Major League Soccer is just about a third of the way through its 2013 regular-season competition.
A chunk of matches this size is a decent enough sample to use when trying to determine trends and themes about the league and how the rest of the year might play out.
Before looking forward, however; its always prudent to look back and discuss what has happened so far. And in this case, specifically the biggest disappointments. While there has been plenty of quality both from individuals and overall team performances, there has also been a good amount of letdown.
The following players and clubs will likely hope to forget how poor they have been so far in Major League Soccer.
Last season, manager Ben Olsen was considered one of the hottest young coaches after leading DC United to the Eastern Conference Finals. That seems like a very, very long time ago for the Black and Red, who have lost seven straight matches in this year's MLS regular season. They currently sit dead last of the 19 teams in the league and are dealing with a seven-game losing streak.
The issues? There are many, but poor goalkeeping, errors in the back and a lack of a healthy and productive Dwayne De Rosario are three of the many problems plaguing the hapless United.
They are not mathematically out of the playoff hunt, per se, but realistically it looks out of the question. Then again Olsen might simply hope for a victory more than anything else at this point.
Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon
It was all about Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon paving the way for Chris Wondolowski to score goals in San Jose during last year's Supporters' Shield conquest. Lenhart and Gordon were playing the game, albeit hard-nosed and physical, with heart and intensity.
And their soccer was pretty effective, too.
This year, injuries and inexcusable suspensions have seen San Jose's No. 9's spend what seems like more time on the sidelines than on the actual field. For Gordon, a homophobic slur directed at an opponent landed him a three-game suspension. And is, frankly, inexcusable.
Lenhart was forced to sit out two games for unnecessarily raking his cleats across the face of a defender: a dirty and cheap action that is clearly outside the laws of the game.
There is playing hard, playing on the edge and simply crossing the line. These two have handled themselves just plain poorly. Hopefully, they will make amends.
Jose Luis “El Chelís” Sanchez Sola
Chivas USA manager Jose Sanchez, affectionately known as, "El Chelis" has brought fresh tactics to MLS. Where almost no team plays with three defenders, "El Chelis" has made it clear that he would prefer to get bodies into the attack, rather than focus on defending.
The offensive gusto sounds nice in theory. And it certainly was beneficial at the very start of the season. But not so, as of late, as Chivas find themselves in the cellar of the Western Conference standings.
The wheels appear to be falling off in regards to Chivas' tactics. Teams' have a good sample of how they play and can plan accordingly: gaps are exposed and weaknesses exploited.
With stud striker Juan Agudelo recently shipped to New England, it might well be a very long season for Chivas USA.