The Perils of Parity

So Chivas USA, one of the crummiest teams in the league, go into Rio Tinto last night. They play up to this season's standard, in other words, everything short of a laugh track. Real Salt Lake outshoots them 20 to 5, 8 to 2 with shots on goal. Salt Lake strings together possession that makes one believe they can repeat this year.

And, naturally, that jagoff Padilla takes the credit for Rimando botching a Harlem Globetrotters move, and it's 1-1.

Parity isn't just fluke standings making teams look better or worse than they are. Sure, as a rule of thumb, because of the structure of the league bad teams aren't totally helpless against good teams, because good teams in MLS are almost never deep enough to truly dominate.

Sure, when you get teams from substandard leagues playing MLS teams, you get blowouts like what DC United put on poor Portsmouth, but it's unreasonable to ask other countries to compete with our resources. Within MLS, you can have one player - in last night's case, Dan Kennedy - keep his lousy team alive.

Salt Lake also seems to have some guys hurt - Kyle Beckerman didn't go the full ninety, and unfortunately, Robbie Findley came off the bench. Hard to win with ten guys.

I wonder if it's too early to worry that Bob Bradley has ruined Findley. He was thrown in the deep end of the pool in the World Cup, and drowned. Eric Wynalda said last night that something's wrong, either with his body or his head. Let's hope it's his body, because ever since Bradley called him up, he's been a complete Kljestan.

Oh, yes - Eric Wynalda does color commentary for Chivas USA games now. You'd think it's a match made in hell, but credit to at least one team in MLS for not hiring a blinkered homer on their announce team. Hearing him last night literally laugh at all the dives was refreshing - we needed him badly in the World Cup.

Yes, I know, it's not as if Wynalda has disappeared, between his Yahoo webcasts during the Cup and Phox Phootball Phone-In. But it's during games when Waldo really shines. And it's not like his spot had been taken by Martin Tyler - ESPN brought in ex-jocks like Ekoku and McCoist for color commentary spots that should have gone to the Wynalda, ex-jock supreme.

So Jim Rome wouldn't have liked it. That's a feature, not a bug.

Meanwhile, Houston - unused to this kind of adversity, completely at sea, much more like the San Jose Clash they once were - go into Columbus, home of the class of the East, with the Crew making a serious push towards an unprecedented third straight Shield. And, naturally, the Crew wipe the Dynamo off the face of the earth. That's the worst thing about parity - you can't even rely on it.

Those of you who would like to learn more about league matches may wish to avoid MLSsoccer.com, because as far as the league is concerned, it's Manchester League Soccer today.