The MLS Fan's Decleration of Dependence: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for a group of fans to affirm the bonds which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to be fans of their domestic league. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all MLS fans are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are July 4th post-game fireworks, outstanding goalkeepeing performances, awkward cheerleading squads, and every good player from Central America. That to secure these rights, single-entity management is instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the powerless players' union. That whenever any coach becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Fans to alter or to abolish it, and to unofficially fire said coach at their own whim, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that coaches long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a coach, and to provide new Guards for their future security (Future generations will come to know this as The Andrulis Clause). Such has been the patient sufferance of these Fans; and such is now the necessity which compels them to affirm their fandom despite the league's foibles and follies. The history of the present Commissioner [Don III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, as he adheres to only the rules of Calvinball, all having in direct object the further promotion of Major League Soccer. His heart's in the right place, as are the hearts of the players, coaches, and managements in the league, who continue to improve as well as we could reasonably hope. So we'll live with it. We're fans, and can't help ourselves. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. With apologies to Jefferson, Hancock, et al. Frankly, I hear they sucked on set pieces anyway. Forgive us for the delay this week. We were drunk. ElGuzano, CD Chivas USA (3) With Ryan Suarez off to the Metros, it may be up to Guzan to get the most patriotic team in MLS on this list once on a while. How the most patriotic, you ask? This squad is so patriotic, they wear red, white, and blue, fired Thomas Rongen, and even put USA in the NAME OF THE TEAM. That's dedication. At any rate, the worm deserves another bottle of tequila after this one. At any rate, he's been awesome this year, aided by more opportunities than any other keeper in league history. Blocked another penalty this week, yawn. Didn't earn a point, but that's not the Chivas way. Robin Fraser (1) Wait, we haven't put Fraser on the squad yet this year? A beast on defense all night long in the center of defense for the Crew in the KC game. Cleared numerous balls out of danger and was doing so with Mark Schulte on one side of him and Robert Kelly, who replaced an injured Herdsman in the first half, on the other side. Which means he had his work cut out for him. Came within a depressing Marshall own goal and a stroke of Burciaga brilliance from carrying the Crew to a pair of shutouts, which is also saying a lot. Eddie Robinson, San Jose Earthquakes(1) Anchored a very stingy San Jose defense. Except for one flurry of shots where Onstad saved San Jose's (Canadian?) bacon, the Galaxy didn't threaten the Quakes' goal for most of the night. In fact, Onstad had made zero saves by the end of the first half. John Wilson, DC United (1) We've just barely left this guy off of the list twice in recent weeks, so this nomination may be a little cumulative, but he continues to prove himself an eye-opening pickup for DC. He is a very good defender, picks his attacking runs up the left very well, and is really, really fast. The PK call on him was pretty weak -- Wolyniec even admitted that Wilson got ball. Karma prevailed as Rimnado saved the ensuing PK, so we won't deduct any points from Wilson. Congratulations John, and courtesy of Steven Goff, may I also congratulate you on snaking $5K over league minimum from MLS. Ugo Ihemelu, Los Angeles Galaxy (3) It's slightly easier to contain the Revs without Pavent Noolstsey (Gold Cup) and with only half a Twellman, but he sure did the job. The best American defender for Los Angeles. When Ugo was called upon he was up to the task, and comported himself with his usual poise and athleticism. Tantalizingly close to hanging an L on the league table-toppers. Jose Burciaga, Jr., Kansas City Wizards (1) Goal of the Week candidate to earn a draw on Wednesday. Incredible pinpoint crossing that Sealy, Victorine, and others came justthisclose to putting on net on Monday. I swear my spreadsheet must be wrong that this is his first time on the list. No American player hits a more accurate ball. No one. Obviously, if Convey had been making those crosses, his teammates would have finished, because Bobby is clearly just that much better than Jose. Chris Klein, Kansas City Wizards (4) Q: What is Chris Klein doing on the left flank recently? A: Eating defenders. Hit a screamer into the far corner of the net from the top right corner of the boxl to put the Wiz up early and silence family night at FacelessInvestmentCompany Field. Besides the beautiful strike, he was active and dangerous on the flank all night and had most of the dangerous shots for the Wiz on a night when they looked very out of synch. Ned Grabavoy, Los Angeles Galaxy (1) What does it say when a coach who doesn't give you any minutes throws you out there against the best team in the league and asks you to replace what he's missing without Landon Donovan? Yes, it means Steve Sampson may be an idiot, but it may also mean you're Ned Grabavoy, who showed himself to be one of the most compelling young skilled players in the league last year, and this year, has shown he's way too good for the reserve league. The best player on the field Monday. He had flashes of brilliance coupled with stretches of inconsistency. Additional playing time might even things out - hopefully in the positive direction. Whether he'll get that playing time in LA ... who knows. Clint Mathis, Real Salt Lake (1) Once upon a time, there was a player by the name of Clint, who got all of the USMNT fans lathered up by dominating in MLS, and contributing some nifty skill and good finishing in his early Nats performances. Wait, I'm having deja vu. A throwback match from Mathis, with a twist - he actually won balls in the midfield. Got stuck in, and did it. Playing a man down the whole second half, Mathis showed some leadership, got some space in midfield, and helped inspire a dramatic tie in front of a big crowd. Let's hope he can think about this game every time RSL needs a boost - he's got it in him. It's a damn shame none of you saw it, because you'd be talking about it. Jamie Watson, Real Salt Lake (1) Hi Jamie. I know you're reading this. Good for you. Stop irritating opposing defenders so much that they get off their game and make mistakes with a 2-0 lead on the road. It might win you a reputation as a surprisingly effective player who fans might have to pay attention to. It also might draw attention to the fact that a player like you, using his speed to make intelligent runs, actually serves as a very interesting complement to Kreis and Mathis, when they're awake, by creating a lot of space. Seriously, you don't want to get a reputation like that. Jeff Cunningham, Colorado Rapids (2) This week on Oprah: Strike Partners Addicted to Punching Balls Into the Net. On a night that Jean-Philippe "Maradonna" Peguero got busted for trying the Hand of God TWICE in one half (and got ejected for his trouble), Cunningham had to pick up the slack and create opportunities. He was the most dangerous player on either team Monday, and created at least ten opportunities for himself and (to a lesser extent) his teammates. He really has an extra gear that kicks in when he has one man to beat to get to goal. Also forced Eddie Robinson to have a huge game midweek. He's rounding into form for the Rapids, and not a moment too soon. Plus One The People of London Please feel free to devise your own ways to show solidarity at this weekend's games. Keep London in your thoughts and prayers as the wounded heal and the dead are mourned. __________________ The AAXI Week 14 Contributors are Casper, Chicago1871, fidlerre, Knave, ur_land, voros, and zcgf02. Header by Casper. List compiled and edited by Casper (with input from all the AAXI contributors).