MLS: ___(#) of _____(s) for Week ___

So…in some background chatter, I decided to work a concept similar to Breton’s “10 Bright Spots” posts – check out his latest entry from today. Originally, it was going to be “5 Black Eyes from Week ____,” – e.g. five bad performances, bad decisions, or instances of bad behavior – and it was intended to give the flipside to Breton’s posts. But when the time came to name names, I couldn’t quite nail down 5 black-eye-worthy items; three didn’t feel too bad, mind, but it ain’t five. Given that I decided to add a couple secondary concepts to the mix: talking points and minor mysteries. This may change next week – hence the blank-laden title – but I will get this concept nailed down by Week 5…promise.

Without further ado, here are four black eyes plus one point of interest for Major League Soccer’s Week 2:

1) Parkhurst’s Howling Thursday: I didn’t see the Chicago Fire run straight over the New England Revolution, but I saw enough in the highlights and read enough stray comments – though Lord only knows where – to believe the typically steady Michael Parkhurst suffered a fit of the horrors late last week. Can’t see a repeat happening…but what if it does?

2) Permanent Bottoms?: Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, the Columbus Crew…la plus ça change, la plus ça sucks. Start with the searingly painful same-ol’, same-ol’ vibe that hung over Toronto FC’s loss to DC United makes you wonder just how bad things can get for the new side. Their fans are certainly wondering: and if you think the post is bad, check out the second comment…and get that guy into anger management or on suicide watch. There’s also a kind of numbness I’m feeling out of RSL, a sense that, yeah, the team is better, but how long is the damn road to respectability. As for Columbus, I think I have more faith than others, but the sound of spinning wheels were heard in the background as they tried to play their way back in against New York last Saturday. Times come when you think these teams might never improve…faith, people…sometimes it’s all you have.

3) Houston…Do We Have Liftoff?: The questions are there when FC Dallas at Houston looks more like FC Dallas at FC Dallas. We’ve come to expect defensive frailty from one Texas outfit, but the other set the gold standard for defense last year – and it wasn’t Dallas. To make matters worse, it sounds like Dallas has the greater cause for feeling aggrieved at the draw…and this was at Robertson.

4) Red Card controversy: played this one pretty high and didn’t much like it, while Steve Davis offers a rather different take in point #4 of his Week 2 talking points on So, red cards that could have been yellows: what to say? I think I’m with Davis: no, I wouldn’t have handed out red cards on either, but the players ran the risk when they indisputably did not have to: a fair chunk of fans surely feel aggrieved, but risky is risky and they got caught.

5) This Week’s Big Mystery: How good are the Kansas City Wizards? A certain heavyweight collective threw them on top of their power rankings, while others held off, unsure what to believe. Knowing how good the Colorado Rapids are would have gone some way to clearing that up. Unfortunately, no one seems all that sure on that one either.

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