MLS Week 23 - A boy without a winkle? God be praised, it's a miracle!

Oh, that. No, I wasn't really a scheduled speaker at the DNC. Shame, too, because if I had gotten back on Tuesday like I thought, I would have been given the perfect opportunity to make a "I was bumped for some dude with a fricking BRAIN TUMOR!" joke. The next day, it could have been "some chick in an orange pantsuit!" But, no.

Anyway, I look forward to making a seamless transition from hateful, bitter pro-Galaxy posts to "My baby has the hiccups and it's ADORABLE!" posts.

To make up for the absence, new Power Rankings! for the first time in forever, and this one has a point. Cle Kooiman, and it's amazing to me that I might need to explain to some of our younger readers who he is, once said that the team that fouls the most, wins. Logically, that should show up in the Power Rankings! Let's find out.

Foul Stats, 2008:
1. Bizarro Chivas: 362 committed, 284 suffered, +78 (team leader: Atiba "Hospital" Harris - his 50 leads the league)
2. New York: 293 committed, 240 suffered, +53 (team leader: Kevin "Killer" Goldthwaite, 31)
3. San Jose: 270 committed, 233 suffered, +37 (team leaders: Ramiro "Thunder" Corrales and Ronnie "Lightning" O'Brien, 29)
4. Real Salt Lake: 279 committed, 247 suffered, +32 (team leader: Javier "I Can't Believe It's Not Dema" Morales, 31)
5. DC United: 277 committed, 262 suffered, +15 (team leader: Fred aka "Knuckles", 39)
6. Los Angeles: 271 committed, 256 suffered, +15 (team leaders: Ely "Rookies Don't Get Nicknames" Allen and Alvaro "This Is Literally The Only Contribution I Make" Pires, 25)
7. Toronto: 236 committed, 225 suffered, +9 (team leader: Carl "I Still Play For This Team?" Robinson, 36)
8. Houston: 278 committed, 278 suffered, +0 (team leader: Bobby "No, Eddie Robinson is EIGHTH ON THE TEAM In This Stat, Can You BELIEVE It?" Boswell, 31)
9. FC Dallas: 251 committed, 266 suffered, -15 (team leader: Andre "Okay, I'll Show Up For Work" Rocha, 37)
10. Colorado: 241 committed, 269 suffered, -28 (team leader: Nick "I Lead The Rapids In This Stat Because Ihemelu Has Only Played 13 Games" LaBrocca, 25)
11. Chicago: 235 committed, 268 suffered, -33 (team leader: Gonzalo "I Lead The Fire In This Stat Because Armas Retired" Segares, 32)
12. Kansas City: 219 committed, 265 suffered, -46 (team leader: Kurt "Wow, Maybe This Team Does Miss Nick Garcia" Morsink, 26)
13. New England: 247 committed, 306 suffered, -59 (team leader: Shalrie "Who Else Was Gonna Lead This Team In Fouls? Avery John Was Cut" Joseph, 31)
14. Columbus: 230 committed, 290 suffered, -60 (team leader: Alejandro "Wait, Offsides Counts As A Foul?" Moreno, 27)

So not only does the Kooiman Doctrine lie in ruins, it seems like Peter Nowak might have been onto something about the mental hospital.

This weekend's full slate of fun:

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN CUP IS ON A FRIDAY, FOR APPARENTLY NO DAMN GOOD REASON SINCE UTAH IS AT MICHIGAN THIS WEEKEND, AND YES I CHECKED, THERE'S NOTHING ON THE STADIUM CALENDAR FOR TOMORROW, SO MAYBE THEY THINK EVERYONE'S OUT OF TOWN FOR LABOR DAY? BUT THEN WHY IS ANYONE PLAYING TOMORROW? THIS LEAGUE, MAN, THIS LEAGUE. AND GARBER'S BLOG IS ABOUT SCHEDULING THIS WEEK, THAT'S WHAT'S FREAKY
Sorry, felt like having the title be longer than the actual preview. Because there are two games in the RMC at the Dickhouse, the Raps will win the RMC. They should really balance the schedules in the division. And Garber's blog is about scheduling this week, that's what's freaky. The Royals are invincible at the Rice Bowl, though, so this is the week the RMC evens up. New coach or no, the Rapids aren't going to turn it around this soon. Lakers, 2-1, and yes I'm aware of how RSL fans will feel about THAT nickname.

UNITED v. RED BULLS
OOOOH, this one should be good. Now, the outside issue here is whether either team DARES win - fifth place in the East, and MLS Cup, is at stake, and NO I'm not kidding about this, you think New York is concerned about facing Houston in the first round? On the other hand, beating DC United like that brought new life to the franchise. And while I haven't been perusing the DC boards as much as I should have been this week, I'm gonna take a wild guess that they'd just as soon stick it to the bovines, even if it costs them fifth place. 1-1, with fouls galore. Is DCU outdrawing the Nationals yet?

REVOLUTION v. GALAXY
Joe Public, huh? Okay. I remember the first time I heard of that team, and then I learned that Jack Warner owned them. What a letdown. See, you have to learn about teams before you decide they're supportable. I assume Bill has been all over that, though. Nicol brought up scheduling concerns, which annoys me, it really does. Playing these extra games is a reward, Coach. If you don't want to play in a continental championship, lose. You know, like the Open Cup. That may literally be Nicol's thinking, though - historically, New England has been the worst CONCACAF team around, because They Just Didn't Care. We'll see if they get their heads right next week. Oh, this game? Revs, 4-0.

THE OTHER LAMAR HUNT CUP
Is there one contested between the Crew and the American FC? Shouldn't there be? Maybe not, by all accounts Mr. Hunt hated the idea of this kind of adulation. I do like that the teams wear his initials, though. Dallas has made a bunch of changes recently, and it looks as if Hyndman is whipping this team into shape. Why am I sensing a 2-0 road win for the Crew, then? Beats me.

EARTHQUAKES v. WIZARDS
Jimmy Conrad's homecoming! And a good time for me to give up on the Wizards, because after they lose this one it's over. San Jose's going to win this, and make a serious playoff run. Well, serious by Western Conference standards. San Jose, 2-0.

BIZARRO CHIVAS v. TORONTO
Tauro FC, huh? Here's the thing about every continental championship - every cute little team you've only just now heard of is a freaking horrible bully at home. Either they're richer than everyone else in the country, or the dictator orders their opponents to lose, or both. So cheering for gutty little underdogs who play in Rod Carew Stadium sounds great thousands of miles away, but it's like some guy in Panama City picking the Dallas Cowboys just because they're famous. Oh, this game? I wouldn't watch this POS if it were being played in my kitchen. 0-0. Yeah, sure, Ruiz will be clutch.

DYNAMO v. FIRE
The Houston Dynamo Bandwagon pretty much did a Challenger last week in Giants Stadium, giving hope to fans everywhere who want the Western Conference winner to finish at or below .500. The Fire are a remarkably good road team, they've got both Blanco and McBride, and they've had ten days' rest. But while they've only lost once in their last nine league games, it's not like that's been impressive. Those last nine games: win at Los Angeles, loss to schizoid DC United, fairly flukey win at New England, win vs. CUSA, scoreless tie at Kansas City, scoreless tie at home to Salt Lake, win vs. Toronto, tie at Columbus, win vs. Toronto. The Crew road tie is the most impressive result of the while string. And the Breathalyzer has been worthless recently. Houston became the latest West leader to lose a game, and I should know better than to back them again, but I think they're better than the Fire right now. Houston, 1-0.