By Guillermo O'Rourke
Power Rankings, based largely on an accumulation of data.
The first week of the 2017 MLS season is kaput and boy did it live up to the hype! Minnesota United and Portland Timbers combined for six goals (five of them Portland's) to kick off the campaign and six other teams combined for three scoreless draws! SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC opened up their title defense with a loss to last year's second-to-last-place team and former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka played 11 whole minutes before going down with a hamstring injury that will sideline him for the next six weeks!
And of course, a certain World's Greatest Team put on a vintage (2016) performance against the rival Bridgeview Fire, which warmed thousands of the Black & Gold faithful on a frigid afternoon in MAPFRE Stadium. See who's making moves in this week's Power Rankings!
22a. NYCFC supporters
22b. Minnesota United FC
The Loons' first MLS match went about as well as our "Fargo" accent would go over in the Twin Cities. Yer darn tootin' it was a massacre!
20. Bridgeview Fire
Good point about geography.
19. Atlanta United supporters
We didn't plan on making this a permanent spot for Atlanta United supporters, but it's now officially under consideration.
We wait with bated breath for Dan Gorber to exact his justice. Hope ya'll like plastic cups!
18. Hooliganism, for sport
A Russian MP wants hooliganism recognized as an official organized sport because "in nine out of 10 cases, football fans go to games to fight, and that’s normal."
In a word: underwhelming. We'll give him a slight pass on account of he had like three days to practice with the club and get acclimated with his new teammates and system. Besides, Friday was the first time the dude had ever seen snow. Should we have expected anything more than what we got Saturday? That said, Greggggg's decision to trot out the Brazilian in those conditions does make us wonder about Tony Tchani's standing with the club.
It's very tight at the top of the GCGBAG Fantasy League table through one week, with just two points separating positions 1 - 3. But CrewLander was able to amass an impressive 92 points -- their front 3 alone combining for half that total -- to edge past CrewBrewin and Jesters.
15. Kirk Urso
Monday would've been the former Columbus midfielder's 27th birthday. Kirk, you are loved, missed and forever massive. Click here to make a donation to the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund.
14. Houston Dynamo
Not only did they defeat the defending champs, but they did it with flare. Extra points to Honduran international Romell Quioto for matching his hair and shirt. Crew SC could have their hands full with Dynamo's dynamic front 3 and high-octane press.
13. Ola's Headband
It's both functional and fashionable -- the next big thing in concussion protection! We know what we're looking for at this year's gear sale.
12. Drunken Crewzer's Beard-cicles
Look, anyone can sit in a nice toasty room in MAPFRE Stadium and wait to be spoon fed canned responses and tired cliches from coaches and players after the game. But real Shoe Leather Journalists go straight to the people, and our own Drunken Crewzer did just that, braving the elements to find out what fans really thought about the Crewsmas result. We regret to report that our sponsor panel could not endure the harsh conditions.
Fences, they sure are tricky.
March 6 was the 60th anniversary of Ghana's declaration of independence from the United Kingdom. We fully support the decision to boot out the Brits pass along our belated congratulations to Crew SC's Black Stars -- and friends of GCGBAG -- Mohammed Abu, Lalas Abubakar, Jonathan Mensah and King Harrison Afful!
9. Zack Steffen
"The Project" looked prettay solid in his first game with the No. 1 shirt, even if, you know, he wasn't wearing the No. 1 shirt. He could hardly be faulted for the lone goal conceded and fans didn't break out into cold sweats each time the ball was played to his feet.
8. Capo talk
Death, taxes and Nordecke capo debates; they're inescapable (and you can weigh in here). We're all for the Supporters Section chanting and singing in unison, but also recognize power can corrupt and don't want the megaphone to fall in the wrong hands.
7. Portland Timbers
The Timbers dropped a log on the MLS n00bz in the season opener. Diego Valeri and Fenando Adi both dropped a deuce and, while Portland did concede a goal, Liam Ridgewell and Jake Gleeson were (presumably) sober enough to stall Minnesota's furious push for No. 2.
She's a treasure!
5. Pabst Blue Ribbon
"Pabst Blue Ribbon is brewed in the finest traditions of an American Premium Lager dating back to 1844...[Their] unique fermentation and maturation process results in a smooth, full bodied beer with a clean, crisp finish with a fine noble hop aroma. "
4. J9 ➡️ 5-9
*ESPN 30 for 30 voice*
What if we told you that you don't need to be 6 feet tall... to play the 6-yard box...
That a player who made a name with his feet... could make history with his head...
That sometimes you've got to memorize player heights... to reach new ones as a broadcaster.
It's been awhile since we've seen Neil Sika get this much love.
3. Whoever's got Minnesota United
See No. 22b.
2. Refugees and Immigrants
If there's one thing we believe, it's that "Africa" by Toto is the single greatest artistic achievement of the 20th century. If there are two things we believe, it's that and the fact of our shared humanity. Look, soccer is the world's most popular sport and unites people across all different cultures. This year we're working with our friends at CRIS to help grow the fanbase within the many different immigrant and refugee communities throughout Columbus. Here's one way you can help, too.
1. Columbus Crew SC
After all the offseason moves, some solid preseason displays and 11th-hour drama with the starting XI, the World's Greatest Team finally took the pitch at MAPFRE Stadium Saturday. If fans were expecting a new episode, Crewsmas played out more like a clip show featuring all their favorites from 2016.
However, there are still lots of positives to take away from the World's Greatest Team's 1-1 draw, like... the first half! They sure did possess a lot and generated chances galore through 45 minutes! And considering the bar for the back line, well, it could've been worse! Don't forget, this was the first taste of MLS regular season action for four new Crew SC starters and striker Ola Kamara was a literally game-time decision!
And, with such a favorable matchup against a high-pressure, counter-attacking Houston team in Week 2, that first win should be right around the corner! Come crash the Hudson Street Hooligans watch party with us this Saturday at Hendoc's and cheer the boy's on to almost-certain victory!
Follow us @gcgbag96!