1. San Francisco Dogfish 3-1 +1.3
The Dogfish have yet to win a game as decisively as the Whitecaps or Rainmakers, so their point differential is not as strong. But the last two weeks they’ve been playing without a good chunk of their team. In their 16-14 victory over Seattle they were missing Beau Kitteredge, Mac Taylor, Ashlin Joye, and Martin Cochran. In their next game in Portland they were missing each of those players plus Sam Kanner, Cassidy Rasmussen, Russell Wynne, and Patrick Baylis. Though they lost 18-19 against the Stags, it can hardly be considered an upset since Portland wasn’t missing anyone. Even without their stars the Dogfish can play with any team in the league. And after seeing how deep their roster is the last two weeks, I wouldn’t bet against the Dogfish in the playoffs no matter who they face.
2. Boston Whitecaps 4-0 +5.3
The Whitecaps have finally put together the type of dominating performances many expected when they first saw Boston’s roster. They defeated the Current 24-13 at home, more than twice the largest margin of victory for any team up to that point in the season. With the Spinners having dropped two straight the Whitecaps will most likely cruise to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. ‘ll finally see them take on the Spinners in each of the next two weeks. But those games don’t have nearly the anticipation they once did now that Philadelphia has dropped two in a row. After playing in Philadelphia on May 25 the Whitecaps have a game in New York the next day, a trap game they’ll have to be ready for.
3. Seattle Rainmakers 3-1 +2
The Rainmakers took care of business at home once again against the Nighthawks, winning 18-16. They enter a tough stretch now, with four of their next five games on the road, with two away games scheduled against Vancouver. This stretch will show us whether Seattle will be fighting Vancouver for a playoff spot, or challenging the Dogfish for the one seed in the West. They did lose Seth Wiggins for the foreseeable future, but with his throwing hand already injured it wasn’t the Seth Wiggins we are used to seeing. Mental errors cost them the game against San Francisco in week three, and they have let the Nighthawks back into the game in each of their matches. Nevertheless, Seattle is one of the three teams I see as true title contenders in the MLU.
4. Vancouver Nighthawks 2-3 +.4
The Nighthawks have yet to beat either the Dogfish or Rainmakers in three tries, but they’ve come close in each attempt. Former Furious George standouts Mauro Ortiz and Kirk Savage have played big roles for Vancouver so far, and they are clearly capable of beating anyone in the west. But, they need to start soon. And if they realistically want a chance at the playoffs they’ll have to seriously step it up. Even if the Nighthawks win their last game against the Stags and split with both the Dogfish and Rainmakers they’ll end up 5-5. With the Rainmakers already 3-1, a 5-5 record won’t be enough to get them to the playoffs. They’ll need to win both games against the Rainmakers in Vancouver, and hope that either the Stags steal one from the Rainmakers or that the Dogfish sweep their remaining two games against them.
5. Philadelphia Spinners 2-2 -.5
The Spinners dropped their first two games at home after winning their first two on the road. With two games against the Whitecaps it’s possible they could fall to 2-4. After they host the Whitecaps on May 25, they travel to DC to play the Current the next day, and the Current won’t be be on the back end of a back to back. So while the Spinners are still looking ok for the playoffs, that will change quickly unless they can upset the Whitecaps in one of their next two games.
6. DC Current 1-3 -3.7
The Current didn’t follow up on their close loss to the Whitecaps they way they wanted to, getting blown out in Boston. Their game against the Rumble got postponed, meaning the two still haven’t faced off yet this season. They will on Saturday in New York, in what may be in some ways an elimination game. The winner will be 2-3 and the loser 1-4. I’m betting on a Current victory, despite their most recent loss.
7. New York Rumble 1-3 -2
The Rumble managed a double overtime victory over the Spinners in Philadelphia, giving them their first win of the year. Their game against the Current will be big Saturday, so we’ll see if they can win on their home roof for the first time this year.
8. Portland Stags 1-4 -3
The Stags beat a depleted Dogfish squad in Portland. Timmy Perston has been huge for them, and is leading the league in goals. While they have a few other players that could likewise play on any team in the league Portland doesn’t have the depth that the rest of the league has. It didn’t show in their game against the Dogfish as much since San Francisco was so shorthanded.