It may not be much but at least we pay our players
Artwork courtesy of Brad Dee
It's that time of year where every lazy production assistant proposes that their show do some dumb ass bracket to help build audience engagement. Here at Craft Brewed Sports we're above such childish gimmicks. Instead, I'll do you one better: fake bracketology. To this day it still amazes me the time wasted on mocks drafts and predicting brackets that literally has no outcome on the actual event itself. So why not capitalize it for our own gain, right?
Without further ado your #1 seeds per region for this year's MLS March Madness are.....
Atlanta United: 4.3 RPI, 3 SOS, 17 Quadrant 1 Wins
This team had a great inaugural season and are off to a solid start this year. Their main problem seems to be getting all their offensive weapons on the pitch at once when usually you're only allowed 11 players at a time. You could see this in their game this weekend against poor DC United in the way that all was fairly calm early in the second half and then BOOM they dropped a brace to put the game to bed. Oh and let's not overlook the 72,000 or so fans that showed up to rock MB Stadium
NYCFC: -7 KenPom, 43 SOS, B1G Tourney winner
It's still crazy to me to see Patrick Viera pacing the sidelines in Yankee Stadium but honestly the guy can coach. Sure, there is some debate about his decision making down the stretch last season but overall I didn't expect such a solid early career from a guy I remember watching play in the EPL. With finishes in the top two in the conference the past two years coupled with conference semifinals appearances in both seasons think of this squad as the equivalent of Coach K's Dukies: they're going always going to be politely mentioned in the conversation even if they haven't justified it recently.
LAFC: 1st AQ, 3rd in Sagrin, 8.2 WAR
Everyone always loves a Cinderella story although I'm not sure if that qualifies for top seeds in a region. Either way LAFC will be looking to replicate the success had by Atlanta FC in their first campaign and so far it looks like they're poised to do so. Usually I don't want to give Bob Bradley props for anything since he should still be on the hook for dating the USMNT, running up a dozen credit cards on their account and ruining our credit score so that no one worth their salt wants to touch us. So I won't: fuck you Bradley and your little son, too. But the guys on the field have come out firing knocking off a 3 seed and possible 5 seed already in the season.
Columbus Crew: Top Usage Rate, 42* Pace
Someone has to go play in shitty Midwestern weather so why not the Crew? I'm not sure if they've explained to their roster that just because the team is moving doesn't mean they're being left behind. These guys are playing like they have something to prove and it's damn fun to watch. After squandering a 2-0 lead against Montreal this weekend they gutted it out and earned a late, and I mean very late, penalty to pull out a 3-2 victory. This team should be fun to watch because if they don't remain at the top of their conference they'll most likely implode and who doesn't love to watch an Columbus team collapse in on itself? (Screw you, OSU)
Last Four In
New York Red Bulls
First Four Out
San Jose Earthquakes
Sporting Kansas City