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ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS Panic Quotient (®)

Keep calm

Things looked so bright in Portland and Toronto coming into the year. So what happened? It just goes to show, you must also appreciate the good times – because the panic can set in quick and take it all away.

ProSoccerTalk’s weekly MLS Panic Quotient (®) takes the temperature of stress and distress in the streets of Major League Soccer.

PORTLAND TIMBERS: In the Timbers’ case, it’s not that things are going harrowingly bad. It’s that they are getting close to “harrowingly bad” and their next match is against the league’s best club, Sporting Kansas City. That’s a combo that goes over about as well as prom dates and acne outbreaks. If only there was a key injury to blame, or if the big scorer wasn’t scoring. But there isn’t a major injury, and Scottish striker Kris Boyd is on pace for a good season of finding the net.

Panic quotient: Chopped up some jalapenos and then absentmindedly touched eyes; yeah, this one’s gonna sting!

COLUMBUS CREW: Fans can be surprisingly forgiving of sides that play organized, deliberate, tactical soccer – so long as they win their sleepy share. But if the soccer is stodgy and the results aren’t there to provide some warming comfort – well, it’s going to get hot in the kitchen pretty quick. Such is the scene around Crew Stadium. The Crew’s only victories so far came over Montreal and Toronto, teams with a lone win between them. Since then: destroyed by good New York team and beaten up by a Philly team that sure doesn’t look like all that. There is no one in the Crew midfield who looks up for the job right now – not even veteran Eddie Gaven.

Panic quotient: Wake up and remember that it’s Tax Day. Then you remember you haven’t done a darn thing about it.

ARON WINTER: Toronto FC’s boss keeps saying all the right things, but it’s getting harder and harder to keep the faith around BMO. All those empty seats around the ground say so – and eventually the bean counters will start noting those slowing revenue streams. Here’s the real kick in the head regarding these BMO blues: There have certainly been some bad teams to muddy the field inside Exhibition Place. But none, not Mo Johnston’s wandering lot, not John Carver’s up-and-down crew, not Preki’s overly-defensive and generally disheveled assembly, ever lost five in a row. Yes, five consecutive losses is a low-water mark for a TFC side that knows of low-water marks. All those other guys, by the way, lost their jobs or quit in frustration.

Panic quotient: Booted up computer; blue screen of death