By Guillermo O'Rourke
Power Rankings, based largely on an accumulation of data.
22. D.C. United's pitch (NR)
Joking aside, that RFK stadium pitch is a disgrace to MLS.— Alex Stanek (@AlexStanek) March 18, 2017
Now we know where they faked the moon landing.
21. Atlanta United supporters (-2)
Not only are they taking a cue from the SEATTLE SOUNDERS Supporters Handbook and claiming credit for inventing something they clearly didn't invent, they're also seriously bringing into question their city's status as undisputed capital of Hip Hop culture.
We know you'd like to think your club don't stink
But bring that weak sh*t north, see
Suckas gon' get got by Crew-oo-oo
20. Brek Shea (NR)
The Vancouver Whitecaps wingback got tossed from last weekend's 2-0 loss to Toronto FC after picking up a yellow card for dissent. What the, ahem, Brek did he, ahem, Shea to earn that second yellow? MLSSoccer.com weighed in with the sort of zany, topical humor we'd expect.
19. Portland Timbers (-11)
The Timbers kept on rolling last week with a comeback 4-2 victory over Houston Dynamo. But with Darlington Nagbe (international duty) and Liam Ridgewell (sprained ankle and wastey face) unavailable, Steve Clark in Denmark and referee Jair Marrufo in no position to blow an crystal-clear call to influence the outcome of the game, Portland should be in for a real challenge Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.
18. South Carolina Gamecocks (NR)
We know it's a different sport, but beating Duke is a national service deserving of recognition.
17. DrunkenCrewzer (NR)
After three weeks, our own Drunken Crewzer's self-titled squad sits atop the GCGBAG MLS Fantasy League table.
16. Norway (NR)
Ola Kamara's home country is now officially the happiest nation on the planet.
15. Tony Tchani's new fashion line (NR)
Our role models are athlete-artist-merchants. There are less than 10 that we can name in history: Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, Tchani.
14. The Search for the Golden Crewzer
Two new Crew SC devotees were added to the mix this week. Completely unrelated: The Greater Columbus Golden Boys and Girls Supports Group, Inc., LLC does not condone the use of child labor. Nor do we condone the consumption of a fine single-malt whiskey or any other alcoholic beverage whilst getting one's swoll on.
13. Adam Jahn: Pollster (NR)
He's coming for you, Nate Silver.
12. Overpaying for old, washed up European players (NR)
Like anything fashion related, the fad of aging European players coming to MLS for one last mega paycheck before hanging up the boots hit the U.S. coasts before making its way into the heartland. Well now the Chicago (sic) Fire have gotten in on it, splurging $4.5 million a year on former World Cup and Champions League winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was deemed surplus goods at Manchester United because he was too old, couldn't stay healthy and didn't fit the system. Fortunately none of those issues should follow him to the Windy Suburbs.
11. Cedrick Mabwati (NR)
Although he never quite reached his full potential on the pitch for Crew SC, "Touch Mabwati" remains one of the greatest chants in Nordecke history. Period. We wish Cedrick a fast and full recovery!
10. #PipaDinks (NR)
We swear it's not what it sounds like.
9. Carli Lloyd (NR)
Carli Lloyd, a national hero who should have her likeness emblazoned upon U.S. currency, scored in her Champions League debut for Manchester City. Granted, it wasn't a thunder strike from 30 yards out or an airmail delivery from midfield, but her headed goal held up as the game-winner, giving Citeh the advantage leading up to the second leg of the quarterfinals.
8. Hipster Tailgate
Join us on Saturday as we welcome our sporting visitors from the Hipster Mecca of Portland. Wear (black and gold) flannel, (black and gold) knit hats and oversized glasses! Judge people who've never listened to the Velvet Underground! Make your own koozie to keep your PBR can cold! Put a bird on it!
7. Gaston Sauro's Karate Toddler (NR)
6. Alex Crognale (NR)
You're 22-year-old homegrown defender Alex Crognale. You're making your MLS debut and you've been asked to anchor the back-3. What do you do? How about boss every United player who gets within a yard of you, helping to secure the club's first win and clean sheet of the campaign, earning a spot in the MLS Team of Week and forcing head coach Gregggg Berhalter to make some tough decisions ahead of Saturday's match.
5. The Lads (⬆️)
After last week's 2-0 victory over D.C. United, The Lads are definitely upped.
4. BFFs Ola and Pipa (NR)
Penalty kicks were a sore spot that divided the Crew SC locker room (Kei Kamara vs. Fredrico Higuain and everyone else) and even the fanbase last season. So to see Pipa let Ola Kamara -- who had totally earned both PKs -- take the second was quite a thing to behold. Let's just say Pipa's Chipotle gift card is good for two.
3 In The Back (NR)
Awwww yeah boy! After months -- nay, years -- of anticipation, we finally got to see the Berhalter Back-3 in last weekend's victory. The conditions hardly seemed ideal with DP centerback Jonathan Mensah serving a 1-game suspension, but homegrown youngin Alex Crognale and veteran utility man Josh Williams did a bang-up job filling out the base of the Crewsmas Tree™ formation with Nico Naess. Will we see it again this weekend but with Jonathan? The intrigue!
2. Cascadia Subduction Zone (NR)
The Cascadia Sunduction Zone is a 700-mile long fault line off the coast in the Pacific Northwest, where the North American and Juan de Fuca tectonic plates are wedged up against each other. When the next rupture happens -- it's overdue and scientists say there's a 1-in-3 chance for a "big one" within the next 50 years -- the resulting earthquake and accompanying tsunami will ravage a 40,000-square-mile area of the Pacific Northwest, including Portland. We're talking a quake measuring between 8.0 - 9.2 on the Richter scale and if it's the high end, a "full-margin" rupture, Portland could be Ground Zero for the "worst natural disaster in the history of North America."
1. Columbus Crew SC (-)
The World's Greatest Team is coming off a massive victory and get a boost heading into Saturday's rematch of [REDACTED] with the return of Jonathan from suspension. And, as noted in No. 10, our expert, high-tech, mega-accurate simulation indicates a quite favorable result for the home team.