Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Advent of 'The Big Three?'
by Ridge Mahoney, April 25th, 2011 1:59AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  los angeles galaxy, mls, new york red bulls, real salt lake

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Once the fate of RSL in the Concacaf Champions League Wednesday night is known, it and two other teams can get serious about proving which of them is tops in MLS. New York and Los Angeles laid strong claims last weekend by pounding out impressive wins.

The Red Bulls destroyed D.C. United, 4-0, at RFK Stadium last Thursday, and the Galaxy -- humbled, 4-1, by RSL a few weeks ago at Rio Tinto Stadium -- smashed expansion Portland, 3-0, at Home Depot Center Saturday.

How those results affect the MLS Power Rankings that Soccer America and many other outlets compile won’t change the sense that barring serious runs of injuries or complete collapses in form, these three teams are destined to be the class of the league in 2011. In one case, RSL, the mantra is “The Team is the Star.” On each coast, we have “A Team of Stars,” which both aspire to be the starriest, and most successful, within the relatively limited means of MLS.

Fans of MLS Cup 2010 finalists FC Dallas and Colorado will cite their team’s success last season and current combined total of one Designated Player (FCD teenager Fabian Castillo) as proof their philosophies can work as well. But the defending champions have lost three straight and only by beating expansionist Vancouver last week, 2-1, did FCD climb above .500. If they can plow their way into the top three, all credit to them, but right now they don’t look as good nor as deep.

Seattle’s messy release of Blaise Nkufo was followed by a sickening tackle last weekend that induced leg fractures that could sideline one of its stars, Steve Zakuani, for the entire season, and leave its other star, Fredy Montero, under tremendous pressure. The Crew is rebuilding after one of the league’s top performers of the past decade, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, left the league and in any case, Columbus has always been a team-oriented operation in the RSL mold.

There are four teams, including the Crew, within two points of Eastern Conference leader New York, and one of them, Philadelphia, had its game last weekend postponed so RSL could rest up for Wednesday’s showdown against Monterrey. The Union has already beaten New York this season, 1-0, and has a home date with the lurching Quakes this weekend, but regardless of how the points are shaking out, New York is growing stronger as its potent array of talent bonds more tightly.

Whether by perception or reality, the concept of a “Big Three” is a boon for a league plagued by parity. It gives every team a standard to match, if not surpass, on and off the field.



0 comments
  1. John Stark
    commented on: April 25, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
    Funny how you completely ignore the Revs, who have just become a way better team over the last two weeks.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Gerardo Martino    
"The players have no reason to not continue trying. They do it with honesty and effort. ...
By the Numbers: USA at the Copa Centenario    
The USA finished with a 3-3-0 (W-L-T) record -- its best record in four trips to ...
MLS Talking Points: Sounders' script is same    
The story was the same for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. Another New York opponent. Another ...
Messi says he's quitting Argentina    
The lasting image of the Copa Centenario won't be of Lionel Messi's free kick against the ...
Video Pick: Another big final miss for Higuain    
Bad luck seems to follow Gonzalo Higuain into the finals his goals have helped Argentina reach ...
Crowd Count: Copa Centenario averages more than 46,000    
The Argentina-Chile final at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, drew 82,026 fans, pushing the ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Every day you learn. You learn about every individual, about your group, about the chemistry, about ...
MLS Week 16: Results & standings    
Diego Valeri converted two penalty kicks, the second in stoppage time, and assisted on the third ...
USA-Colombia Copa Centenario Player Ratings    
The USA finished the Copa America Centenario the same way it had started the tournament: shut ...
Euro 2016: Griezmann rescues France with pair of goals    
Antoine Griezmann scored two goals four minutes apart to lead host France to a 2-1 win ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives