Week 5 of the 2015 MLS Season starts with every team now having register a point on the league table with the hapless Chicago (Dumpster) Fire finally registering points in the previous week. Only because they were lucky enough to play a team that may actually have less talent than Chicago. The coaching is a wash, at best, with Jim Curtin getting the benefit of the doubt since Frank Yallop ostensibly has much more experience. My 15 year old son, watching the Fire/Union game with me, trolled me constantly with the ESPN provided information that Frank Yallop was MLS Coach of the Year in 2001. "Dad, that happened, back in 2001". You know what else happened in 2001, Sam? 9/11 Happened! - Case. Rested.
This week, we have 8 matches on tap, in what begins the race to see which manager/coach gets fired first - Sack Race 2015. Now, on to the matches.
Orlando City SC v. DC United - April 3 - 7:00 PM ET // Unimas (SAP Available)
Somehow, last week, I had a blackout and missed that LA was playing DC and that DC managed to win. I should get more sleep, I guess. Against Montreal, Orlando fell behind early only to storm back to secure a draw. With Orlando at home, expect them to win with Kaka & company at full strength. DC lost badly at RedBull away and their 6 points come against Montreal & LA weakened by the international break.
Orlando 2 | 0 DC - Entertainment value: Very watchable
Chicago (Dumpster) Fire v. Toronto FC - April 4 - 3:00 PM ET // MLS Live
Toronto FC, with their roster, has no business losing to Chicago, whose forwards & designated players have yet to register a single goal or assist. I'm not even sure they have managed a shot on goal, but I'm not interested enough to look. Only Harrison Shipp has showed he belongs in MLS with only Matt Polster and Joevin Jones becoming increasingly effective. Still, Toronto, shouldn't lose, but they seem to manage a way to do so away from home. Though they should only add to the pressure to rid Chicago of Frank Yallop, they'll find a way to lose and provide cover for his MLS 1.0 ineptitude.
Fire 1 | 0 TFC - Entertainment value: Zero
Colorado Rapids v. New England Revolution - April 4 - 7:00 PM ET // MLS Live
If you do decide to take in the Fire/Toronto game, that will give you something that should make this match somewhat entertaining, otherwise you'll be treated to very definition of what makes soccer boring to watch.
Rapids 0 | 0 Revolution - Entertainment value: Pablo's stache, that's it.
Seattle Sounders v. Houston Dynamo - April 4 - 10:00 PM ET // MLS Live
Both of these teams are underwhelming, but at least Seattle has the excuse that the played a much better FC Dallas team with a weakened squad and 60% of their scoring out of action. Houston is just doesn't have an excuse. They've only lost once, but they've just been unimpressive. Expect Seattle at home to come out on fire and try to shred Houston's suspect defense & goalkeeping.
Seattle 3 | 1 Houston - Entertainment value: Should be a fast game with goals.
Vancouver Whitecaps v. LA Galaxy - April 4 - 10:00 PM ET // MLS Live
Vancouver aren't as good as their results imply, taking 6 points off of terrible Chicago & Portland and getting another three off of a lucky set piece in Orlando. LA will have their full compliment back with the hard nosed Robbie Keane leading the Galaxy with his fiery temper and Bruce Arena being Bruce Arena.
Vancouver 1 | 2 LA Galaxy - Entertainment value: Watchable. A few goals with a lot more missed opportunities than there should be.
Portland Timbers v. FC Dallas - April 4 - 10:30 PM ET // MLS Live
Caleb Porter's Timbers have yet to win a game for their vibrant fans and FC Dallas have yet to lose. Nothing short of another card happy referee is likely to change that. Dallas will be back to full strength from international absences and Portland's attack is toothless except for Fanendo Adi. Expect Dallas to roll through Portland and leave with all three points.
Portland 0 | 3 FC Dallas - Entertainment value: High with a fast paced game.
San Jose Earthquakes v. Real Salt Lake - April 5 - 5:00 PM ET // ESPN2
This match will ask questions of both teams, "Who are you going to be?" San Jose return to their new stadium, but they won't be playing the hapless Chicago (Dumpster) Fire. So will they be the team that powered though playing a man down in Seattle and getting a win or are they going to be the team that got punched in the face by New England last week. Are RSL the slowly improving team over the last week or are they the team that drew with Portland and Philadelphia? I say neither and we end up with the first draw of the weekend.
San Jose 1 | 1 Real Salt Lake - Entertainment value: Average
Sporting Kansas City v. Philadelphia Union - April 5 - 7:00 PM ET // Fox Sports 1
Neither of these clubs looks to contend for anything this year. SKC won't likely get rid of the ever angry Peter Vermes and Jim Curtin doesn't have the roster to compete in MLS this season and will be a candidate for early replacement when things don't improve. Kansas City should pick up their second win, mostly because the Union are the Union, but it won't be pretty to watch.
SKC 1 | 0 Union - Entertainment value: Marginal at best.
Week 5 probably won't see either Jim Curtin or Frank Yallop get sacked, even if their teams lose and lose poorly, but if the losing continues and there is little improvement, sadly Curtin is likely the first to go.
As always, join us over at the BigSoccer Week 5 MLS PBP thread, should there not be enough snark and despair in your life.