You probably didn’t notice, but the MLS Rankings of Power went on a long hiatus. It went off into the woods, swallowed a cocktail of hallucinogenics, found a small passage in a dense thicket and wormed its way into a little clearing in the shrubbery. There, it pondered the value of power, the capacity for channeling such robust faculties and the question of how to then present it to the people in a safe for consumption listicle format.
It was a journey of the mind through the most Atlantean of matter — it was a voyage through the belly of Sigi Schmid, a gargantuan undertaking of driving-out-to-Dick’s-Sporting-Goods-Park proportions.
After coming to in a pool of its own strapping excrement, the Rankings of Power realized it had had its vision — it was time to emerge from the thicket and descend into the deep, strapped to the teeth with wisdom ripe for distribution.
Hey, this Toronto FC team is good, you guys. Wow, look at our Rankings of Power transform into Power Rankings. Isn't this insightful? Aren't you glad you read this?
How good are they? A continued average of 1.95 points per game would see them finish as the best Supporters’ Shield winners since the 2011 LA Galaxy, but, let's be honest, not one of these Toronto guys is even fit to drink from the same water fountain as Landon Donovan.
Much like you can’t blame Michael Bradley for not being Toni Kroos, it’s difficult to be critical of Pablo Mastroeni for not being Pep Guardiola.
American players aren’t known for their skill, technique or tactical awareness, they’re known for running hard and trying even harder, and the same could be said of American managers. They’re still a little behind their European counterparts.
And so while the likes of Eddie Howe and David Wagner thrive with new age technology and statistical analysis in the Premier League, the likes of Bruce Arena and Mastroeni believe that the best manager is the one that lights the biggest fire under the collective asses of their players.
Pablo Mastroeni on stats: "Stats will lose to the human spirit every day" pic.twitter.com/yL2umEp2Jh
— Tom (@Worville) May 30, 2017
Many predicted, with the use of stats, that Colorado’s success in 2016 had been something of an anomaly — they’d grossly overachieved, and they’d come crashing down in 2017. After 20 matches and a return of 20 points, all Colorado can say is F**K STATS, THAT AIN'T HEART!
With an away record of four wins, four ties and three losses, nobody has figured out how to travel in MLS quite like Toronto FC. At the other end, we’ve got three clubs yet to win on the road (New England, Minnesota and Colorado) and nine clubs with only one or two road victories.
If you’re away from home, don’t even try — just look at Chicago. They’ve got the second most points in the league and their away record is two wins, four ties and five losses. Just rest your key players on away dates, unless you’re traveling to play Salt Lake, Los Angeles or DC United, but that's it.
If you're a supporter that travels to watch your club on the road, God bless you.
According to former Swansea City forward Borja Baston, Bob Bradley “drove the team mad” during his 11-game stint as manager. I don’t know where he gets off saying things like that, because just look at Bob in that snapback cap! That’s not the kind of guy that drives you mad, that’s the kind of guy that drives you to an EDM show and tells you about the healing properties of different crystals.
That's the kind of guy that's got an extra ticket to the X Games, and he wants you to come along.
Bradley has reinvented himself. They said his training methods were outdated, they called him Ronald Reagan behind his back, they said he couldn’t call penalties “PKs!”
But just hold Bob Bradley’s skateboard while he coaches LAFC to a pretty lackluster expansion season in 2018.
David Villa is one of the best things to ever happen to MLS. He’s committed, single-minded in his efforts and he’s given the league three sensational seasons. One of the best DP signings ever, you can almost root for NYC FC down the stretch, but then you remember you can’t stand both City Football Group and Yankee Global Enterprises.
But that’s the allure of the Spaniard, you just want to see him succeed. But not the owners of that club.
Let me get my customized lil’ MNUFC soap box out here for this one.
Ahem. I’ve always known that international duty can decimate MLS squads for long periods of time. However, I never knew just how f**king unsporting and hilariously devaluing it was for MLS as a whole until this season.
For any expansion team, squad depth is terrible. It's atrocious. Especially when your highest paid player, Vadim Demidov, turns out to be a sack of potatoes disguised as a Norwegian international.
But when you build a roster out of CONCACAF internationals as an expansion club, the league actively screws you for four or five match weeks.
The 2017 Caribbean Cup, the 2017 Copa Centroamericana, the 2017 Gold Cup and 2018 World Cup qualifying have conspired to rob us of starters Kevin Molino, Francisco Calvo, Johan Venegas, Jermaine Taylor and Rasmus Schuller for various periods of time. It's bogus, and this has affected other clubs too. . .I just think I've already made my point, you know. . .why do they keep taking Francisco Calvo away from us??
We love Andre Blake. More than any other site out there right now, we love Andre Blake. When he lacerated his hand in the Gold Cup final and needed seven stitches, the entire office went into the kitchen, found the biggest knife we could, made a blood oath with each other about our appreciation of Blake's goalkeeping talent and then applied Scotch tape to the wounds. We love Andre Blake.
“But buddy, they're not even in MLS!”
The only thing keeping FC Cincinnati off the top spot here is the two things ahead of them, but even then, there’s still not a whole lot of sound rational behind that. Trust me. Maybe they could and should be number one.
FC Cincy have captivated a small but boisterous part of the nation with their run to the US Open Cup semifinals. They dumped out in-state rivals Columbus Crew before ruining World Cup aspirations for the Chicago Fire. They then defeated a David Beckham-less Miami FC.
It’s been the best story in American soccer this year (obviously not counting Christian Pulisic), and they’ll host the NY Red Bulls on Tuesday, August 15 in front of 40,000 at Nippert Stadium.
With two goals in 17 matches, the sophomore slump has hit JmoSmooth13 pretty hard. But America’s favorite butt naked angel bottom just doesn’t know when he should well and truly stop scoring goals, so he won us the Gold Cup.
“Ah horse shit, this is the second item in a row that has nothing to do with MLS!” you say. This has everything to do with MLS — this has everything to do with all of us. Jordan Morris is all of us, he’s the child inside us all that doesn’t want to go to the office, that just wants to be free and grow up to be a choo choo train man. That's power.