The Sounders lost their grip on the top spot because they slipped up at home, pure and simple. That was more than enough for Real Salt Lake to slide into the top spot, with the Quakes trailing close behind.
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1: Real Salt lake
Is RSL playing the joyful, free-flowing intricate soccer that we’ve grown to love them for over the past four years? Nope, not even close. But they’re grinding out results every time they take the pitch. Can’t argue with that — especially when they come on the road.
2: San Jose Earthquakes
Should have done better than a draw at home against Chivas, but the Quakes aren’t the first team Dan Kennedy’s ripped off this year. What’s more important is that their depth — in the defense, midfield and up top — keeps on making a difference.
3: Seattle Sounders
Ok, we may have jumped the gun in putting Seattle No. 1. The Sounders managed to stumble once again against a top team after handling FC Dallas midweek. This is a side that’s collecting points, but can they do it against the league’s elite?
4: New York Red Bulls
Four wins in a row, mostly done without Thierry Henry. You’re lying if you said you thought that was possible. Now what remains to be seen is how Hans Backe can work Rafa Márquez back into the mix. It’s worth noting that when he came back, the shutout streak ended.
5: Sporting Kansas
We all know that Sporting are tough, and that they’re not going to keep on losing forever. But if they’re going to be a legitimately great team, they’re going to need to figure out how to break teams down when they’re packed in. So far it hasn’t happened.
Last Week: Lost at Chicago, 2-1
Last Five: W-W-L-L-L
This Week: Saturday at Colorado (9 pm, MLS LIVE)
6: D.C. United
They were under siege against Houston for the entire last half hour — not their finest performance. But Bill Hamid has his mojo back, and the attack still manages to look potent even when they’re not scoring. They just need some health in central defense.
Last Week: Lost at Houston, 1-0
Last Five: W-W-L-W-L
This Week: Wednesday vs. Colorado (7:30 pm, MLS LIVE), Saturday vs. Toronto (7:30 pm, TSN2/MLS LIVE)
7: Houston Dynamo
The best part wasn’t that Brad Davis goal. The best part was that he actually looked healthy for the full 90 minutes — definitely a relief for the Houston braintrust. There are still real questions about the fullbacks, though. None of them have looked good recently.
8: Vancouver Whitecaps
The Power Rankings politburo are big fans of what Martin Rennie’s done. But he’s still got plenty left on his plate in terms of building depth — especially in central defense. The second string were simply ripped apart by the Revs.
Last Week: Lost at New England, 4-1
Last Five: L-W-W-W-L
This Week: Saturday vs. Seattle (5 pm, TSN/MLS LIVE)
9: Chicago Fire
An ugly midweek draw against the league’s best, then an opportunistic weekend win against the team that was — until this week — the conference’s best. The Fire aren’t overwhelming anyone, but they’re starting to string some results together.
Last Week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 0-0; Beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-1
Last Five: W-L-W-T-W
This Week: Sunday at Portland (7 pm, Galavision)
10: Colorado Rapids
Hard to drop during a bye week, but they’ll have a great opportunity to climb now that Conor Casey’s back on a full-time basis. He’ll do so much in terms of bringing the hordes of talented Rapids attackers into the play, and will always get a few goals of his own as well.
Last Week: Bye
Last Five: L-L-W-L-W
This Week: Wednesday at D.C. United (7:30 pm, MLS LIVE), Saturday vs. Sporting KC (9 pm, MLS LIVE)
11: Montreal Impact
Truth is, they should have had three points against LA, but even with a somewhat disappointing home draw, you’ve got to tip your cap to them. They’re unbeaten in four and solidly in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Last Week: Tied LA, 1-1
Last Five: L-T-W-W-T
This Week: Saturday vs. New York (7:30 pm, MLS LIVE)
12: LA Galaxy
Everything that’s available to question about this team has been questioned by fans and the press. Now, winless in four, you’ve got to think that some of those question will start seeping into the locker room as well. Tough times in LA.
Last Week: Tied at Montreal, 1-1
Last Five: W-T-L-L-T
This Week: Saturday at Chivas USA (10:30 pm, ESPN2/Deportes)
13: New England Revolution
Boom! That’s the offensive performance you want to see against a weakened side. Obviously Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber and Saer Sene have been playing great, but Blake Brettschneider does so much for their spacing and pace of play. Totally underrated center forward.
Last Week: Beat Vancouver, 4-1
Last Five: L-L-W-L-W
This Week: Wednesday vs. Seattle (8:30 pm, MLS LIVE), Saturday at Columbus (7:30 pm, MLS LIVE)
14: FC Dallas
It’s hard to have confidence in this FCD group, since they keep finding ways to finish the game with 10 or fewer men. But that was the case early last year as well, and they still put together a good season. They’ll be hoping to repeat that formula.
Last Week: Lost to Seattle, 2-0; Lost at Columbus, 2-1
Last Five: T-T-L-L-L
This Week: Saturday vs. Philadelphia (8:30 pm, MLS LIVE)
Hard to explain this Chivas side, who’ve been able to get four points out of road trips to Buck Shaw and Rio Tinto, but can’t do anything to speak of at their own home. If José Erik Correa is for real — and early returns suggest he is — then expect their form to pick up.
Last Week: Tied San Jose, 1-1
Last Five: W-L-L-L-T
This Week: Saturday vs. LA (10:30 pm, ESPN2/Deportes)
16: Columbus Crew
A much-needed victory that came with a little bit of style as well. They’re starting to figure out their midfield situation a bit — Tony Tchani’s been very good when not yelling at the ref — and Josh Williams continues to impress in central defense.
Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 2-1
Last Five: L-T-L-T-W
This Week: Saturday at San Jose (10:30 pm, MLS LIVE)
17: Philadelphia Union
Hard team to rate right now. They clearly outplayed the Red Bulls for the first 65 minutes, then fell apart as soon as they were pressed to cough up the result. With more lineup changes to come (aren’t there always?), they’re more likely to head down than up.
Last Week: Lost to New York, 3-2
Last Five: W-W-L-L-L
This Week: Saturday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm, MLS LIVE)
18: Portland Timbers
They needed the bye week. Badly. Hopefully Kris Boyd worked on putting some of those wide open headers on target, and the rest of the Timbers worked on defending in groups instead of isolation.
Last Week: Bye
Last Five: L-L-W-L-T
This Week: Tuesday at Houston (8:30 pm, MLS LIVE), Sunday vs. Chicago (7 pm, Galavision)
19: Toronto FC
Champions of Canada! Well, not yet anyway, but the ACC win against Montreal was a positive sign, and they have to be somewhat confident given their history in the tournament. But still … theyr’e prohibitive underdogs against the ‘Caps. And that matters more than the league losing streak right now.
Last Week: Bye
Last Five: L-L-L-L-L
This Week: Saturday at D.C. United (7:30 pm, TSN2/MLS LIVE)