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

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


[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.

  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



Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives