Monday, March 2, 2015

MLS Preseason Results, in One, Convenient Package

Then again, some things never should see the light of day.
Seeing as I half-assed my previews so very much, I thought I'd make amends by providing a service that, so far as I know (googled that shit) no one else has: pulling together a one-stop spot that shows how every Major League Soccer (MLS) club did this preseason. Yeah, yeah, "preseason doesn't matter." Well, try putting on your first show without dress rehearsal and see how that pans out (jerks).

This turned out to be far more interesting than I figured it would be. For starters, few clubs play directly comparable preseasons. That's to say that, while some MLS sides play mainly MLS competition (say, the Colorado Rapids, Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes) some played no MLS clubs at all (say, the Montreal Impact and, basically, Columbus Crew SC). Even so, seeing how each club performed against varying opposition isn't a totally pointless exercise because every club has a reputation, whether it's hailing from a middling foreign league, being a step down from MLS, or just being a college team an MLS club gets to kick around.

Now, to brass tacks. Each MLS club's record will show below in two ways: one record shows results against all competition (e.g. collegiate/fur'un (foreign)), and the other will show results against MLS opposition only. Uh, that's it. (OK, no, while looking for anyone who posted pre-season results, I found a list of MLS stadiums on Wikipedia. Neat!) Because the results themselves don't present apples-to-apples, I listed the clubs alphabetically. Comments will follow where appropriate, below the results for each club and in parentheses. Ideally, then, I'll provide enough detail to let all y’all decide what counts and what doesn’t.

(NOTE: Results that can't be found on a given team's page were pulled from the "all-clubs" preseason schedule that has been floating around all preseason).

Chicago Fire: Overall, 1-0-4, 7 pts.; v. MLS, 0-0-2, 2 pts.

Colorado Rapids: Overall, 2-2-2, 5 pts.; v. MLS, 0-2-2, 4 pts.

Columbus Crew SC: Overall, 4-1-1, 13 pts.; v. MLS, 0-1-1, 1 pt.
(All Columbus’ wins came against lower-division clubs; so, grain of salt)

D.C. United: Overall, 2-3-2, 8 pts.; v. MLS, 1-1-1, 4 pts.
(Their big, key loss came in the CONCACAF Champions League. And it was bad enough to call into question anything else that happened in preseason.)

FC Dallas: Overall, 2-3-1, 7 pts.; v MLS, 2-2-0, 6 pts.
(The wins Dallas posted over DC and Columbus were pretty solid by score-line.)

Houston Dynamo: Overall, 5-2-1, 16 pts.; v. MLS, 4-0-1, 13 pts.
(Houston lopped off some impressive MLS scalps, including Vancouver, New York City F.C., Orlando City, and San Jose...clubs impressive in the order listed.)

Los Angeles Galaxy: Overall, 4-2-0, 12 pts.; v. MLS, 1-1-0, 3 pts.
(A lot of globe-trotting for LA; they're keeping their cards close. Win came against the Seattle Sounders, the loss against the San Jose Earthquakes. In the latter's new stadium. Meh.)

Montreal Impact: Overall, 3-1-1, 10 pts.; v. MLS, 0-0-0, 0 pts.
(Didn't play any MLS clubs in preseason; that draw in Mexico against Pachuca was damned impressive – certainly more than DC’s Costa Rica collapse.)

New England Revolution: Overall, 3-2-1, 10 pts.; v. MLS, 2-2-1, 7 pts.

New York City FC: Overall, 3-2-1, 10 pts.; v. MLS, 0-1-1, 1 pt.

New York Red Bulls: Overall, 4-2-1, 13 pts.; v. MLS, 2-1-0, 6 pts.
(Both the Red Bulls and Toronto managed to play two games on February 5th; still trying to work out that one.)

Orlando City FC: Overall, 1-1-5, 8 pts; v. MLS 1-1-3, 6 pts.
(That stack of draws, apart from announcing the second coming of Chicago 2014, came against DC, TFC, and NYCFC. They like acronyms, this bunch.)

Philadelphia Union: Overall, 5-1-0, 15 pts; v. MLS 2-0-0, 6 pts.
(They lost to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. That's it. The win against Columbus didn't read as impressively as the latest win over New York Red Bulls. Then again, I don't know much about the latter.)

Portland Timbers: Overall: 2-1-3, 9 pts.; v. MLS, 1-1-3, 6 pts.
(Played the Western Conference tough, with draws to Houston and San Jose, and a win over Sporting KC.)

Real Salt Lake: Overall, 6-1-0, 18 pts.; v. MLS, 3-1-0, 9 pts.
(Might just have turned in the most readily interpretable preseason courtesy of wins over New England, Colorado and Sporting KC.)

San Jose Earthquakes: Overall, 3-1-2, 11 pts.; v. MLS, 2-1-2, 8 pts.

Seattle Sounders: Overall: 2-3-2, 8 pts.; v. MLS, 0-3-1, 1 pt.
(Those two victories came with wins over UC Irvine and FC Tucson. No wind in sails.)

Sporting Kansas City: Overall, 3-2-1, 10 pts.; v. MLS, 1-2-1, 4 pts.

Toronto FC: Overall, 4-3-1, 13 pts.; 0-2-1, 1 pt.

Vancouver Whitecaps: Overall, 4-1-2, 14 pts.; v. MLS, 2-1-2, 8 pts.

All in all, then, I take Real Salt Lake as the steadiest performers of the 2015 preseason. The Dynamo come in as the surprise superstars. I mention them in that order because, well, I expect more from Salt Lake.

Hope that sheds some light on something. Signing out.

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