By Guillermo O'Rourke
Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data.
22. Cuauhtemoc Blanco
How many of you would be surprised to learn that the former Chicago Fire and Mexican national team striker was elected mayor of the town of Cuernavaca?
*All hands go up*
How many of you would be surprised to learn that Blanco, who more or less bribed a referee during a 2009 match vs. Columbus, has been "dogged by allegations of corruption since he was elected last year" and was recently accused of ordering a hit at a local fair earlier this month?
*No hands go up*
Fuck off, Blanco. Sincerely.
The World Wide Leader in Live Sports and Otherwise Garbage Broadcast Content isn't adapting well to the new media landscape -- what with all the kids and their cord cutting. So what's the solution that John Skipper and company came up with to appease his Disney overlords? Laying off around 100 actual journalists, including soccer writers Doug McIntyre, David Hirshey and Mike Goodman. We'll be pouring some out for our boys at the tailgate Saturday.
20. New York City Football Club
What's there to say about NYCFC and its fly-in-the-face-of-everything-Don-Garber-purports-the-MLS-to-be-about franchise model that hasn't already been said about its sugar daddy Manchester City? What's there to say about their seat-stealing, cop-attacking, neo-fascist ULTRAZ that hasn't already been said in this space or the Brotherly Game's NYCFC visitor's guide?
19. Red Bull Arena
Both Crew SC midfielder Artur and centerback Alex Crognale were visciously attacked by the Harrison, N.J. Turf Monster and that played no small role in the ex-Metrostars' surprise victory last Saturday. Though the initial prognosis for The Crog suggests he could return this weekend, the Brazilian prodigy was not so lucky (more on that later).
18. Newcastle United
The Toon Army has run the gamut of emotions over the last several days, from jubilant highs after clinching promotion straight back to the Premier League Monday; to fatalist lows after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs -- basically the English IRS -- raided the club over fraud charges, which could threaten said promotion; to naive optimism that maybe this latest boondoggle could force sack-of-shite owner Mike Ashley to finally sell the club; to cynical acceptance that, at best, the club's managing director, large adult son Lee Charnley, could go to the clinker but nothing is really go to change (at least for the better) because it's Newcastle.
It's the fun new mobile phone application that's all the rage with your over-sharing aunt or high school classmate. We decided to take it for a spin, too!
Yes, Fightin' Snowmen are still at the top of the GCGBAG Fantasy Table, but these are power rankings after all. FayMountaineer, led by manager Ronald Martin, went HAM last week with 110 points continuing its assault up the table and now sits in second place, a mere 16 points back of the leaders.
15. Kids Instagramming on Daniele De Rossi's Lawn
14. Kekuta Manneh Conspiracy Theories
The Massive Report's Patrick Murphy has no time for your tin-foil hat bat-shit crazy theories about why Kekuta Manneh, who was acquired nearly four weeks ago, has yet to make an appearance for The Yellow Soccer Team. Meanwhile, MLSSoccer.com's Andrew King is content stirring the pot (read: transcribing quotes). Who's right? We have no idea. We're just going to leave this here instead.
Thank you, Mr. Sydney Leroux, for assuming the league's WWE fan mantle in Steve Clark's absence.
11. The Lads (⤵️)
Where else did you expect to find the lads after last weekend's disappointment? Not to worry, though. We've got some major upping in store for Saturday. Major upping.
The MLS Players' Union released errybody's salaries earlier this week. Massive Report broke down who's overpaid and underpaid for Crew SC. We decided to do some, uh, different research. Niiiiice base salaries, Kortne Ford, Kianz Froese, Jordan Hamilton, Daigo Kobayashi, Jalen Robinson and London Woodberry. You know what we're talking about.
9. Transfer Talk
With the totally-binding "primary" transfer window "slams" shut May 8, so naturally, the rumors are a flying. There are reports Crew SC could be in negotiations with Brazilian playmaker Rafael Longuine -- a potential long-term replacement for Pipa -- while Chicharito might be poised to sign with the new LA team. Meanwhile, Orlando City striker Cyle Larin could be on his way out after being linked with approximately every team in Europe. MLSSoccer.com keeps a nice running tab.
8. Chicago Fire Self-Owns
There are so many layers of ownage here we could devote a whole post to breaking it all down. The most obvious one, though: these Chicago Fire "fans" completely missed out on getting a picture with Crew legend Eric Gehrig.
We have made no secrets of our general apathy for the contrived content that MLSSoccer.com puts out, but as chicken devotees, we can't deny that the Match Day Chicken Bucket Challenge is Good.
Artur underwent surgery earlier this week to fix his broken wrist and is, but for the grace of Guillermo, only expected to miss three games or so. Crew SC supporters (and mascots) are wishing the young Brazilian a speedy recovery via the aforementioned hashtag.
5. Ray Hudson
We have long held that beIN Sports' loquacious Englishman is unquestionably the best color commentator in world soccer [and probably the world in general]. But Hudson, who's never been shy about professing his love of the "magisterial" Lionel Messi, took things to a new level during the El Classico last weekend.
As much joy as we got from listening to Hudson gush over the "Medicine Man's" stoppage time heroics, we were even more delighted by Messi's celebration.
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Disclaimer: Cinerator Hot Cinnamon Whiskey does not endorse and is in no way associated with the latest edition of GCGBAG's Hunt for The Golden Crewzer... yet!
3. Zack Steffen
The rookie keeper/Terminator was about the only bright spot for Crew SC last Saturday in Jersey. He made a career-high five saves and all but cemented his spot on the 2018 US World Cup squad. Plus, he follows some A+ Twitter accounts.
2. That Time Our Scoreboard Caught On Fire
Remember that? Good times.
1. Columbus Crew SC
Sure, The World's Greatest Team failed to capture all three (or any) points last weekend in Jersey. OK, maybe the club's depth is getting tested a little bit earlier than we had hoped. Hell, we'll even concede that the Black & Gold are displaying some worrying trends on the road. But Saturday is the start of three straight games within the friendly confines of the Tiny Demon Fortress, where said World's Greatest Team is UNDEFEATED this season. Crew SC should have no trouble reclaiming their rightful seat atop the Eastern Conference this weekend.