MLS’s Good, Bad and Ugly

MLS’s Good, Bad and Ugly

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 6, 2007

I woke up this morning with a bit of a headache, probably too many Sam Adam’s last night but it made me realize for some odd reason that the MLS is turning into a good, bad, and an ugly league. Each team has it too so I felt like breaking it all down a bit. Some is probably more obvious than others. Feel free to throw in your two or three cents as well.

With the top of the league is the good. Your New York, New England, and Kansas City. I would throw in other teams based on points but the west is dreadful right now and the teams right below these three in the east aren’t quite there yet or they are sucking things up as we speak (uuuugly).

Red Bull New York:

Good: It’s quite obvious, their landing of Juan Pablo Angel is easily one of the goods, maybe its Bruce Arena, and maybe it is that make-shift defense. Maybe it is really all of the above. Even giving up three goals to KC on the road last week, for once (I believe in their history) this club showed some heart in a game that they were losing on the road. They didn’t just say screw it, they said let’s get the points here. Their good is probably their heart and their willingness to beat the piss out of teams this year.

Bad: The bad is the injuries. Again, pretty obvious.
Ugly: The so-called rebirth of Clint Mathis. More cards and almost more red cards than goals this season. What is up with that?

New England: 

Good: The good is this team really, I still believe they are the club to beat in the east come this fall. The more they get out of Taylor Twellman the better. Oh yeah, there is some guy named Steve in the midfield that is pretty good too. Top to bottom this club is solid. One last thing, I think their drafting in the MLS draft is something to note as well. Finding talent and actually using it is a rare thing I think in this league.

Bad: Losing too many guys this summer to national team call ups will be bad for this club. I think they still have plenty of talent to over come it though.

Ugly: The back-line is slow getting a bit ugly to watch in games. I believe Andy Dorman is on a few watch lists of some Revs fans.

Kansas City Wizards: 

Good: Do I even need to go in detail of it? Eddie Johnson’s 9 goals has saved this club from being a total pretender to become a contender in the east. Also, really, the midfield is the reason for the success more so than Johnson I think. Probably the most underrated midfield in the league right now.
Bad: Losing Johnson for a lengthly time for the National team. I really question whether or not the Wizards will be able to score against good defenses once Johnson goes.

Ugly: It looks as though no one in Kansas City knows about this team still. I know the stadium, the team’s marketing sucks, the weather, the day of the game…I know. Still, fact is no one is coming to your games yet out in KC. Best team in the league right now and people don’t even fill up the lower bowl at Arrowhead. I thought KC was a decent sports town too.

FC Dallas: 

Good: Finding ways to win with a group that has hardly played together before this season.

Bad: The play of the defense (at times) and the play of Ramon Nunez. I really say this because Nunez hasn’t really be in games for a while now. He is out there but his play is starting to be pathetic for his talent level. Steve Morrow may need to look to switch the lineup and get Nunez some time on the pine to get his stuff in order.

Ugly: The play of Kenny Cooper. There I said it. I love Cooper and all but his play is suffering these days. He needs Carlos Ruiz badly for the most part despite what most people say about the two playing together. Honestly, I believe he is at his best when Ruiz is on the field. So far Carlos has had some personal issues and now is with his national team for a little while. I don’t think Cooper is at his best with Abe Thompson and maybe he needs to look and try to get things going with Ordoro and Cooper.

Colorado Rapids:

Good: I love the new stadium and the new look. It has helped this club so far this season to be very respectable. I also think a good thing is coming out of this trade in the off season with LA to get Herculez Gomez. I think Gomez is really showing is true colors these days.

Bad: Aging defense is really showing. Thankfully Bouna is keeping things in line behind them.

Ugly: Almost as Jekyll and Hyde as Dallas. Pretty ugly there folks.

D.C. United:

Good: Players are coming around and playing well. Christian Gomez is showing a good form and getting goals. Tom Soehn has seemingly fixed the funk that was surrounding the club in April with an undefeated May and that trend is continuing into June.

Bad: The funk that Soehn put on the club to start the season. Call it a CONCACAF hangover or whatever it was still pretty bad to watch.

Ugly: Some may not like this, but honestly, the ugly is the offense. Emilio can’t score like he did in the Champion’s Cup, Moreno only seems to know how to score from the PK spot, Gomez can score but not in any consistency, and after those three only Olsen and Erpen have goals. Where is the offensive juggernaut that we talked about this off season in DC?

Toronto FC:

Good: Found ways to win and is starting to look very promising up north. Win at home and draw on the road. A decent formula that may put them into the playoffs if they keep it up. The defense has gotten better and the offense is clicking fairly well. Oh yeah, that home of their’s is probably one of the  best in the league in many people’s eyes. They are only two wins away from tying the miserable amount of wins that RSL had two years ago as an expansion team and it is only June.

Bad: The Gold Cup could do a bit of damage to this club because of the lack of depth that they have on the bench right now.

Ugly: All of those early season losses by three goals or more still makes them look like they have the worst defense in the league.

Chivas USA:

Good: Slowly finding themselves and beating formidable teams. Maykel Galindo is becoming the toast of the west in offensive production. Makes you wonder what other Cuban exports would be good for the MLS.
Bad: No midfield presence just yet.
Ugly: The whole Amado Guevara saga. It is still lingering some in Chivas land too. It was almost so bad thought that they were going to trade him to Toronto (who at the time would trade for anyone). Will this end up being a “curse” on this club for years to come though remains to be seen.

Chicago Fire:

Good: Solid start to the season and even their most recent win was very positive. Plus the crowds at Chicago have been very pleasing I think. Blanco is coming next month and that could really help out things as well.
Bad: Injuries have really hurt this club and I doubt that Dave Sarachan is fully out of the hot seat in Chicago.

Ugly: Their defense. Even with the most recent game in their last six games they have been scored on 13 times. Pretty ugly, it was something I called out to begin the season and people are really finally seeing it too. It isn’t a defense that will win a championship, that much I can tell you.

Houston Dynamo:

Good: I really can’t say there has been too much good this season for the Dynamo other than their defense keeping them in games and even helping them win some.

Bad: The lack of offense has been really bad actually. Some games it is no where to be seen, while in other games there is just no luck to their play. Lots of shots off the bar and hitting the post or being saved somehow by the opposing keeper.

Ugly: Brian Ching and Dewayne De Rosario. Best two players on the team and some may see them as two of the top players in the league. I don’t fully know what is going on but you know DeRo isn’t the happiest over his contract and for whatever reason it is Ching can’t be happy because of his lack of form. Losing both for the Gold Cup really, and I mean really hurts the Dynamo.

Columbus Crew:

Good: They have a few points from draws? People seem to like that Schelotto guy. Their defense has been fairly good.
Bad: Losing Andy Herron for a few games due to a bad suspension hurt and then to lose him again once he return from the suspension to an injury hurt even more.

Ugly: Lack of offense. Wow, thank you master of the obvious.

LA Galaxy:

Good: David Beckham comes to play in a little over a month now I believe.

Bad: David Beckham will miss games in October to play for England. Oh and the schedule, top to bottom it is a killer.
Ugly: Everything about this team leading up to the debut of David Beckham. Donovan, Jaqua, and Cannon are certainly not the answers the Galaxy were hoping for. Honestly, they should have re-branded themselves before the season instead of before Beckham’s arrival, even though I doubt that would have helped them. Oh yeah, right now they are tied for dead last in the league standings. Sure they have some games at hand but will that really mean anything?

Real Salt Lake:

Good: They fired John Ellinger and hired Jason Kries who then shipped off a troubled Jeff Cunningham who likes to change his jersey number to the amount of goals he has in his career.

Bad: Can’t make the playoffs with 20 ties and 10 losses, as well as no wins. Simple math should tell you that.

Ugly: Can’t win a game. The more they go without winning a game the worse it gets I think, even if they are playing a bit more upbeat and positive. I think you will have to start knocking them out of the rankings in the league and put in a USL club like Vancouver to make things more interesting.