It’s still early May, but the manager assassination is officially underway. The New York Red Bulls parted ways with Gerhard Struber on Monday and the Chicago Fire jettisoned Ezra Hendrickson not long after. It’s never fun to see anyone lose their job, but the first manager sacked marks something of a turning point in a season.
It’s never too early to judge a team. This is who they are, and the club is ready to pass judgment on themselves.
Now, let’s pass our own judgment.
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Previous Rankings: 1
The Black and Gold have looked so good this season that you forget they are balancing MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play, rotating through their squads and playing high-stakes match after high-stakes match that would expose any team to the most. . Well, they finally lost to San Jose this weekend. After all, they are human.
Previous Rankings: 4
Some teams play from the front as well as the revs. Opposing teams know that and it puts pressure on them. Toronto buckled under that pressure, gifting a goal to Bobby Wood and allowing New England to cruise back across the border with the three points in hand.
Previous Rankings: 2
The Sounders can come up with some pretty plausible excuses like missing players and tinkering with the system, but nothing really explains losing at home to lowly SKC. They have now gone game four with pretty underwhelming play. Time for them to find the accelerator again.
Previous Rankings: 3
Garris’ defense has returned to form with a good showing against DC, but the offense is still lacking. Not quite right and consistently awarding wins will work for now, though.
Previous Rankings: 5
Nashville Chicago sits at home with their pride bruised and their head coach on the way out. It was a “we’re competitors and you shouldn’t be here with the big boys” performance.
Previous Rankings: 6
City went to Dallas only for the Thunder to postpone the game.
Previous Rankings: 9
The Quakes have played well all season and have the results to match, but what they lacked was a statement win. Well, they sure got it now after beating LAFC convincingly. The San Jose train is now flying off the tracks.
Previous Rankings: 7
A week off was probably good for the crew after several disappointing losses.
Previous Rankings: 8
The Joseph Martinez brace doesn’t hurt Atlanta like it used to. They now dispense L’s instead of W’s.
Previous Rankings: 13
Guess who is undefeated in eight straight after beating Minnesota this weekend? Yes, the caps are real.
Previous Rankings: 10
St. Louis was going to be a fun test for Dallas until the Lightning ruined things and closed the game.
Previous Rankings: fifteen
Their CONCACAF Champions League run ended as LAFC bit them again, but the Union got a soft landing back in MLS play. The win over RBNY made it 10 in a row unbeaten against the once mighty energy drinks.
Previous Rankings: eleven
A loss in Vancouver is nothing to be ashamed of, but it wasn’t the real news of the weekend in Minnesota either. Emmanuel Reynoso is back in the Twin Cities and reintegrating into the team, turning the Loons into legitimate MLS Cup contenders.
Previous Rankings: 12
Having two young centre-backs like Michael and Ethan Bartlow is a good foundation to build on. Now they look for something similar ahead to turn matches like Saturday’s draw with RSL into wins.
Previous Rankings: 16
You wonder what could have happened if the ball didn’t come off Sigurd Rosted’s foot to give New England an easy goal and put the Revs in front, but he did and Toronto never found a way.
Previous Rankings: 19
The Galaxy were, as always, a mess, but what stood out Saturday was how well the Rapids set up capitalizing on LA’s mistakes. That’s what Robin Fraser has built in Colorado: a cohesive, sound team that won’t let you off the hook. And because of that they took three more points.
Previous Rankings: 14
Losing to Montreal is bad, but the Lions have been alternating wins and losses for nearly two months, so it was there to stay on their schedule.
Previous Rankings: 17
A loss in Charlotte keeps the Pigeons still winless on the road and two more away from New York.
Previous Rankings: twenty
A loss to Cincy has us wondering again where DC can get a little more quality to push them into a comfortable playoff team, but consider where this club was at this time last season. We were talking about how bad they could be, not how good they could be. Things are moving in the right direction.
Previous Rankings: twenty one
A 1-0 loss to Philly marked the end of Straber’s time as Red Bulls boss. They keep playing decent football, but they don’t score, they don’t win and now they don’t have a coach.
Previous Rankings: 22
The Timbers are much better than they were earlier this season, but their defense is still a problem. That’s why they had to draw 2-2 with Austin when they could have easily won.
Previous Rankings: 23
The the green drew in Portland and has not won since March 11 If they can’t beat Dallas next week in Austin, expect the heat to turn up
Previous Rankings: 18
Hendrickson avoided becoming the first manager to be fired by just a few hours this season, but that was perhaps little relief after the Fire’s 3-0 loss to Nashville — which wasn’t as close as the scoreline suggested — ended his spell in Chicago.
Previous Rankings: 24
The bright side of starting the season as badly as RSL has is that there is nowhere to go and they are definitely getting better. They were just as good as the Houston Dynamo and now have points from four of their last five matches.
Previous Rankings: 27
The Crown still can’t defend, but that doesn’t matter much when they attack to beat NYCFC.
Previous Rankings: 26
Martinez saw five stripes across the pitch and made himself five. All Inter had to do was sit back and let him bring them three points.
Previous Rankings: 28
Don’t look now, but CFM is on a three-game winning streak. Orlando was their latest victim and the timing could not be better with the Canadian Classic on tap
Previous Rankings: 25
Greg Vanney has been spared a lot of criticism because Chris Klein deserves all the Galaxy-related ire, but it’s not like he’s doing a very good job either. The Galaxy are a mess in every aspect and it showed in Saturday’s loss to Colorado, which Chicharito was upset about in LA.
Previous Rankings: 29
The only thing more surprising than the fact that it took SKC 10 weeks to get their first win of the season was that they finally got off the snide against Seattle.