My epic journey into the dark depths of MLS continues. I’ve already looked into the Eastern Conference earlier this week (here and here) and now it’s time to head West. I originally thought following an Eastern team would be preferable because of the whole time zone thing, but now that I actually look at the MLS schedule I realize I might have been wrong. The Western teams all play at like 7-10ish est, which I think would be much more doable for me than the afternoon time slots the Eastern teams play in. Don’t act like you don’t find this stuff fascinating. I know you come for the soccer, but stay for my riveting thoughts on time zones.
Gut Reaction: This one actually looks like a real football crest! Which makes sense, since it’s the exact same one as used by their parent club Chivas Guadalajara who are a real football team. I know they share a stadium with the Galaxy, so there’s a cool San Siro thing going on. LA’s the only city with two teams and I dig the crosstown rivalry. LA’s kind of terrible, but it has a beach and I have friends who live there, so I could go visit and watch a game and it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Personnel: Chivas has the frequently-called-up-but-never-quite-good-enough USMNT defender Heath Pearce anchoring their backline. Juan Pablo Angel has been a goalscoring monster during his time in MLS, but at 36 I have no idea if he can still do the business. Oh who am I kidding, this is MLS. He’ll probably still be awesome. Ryan Smith used to be a youth teamer for Le Arse, but left when he was still young so it’s possible that he’s not tainted. I’m not optimistic though. Alejandro Moreno is a name I thought I recognized until I realized he wasn’t Jaime Moreno, but by the transitive Moreno property, I bet he’s also brilliant.
History & Trvia: They’ve never won anything and I get the impression that they’re pretty mediocre/bad. They play a “SuperClasico” agains the Galaxy every year, which is just adorable. Their mascot is named Chiva Fighter and he’s like a goatman superhero and he’s completely fucking awesome. Seriously. I could know nothing about this team and if Chiva Fighter showed up at my doorstep and was all “come with me if you want to live” I would go with him and be a Chivas fan for the rest of forever. And I would like it.
Gut Reaction: Their badge makes me think of a Coors Light can. Resident beer snob Keith probably hates them for this reason alone. They’re also owned by Stan Kroenke, who, if you’re somehow unaware, also owns a midtable club in North London.
Personnel: Marvell Wynne! Dude has an awesome name and is really effing fast. Former USMNT mainstay Pablo Mostroeni is also still there, probably because he needs to clock a few more minutes before he can collect a pension. Because he’s old, you see. Connor Casey continues scoring goals in MLS while only having one good game ever for the national team. Finally, the Rapids have some hot young Argentine playmaker on loan named Martin Rivero who could prove to be excellent. For MLS, not like, objectively. Don’t be silly.
History & Trvia: They’ve won the MLS Cup once and lost it once. Who cares. What I want to know is, what the fuck is up with your mascot situation, Colorado? For many years anthropomorphic body of water Rapidman (who sort of reminds me of Vinnie from Spaceballs) stood by the touchline cheering on your team. But that wasn’t good enough for you, was it? Oh no. You thought you could do better. So you got Edson the Eagle. And Marco van Bison. And Jorge el Mapache. And Franz the Fox. Hey, bad news guys. You don’t get four mascots. Fuck you. You’re worse than Auburn, and I didn’t think that was possible.
Gut Reaction: Hook ’em horns! Yeah, great job guys. This is way better than a fire-breathing horse. Oh wait, no it’s not, because fire-breathing horses are like the second best horses out there. (Horses that fart lightning are number one.) Logo aside, I don’t mind the rebranding here. Dallas Burn was a stupid name. Burn is a verb. You can’t have a verb as your nickname. Some of you may argue that Burn is also a noun. And you’re right, it is. But it’s a singular noun, and that’s also a total fail. Can you imagine the Dallas Cowboy or the Boston Red Sock or the Miami Heat? That’s stupid. You’re stupid.
Personell: Brek Shea is here, and that guy’s an uberdouche. But sometimes he’s really really good at this game. And sometimes (when he plays for the USMNT) he’s not. Zach Loyd won MoTM in a recent USMNT performance, but I’d still rather have Carli Lloyd. Nomadic striker Blas Perez has arrived in Dallas this year, which will be his 15th club since 2000. I have no idea what this guy’s deal is, but I’m guessing he’s a lunatic. He’s scored 22 in 38 for Panama, so he’s also probably a really good striker. But still. Probably a lunatic.
History & Trivia: They’ve lost the final once. Which makes them the 11th best MLS team in the history of the league. Great job guys! Choral Pop-cult The Polyphonic Spree performs their anthem, and those guys terrify me.They used to have a rivalry with Chicago (Burn v. Fire. OMG that’s clever as fuck), but now they’ve got a derby match against Houston which makes more sense than a contrived rivalry based on high temperature-related team names. Their mascot is a cow named Tex Hooper. For some reason when I google Tex Hooper, shit about Norm MacDonald comes up, and I’m guessing this is because he can’t get a job in movies or tv anymore, so he’s resorted to dressing up in a cow suit at soccer games.
Gut Reaction: This logo is perfectly inoffensive. I’d really expect LA to have something super garish and over the top ridiculous, I don’t know, something like this maybe. So congratulations, Los Angeles. I applaud your restraint. I’ve already covered my thoughts on LA and crosstown rivalries above when I talked about Chivas. Oh, you skipped that part? I slaved over a hot internet all day to make sure this was waiting on the table for you when you got home from work and this is how you repay me? Ass.
Personell: Obviously LA has one of the best players in Premier League history, one of my all time favorite players, and a true legend of the game. Robbie Keane. Oh you thought I meant David Beckham? How cute. Landycakes is back from another successful stint at Everton. Despite his best efforts to move on to a good league, he’s still being shackled to MLS. Edson Buddle has also returned from his Bundesliga 2 experience where he was largely mediocre. Sounds about right. Rounding out their striking stable are mediocre forwards Chad Barrett and Mike Magee. Juninho’s very good, but he’s the wrong Juninho. No not that Juninho either. Man, there’s a lot of Juninhos. I thought the whole point in coming up with a stupid nickname is to make yourself unique and stand out? From now on, I will blog under the pseudonym Barry Glendenning.
History & Trivia: They just won! They’ve won like 3 times! And they’ve also lost more finals than anyone! Their supporters group is the Riot Squad, which is probably offensive, but whatever. Their mascot used to be a spaceman alien thing called Twizzle who looked terrifying despite sounding like Red Vine’s inferior cousin. Now they have a frog alien called Cozmo who’s kinda cute I guess and not intimidating at all. Cozmo is also “universally known as a goalkeeper who can stop shots traveling at the speed of light, but also possesses the speed and skill to play forward for any team on the planet.” But he still can’t displace Edson Buddle. Cool story guys. Cheering for these guys seems like cheering for the Yankees of MLS, and since I already cheer for the Yankees of MLB, I’m pretty Yankeed out. But damn, I do love me some Keano.
Everyone said the West was awesome but so far none of these teams are doing it for me. The Galaxy seems like too easy a choice, and even though I’d love to cheer for Robbie Keane, picking the Galaxy kind of feels like cheating. The Rapids have that Arsenal connection and the four mascot thing is super obnoxious. FC Dallas seem whatever, and I think if I were to pick a Texas team, I’d end up going with the Dynamo. The best thing on offer here is Chiva Fighter. Seriously. That guy fucking rules. I’m thinking about a tattoo. Hopefully the second half of the Western alphabet has some better teams. See y’all tomorrow.