14 May 2007

This Season Gets Older, and Stops Making Sense...

I don't usually write about MLS at large on this blog, but with the bye-week it seems like a reasonable enough time to make an exception. In short, I don't know what's going on with this season, and neither do you. You'd expect to see a team come out and put a number up for everyone to chase. In the West, I certainly don't feel like anointing Colorado with "Team to Beat" status, while in the East it's been musical chairs as Red Bull New York, the Kansas City Wizards, the New England Revolution are currently top of the heap. Yet New England still hasn't cemented the early pace setter status. Quite simply, we don't know jack about this season.

With that in mind, here's what I'm looking at in each team's next two games in order to clarify how I'm classifying the season. However, even with this in mind, a whole bunch of mixed results and we could enter the third month of the season just as confused as the second month. I'm not sure if that would be a good thing or not:

  • New England Revolution (@HOU, KC): If New England wins the next two games, they are the team to beat in the East and clarity to our picture is restored. However, even a split decision is likely to keep the picture muddled.
  • Kansas City Wizards (@COL, NE): Conversely, the knock against Kansas City (especially from these folks) is "who did they beat other than a bad United team and Toronto twice?" Well, with wins over their next two games, they can silence those voices and appear as a legitimate contender.
  • Colorado Rapids (KC, LA): I don't believe in this team. However, if they rattle off two wins I will have to approach them with an open mind, as they will have put themselves in a great position in the West. Still, the West seems like the weaker of the two conferences right now.
  • New York Red Bulls (CLB, CHI): Two eastern conference rivals, and if the Red Bulls really are a good team they need to show it. Wins here would make me believe they are Eastern Conference title contenders, but even one draw, especially another draw with Columbus, and they're right back in the "Above average or just mediocre" debate.
  • Chicago Fire (FCD, @NYRB): That first FC Dallas game doesn't mean much to me, but if they're looking to establish themselves as the alternative to New England they must beat the Red Bulls.
  • FC Dallas (@CHI, RSL): Again, one of those teams that I don't know what to believe in. Six points would make me think they're perhaps a little more legitimate, but they need consistent, strong outings in both games. four points with great play makes me more of a believer in this team than six points with some against the run of play opportunism.
  • CD Chivas USA (LA, FCD): A win against LA, who always seems to have their number, would make me believe that this is a good team (but not great). However, anything less than four points and I believe that this team is still a borderline playoff club at best.
  • Houston Dynamo (@TOR, @DCU): Houston needs three points at Toronto to confirm that they're back in play as a strong team, and another win hosting DC United would put them squarely in the challenging for conference lead position.
  • Columbus Crew (@NYRB, TOR): If this team beats New York, I'm willing to entertain the notion that they're a playoff team. If not, I think that they're a "struggling for final playoff spot" team.
  • LA Galaxy (@CHV, @COL): Honestly, LA has a lot to play for. I think a loss against Chivas could hurt, because going against Colorado on the road the specter of having only four points after six games becomes apparent. The "Super Clasico" is not just a matter of pride for these teams, but now vital for LA's early season psyche. Two losses, and I believe this team is in serious trouble.
  • DC United (@TOR, HOU): United needs four points to just be respectable, and six points lends credence to the "revival" theory. Just three points, and the season is looking officially decidedly average. Zero points, and United is back on the panic button.
  • Real Salt Lake (@FCD, @CHI): They need three points in one of these games just to make anyone believe that the playoffs are an option. I don't Kreis can expect a 2004 Columbus Crew type run. These are not easy games, but a playoff team would get a good result in one of them.
  • Toronto FC (HOU, DCU): With a win finally in the bag, anything else Toronto gets is gravy. I don't think this is a playoff team, but any additional points will tell us how pesky they can be at their stadium for the remainder of the year.

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At 14 May, 2007 17:27, Blogger EdTheRed said...

I, i, i, wake up and wonder
What was the place, what was the name?


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