2013 MLS Season: April Stock Report

2013 MLS Season: April Stock Report

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 30, 2013
  • 2013 MLS Season, 2013 Stock Reports, Features
Can FC Dallas continue their impressive form? (Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)

Can FC Dallas continue their impressive form? (Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports)

The monthly Stock Report is back now that the month of April is over.

Just to recap what these reports are about, they are a replacement to the weekly Power Rankings that I use to do on this blog. Basically due to time, energy and lack of motivation to do the weekly rankings, I decided to turn them into a monthly thing to give a little more context to see how clubs are doing.

Last month I had five groups of clubs listed out. One group was pretty big, and as the title stated I needed more information on them at the time to better rank them out. After a full month of play, that group should be a bit smaller with a new group emerging.

Got it all? Good, let’s get down to it.

(Oh and one more thing, there is no real order to the teams in each group, so don’t read into that!)

Top of the heap

FC Dallas (6-1-2, 20 points) – Another solid month of play for Schellas Hyndman’s team. Their two draws were on the road in games that saw them blow 2-0 leads. So that is a small concern but in both games they faced some injuries around halftime that probably didn’t help. Collectively they are tied for the league lead in goals scored with 15 and are unbeaten in their last six games.

Montreal Impact (5-1-1, 16 points) – They have played a couple games less than Dallas at the moment and the last three games only see them a 1-1-1. But, I still really like where this group is going. Defensively they are second in the league in terms of goals scored against with just five, only LA is better with four. Marco Di Vaio continues to lead the offense, which is improving with each game too. Depth is still a concern but it could get better with the summer transfer window.

LA Galaxy (4-1-2, 14 points) – I’m not reading a thing into their lone loss at Dallas. LA has the depth to win anywhere in this league and they are proving it left and right with games like last weekend in Salt Lake. They used Homegrown players and a backup keeper to beat RSL 2-0.

Outside of the top

Portland Timbers (3-1-4, 13 points) – If you are sleeping on this team, stop. They’ve beaten some quality teams lately both at home (Houston, San Jose) and on the road (Sporting KC). Caleb Porter finally has is offense clicking and his defense is starting to step it up. If anything, this could be the most dangerous club in the league right now.

Houston Dynamo (4-2-2, 14 points) – They look great at times and then other times not so much. Their home record is still going but until the Dynamo find another gear on the road, it may be tough to want to buy into them as a top level team just yet. I think they are a big contender here, so don’t get me wrong. There is just something keeping me from placing them in the top group for now.

Sporting KC (4-3-2, 14 points) – Another team that looks great one week and terrible the next. I still believe they are one of the best defensive teams in the league but Portland certainly showed how to beat them with speed and wing play. Still, to end the month on a two-game losing streak isn’t great but it also isn’t a big cause for concern just yet.

New York Red Bulls (4-4-2, 14 points) – They’ve played a couple more games than anyone else in the league. When they are on they are as good as you would expect. Health is still going to be a concern with them all season long. I do feel like they need to beat someone above them to really make me a believer though. Wins against D.C., Toronto, and New England don’t do enough for me.

Middle of the pack

Columbus Crew (3-2-3, 12 points) – Last week’s win over D.C. United showed me and hopefully others as to how good this club can be. Yes it was a win against one of the league’s worst clubs at the moment but the dominance in that game was evidence enough as to how good they can be here. Big month ahead for them with two games against New York, one with Colorado and Toronto.

Chivas USA (3-3-3, 12 points) – After a strong opening month to the season, Chivas didn’t win a single game in April. Not one. Either clubs have figured them out or they really weren’t that good to begin with. Another month should give us a clue here.

San Jose Earthquakes (2-3-4, 10 points) – The big thing here is that this group is finally getting healthy again. The bad news is they still haven’t found a way to keep clubs from scoring in bunches and from being able to rekindle their true magic from last year. Sure a late draw here and there is nice but it is no where near where they were last year.

Not drinking the kool-aid just yet

Philadelphia Union (3-3-2, 11 points) – Jack McInerney has been fun to watch but elsewhere this club hasn’t made a big impact just yet. One win in their last five is not a good sign either. I still believe they have a shot at things in the East but they need to make a run before long if they want to get into the playoffs and be a true contender here.

Real Salt Lake (3-4-2, 11 points) – When healthy they are good but injuries have been a big concern for Jason Kreis so far this season. I still think they have time to pull it together and get their mojo working.

Vancouver Whitecaps (2-3-3, 9 points) – When healthy and when Martin Rennie is using his full lineup, this team is extremely dangerous. The speed up front mixed in with the physical play in the midfield makes them a tough out. The thing is, I do worry that Rennie will make some bonehead calls with his club that may keep him around the middle of the table for the long haul this season.

Still a long way to go here

Colorado Rapids (2-4-3, 9 points) – Injuries are a big problem but April wasn’t that bad of a month for Oscar Pareja. They got a win over rivals RSL, a big road point in Houston and knocked off Chivas USA. I nearly had them in the group above but I still think there is a lot that needs to happen before they make a run at things in the West.

New England Revolution (2-3-2, 8 points) – Defensively (outside of the New York loss) they are still really strong. But the offense still has a ways to go before they can hang with the big boys of the league.

Toronto FC (1-3-4, 7 points) – They only lost one game in April but they also didn’t win any either. The draws have the be frustrating too, especially the late game issues that they are having. A move or two and adding a third DP could help though.

Seattle Sounders FC (1-3-2, 5 points) – Only two games played in April thanks to the CCL and the unbalanced schedule. Still, no losses in the month so that is a good thing. Once the offense gets going they will definitely move up the stock report for me.

Bring me the wooden spoon

Chicago Fire (2-5-1, 7 points) – I’m still not completely sold on the Fire despite their two wins in the month. Their defense is still very leaky and until the offense finds some kind of cohesion it will be tough to gage where they will end up.

D.C. United (1-6-1, 4 points) – No team is a bigger disappointment than United here. Injuries are an issue, yes, but the veteran players on this squad need to step up at some point.