By Kevin Koczwara
A lot has changed in the last week around the MLS. Columbus has struggled since losing to Los Angeles and Colorado has jumped a few spots after a good week. Los Angeles is still the team to beat because no one has done it yet.
1. LA Galaxy – Still undefeated and still the best team in the league. They manhandled a good Houston team 4-1 over the weekend to prove that they don’t need their best players to win easy.
2. Real Salt Lake — RSL tied D.C. United, but they made up major ground the last few weeks in the West, and that should be rewarded. But they can’t have too many more slip-ups because the teams in the West are close behind them.
3. Colorado Rapids — The Rapids beat the Columbus Crew, 1-0, and have only conceded seven goals in ten games. If they can beat Chicago tomorrow and RSL loses to the Galaxy then the Rapids will move into second in the West.
4. New York Red Bulls – After losing to a struggling New England side, the Red Bulls picked themselves up and won two games last week against Western Conference teams, Houston and Chivas.
5. Toronto FC — The Reds tied lowly Kansas City, but they haven’t loss a game in five league games — including a tie with the Galaxy. The unbeaten stretch has seen them collect 11 points and moved them into third in the Eastern Conference.
6. Columbus Crew – It’s been a rough two weeks for the Crew, they lost their first game to Los Angeles and then followed it up with a tie to San Jose and a loss to Colorado. They were once top-class in the league, but now they have hit a bump in the road and will need to pick themselves up after the World Cup break.
7. San Jose Earthquakes – They got beat pretty easily by Toronto a week ago, then they picked their game up against a good Columbus team and tied them. But, a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas in the mid-week doesn’t have San Jose on their best game going into the break.
8. FC Dallas – The Hoops beat a good San Jose team, 2-0, but they still haven’t strung wins together. If they could get a few wins in a row they would be one of the top teams in the MLS, but they just can’t get it all together.
9. Seattle Sounders FC –Maybe this was Seattle’s wake up call — a 3-0 win at home over New England — a team they couldn’t beat in their inaugural season last year. This was one of the first times the Sounders put it together for a full 90 minutes this year.
10. Chicago Fire — The Fire beat the newbies in the league, Philadelphia, 2-1, but it was closer than the scoreline. The Fire need to improve if they want to make it to the MLS Cup, but they have been taking care of business against lesser opponents when they have had to.
11. New England Revolution – A poor display in Seattle after an emotional win at home over New York. Some jet-lag and the Preston Burpo injury could be to blame for the poor display. I’ll give it to them this week. After the break they better be fresh and ready to go or they could see their MLS Cup chances slipping away before they play every team in the league.
12. Houston Dynamo — Houston lost to a bad Philadelphia team last week then lost two games this week to New York and Los Angeles. They were outscored 6-2 in New York and Los Angeles.
13. D.C. United — United tied a very good Real Salt Lake City, holding them scoreless. Things are looking up for D.C. as they are getting a few points here and there, and they are improving each week.
14. Philadelphia Union -– The Union came so close in Chicago, but again lost. The game was close, but the Union haven’t been able to get positive results. One thing going for Philadelphia has to be their two games in hand over D.C.
15. Chivas USA -– Los Angeles based Chivas is still winless since May 5 and the Red Bulls continued that trend with a 1-0 win over the struggling Chivas USA.
16. Kansas City Wizards — The Wizards tied a streaking Toronto team, but are still looking like they will finish last in the Eastern Conference. They will try to prove they aren’t the worst in the league this week when they head to Philadelphia, but a loss could be another huge blow.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at email@example.com.