Brazil 2014: MLS World Cup Absentees Power Rankings Redux

It's happening  (Photo: ussoccerplayers.com)

It’s happening
(Photo: ussoccerplayers.com)

OTF’s Austin Fido is back with another effort to predict the effect of World Cup absences on the teams of MLS…

It has begun. World Cup squads – some preliminary, some “final” (there will probably be an injury or two before the tournament starts) – have been announced, and players have started to drift into the pre-Brazil training camps.

We are also starting to see the first indications that national teams not heading to the World Cup are inclined to call up some players from MLS for upcoming friendlies. Ireland apparently wants Robbie Keane, for example.

Between now and June, close to 30 MLS players will be missing from their respective teams. Since these are players good enough to be called up for their countries to play in Brazil (or at least audition for the privilege over the next two to three weeks), they are generally players good enough to be important to their clubs. Unless their name is Jerry Bengtson.

This being MLS, no results are foregone conclusions. Philly just proved that by besting KC without their biggest star – Maurice Edu – despite facing a Sporting team that had persuaded Jurgen Klinsmann to let it have one more run with its big guns (Matt Besler and Graham Zusi).

Still, we can now look more confidently at the teams around the league, see who is missing or likely to be missing, what sort of form the clubs are in at the moment, and how many games they’ll be playing against teams with similar problems.

And then we can rank them – from best-placed-to-succeed to most-likely-to-fail – for no better reason than it’s more fun when such claims are made.

One more thing: if you’re telling yourself this little World Cup interruption isn’t too big a deal, consider the fact most MLS teams will be playing five or six games in this stretch, and will be at or approaching the halfway point of their season by the time their boys get back from Brazil. 

No team’s season will be over by the time the World Cup players return, it’s just going to feel that way for a few of them.

 

Back in MLS by June, or gone until July? (Photo: ftw.usatoday.com)

Back in MLS by June, or gone until July? (Photo: ftw.usatoday.com)

1. New England RevolutionNew England Revolution

– Current form: Excellent – WDWWW

– Players lost to World Cup:

Jerry Bengtson (Honduras)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

O’Brian Woodbine (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Philadelphia Union

5/24 – vs. DC United

5/31 @ Montreal Impact

6/7 – vs. New York Red Bulls

6/28 – vs. Philadelphia Union 

Is there a team better positioned to profit from the World Cup’s impact on MLS 2014 than the New England Revolution? Not on paper, though you only have to look at the last iteration of this power ranking to see how quickly fortunes can change in this league.

Nonetheless, the Revs must be looking at their next five games with some confidence. Philly is awful, and not only does New England get to play the Union twice, but they’ll get to do so with Maurice Edu absent from Philadelphia’s lineup at least once (he’s not a certainty to make USMNT’s final 23, but should be out for the back-end of May at minimum). Montreal is awful, and RBNY will be missing at least four key players.

New England’s sole Brazil-bound absentee is Jerry Bengtson, who is a big part of Honduras’s World Cup ambitions but doesn’t get many chances to start under Jay Heaps. Likewise, the only player the Revs might be asked to donate for pre-World Cup friendly is Jamaican O’Brian Woodbine, who appears to have no place in Heaps match-day plans.

The Revs are in great form, pretty much at full strength, and largely facing teams with neither of those advantages. The match against DC on 5/24 could be the game that decides whether its New England or DCU who emerges from this part of the season with the most points gained.

2. DC UnitedDCUnited

– Current form: Good – WDWLW

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Michael Seaton (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. Montreal Impact

5/21 – vs. Houston Dynamo

5/24 – @ New England Revolution

5/31 – vs. Sporting Kansas City

6/7 – vs. Columbus Crew

6/11 – @ Montreal Impact

6/28 – vs. Seattle Sounders

There are two surprising things about DC this season: the team isn’t terrible, and Eddie Johnson isn’t going to the World Cup. The reason EJ isn’t going is he hasn’t been a significant contributor to DCU’s decent start to the year. He is, primarily, a goal scorer, and he has not been scoring goals.

This is unfortunate for Johnson, but may be to the benefit of DC. EJ seems the sort of player at his best with a point to prove: being snubbed by Jurgen Klinsmann could be the jolt required to push Johnson back to his best.

Whether EJ hits top form or not, DC will doubtless be looking forward to this stretch of the season: five games out of seven at home; four opponents weakened by World Cup absences; two games against dismal Montreal. Only the trip to New England offers no obvious upside.

The squad is settled, the schedule is kind: this is not DC United’s only chance to solidify its claim to playoff contention, but it is probably its best.

3. Chicago FireChicago Fire. jpeg

– Current form: OK – DDDLW

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Lovel Palmer (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/18 – vs. Sporting Kansas City

5/24 – @ Columbus Crew

6/1 – vs. LA Galaxy

6/4 – @ Colorado Rapids

6/7 – vs. Seattle Sounders

Sporting KC, LA and Seattle are three of the better teams in MLS, but Chicago will be hosting them at less than full strength. And trips to Columbus and Colorado look less imposing given the current form of those clubs.

Chicago’s form has been concerning. The Fire’s first win of the season was a bizarre 5-4 goal fest against RBNY in which more than the usual amount of things went right, offsetting what has become a familiar list of things-gone-wrong with Chicago’s defending.

But this team is hard to beat, as attested by six consecutive draws. The World Cup hasn’t brought any new problems to this squad: it has all its players available. And now it gets to play a string of matches against opponents who will be below their best. As the Fire demonstrated against RBNY, until or unless it finds top form of its own, sub-par opponents are to be welcomed.

 4. Colorado RapidsColorado Rapids

– Current Form: Poor – DLWDL

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 

Deshorn Brown (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8), Gabriel Torres (Panama – 5/31 & 6/3)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Real Salt Lake

5/24 – vs. Montreal Impact

6/1 – vs. Houston Dynamo

6/4 – vs. Chicago Fire

6/7 – @ FC Dallas

6/28 – vs. Vancouver 

The Rapids have long looked likely to suffer minimally as a consequence of the World Cup: only Marvin Chavez looked likely to get a call-up for Brazil. And they ducked that challenge by freezing him out of the first team and shipping him off to Chivas USA before the Honduran squad was announced.

Chavez heads to Brazil as a Goat. His parting gift was two goals in Colorado to hand his old club its second home loss of the season. 

The Rapids have won just one of their last five games, and play-making spark Vicente Sanchez is out of action until at least June.

But the affected schedule is kind to Colorado: four out of six games at home; three of those against Eastern Conference strugglers (Montreal, Houston, Chicago), and one against a club with a historically weak road record (Vancouver).

And the Rapids will have first crack at seeing how RSL copes without Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio and Nick Rimando.

Current form isn’t great, but the upcoming matches are a very good chance to turn things around.

5. Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver Whitecaps FC

– Current form: Good – LDDWW

– Players lost to World Cup:

Steven Beitashour (Iran)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Darren Mattocks (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30 & 6/8), Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad & Tobago – 6/4 & 6/8 confirmed)

– Affected schedule:

5/14 – vs. Toronto FC (Canadian Championship – lost on penalties)

5/24 – vs. Seattle Sounders

6/1 – @ Portland Timbers

6/7 – @ Philadelphia Union

6/25 – vs. Montreal Impact

6/28 – @ Colorado Rapids

The Caps treated the Canadian Championship largely as a reserve team exercise, focusing on retaining strength for the league.

Blessed with a slew of quick, attacking players (Kekuta Manneh, Erik Hurtado, Darren Mattocks), Vancouver has recently decided to trust them with carrying the team to victory. Two consecutive wins have been registered since Carl Robinson parted company with DP Kenny Miller and told the young guns to have at it.

There is a cluster of Cascadia derbies ahead, before the schedule offers trips to Philly and Colorado, and a visit from this season’s most troubled team, Montreal. With or without Steven Beitashour (most likely without, he would appear likely to make Iran’s final 23), Vancouver should be expecting to collect more than half the points available between now and the end of June.

image: pressbox.mlssoccer.com

6. Chivas USA

– Current form: Poor – DLLLW

– Players lost to World Cup: 

Marvin Chavez (Honduras), Oswaldo Minda (Ecuador)

– Possible players lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ FC Dallas

5/28 – vs. Portland Timbers

5/31 – vs. Philadelphia Union

6/8 – @ LA Galaxy

6/28 – vs Real Salt Lake

In typical two-steps-forward-one-step-back fashion, Chivas USA traded for a player on the brink of heading to Brazil – Marvin Chavez – and watched him almost single-handedly win them three points in his first 30 minutes as a Goat. And now he’s gone again (until Honduras is knocked out of the World Cup).

Two big questions hang over Chivas. Can the club take inspiration from Chavez’s performance without him in the lineup? Will Erick Torres, who has scored in every game in which the Goats have found the net, stick around for the rest of the season?

The former is more important than the latter right now. If Torres is leaving, the Goats need to maximize the points gained while he is still around by beating up on the less-than-great opponents in their immediate future. Dallas, Portland and Philadelphia are each vulnerable.

If they can find confidence in those games, Chivas could trouble LA and RSL in June, with or without Torres.

EDIT: Oswaldo Minda was a surprise inclusion in Ecuador’s 30-man squad. 

7. Seattle SoundersSeattle Sounders FC

– Current form: Very Good – WWWWL

– Players lost to World Cup:

Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, and DeAndre Yedlin (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. San Jose Earthquakes

5/24 – @ Vancouver Whitecaps

5/31 – vs. Real Salt Lake

6/7 – @ Chicago Fire

6/28 – @ DC United

Do good teams lose 5-0? Occasionally, especially in MLS. The Sounders meekly surrendered a five game winning streak in New England, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the wheels have come off the erstwhile hottest bandwagon in the league.

Sigi Schmid spent the offseason acquiring forwards, and this point in this season was presumably his inspiration. Clint Dempsey did everything that could be asked of him: leading the Sounders to 15 points from their last six games. He leaves his team at the top of the league, and Schmid has the broadest selection of second-tier forwards in MLS to choose from as Dempsey’s replacement.

The immediate arrival of San Jose’s decimated defense is a fortunate opportunity to help one of those front-men kick into form for the games ahead. The bigger question will be whether the Sounders can adequately cover for Brad Evans, and the surprise inclusion of DeAndre Yedlin in Jurgen Klinsmann’s preliminary World Cup squad.

Klinsi appears to be running an honest training camp: no makeweights, everyone has a shot at the final 23. So while Yedlin is expected to be back by the end of May, he could equally play his way on to the plane to Brazil.

Coping with his absence is the unexpected, and bigger test, of Seattle’s squad depth than the loss of Dempsey and Evans.

8. Real Salt LakeReal Salt Lake

– Current Form: Excellent – DWDWW

– Players lost to World Cup:

Kyle Beckerman & Nick Rimando (USA), Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. Colorado Rapids

5/24 – vs. FC Dallas

5/31 – @ Seattle Sounders

6/4 – @ Columbus Crew

6/7 – vs. Portland Timbers

6/28 – @ Chivas USA

RSL has lost three key players to Brazil – all should make their respective national team’s final 23 for the World Cup. No team in MLS, not even Seattle, looks set to deal with the loss of as many core players for as long.

Rimando cannot be adequately replaced, nor Beckerman; and while RSL has some big bodies in the squad to stand in for Saborio up front, there’s a reason he is the team’s starting center forward.

But no other team in MLS is unbeaten through its first 10 games. Such achievement deserves respect. For RSL, the next six games are largely about damage limitation. Their ranking here acknowledges their recent form as an indicator of the depth and consistency required to keep picking up points while the big names are abroad.

9. Sporting Kansas CitySporting Kansas City

– Current form: Good – WLWWL

– Players lost to World Cup:

Matt Besler & Graham Zusi (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

Affected schedule:

5/14 – vs. Philadelphia Union (lost 2-1)

5/18 – @ Chicago Fire

5/23 – vs. Toronto FC

5/27 – vs. RBNY

5/31 – @ DC United

6/6 – @ Houston Dynamo

6/27 – @ Portland Timbers 

KC got to keep Besler and Zusi for its 5/14 date with Philly – and still contrived to lose. From here,  it could be an uncomfortable ride through a crowded run of five games in three weeks, plus the Timbers at the back-end of June (for which the USMNT absentees can be expected to still be unavailable). 

Kansas City’s strength is using its squad depth better than most clubs: the team doesn’t currently have a nailed-down first-choice striker, for example. But with five players on the injury list at the moment, and the potential distraction of a Uri Rosell transfer to Portugal, this looks like a testing time for the defending MLS Cup champs. Deep or not, there won’t be much of a squad left in many more players go missing.

Were it any other team than KC facing the combination of absent stars, injured replacements, and a crowded schedule, this would be a bottom-half-of-the-power-rankings scenario. 

Edit: And now Lawrence Olum has been called up by Kenya for African Cup of Nations qualifiers on May 18 and 30. That’s three games he’ll miss, assuming he stays with his national team until the games are over. And KC’s dwindling reserves dwindle further.

10. Los Angeles Galaxy LA Galaxy

– Current form: OK – WWDLD

– Players lost to World Cup:

Landon Donovan & Omar Gonzalez (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Robbie Keane (Ireland – 5/25, 5/31, 6/6 & 6/10), Jaime Penedo (5/31 & 6/3)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Houston Dynamo

5/21 – vs. FC Dallas

5/25 – vs. Philadelphia Union

6/1 – @ Chicago Fire

6/8 – vs. Chivas USA

6/28 – @ San Jose Earthquakes 

Robbie Keane has been named to Ireland’s squad for its pending clutch of international friendlies, though Bruce Arena, understandably, does not appear inclined to let him go. There may be a similar battle ahead with Panama, who are scheduled to play Brazil in Brazil on June 3rd.

That is a career highlight for most players. Keane may well agree with his coach that his time is better spent in service of his club, but Jaime Penedo might actually want to test himself against the team that may soon be world champions.

 The Galaxy’s results have not been great recently, and the loss of two key players in addition to the absence of Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez could pitch the club into problems.

LA’s affected schedule is entirely comprised of teams with their own problems. But the Galaxy’s issues will be greater than expected if Keane and Penedo slip away for a game or two. If that happens, this middle-of-pack ranking might appear optimistic in a few weeks.

11. New York Red Bullsrbny_logo-300x243

– Current form: Good – WWDWL

– Players lost to World Cup: 

Tim Cahill (Australia), Roy Miller (Costa Rica)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Toronto FC

5/24 – vs. Portland Timbers

5/27 – @ Sporting Kansas City

6/7 – @ New England Revolution

6/27 – vs. Toronto FC 

Winning three of their last five, and only losing by the odd goal in nine the last time out, makes RBNY a team in good form. Maybe. The defense looks suspect, and just lost Roy Miller – unexpectedly, the least worrisome part of the Red Bulls troubled back line.

Tim Cahill’s absence could be an advantage: he hasn’t really made the team look better when he’s been in the lineup so far this year. But RBNY has a few too many road games, including a trip to the Revs for which Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave will be absent, for there to be any great optimism about its prospects during this spell of matches.

Six or seven points would be sufficient to ensure the club doesn’t lose too much ground to its rivals – but even that will be hard to achieve if the defensive catastrophe against Chicago is proven to be more than simply an aberrant exception.

12. Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia Union

– Current form: Poor – DLLLW

– Players lost to World Cup: 

Maurice Edu (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 

Andre Blake (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/14 – @ Sporting Kansas City (won – 2-1)

5/17 – vs. New England Revolution

5/25 – @ LA Galaxy

5/31 – @ Chivas USA

6/7 – vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

6/28 – @ New England Revolution

What a difference a day makes. On 5/13, Philly were a team going nowhere: three consecutive losses and the loss of Maurice Edu for at least four games to USMNT’s training camp. On 5/14, the hapless Union went to Sporting Kansas City and beat the defending MLS Cup champs (who still had their USMNT players in the lineup). 

So the Union is good now. Not quite. It still has one of the tougher schedules: two games against the red-hot Revs, and back-to-back matches in LA. The victory over KC may be a better predictor of future struggles for Sporting than future success for Philly. 

Still, credit is due. The team went to a tough place to win without its best player and came back with three points. That is at least worth a nudge up these rankings – which is duly delivered.

13. Toronto FCToronto FC

– Current form: Poor – LWLLL

– Players lost to World Cup:

Michael Bradley (USA), Julio Cesar (Brazil)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/14 – @ Vancouver Whitecaps (Canadian Championship – won on penalties)

5/17 – vs. New York Red Bulls

5/23 – @ Sporting Kansas City

5/31 – vs. Columbus Crew

6/7 – vs. San Jose Earthquakes

6/27 – @ New York Red Bulls

TFC made beating a second-string Vancouver side over two legs of the Canadian Championship look hard. Perhaps it was. Perhaps the Caps are about to break loose in MLS and trounce everyone, and we will all be left wondering how Toronto managed to beat even a half-strength Vancouver.

But TFC is fundamentally a team on a three-game MLS losing streak which has just lost its top ‘keeper and midfielder to the World Cup. It will have the good fortune of welcoming some bruised and depleted teams to BMO Field over the next few weeks. And Jermain Defoe is merely on stand-by for England, not actually going anywhere unless disaster strikes one of the players picked ahead of him.

So maybe this is a team with a brighter future than is suggested by its recent form. Maybe. It’s certainly doesn’t look as good a team as the one that lost three in a row, which is cause for concern.

14. Portland TimbersPortland Timbers

– Current form: Poor – DLDWD

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Alvas Powell & Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. Columbus Crew

5/24 – @ New York Red Bulls

5/28 – @ Chivas USA

6/1 – vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

6/7 – @ Real Salt Lake

6/11 – vs. FC Dallas

6/27 – vs. Sporting Kansas City

The Timbers won a game since we last checked in on these rankings, and they have welcomed a new striker, Fanendo Adi. All anyone really seems to know about Adi is that he is tall.  He could be the difference for the Timbers, they certainly need another option up front. But it is impossible to say whether Adi is the right sort of difference until he hits the pitch.

The upcoming schedule brings some potentially vulnerable opponents to Portland, and the Timbers should expect to kick off this stretch with a win over Columbus, which has just donated almost its entire defense to Brazil preparations. After that, however, things get tougher.

15. Houston DynamoHouston Dynamo

– Current form: OK – LDWWL

– Players lost to World Cup: 

Brad Davis (USA), Oscar Boniek Garcia (Honduras)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 

Jason Johnson & Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. LA Galaxy

5/21 – @ DC United

5/25 – @ San Jose Earthquakes

6/1 – @ Colorado Rapids

6/6 – vs. Sporting Kansas City

6/29 – @ Montreal Impact

Houston’s schedule between now and the end of June is arguably the toughest faced by any team in MLS: four road games and visits from two of the consistently better sides in the league. 

The Dynamo has lost its two best creative midfielders: Brad Davis might be back by the end of May; Boniek Garcia is definitely going to Brazil, and staying there at least until the end of June. And even with them, the team’s form wasn’t great.

All of those factors result in a low ranking. Houston can say, however, that it doesn’t seem to have quite as many problems as San Jose or Montreal – and can be grateful for the fact both those teams feature in its near future.

16. FC DallasFC Dallas 

 – Current form: Terrible – WLLLL

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Raul Fernandez (Peru – 5/30 & 6/3), Blas Perez (Panama – 5/31 & 6/3), Je-Vaughn Watson (Jamaica – 5/26, 5/30, 6/4 & 6/8)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – vs. Chivas USA

5/21 – @ Los Angeles Galaxy

5/24 – @ Real Salt Lake

5/31 – vs. San Jose Earthquakes

6/7 – vs. Colorado Rapids

6/11 – @ Portland Timbers

6/28 – @ Columbus Crew

FCD was sitting pretty at the top of the list the last time around. Not so much now. The team’s troubles have little to do with the World Cup: there are no Dallas players heading to Brazil. 

Instead, the club that started the year winning four of its first five games has now lost five of its last six. And those early wins now look a lot like the product of a weak schedule: Montreal, Chivas, Portland and Houston each have their own troubles at the moment – losing to FCD being perhaps an early symptom that was overlooked.

Dallas also is beset by injuries. Star man, Mauro Diaz is out for a while – at least until the end of June – and Hendry Thomas will be missing for a similar period. Kellyn Acosta could be out for longer. George John and Andres Escobar are still listed on the club’s injury report.

The team isn’t good at the moment, and many of its better-regarded players wouldn’t have been able to go to Brazil anyway – they’re injured.

Oscar Pareja is a good coach, who proved his mettle last season while guiding Colorado through a similar injury crisis. It is entirely feasible that he could pick up a home win against Chivas on 5/17, and bounce his team back to the top of the table with victories over clubs struggling to cope with big-name World Cup absentees (LA, RSL, San Jose). 

But this is a power ranking. FCD’s problems owe nothing to Brazil, but few teams are losing power as quickly – as reflected by its precipitous drop down this list.

17. San Jose EarthquakesNewLogoPrimary (1)

– Current form: OK – DWDLW

– Players lost to World Cup:

Victor Bernardez (Honduras), Clarence Goodson & Chris Wondolowski (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Seattle Sounders

5/25 – vs. Houston Dynamo

5/31 – @ FC Dallas

6/7 – @ Toronto FC

6/28 – vs. LA Galaxy 

Without ever looking particularly good, the Quakes have managed to put together a reasonable run of results recently: two wins, two draws (both 0-0 against Colorado) and just the one loss, on the road to Vancouver.

Winning – or not losing – ugly is a useful quality for a team that just gave up the core of its defense and its primary scoring threat to Brazil. Chris Wondolowski might be back for the June fixtures, but the damage might be done by then: it’s the Quakes defense, shaky at the best of times, which is the worry.

image: mlssoccer.com

18. Columbus Crew

– Current form: Poor – DDLLL

– Players lost to World Cup:

Giancarlo Gonzalez & Waylon Francis (Costa Rica), Michael Parkhurst (USA)

– Players possibly lost to friendlies:

Jairo Arrieta (alternate for Costa Rica), Kevan George (Trinidad & Tobago – 6/4 & 6/8 – confirmed)

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ Portland Timbers

5/24 – vs. Chicago Fire

5/31 – @ Toronto FC

6/4 – vs. Real Salt Lake

6/7 – @ DC United

6/28 – vs. FC Dallas

The Crew hasn’t won a game since March, hasn’t scored a goal since April, and just sent three of  its four starting defenders into World Cup training camps. Oh, and one of the prospective back-ups, Kevan George, just got called up by Trinidad and Tobago for international friendlies in June.

Could things get any worse? We will find out soon enough.

19. Montreal Impact530px-Montreal_Impact_(MLS)_logo.svg

– Current form: Poor – DDLWL

– Players lost to World Cup: 0

– Players possibly lost to friendlies: 0

– Affected schedule:

5/17 – @ DC United

5/24 – @ Colorado Rapids

5/31 – vs. New England Revolution

6/11 – vs. DC United

6/25 – @ Vancouver Whitecaps

6/29 – vs. Houston Dynamo

Don’t be fooled by Montreal’s so-so results over the last five games: this team is terrible. Trounced by Sporting Kansas City, and very nearly bounced out of the Canadian Championship by FC Edmonton, l’Impact is awful.

Since the team seems in no danger of sending players to any international teams any time soon, it would also appear destined to remain unchanged – and therefore still awful – for the foreseeable future.

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Austin Fido is OTF’s USMNT and CONCACAF editor. Follow him @canetop.

One thought on “Brazil 2014: MLS World Cup Absentees Power Rankings Redux

  1. Pingback: Dispatch: Chicago Fire (2) vs. Sporting Kansas City (1) | OTF Soccer

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