By Ryan Fleming
This week, a lot has changed, but the top teams stay the same. Overall I am most impressed with how the Galaxy are playing without two of their best players. The Revs still cannot score and the Sounders aren’t playing to their full potential.
1. LA Galaxy – Even without their best players, the Galaxy continue to win and make me second guess myself. Mike Magee scored his first of the season and the Galaxy continue to roll. They take on a tough Columbus team this Saturday on the road.
2. Columbus Crew – The Crew thrashed New York, 3-1, in New York. Legit, they beat up on NY. Oh, they also played Sunday, beating Kansas, 1-0. If Columbus beats LA this weekend, only three points will separate them from the league-lead. Though, the absence of Robbie Rogers is noticeable.
3. San Jose Earthquakes – Yes, the Earthquakes beat a Seattle team that is struggling as much as any team right now. Either way, they’re finding ways to win and sit in second place with three other teams.
4. Real Salt Lake – Beating the current Western Conference cellar dweller, Chivas USA, isn’t that impressive. It’s the way they won. After losing captain Kyle Beckerman in the 20th minute to injury, sub Fabian Espindola gave RSL the lead in the 89th minute. For a team trying to separate itself from the pack, more efforts like this will be needed.
5. Houston Dynamo – Luis Landin had two assists, and 20-year-old Danny Cruz scored his first-ever MLS goal, beating D.C., 2-0. The Dynamo have a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time all season and take a jump in the standings, when they host the Union on Saturday.
6. New York Red Bulls – It was a tough week for NY. Columbus frustrated the Red Bulls, scoring two goals in the first half, while NY had the ball for most of the premier frame. Then again, NY managed to beat Juventus, 3-1, Sunday night. Who knows what they’re capable of.
7. Toronto FC – The Reds played tough against a lowly Revolution team that cannot find the back of the net. The game could have gone either way, with both team’s blowing constant chances. We will see where TFC really stands when they take on San Jose this weekend.
8. Colorado Rapids – The Rapids had a week off from play, giving them some extra rest as they travel to NY in search of their fourth road win this season. A win for Colorado could help boost the Rapids away from the bottom of the Western Conference table.
9. Seattle Sounders – Seattle couldn’t overcome San Jose’s early goal in Saturday’s match. The crammed May schedule continues with a exhibition against Boca Juniors on Wednesday and a visit to the rested Rapids on Saturday. Seattle hasn’t scored two goals in a game since April 22nd, a 2-2 tie to Dallas.
10. FC Dallas – I’m not quite sure how to grasp LA still. So, for now, Dallas will make the top 10 despite their 1-0 loss to the Galaxy. The loss was the first at home since almost a year ago. In that time Dallas hasn’t been beaten at Pizza Hut Park in 12 matches. Dallas hosts Chicago on ESPN2’s Game of the Week on Thursday.
11. Chivas USA – By no means are Chivas out of the Western Conference. Between the No. 2 and No. 7 seeds, only six points are the difference. A win over the league’s worst team, D.C, is a step in the right direction.
12. Chicago Fire – The only thing going for the Fire’s supporters is that they now know their players can make pizza. After a week off from league play, Chicago hosts Dallas on Thursday and takes on AC Milan on Sunday. What a week.
13. Kansas City Wizards – KC is winless in it’s last six and find itself near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Things don’t get easier as the Wizards travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on a steady RSL club.
14. New England Revolution – Welcome back, Shalrie Joseph. The midfield star is back with the Revs but couldn’t do enough as Toronto shutout the goal-hungry New England team. NY comes to town Saturday for a inner-conference match up.
15. Philadelphia Union – Positives: a week off and selling out their season tickets. Negatives: the Union have only four points this season and are one point away from owning the worst record in the league. Step 1 to recovery: get a point this weekend at Houston.
16. D.C. United – United have lost three in a row and have scored only four goals. You know things aren’t going well when you have scored more goals than you have points (three) and have allowed a league-high in goals (18).
Ryan Fleming is an editor and writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.