It’s that time of year. For the third year in a row, we’re coming together as MLS’s most SEC fan website to bark at children and pair MLS teams with their college football counterparts. Week zero is tomorrow and we genuinely hope you’ll @ us on social media and leave comments about how you don’t care about college football on this free website where this free article that you have less than zero obligation to read is posted. We genuinely care about your opinions. Definitely don’t fight with us on which team is which though. We’re 100% right about that.
The 2019 edition is here
We’re going in mostly alphabetical order of MLS teams with Atlanta United at the end so as to not show any SEC bias.
Chicago Fire = Nebraska
Chicago Fire manager Raphael Wicky looks liable to sell you the latest iPhone at anytime. This makes him a perfect soccer manager. Scott Frost looks liable to sell you a rusted b=Bowflex at any time (“Tetanus is just weakness leaving the body”). This makes a him a perfect college football coach worthy of his own holiday.
Besides that 1-to-1 comparison, you have the color red and success that feels like decades ago.
Chivas USA = SMU
Look, sometimes the death penalty just happens.
FC Cincinnati = Georgia
Scoring is actually bad.
Colorado Rapids = Cal
QUICK! Name a team you never think about. Did you say Oregon State?
You answered too quickly. What’s the second team you never think about, that’s the real Colorado. Did you say Cal?
Perfect. Right down to the fans phone-banking for the Green Party.
Columbus Crew = Wisconsin
Gyasi Zardes is putting in a Wisconsin tailback level season. Their goal is to win every game 1-0 and they’ve been highly successful at it, sometimes accidentally scoring too many goals. This team is raring up to make a run to the MLS Cup Playoffs/Big 10 Championship (where they’ll get thrashed by MLS Ohio State, but still).
FC Dallas = Georgia Tech
Play the kids. Not because you choose to, but because you’re entire roster is made up of actual children. But hey, you’re doing better than expected so far even if you can’t win in Atlanta.
Austin FC = Houston Cougars
D.C. United = Iowa
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz famously keeps his job with random moments of competence in between...not that. Ben Olsen admires him greatly.
Both coaches would rather not score if they had to.
D.C. United got a result without taking a single shot. Kirk Ferentz broke down crying when he heard that level of greatness was even possible. Expect Iowa to punt on every single down and see if they can force ties to exist in college football again.
Houston Dynamo = Oklahoma State
Orange. Two very much forgotten about titles. When they’re fun they score a lot when they’re bad they...are very bad. Chuba Hubbard was Alberth Elis but I guess now he’s Darwin Quintero? Sorry about the drop off in production Chuba.
Inter Miami = uhhh...Miami
Everyone expects them to do a bit better just because of name recognition. Bright colors. D’Eriq King is Gonzalo Higuain/Blaise Matuidi in that he’ll only be there for a year before he moves on to better things. Equal numbers of attendance probably whenever attendance exists again.
LAFC = Oklahoma
Points! Defense? Losing in the playoffs.
LA Galaxy = Notre Dame
Living off a name and past success. Just when you think they might be back they remind you just how not back they actually are.
Minnesota United = Clemson
Well well it’s just little ole’ Climpsun who ain’t never beat nobody no way no how. No one can believe that this team made it this far despite making four national title games in the last five years. Just like no one believes in little old Minnesota United. WHEN ARE PEOPLE GOING TO STOP DOUBTING THESE TEAMS??
Montreal Impact = Michigan
Coach who knows that he could execute every single play better than his players if he was on the field? Check.
A language credit requirement? Check.
Nashville SC = TCU
Doing better than people realize! But not like amazing. But better! Defensive minded too.
But most importantly...
We hear y’all folks in Nashville like coaches named “Gary” and country music.
Charlotte FC - Kentucky
The entire state of North Carolina is basically a basketball school. Expect not many people to pay attention to the football team.
New England Revolution = UNC
This should really just read Bruce Arena = Mack Brown.
New York Red Bulls = South Carolina
Beating a team from Georgia with a bunch of no names you say?
NYCFC = USC
Congrats to Ronny Delia on winning the 2020 “Clay Helton Still Has A Job Award.”
Both teams also play in big cities. Both teams also play in stadiums far more famous for other sports.
Orlando City = Penn State
Things were pretty bad on the field there for a second, but they finally got the right coach in and they’re playing a lot better now. If James Franklin is Oscar Pareja, then Trace McSorley is Nani. Plus a very passionate and definitely too online fan base.
Philadelphia Union = Oregon
A steady, spread out yet still kind of smashmouth team with a bunch of different guys who can hurt you.
Most importantly though
Portland Timbers = Texas A&M
This is fascinating because both fanbases have this weird, culty thing going on, but very much on opposite ends of the political spectrum. You know Aggies are perking up when they hear that Timbers fans are part of an army though. Portland fans are basically A&Mtifa.
Real Salt Lake = BYU
Besides geography, both teams have won a championship that historical accounts are very unclear about on how, why and if it actually happened.
San Jose Earthquakes = Minnesota
Matias Almeyda, meet P.J. Fleck.
Minnesota I’m sorry but I think this means you’re about to lose every game by 70?
Seattle Sounders = LSU
Loud fans, loud colors, winning team, football that hasn’t advanced tactically past 2002.*
*OK SO. I did this last year and both teams happened to win championships. It’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to performing right hand path magic.
Sporting KC = Every team?
Peter Vermes is a football coach cosplaying as a soccer man. He missed his true calling. He can’t run from it though. You see it in his eyes when he’s complaining about time wasting despite his team totally time wasting all the time. Saban-esque.
On top of that they have a passionate fan base and the team ranges from amazing to trash week-to-week. They cover every aspect of every college football team.
Therefore SKC could be pretty much any team. Let your heart guide you here.
St. Louis City SC = Ole Miss
This is St. Louis’s Sporting Director.
Toronto FC = Ohio State/Odd-Year Auburn
They’ve earned this one. They’re consistently very good even when it seems like they may not be. They’ve made three of the last four MLS Cups and last year’s run had serious Cardale Jones in 2014 energy. Plus, rivals with MLS Michigan.
Last year also had Auburn devil voodoo magic energy because they won a game with 0.14 xG compared to Atlanta’s 2.00. so. yeah.
Vancouver Whitecaps = Vanderbilt
Both start with Van. Both play in regions that have sent a team to the championship game every year for the last five—Cascadia meet SEC. There’s no chance in hell they’ll ever be that team from that region. We’re praying for them.
Atlanta United - Florida State
Player mutinies? A coach getting dissed by his players in the media? Catastrophic injuries? No o-line/midfield? Fans that lash out online? Team collapses a short time after winning a championship?
This is us. We’re here now. And it’s unclear when the good days are coming back.
But at least football is back.
MLS = MAC
No MLS team is going to be the best team in the sport. But dammit if this isn’t fun to watch teams try to outcluster each other on the way to winning games and cannibalizing each other’s records. It’s a mess, it’s sometimes more exciting than any big game could hope to be and you have to love the consistently weird product it brings to the table. MLS is MAC as hell, and thank the good lord for it.
If you want to listen to us think out our reasoning for some of these, or just happen to be a fan of terrible audio quality like me, we have a bonus podcast that has both of those things. Feel free to @ us with your suggestions. It helps us know who to mute.