(Ed. Note: We've been hit with a deluge of emails, phone calls, tweets and interpretive dances over the past few months, all asking the same question: "What happened to the GCGBAG Power Rankings and is Guillermo O'Rourke as handsome and witty in person as he comes across in writing and, if so, is he single and, if so, do you think I've got a chance?" To the latter inquiries, the answer has been and remains: "No, he is even more handsome and witty in person, but you don't have a chance because he's married to the game." However, we've had to remain silent on the former inquiry because, as we have learned and can now share publicly, he had been abducted and forcibly detained at what appears to have been a MLS black site.
We reported Mr. O'Rourke as missing on May 6 when he did not show up for the pregame tailgate at MAPFRE Stadium ahead of the match with New England. Law enforcement opened a formal investigation but turned up no leads and we had all but given up hope until we received word he had been discovered this past Sunday, August 6 near Bridgeview, Ill. A couple had called local authorities to report a disoriented man in nothing but boxers who had stumbled out of the woods in their backyard straight into the middle of their son's birthday party. When they asked the man who he was or if he needed help, "he just kept repeating: 'at the soccer Don loves me and knows what's best for me' -- whatever that means." If not for a 7-year-old at the party in a Bastian Schweinsteiger jersey [whom Mr. O'Rourke instinctively RKO'd; the parents have graciously agreed not to press charges], our special guy might have never have been jolted out of this trauma-induced state.
We now know that over 90-plus days in captivity, ex-Blackwater agents, under orders that could only have been approved by highest levels of MLS, attempted to coerce Mr. O'Rourke into disclosing the identities of anonymous league sources responsible for leaking many of the explosive revaluations that have been exclusively reported in this space. Despite their "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which included sleep deprivation, forced ingestion of a "shit-ton" of psychotropic-hallucinogenic drugs and being subjected to the tortuous 2016 MLS Cup Final on a loop for 72 straight hours, our intrepid reporter refused to reveal his sources.
Although authorities were able to retrace Mr. O'Rourke's trail to find the underground bunker where he was believed to have been held, the site was deserted by the time they arrived and most of the evidence scrubbed. We are unable to comment further as the investigation is ongoing, other than to say we are so grateful to have Mr. O'Rourke returned to his friends and family. And now, against the advice of six different medical professionals, he's catching up on all his bullshit.
Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data.
22. MLS All-Star Team
Four Chicago (sic) Fire players. Three each from Dallas, Toronto and Atlanta (Parkhurst!?). Oh, and we can't forget "Commissioner's Pick" Dom Dwyer -- you know, the guy with three fewer goals AND four fewer assists than Justin Meram. Christ, Don. How in the hell do you expect to beat the team with the "Portuguese Meram" without the original Iraqi Ronaldo?
21. Rafa "Kingpin" Marquez
Rafa Marquez has denied allegations about being involved with Flores Hernandez's drug trafficking organization. However, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control is confident enough in their investigation to have sanctioned the former New York Energy Drink Star and Mexican International footballer anyway. No bueno, bro.
20. The Worst 20 Seconds In Soccer History
19. MOTHER F*%$IN' TIGER CUBS
18. Chris Penso
In a show a rare ingenuity from MLS officials, Chris Penso used his magic spray to draw a magic line that mysteriously held off the horde of complaining players so that he could have a private conversation with his sideline official. His resourcefulness would be the trait that makes him the unlikely hero for the protagonists in a campy horror film about zombie soccer players.
17. Olympic Diving Team
As the Olympic Diving trials approach for the upcoming Olympics, we've been keeping an eye out for talent around the world. Our scouts informed us that Spaniard Jordi Alba is the one to beat this year, after he recently nailed one of the most impressive dives in recent history:
16. GCGBAG Fantasy
Team Los Angeles Comedian is atop the GCGBAG MLS Fantasy League after last week, with 1,817 points.
Speaking of fantasy, in case you don't have enough fantasies in your life, we'll also be running a GCGBAG Premier League Fantasy Team through the Fantasy iTeam app. The PIN to join the league is 115735.
15. Josh Sargent
With goals like this and his most recent strike (below) at the U-20 World Cup, the 17 year old (along with Zach Steffen) just might be the future of the USMNT.
14. New and Improved Soccering-Ability-Enhancing Genome Thereapy... For Kids!
Apparently a Miami-based company claims they can sequence your child's genome to make them become the ultimate soccer star!
13. Bourussia Muchengladbort
12. First Pitch Pipa
Pipa tossed an exquisite first pitch in Cincinnati recently; though we're not concerned about him pulling a Tim Tebow and heading to the minors anytime soon.
11. Reasonable Soccer Parents
10. One for the Future
Crew SC better put him on the discovery list if he's dropping passes on top of candlesticks with mini soccer balls at this age.
9. The Lads (↗️)
8. Pipa Megs
As Rick & Rick might say... ANKLES! ANKLES ON 'EM!
7. Brad's Stuvers
6. Drogba Thunderstrike
Drogba's gonna Drogba.
5. West Side Casuals
We've devoted a good chunk of this space to talking up the GCGBAGs and other Nordecke supporters' groups -- and rightfully so. But in this week's installment of the "Hunt for the Golden Crewzer," we hear from a member the #roughest supporters' group in MAPFRE Stadium (along with some team spin Crew SC's corporate celebrity fan, whom we were contractually obligated to include).
4. Ola Volleys
Unfortunately, I was held in captivity for months and wasn't able to enjoy Ola's sublime volleys, to which you all were treated. So we might as well re-live them now:
Based ACES earned the three spot this week, as conductor of the cash splashin', into-the-Lord-Guillermo-Sun, Crewzers SC hype train, for his signing of the newest attacking piece of Crew SC...
2. Pedro Santos!!!!
I'll just leave this here:
1. Columbus Crew SC
The Black & Gold take the top spot this week for taking the league by storm with their business acumen, breaking the club record for largest transfer fee on a new DP, and of course, for the Josh Williams and Justin Meram bromance moments.