Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Advent of 'The Big Three?'
by Ridge Mahoney, April 25th, 2011 1:59AM

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
Video Pick: Houston's Miranda stands out with stylish finish    
On a week with 39 goals in nine games, there were lots to choose from for ...
Northwest Division teams dominate PDL All-League team    
Sounders FC U23 defender Jonathan Campbell, who was named to attend the U.S. Men's U23 College ...
What They're Saying: Osvaldo Alonso     
"This is a gift for me. When I come here, it was never to come back. ...
What They're Saying: Mexican federation president Decio de Maria    
"Our values, our principles, are above any result. In our profession, our industry, the matches are ...
ICYMI MLS: Red Bulls add to their family ties    
There will soon be a Wright-Phillips reunion on the field as former England international Shaun Wright-Phillips ...
U.S. U-23s bring in 28 players to college ID camp    
U.S. under-23 men's national team head coach Andi Herzog is holding a college identification training camp ...
ICYMI | MLS: Dynamo breaks crowd record    
The Houston Dynamo set an attendance record at BBVA Compass Stadium, while Crew SC drew its ...
USA's Road to Russia begins in St. Louis    
The USA will open 2018 World Cup qualifying Nov. 13 against the winner of the series ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"I always thought if I was in that position I would kind of keep my cool ...
Drogba and Gilberto: A tale of two DPs    
Chicago didn't get its top choice but it did upgrade its attack by signing Gilberto, using ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives