1. San Francisco Dogfish 4-1 +3
Any worries people had about the Dogfish incorporating their missing players back into the lineup are long gone. San Francisco put up a 23-13 shellacking of Vancouver on Saturday. The Whitecaps may be undefeated, but the Dogfish have beat tougher teams. Their one loss was on the road, only losing by one point while missing many of their top players. The Dogfish claim to have the best depth in the league, and after the last few weeks it’s hard to argue with that.
2. Boston Whitecaps 5-0 +5
The Whitecaps won their first game against the Spinners, but it wasn’t without a fight. The Spinners led in the second half before Boston pulled away. The Whitecaps have their toughest weekend of the season coming up. They play in Philadelphia Saturday and New York Sunday. The Whitecaps have built a big enough lead they could lose both games and still be heavy favorites for finishing first in the East. I don’t see it happening like that, but a split wouldn’t be too surprising. If the Whitecaps can emerge from this road trip unscathed though, then I’d like their chances of going undefeated. June 1 they play in DC, and then their final two games take place at home.
3. Seattle Rainmakers 4-1 +2.6
The Rainmakers handled the Stags, 19-14. While Timmy Perston has been receiving acclaim for his seven-goal game against the Dogfish, Phil Murray had the best game in Portland this weekend. Murray scored five goals, accounting for over a quarter of Seattle’s scores. Seattle travels to Vancouver this weekend, in a game that would clinch a playoff berth for the team if they win.
4. New York Rumble 2-3 -1
New York has had a great couple weeks. First they beat the Spinners in Philadelphia to get their first win of the season. They followed it up with a win over the Current last weekend. Right now the Rumble are tied for second in the East, and unlike Philadelphia they have some positive momentum. The Rumble also have a good shot at upsetting Boston this weekend, since the Whitecaps will have played in Philadelphia the day before. The three headed monster of Mazur/Hejimen/Faust that drives this team is playing as well as any big three in the league. New York has two games left against DC and Boston, with only one left against Philadelphia. A 3-2 finish might be enough to get to the playoffs, especially if one of those wins comes against Philadelphia, since in the scenario the Rumble would hold the tiebreaker. That game is on June 1 in Philadelphia, where New York has already demonstrated it can win.
5. Vancouver Nighthawks 2-4 -1.33
It’s hard to say just how good the Nighthawks are, since there isn’t any inter conference play in the MLU. And their latest game didn’t inspire too much for their playoff hopes. They started ok, tied at 5s with San Francisco, and only down 8-11. But then they let the Dogfish take over the game. Vancouver was playing without Oscar Pottinger and Morgan Hibbert, but their loss showed they don’t have the kind of depth present in Seattle and San Francisco. The Nighthawks have yet to beat a team other than the Stags. They have to run the table to make the playoffs. It’s certainly doable, given that three of their remaining four games are at home, and the one road game is in Portland. But they’ll have to go 3-0 against the Rainmakers and Dogfish, two teams they have yet to beat. I bet Vancouver plays well this weekend with it’s back against the wall, but even if they do win they’ll still have a long way to go.
6. Philadelphia Spinners 2-3 -1.2
The Spinners are on a three game losing streak after starting 2-0, and if they’re not careful it could get a lot worse before it gets better. The Spinners host Boston on Saturday, and then head to DC to play the Current the next day. A split would keep them alive, a sweep would put them back in great position, and bagel would end their playoff chances much earlier than expected. The Spinners can beat any team in the East, they were looking good in their game against Boston until Leon Chou went down with an injury in the third quarter.
7. DC Current 1-4 -2.8
The Current lost a big game to New York this past weekend, a game that many were saying was a must win for them. Luckily with the Spinners losing they only remain one game back of second place. Still, the Current aren’t heading in the right direction. New York was in control all game long against DC, they looked like the better team. Frankly, this surprised me. I thought the Current were the better team. After watching their close loss to Boston in Week 2, the Current seemed like the 0-2 team most likely to make a comeback. It’s not over yet, since a 5-5 record may be just enough to make the playoffs. The next two games the Current have are at home, if they win both they’ll be in good shape again.
8. Portland Stags 1-5 -3.33
The Stags play an exciting brand of Ultimate, and have playmakers that are some of the most athletic in the league. But they’re 1-5, and they’re not making the playoffs. I’m expecting a 2-8 finish.