Which is the worst team in MLS?

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Power Rankings. They seem to me to be such a meaningless adventure. I know, people love to espy where their favorite club sits in relation to others – especially compared to their biggest rivals. But seeing your team climb the Power Rankings sits up there with the 3-year service plan on your brand new car—it makes you feel better (whether about having to shell out money to fix your car or your team’s ability to win MLS Cup), but in the end it will likely bring you little value.

Of course, the pessimist in me loves to scroll all the way to the bottom of those very Rankings. Everyone talks about the best teams. Galaxy this, Houston that. But it can be much more fulfilling to check out the team that sucks the most. Which team’s fans are most regularly feeling the, “humiliating kick in the crotch,” that Sting sang about with such intensity in the mid 80’s? Now THAT’s entertainment!

(There is a caveat to this: the team you support had better not be in the discussion for the bottom, or else this just becomes a form of masochism. It is at that point where Power Rankings truly become the liner of the birdcage, or possibly a starter source for your next campfire, or even the first thing that’s handed to the psychiatrist as they strap you in your self-hugging suit).

So without further ado, it’s time to take a look at the bottom of the barrel, the crap de la crap, the lowest man on that MLS totem pole. That’s right, which is the worst team in MLS?

The ol’ standbys

This is not an easy task anymore. For a good while, the word “Chivas” was such a natural, flowing answer for this question. Goats are, after all, the eaters of junk. So tossing Chivas USA onto the junkpile seemed not only easy, but beneficial to their survival. Yet they have had a great start by comparison under El Chelis, and that ruined this automatic selection of ignominy.

It’s even more tough, since in the past you’d also think to yourself, “If Chivas USA ever digs themselves out of the muck, Toronto FC is a tire fire that’s spreading to the underground gas tanks!” Unfortunately for our purposes, they’ve looked average, which is a vast improvement from their previous QPR-like form (which makes head coach Ryan Nelsen thankful of his employment change). They may not be able to close out games against the better teams, but that in itself means no more basement for the Reds—at least not for another few weeks.

The new bad

Therefore, it’s time to drag out some new whipping boys. Dishonorable mention will go to the Seattle Sounders. Why? Because there isn’t a fan of a team not named Seattle that doesn’t love the fact they’re stinking up the joint. It seems like just desserts for a club that won a slew of US Open Cups in their initial MLS years. Even I’m not dumb enough to drop them to the very bottom though—they definitely have the talent to rise out of 9th in the West, and once they do, I suspect they’ll be a playoff contender.

That’s the same argument I’d use for DC United as well. The Union got a nice victory against them Sunday, but it’s clear they’re scratching around a bit. They do have talent, and I’m confident it will eventually shine through. I also think Ben Olsen deserves some respect, he took his team, without Dwayne DeRosario, and got them into the playoffs. They do have the fewest points in MLS right now, but I believe that they are still better than one team.

The new worst

That team is the New England Revolution. Yes, the Revs are the worst team in MLS. Let me first say that I grieve for the greater Boston area, they have endured so much in the last two weeks. I’d also be remiss not to mention that the attack carried out at the Boston Marathon had a major impact on the team itself, with goalkeeper Matt Reis’ family directly affected by the horrific event. But the team has been underachieving for awhile now, and Jay Heaps’ reshaping project just hasn’t taken hold yet.

The Revs have some quality up front in Honduran international Jerry Bengtson, and Saer Sene is getting back from a long-term injury suffered in 2012. But they seem to be lost in the midfield, and until those two start connecting with the back of goal, New England’s defense will be under immense pressure to hold onto tight results. That defense has been good so far in 2013, but they’ve suffered a late loss to F.C. Dallas in March, and folded down the stretch against an out-of-sync New York Red Bulls side. The real problem though has been their pathetic attack. It’s so bad that Brandon Barklage is tied for the team lead in scoring—and he plays for those same Red Bulls.

Looking at the fixture list, this very New England team faces off against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday in Foxboro. This match will present some added difficulty for the Union. It is the Revs’ first home match since the bombing. Motivation levels should be high for New England, with supporters out to rally around their team and show support for their fallen brothers and sisters. The team will also have the New York match in mind, wanting to avenge that humiliation. On paper, this is a match that Philadelphia should be favored to win, but with everything that’s happened, they have to be prepared for a team on a mission.


  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Is it wrong that after reading this I immediately thought of excuses as to why the Union lost to NE on Saturday? HA!!

    The U have to beat these kinds of teams.

  2. The Black Hand says:

    I would have to go with NE. Most of what they have shown has been awful. Poor D, discombobulated mid and inept striking. They have been bad.
    The sobering thought has been, a majority of our play hasn’t been much better. Our midfield and goalkeeping might be worse but our back line and striking is much, much better and that is what separates us from the dredges.
    If we solve our midfield troubles and MacMath starts making THE saves, then I think we are in the top half of the MLS.

  3. Maybe we can get Rowe or Nguyen from revs if they are desperate enough. No one has been particularly impressive for them, but those two definitely have the talent to give our midfield some creativity.

  4. That lyric from Synchronicity 2 always puzzled me. I mean, a kick in the crotch is horrible and sucks in every way, but humiliating? Sting must be singing about some doubly awful experience. Wish he had stopped singing after Zenyatta Mondatta…Anyway, nice piece Earl, definitely agree with your sentiments about Seattle and DC.

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  6. Fuck you the philidelphia Union suck ass and the revs went to the finals your team sucks

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