Monday, August 20, 2007

Lightning Bolt Rankings

1. D.C. United (10-6-3). Emilio's the real deal, but Moreno's fallen off badly.
2. New England (11-5-6). Made up for potentially damaging loss at Rapids with clutch win in K.C.
3. Houston (11-7-4). SuperLiga exit may have injected life into league campaign.
4. Chivas USA (9-6-3). If this team can maintain their level of play on the road, watch out.
5. FC Dallas (11-7-3). Sometimes, this team looks like world beaters. Other times, they just look average.
6. New York (10-7-3). Angel, Altidore score twice, Mathis has tremendous goal in epic victory.
7. Kansas City (8-7-5). Tumbling out of Eastern penthouse.
8. Chicago (6-8-5). Blanco-Wanchope-Rolfe could guide Chicago to playoffs...
9. Columbus (6-7-8). ... at Crew's expense.
10. Colorado (6-9-6). Signs of life in Colorado after all.
11. Toronto FC (5-11-5). Toronto lost their offense somewhere on their month-long road trip.
12. Los Angeles (3-8-5). Got one point from four-game Eastern swing.
13. Real Salt Lake (2-10-6). Didn't take long for them to fall back into cellar.


Anonymous said...

LB and AC:

What is the deal with your expansion poll. Omitting Portland is an unjustifiable slip-up.

I don't even feel the need to justify the arguments for Portland's inclusion, they are so many--especially compared to some of the othe cities that have little history in American soccer as compared to Portland


A.C. said...

Similar arguments could be made for Montreal, Rochester, or Ft. Lauderdale, but those cities weren't included in the poll either. I decided to go with cities that seem to be actively campaigning for an MLS team. Portland appears more dormant in this regard, especially since Keston, who has the right to bid for an MLS team in either Seattle or Portland, has said he is leaning towards Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Well I respectfully disagree with you AC, your argument doesn't hold water.

First, Keston's exclusive Northwest negotiating rights have expired.

Second, Portland is the 18th largest metro market in the US and as such is the only market with only one major league franchise.

Third, historically, Portland has supported not only the Timbers with fervor and passion (are in the upper reaches of the USL in attendance year in and year out), but as a community Portland has been Pioneers in the women's game. The UP programs have been passionately supported. You also have to look at Men's World Cup Qualifiers, which were sold out and raucos a few years back; and Women's World Cup which was sold out.

Fourth, it's ridiculous and a disservice to Northwest residents everywhere to lump Seattle and Portland as one entity. We are the same geographic distance as say Boston is to New York, but the continued lumping together of both markets is wrong. Likewise Houston is not Dallas, there shouldn't be an either or.

Last, I will add that as the corporate headquarted of both Nike and Adidas, a Portland franchise is a nice interwover fit. The current ownership group of the Portland Timbers, Merrit Paulson, has actively discussed expansion with Don Garber, he attended the MLS All-Star game in his suite.

Cleveland, Atlanta, Las Vegas, or any Floridian city don't even come close to Portland.

Here is a link to photos I recently posted here courtesy of Soccer City USA, and Allison Andrews. Pictured are game photos and crowd shots of a recent Chivas vs. Club America Legends game. I might add that the crowd was very Latino and there was not a heck of a lot of crossover with regular Timber crowds. Attendance for three successive nights of football: Thurday Timbers (8.6K); Friday Chivas vs. America (15K); Saturday Timbers (8.5K); Portland as a whole drew over 32,000 fans. Chivas vs. America drew 15K.
That puts a lot of MLS teams to shame.


briguy said...


Where do you get your W/L/D data from? RBNY is 10/7/3 according to

I can't argue too much with their current ranking, though I'd put them at 4 or 5. Of course, my opinion's biased, and the game on Wed. sets up to be one of the biggest league games of the year, for multiple reasons.

I haven't chimed in yet on Saturday night's epic match; still trying to process everything.

Easily the best MLS game I've ever seen...

A.C. said...

You're right, Keston's rights did expire last month, but he still seems the furthest along in securing an MLS team.

Anonymous said...

AC, there are some logical irregularities with your reasoning for excluding Portland.

You argue that Portland is "dormant" but you offer no proof other than to suggest Keston is further and prefers Seattle.

Regarding Keston, he's not even the front runner in Seattle anymore. So how could he be "further along" as you suggest. As soon as his exclusive rights expired he got squeezed out. In Seattle, there are two groups which have leapfrogged Keston, who has not been well received for trying to play 2 cities off of each other.

Why even offer a poll to readers if you falsely base expansion on ownership groups which you know of or are unaware as is the case in Portland.

Frankly, a well respected soccer journalist such as you should know Portland is a stronger contender than Las Vegas, Atlanta, Cleveland, Vancouver, or any other city. Miami can't even support the Marlins and their MLS and USL teams are complete busts. Miami FC averages 800 fans a game.

A.C. said...

Unlike our first poll, where the SuperLiga teams were set, this one was a judgment call. I've never claimed to be all-knowing, but the info I've picked up, (admittedly, a lot of it is hearsay, which is why I haven't written an article on it yet) gave me the distinct impression that Seattle was the more viable Northwest option.

I've been wrong before - I certainly didn't see Salt Lake coming. I thought San Antonio was far more likely.

A.C. said...

Also, USL numbers don't necessarily mean an MLS team is on the way. Toronto didn't have great USL attendance numbers, and look at their team now.

L.B. said...

Thanks for the catch, briguy. I think it was some sort DC mind trick that messed things up for me.

I'm glad I tivod that game. I just hope my wife didn't zap it.