebuilding their resume. It is going to be interesting to see how things play out, but Peter Vermes’ boys may just prove themselves once they get a chance to play a full speed Seattle or Galaxy.
3 (4) D.C. United (-7, 1.75). While we can look askance at United for their opponents some times, like Vancovuer, they consistently get results.
4 (6) Portland Timbers (-7, 1.56). That mid-week result against Los Angeles was tough, but then they turned around and pasted the reeling Sounders. Its awkward because LA has not justified moving up higher just yet, but clearly Seattle needs to drop.
5 (1) Seattle Sounders (-6, 1.61). The lack of Dempsey and Martins is really hurting this team, and that will not change any time soon. Can they keep themselves relevant in the West until those two superstars return?
6 (8) San Jose Earthquakes (-5, 1.56). Although LA had to play a midweek match against Portland, this is still a solid result and extends our confidence that Dom Kinnear has turned this team into more than just a good team – they have the potential to do some real damage.
7 (7) FC Dallas (-7, 1.53). What a dominant win against their in-state rivals. And did we see the return of Mauro Diaz as Dallas’ midfield maestro? One game does not a trend make, but there certainly was a lot of danger out there with a solid defense and the homegrown double pivot giving Diaz and Castillo a solid base to work from.
8 (6) Toronto FC (-4, 1.53). For a team that now has a chance to make hay with a lot of home games, they sure seems willing to waste it often enough. Now can they survive July without their Gold Cup participants?
9 (9) Los Angeles Galaxy (-12, 1.40). Just when you got the sense that the Galaxy was getting it all together – and they may very well be – they have the tough loss at San Jose on the weekend. Now the question is how they deal with the loss of Gold Cup participants, but also how they integrate Steven Gerrard.
10 (10) New York Red Bulls (-9, 1.44). Their solid win was not as big as LA’s pummeling of Portland, and right now it sure seems like anyone can beat NYCFC. That being said, it was a good week for Dax and his crew.
Good But Not Great
11 (13) Orlando City SC (-11, 1.35). Another solid result to show they are not just another expansion team. They have more work to do to overcome earlier issues, but make no mistake, there is enough quality on this roster to be a challenge for opponents, and it appears they are starting to figure out how to do that.
12 (14) Houston Dynamo (-11, 1.35). An embarrassing loss to Dallas probably does not appear to be worthy of moving up, but while Columbus had a good week, it was against other teams that are really falling back. But make no mistake, this was not a good week for the Dynamo.
13 (15) Columbus Crew (-14, 1.24). It will take a little more work for the Crew to work their way out of the hole they dug for themselves, but weeks like this one certainly will help.
14 (12) Real Salt Lake (-14, 1.22). Just when we thought Jeff Cassar’s team was getting out of its rut, they drop an egg like last week.
15 (11) New England Revolution (-15, 1.26). The free fall is real, Revs fans. Very real. And there does not appear to be a parachute nearby – at least not one large enough to keep New England from dropping so far out of the race for the top that even the return of Jermaine Jones will help.
16 (16) Montreal Impact (-8, 1.29). It was not a horrid week, but salvaging a tie at Philadelphia is not exactly something to write home about.
The Ugly Stick
17 (20) Philadelphia Union (-20, 1.00). In this quadrant, any success leads to significant movement, even if you have the worst Pace number. And if you beat a good team like Seattle, even though they are severely hamstrung, it puts you to the top of the list, although it is not much of an accomplishment.
18 (18) Colorado Rapids (-18, 0.88). We are giving the Rapids a little credit because they had to play both games on the road against Orlando and Sporting. The former is proving to be an above average expansion team, and the latter is flirting with the top of the league.
19 (17) New York City FC (-18, 1.00). And just like that, the success the team had been having goes out the window – against a cross town “rival” that had played RSL mid-week. Lampard and Pirlo better figure out how to work with their teammates fast, otherwise they will resemble their MLB counterparts – large salary for little result.
20 (19) Chicago Fire (-17, 0.93). Maybe a bit tough to expect Chicago to do well against D.C., but its a home game, folks. You are not going to get out of the gutter losing at home.