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Weekly MLS Panic Quotient (®)

Keep calm

There’s some changing-out of clubs on a relatively light week of panic in the streets of MLS. Well, everywhere except for perhaps Toronto. ProSoccerTalk’s second “MLS Panic Quotient” has dropped:

D.C. UNITED: Winless in three will never be a cherished destination. But if you subscribe to a philosophy of “crawl before walk,” Ben Olsen’s team moved in the right direction with a 0-0 draw in Vancouver. Argentine Emiliano Dudar looked comfortable alongside Brandon McDonald at center back, and even if starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid (now back from Olympic duty but possibly injured) can’t go, backup Joe Willis seems up for the job. Now, about that attack and the slow-starting DPs …

Panic quotient: Went to outdoor BBQ, left mosquito repellent at home

PHILADELPHIA UNION: Peter Nowak tweaked some knobs Saturday and the second half looked much better. But damage had been done as Nowak’s 3-5-2 failed to coalesce through the midfield, and the final result was (yet another) loss. Three “Ls” in three matches spells trouble anywhere, but it can be absolutely brutal in notoriously demanding Philadelphia. On the other hand, everyone knows it’s a young club. Three Olympic team reinforcements are arriving. Plus, every MLS club hits a skid here and there over a long season. Nowak just has to convince his young men that their slide just happened to occur right off the bat.

Panic quotient: Low fuel indicator switches on; next gas station, 25 miles

TORONTO FC: Well, that didn’t take long, did it? In less than three weeks, Aron Winter’s men went from being the Toast of the MLS Town to low man on the Panic Quotient totem pole. The thing is, when a 3-0 loss at home isn’t the worst that happens over the course of a week or so, it’s high season for harvesting panic. Torsten Frings, probably the most important man in TFC red, is out for several weeks with a hamstring issue, hardly good news for a defense that was just hanging on anyway. Then goalkeeper Stefan Frei goes down to a serious training ground injury? Man, what did Toronto do to upset the big referee in the sky? And just when things were looking so good at Exhibition Place.

Panic quotient: “Hi, remember me from Friday night? Uh, you might want to see your doctor …”