A few quick notes on the Power Ranking: as you can see, I've added standard "last week position" and "movement" categories to track stories week to week and our interest in them. As a relatively quiet silly season comes to a close and the season ramps up, I'm hoping to populate this ranking a bit more, up to 10 stories and narratives, perhaps. As always, your input in the comments section helps me gauge what you find entertaining as well. Feel free to give a shout-out to the MLS news and stories you want to hear about.
1. Jordan Morris Waves Bye to Bremen
Last Week: Honorable Comments Section Mention
Movement: Up 5
Cruelly underrated in last week's power rankings, America's sweetheart is once again commanding headlines as reports surfaced quicker than that shark in Jaws over the last week on his status in Germany. At one point, Bremen seemed to think they had Morris in the bag, and Morris produced a filthy outside-of-the-foot assist for them in a preseason friendly, but the news of the day is he has officially turned down the German club and in all probability will be suiting up for the Sounders net season.
There's an undue amount of angst over the decisions of any young, promising, American attacking player and where he plies his trade amongst USMNT fans, and both sides are easy to hear out on this one. Morris already excels as an athletic specimen and bundle of energy bouncing around the field, two qualities MLS is best known for as a physical and fast-paced league. Many might say Morris's development would be stunted in a league like MLS, as opposed to a league like Germany or even the Eredivisie, where young attackers can learn to be more technical and tactical in their play. Of course, MLS-proponents can easily point out what a difficult situation Bremen would be for Morris-Aron Johannsson, Anthony Ujah, and Claudio Pizarro would all almost certainly be ahead of Morris on Werder's depth chart, and the club itself is in the relegation zone at the halfway point of the Bundesliga season. Playing time is better than no playing time, and for some players, being comfortable and familiar with your surroundings is almost as important to development as the challenge of the league (just ask Darlington Nagbe).
2. Marco, Polo
Last Week: N/A
Details are still pretty hazy on this one, but apparently former Sounder Marco Pappa turned up with a stab wound last month, which may or may not have been inflicted by former Miss Washington Stormy Keffeler. Both Pappa and Keffeler offered up multiple different accounts of what transpired between the two of them, but it's definitely made for the strangest story of the offseason thus far. Pappa was traded by Seattle to the Colorado Rapids just before the incident allegedly took place, leaving Rapids fans, once again, a bit in the cold. But more on that later.
3. Toronto FC Look Like They Really Want to Finally Be Good
Last Week: N/A
Absurd draft picks aside, TFC means business this season. Remember that squad last year? ...uh, remember Giovinco last year? Yeah, that was the squad. An inconsistent and sometimes-injured Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley with not any other clear midfield stalwarts rendered The Reds hopelessly imbalanced, capable of beating or losing to any team in the league. Seriously. They beat MLS Cup champs Portland and Supporters Shield holders RBNY in the regular season, and then also lost to NYCFC. Twice. That 2015 roster was full of questions to begin with. How will the midfield be set up? What in God's name is that defense? How do we keep Warren Creavalle as far away from the field as possible? Goalie? What goalie?
But it seems, finally, Toronto wants to put together an MLS side. Smart, savvy veteran pickups like Drew Moor and Steven Beitashour will shore up TFC's backline, and bagging Clint Irwin is an absolute steal for anything less than the entire Tim Horton's organization. These picks add some immediate stability to the team, and suddenly, again, Toronto look dangerous in the preseason. Let's see if they can make it stick this time.
4. The Colorado Rapids Are Bad at This
Last Week: N/A
Speaking of Clint Irwin, my heart goes out to Rapids fans. You have a terribly-run organization. You have a coach who has proved to have almost no tactical nous and little upside besides some nostalgia and one heck of a mustache. And now you have to say goodbye to one of the league's best goalies/Twitter accounts. I could go on about how bad the Rapids are, but Chris White over at Burgundy Wave has already done so far better than I ever could. Pour out a fifth for your soccer friends in Colorado; it's gonna be a long season.
5. The Ashley Cole Saga Continues
Last Week: 1
Movement: Down 4
Our one holdover from last week hangs on in the power rankings by virtue of new developments happening to the story, where all other narratives from last week remained relatively stale. Reports are saying that Cole and Roma have reached an agreement in regards to his contract and the LA Galaxy are now free to pursue him. That sound you hear is everyone giggling.
Not-so-Honorable Mentions: MLS Draft Was as Boring as You Thought it Would Be