1. Seattle Sounders (Last: 4, W 4-1 v COL, Next: v PHI)
– Patrick: These guys are absolutely on fire right now. Their big signing, Clint Dempsey, is finally starting to come into form with the team. It’s all clicking… at least on the offensive side. Their defense still leaves a lot to be desired but when you hang 3-4 goals on your opposition, your defense can be so-so.
2. Real Salt Lake (Last: 1, D 2-2 v VAN, Next: at CHI)
– Patrick: Dropping points late in games is turning into a bit of a habit for this team. In all honesty, they would have dropped further if other teams would have done better below them. Need to see something different from them in Chicago this weekend.
3. LA Galaxy (Last: 3, BYE, Next: at COL)
– Patrick: Just how many bye weeks does this team have to start the season? They don’t move by virtue of things breaking just the right way for them. A road game in Colorado this weekend looks to be a pretty entertaining game.
4. Sporting Kansas City (Last Week: 2, L 0-2 at NE, Next: v CLB)
– Patrick: Until the last 15 minutes in New England, it was a really boring game. Then Collin decides to go lunging in on a tackle outside his area. You can argue if the red was deserved or not, but I’m of the opinion that Collin had it coming. From there, KC pushed and got burned for it.
5. New York Red Bulls (Last Week: 11, W 4-0 v HOU & D 1-1 at CLB, Next: at FCD)
– Patrick: A really big week for the Red Bulls. They looked like an inspired side, wanting to protect their crown. Wright-Phillips is exactly what the doctor ordered. Getting 4 points off eastern conference foes was a big big deal. Their game with Dallas this weekend is the top clash.
6. New England Revolution (Last Week: 6, W 2-0 v SKC, Next: at TFC)
– Patrick: A big big win for them over KC. It wasn’t one that you brag about in style, but the end result was something to be proud of. This is one of the more confusing teams in the league. They have talent but at times just don’t know how to put it together. A road test at TFC this weekend looks to be a great way of seeing just how lucky the SKC result was.
7. Toronto FC (Last Week: 7, BYE, Next Week: v NE)
– Patrick: A week of rest is what these guys desperately needed. The sooner they can get their top talent back on the field, the better. They host New England this weekend and it feels a lot like a must-win situation for the club. They need to restore the talk of the league to their side as it is quickly moving from them to Seattle.
8. Vancouver Whitecaps (Last Week: 8, D 2-2 at RSL, Next: v SJ)
– Patrick: Over the 90 minutes, they were the better team at Rio Tinto Stadium. That isn’t the biggest reason they moved up, though. Carl Robinson showed that he knows how to manage in this league. His adjustments won him the point and, on a better shooting night, probably get him the full 3. Pretty crazy to think after how poorly they started the game. Hosting SJ this weekend could be a trap game if they aren’t careful.
9. Columbus Crew (Last Week: 8, D 1-1 v NY, Next: at SKC)
– Patrick: They hosted the Red Bulls, who were playing on short rest, and didn’t look right. This team is having an identity crisis of sorts. Kansas City isn’t exactly the best place to go find your identity, either, so don’t look for things to change this week.
10. DC United (Last Week: 15, W 4-1 v FCD, Next: at POR)
– Patrick: While Seattle might be the hottest team in the league, these guys aren’t too far off. They’ve won 3 in a row now, and this time they did it with some flair. Fabian Espindola looks to have found the form RSL fans dreamed of. Are they good outside RFK? A big test at Portland this weekend will give us a glimpse into that question.
11. FC Dallas (Last Week: 5, L 1-4 at DCU, Next: v NY)
– Patrick: I’m probably being a bit too harsh on this team, but man what a horrendous display. Lloyd makes two boneheaded plays on what could have been a coasting night for Dallas. They got all out of sorts for a 20 minute stretch and were made to pay dearly for it. Are they good away from home? Can they not hit their typical slump? As of right now, I’m saying no to both of those.
12. Colorado Rapids (Last Week: 6, L 1-4 at SEA, Next: v LA)
– Patrick: Again, probably being too harsh on these guys. Still, they went from a side looking like they could hang around with teams away from home to just getting utterly dominated. I think they spring back, but the concern is there. Their two marquee road wins haven’t exactly been great displays. A tough test this weekend with LA can tell us a bit more about this young side.
13. San Jose ‘Quakes (Last Week: 16, W 1-0 v CHV, Next: at VAN)
– Patrick: They got off the winless mark with a rather ugly display. Still, a win is a win, something Portland has yet to be able to say this year. San Jose has some talented players, so it really is a shame they play the way they do. Their new addition, in particular, looks like a genuinely good soccer player. I don’t expect them to do much this year and think we’ll get to see the “real” San Jose side this weekend in Vancouver.
14. Philadelphia Union (Last Week: 12, L 0-1 at MTL, Next: at SEA)
– Patrick: Losing to Montreal and drawing with RSL pretty much sums up this team. Confusing beyond belief. They are a very young side, one that just can’t figure it out in the middle of the field. I think they are going to finally get a true whooping this weekend in Seattle. Don’t know if it will help the team, but it will show that they are a lot more off than some people want to believe.
15. Houston Dynamo (Last Week: 13, L 0-4 at NY & D 1-1 v POR, Next: at CHV)
– Patrick: A really rough week for the Dynamo. They got completely demolished in New York. For parts of the game they looked like they might figure it out but in the end they just got outclassed. Kinnear almost always has a side that struggles, finds itself, and then makes a run. I see this team as being no different. The only problem is that the World Cup is going to take away their best player. Kinnear has his work cut out for him in figuring out a way to get this team to click without Garcia.
16. Portland Timbers (Last Week: 17, D 1-1 at HOU, Next: v DCU)
– Patrick: Who had this team being the last to bag a win? Nobody. Not a single person. It’s truly incredible to see how much they are struggling this year. There is no way around it, they have to win this weekend against DC United. A loss there and the team will tailspin out of control. They got a decent result in Houston, now they need to build off of it.
17. Chivas USA (Last Week: L 0-1 v SJ, Next v HOU)
– Patrick: Oh Chivas. You continue to disappoint me. I really am at a loss for words. They remind me of a Sunday league team. They just seem to be a bunch of guys thrown together that one time played great so they keep going at it. The bottom line, this team is bad. Not horrendous, but truthfully really bad. A few piece here and there will get them points through the season, but it’s going to be a clean-house job at the end of the season.
18. Montreal Impact (Last Week: 19, W 1-0 v PHI, Next: BYE)
– Patrick: Well, they won a game. It was far from convincing, but they won. What was completely amazing to me was that they kept a clean sheet. Now if that speaks to them or Philadelphia is debatable, but it remains a clean sheet. They have a bye week this weekend so it won’t give us a chance to see if the game was a fluke or new side. Still, I just don’t see it from their midfield and central defense.
19. Chicago Fire (Last Week: 18, BYE, Next: v RSL)
– Patrick: Someone had to fall to the bottom spot with Montreal winning. I don’t think the Fire will stay here long, but I also don’t think they make too much space between it. It’ll be interesting to see if they changed anything over their bye week. A team that tries to run the game through the midfield they currently have will get destroyed by RSL.