Well it was a very interesting week in Major League Soccer, no home teams won and while there were some very interesting results there was one team that stood head and shoulders above the rest, but as always we start at the bottom.
18. Sporting KC - even
I don't believe that Sporting KC is the worst team in MLS, but given that they are starting with 10 matches on the road they simply have been victims of an awful start. It will be important for them to get the max points at home if they want to have even an outside shot at the playoffs but with just 7 road matches in their final 24, they will have a chance to get points in a hurry. Their final road trip of the 10 will have them head to Toronto on Saturday, a win could move them out of the bottom place.
17. Toronto FC - down 2
So when a coupe of teams cut their coaches loose this weekend, I was a bit surprised that Aron Winter wasn't one of them after his team lost 5-2 at home, and have now given up a league worst 23 goals. Listen they simply looked awful against the Union, and while the team has some talented players they clearly lack leadership and vision not only on the pitch but as an organization. You now see something that we have never seen from TFC and their fans, empty seats at BMO Field. They will host Sporting KC on Saturday, and you have to believe that anything less than a win might be the end of the line for some people in the organization.
16. Vancouver Whitecaps - up 1
They move up for their draw with New York and because TFC was so very bad this weekend. The Whitecaps made some changes as their head coach and keeper coach both resigned and the turn around time for the team and their new staff is short as they will play at Chivas USA on Wednesday and then at Real Salt Lake on Saturday. I really feel that this is an example of an organization wanting to bring in someone new to MLS and then cutting their legs out from under them before they can learn how the league works. There is a lot of talent on the Whitecaps roster but they play with a lack of consistency and focus, which is typical of an expansion team.
15. Chicago Fire - up 1
They didn't move up based on their 2-2 draw at home against San Jose, rather they moved up because Toronto moved down. I wasn't at all surprised the Carlos de los Cobos was let go as head coach, this team was going nowhere in a hurry as they looked like an expansion team with a bunch of players each doing their own thing and very little team cohesion on the pitch. They will get to face good test on Saturday when they host the Sounders.
14. New England Revolution - down 1
Losing at home to LA isn't that bad, but it isn't that good either. I keep waiting on the Rev's to get things organized with their new faces, but it just hasn't happened. Now they get to lose a few key pieces due to the Gold Cup, it will be an interesting June for the Rev's and it starts out with a tough road trip down to Texas to face FC Dallas on Saturday.
13. DC United - up 1
Well they move up with a road win, but a lot of question remain for me when it comes to DC United. Their 3-2 win at Portland was good but they have allowed 20 goals to be scored against them, and that will come back to haunt them in the end. This team has good talent, and if they play like they did in the first half on Saturday they will get some more wins. They failed to close down Portland in the second half and the match was very frantic at the end, I still don't get the PK issues, but hey whatever. We will find out a lot about DC United on Friday night as they head to LA to face the Galaxy.
12. San Jose Earthquakes - even
A 2-2 draw at Chicago is a road point and those are always good, still the Fire are simply not that good and twice the Quakes had the lead only to let the Fire back into the match. I do like that other players are getting in on the offense both scoring and assists to provide depth beyond Chris Wondolowski, that will be important as the season goes along. The Quakes will face a solid test on Saturday as they play host to the "original" Quakes when the Houston Dynamo come to town.
11. Columbus Crew - down 1
I guess I give the Crew credit from coming from behind 3 times to get a 3-3 draw at home against Chivas USA, but just one win in their last 5 and their 14 points have them on the outside of the playoffs if they started right now. Perhaps even worse is that a reported attendance of under 10K for the match, hate to see the team struggle like that to get fans out. The Crew have a really big test this weekend as they will head to New York to take on the Red Bulls on Saturday.
10 Chivas USA - up 1
Oh the Goats may have struggled at the start of the season but they now have 3 results in their last 5 and a solid record away from the HDC (2-1-3) which tells me that while the team still is adjusting to Robin Fraser and what he is looking for from the team, but that they are starting to play together as a team. This is a huge week for Chivas USA as they will host both of the 2011 expansion teams, with Vancouver coming to LA on Wednesday and Portland coming in on Saturday night. A couple wins and Chivas could find themselves right in the middle of the playoff hunt.
9. Houston Dynamo - even
A tough week for Houston as they lost a tough match at LA midweek and then battled to a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday, but despite no wins in their last 5 matches they would still make the playoffs if they started today. I think scoring the tying goal despite being down a man speaks to the character that Houston has shown this year despite the lack of recent wins. This team could be trouble if they can replace Koke with someone who really wants to be there. They head to the West coast to face the "new" San Jose Earthquakes, always a fun rivalry match when these two meet.
8. Portland Timbers - down 2
Well, the Timbers had started to believe their own hype and got punched in the nose by DC United. I was impressed that they kept battling, and tried their best to get back into the match. So the big question is what will they do on Saturday when they travel south to face Chivas USA? I do hope they get back to basics, it is what can make them a good team, and get them more results. Oh and Kenny your stutter step on PK attempts is just as illegal as the keeper leaving their line early.
7. Seattle Sounders - up 1
The Sounders did what nobody else has been able to do in MLS for the last two years, get a win at Rio Tinto Stadium. Their 2-1 win was impressive, the shot by Lamar Neagle should be goal of the week, I also give huge credit to Kasey Keller and his best friend the crossbar who had a combined 6 saves. It was huge for them to rebound after the midweek loss to FC Dallas, which keeps them from moving higher. If they play as well at Chicago on Saturday they should pick up 3 more points.
6. Colorado Rapids - up 1
It is the 2-2 draw against New York that moves the Rapids up, not the 1-1 draw with Sporting KC. You have to believe that something has to give soon 5 straight draws is not bad if you are on the road but in a very good Western Conference you need wins at home. Will they be able to get a win on Saturday when they host the Philadelphia Union who looked very good against TFC on Saturday morning?
5. New York Red Bulls - even
No wins in their last 5 matches, and two draws last week, yup I think the Red Bulls have proven they can be good, heck they could probably be great, but instead they are playing down to their competition. A midweek 2-2 draw against defending MLS Cup champs Colorado, is acceptable, but you have to believe that they expected more than a 1-1 draw against expansion side Vancouver. I still say this team has nobody who really wants to play defense, their defenders want to be part of the offense and that leaves them on their heels too often. It will be interesting to see what happens with Tim Ream and Rafa Marquez both gone on Gold Cup duty, someone is going to have to step up. They host the Crew on Saturday and you have to believe that anything less than a win will probably raise a lot of eyebrows at Red Bull Arena.
4. Real Salt Lake - down 2
A harsh reality is settling in, the depth that RSL was counting on may not be able to bear the weight of so many absences. No I don't think it is time to panic, heck I am not even sure it is time to be too concerned (5-2-2 isn't bad), but their two year home undefeated streak is history after the Sounders took advantage of a 10 man RSL side to get a 2-1 win. I think RSL has depth to lose a player or two at any position, but up top they have two players on Gold Cup duty, and two players out with injuries, and while Jean Alexandre held his own up top on Saturday (my opinion on that isn't shared by many), RSL has some issues to deal with. Can they get things figured out on Saturday when they will host expansion side Vancouver?
3. FC Dallas - up 1
When you get 4 points from a week with two road matches, you will move up my rankings. A solid 1-0 win at Seattle, and then a 2-2 draw in Houston on Saturday mean that FC Dallas are showing that their defend and counter style is capable of getting results both at home and on the road. Now they get to return home for a Saturday match with the New England Revoution, that should be another win for FC Dallas.
2. Philadelphia Union - up 1
Well I had questioned if the Union could remain a top team if they couldn't find a way to score more goals, little did I think they would hang a six pack on Toronto on Saturday. Makes me glad that I watched the match. Now we do have to remember this was done against a very bad TFC team, so their stay in the top 2 could be short lived unless they can follow up that 6-2 win with a solid outing on Saturday at Colorado.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy - up 1
Two matches, two wins, and a clear number one team emerges. While I may not have been impressed by either of their wins, the reality is that they have 8 wins and 29 points from 15 matches. They have played more matches than anyone in MLS but the reality is they keep getting results and have just two losses out of 15 matches. It should be interesting to see how they do without Landon for a couple weeks, thankfully their June isn't that busy. Up next is a Friday night showdown with visiting DC United.
Well there you go, my power rankings. There are 10 MLS matches this week, so it could be an interesting week.
OFF MY SOAPBOX