These are going to be glorified drive-by takes, rather than anything approaching comprehensive or intelligent analysis. Very, very few fates are decided in April anyway, so it's usually better to focus on what teams are doing well than what they're doing poorly.
But first, the spoiler image. Hm, the site with the sea lion sticking her tongue out is taking forever to load. How about a rabbit humping a rooster?
Oh, yeah, that's disturbing. By the way, isn't it simply astounding that I haven't won a Pulitzer yet?
KANSAS CITY-COLORADO: I think Chris Keem was the only one brave enough to try to post any MLS fantasy advice, what with all the new faces, but I've never been one to overpay for defenders. Just get the cheapest member of the best defenses, and get actual points elsewhere. I mean, you're paying $12,000,000 for Jimmy Conrad, and he hasn't even scored since 2006 - er, I mean, he hasn't even scored for about eight hours now. You're gonna waste your money on HIM?
I've read a lot of firejoemorgan.com, so I've had it drummed into my head - you can't judge by a small sample size. But now that Onalfo's Wizards have a track record, we can put this in ink - do NOT miss a regular season Kansas City game this year if you can help it. Cheer against them all year if you want to, they're equally likely to lose as win, and they'll both score and bleed goals. I love the Wizards now. Watch them every week...until the playoffs, where they will probably panic again and go into the shell. Just like Hitler in "Blazing Saddles," we'll lose them right after the bunker scene. But that's not for MONTHS.
I think the altitude might have hurt the Rapids a little.
DC-TORONTO: United had a disappointing game in Kansas City, but everyone knows that DC United has had trouble playing in baseball stadiums. They seem to have recovered from the packed early schedule a little more quickly than I thought they would - either that, or God just put a bunch of United players on his fantasy team this week.
It was the game from hell for the Tories. Toronto didn't quit - but big deal, it wasn't like they were going to catch an earlier flight or anything. I guess they could have gotten some sightseeing done, but they'll be back in Washington at some point. I thought the red card on Kevin Harmse was unusually harsh...until I saw that pitiful flop on his ass he took when he had that little push by Let Me Double Check Was It Namoff Nope It Was Marc Burch. Oh, and Harmse barely hit the ground before pleading to the ref, arms extended as if beseeching merciful Heaven to drive the curse of violence away from the beautiful game. He had a similar horrible affront to the game in a "fight" with Alex Zotinca last year, and I'm starting to wonder if a career in pro soccer is necessarily the right move for Kevin at this stage. They got any guidance counselors in Ontario he can chat with?
NEW YORK-COLUMBUS - So at halftime I gave up on the DC-Toronto game, and all the fun was over in Giants Stadium, too. Again, small sample size. But, if Schelotto gets shut down like that every game, the Crew are cold cold meat.
If Will Hesmer continues to save penalty kicks at this rate, though, I may have to suddenly wake up and pay attention to him. I forget what the record for consecutive PK saves in the league is...okay, I don't think I ever knew, I just remember Kevin Hartman saving a bunch in 2002 and I assume it's him. But Hesmer has to be close to the record now. If Hesmer arrives as one of the league's elite keepers...well, it won't save Sigi's job, but it will give Columbus fans a shred of hope for the future.
Every April, New York gets off to a good start, and every August, the NFL returns and the soccer team sinks in the standings and is bounced in the first round. How funny would it be if the Red Bulls finally do get Wilman Conde, Osorio fails to do any better than Bruce Arena, De Grandpre is true to his word and fires JCO wile Conde tells yet another set of fans that he wants out? The answer is "pretty darn funny." I too wish the Giants and Jets didn't exist, but they do, and I don't think it's possible for the Red Bulls to work around them. ("They could win every game on the road, and win the title, like the Giants did!" Yeah, or they could stink up the Tri-State area, like the Jets, or they could...whatever the Nets and Devils do.)
CUSA-ROYALS: Keeping in mind at all times that I hate Chivas USA, I was really impressed with one sequence in the second half, where Guzan had to recover from a horrible Shavar Thomas clearance right to Movsisyan. I don't know whether Guzan didn't shout "Keeper!" loud enough, or whether Thomas was just in his own little world - but Guzan's reaction was wonderful. Just a little "don't worry about it" smile. Guzan is clearly brimming over with confidence these days, to the point where I read a silly rumor linking him with freaking Arsenal and go, "Yeah, that would be a good fit for him."
This sounds insanely stupid in connection with a 3-1 loss, but I like how RSL recovered in the second half. I was nearly ready to call it a night after the Hospital Harris goal, but to my shock the Royals came right back. And they pretty much controlled the rest of the game. It would have stayed 2-1 if Kreis hadn't thrown the kitchen sink at them in the last five minutes, and it nearly ended 2-2.
Usually when you read quotes like this:
...it's a sign of a team so deep in denial that they're up to their elbows in crocodile crap. But it's all true, every word. I know, I know - small sample size. But the Salt Lake Freaking Royals are going to be a factor in the West this year.