A month into the MLS season and we're starting to separate the best from the rest. But what to do about Columbus? And Houston? How much do Portland's two wins mean in the rankings? Our panel fought it out after another tough week of results for the latest rankings. Got an issue? Vote for your own!
All match times for this week's games are ET, only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.
No. 1 in the MLS power rankings, and fighting to be No. 1 in CONCACAF as well. The next 10 days will determine whether this RSL bunch go down as a great team, or a truly legendary one. Win or lose against Monterrey, this is still the best team in MLS until someone proves otherwise.
Two DPs out and a third on the bench? No problem. Bruce Arena has to be happy with the way the defense has bounced back since their humiliation in Utah, and two goals this weekend is a welcome improvement. Whether it’s sustainable is another matter.
They’ve dropped two in a row, but a 1-0 loss at Rio Tinto without Pablo Mastroeni and Conor Casey is hardly a black eye. Especially given the fact that the goal they conceded was ... questionable. Still, there are starting to be some concerns about set-piece defense in Commerce City.
Is Luke Rodgers the answer to RBNY’s spacing problems? The English striker is both short and short on skill, but he makes great runs and doesn’t miss empty nets – something no one else on New York can claim. A worry is that, for the second game in a row, Tim Ream had a bad turnover in his own end.
The problem with playing for a 1-0 result every game is that, as the season goes on and opposing offenses work out the kinks, it becomes more and more difficult to post zeroes. Philly need to start producing or those 1-0s will turn into 1-1s and 1-2s.
Alvaro Fernandez played the hero in a monsoon at PPL Park with his late equalizer, a much-needed goal for both his confidence and his team’s. The Sounders aren’t quite stringing together the results they want, but they’re not giving away points, either.
Shutting out 10-man FC Dallas and a scuffling Chivas USA? All well and good. Shutting out the high-powered Sporting KC attack? That’s something to hang your hat on. The Crew defense is ... ahem ... “massive,” and the addition of Dilly Duka to the midfield provides some much-needed class and composure. Still looking for goals, though.
Tally Hall hasn’t had to stand on his head the past couple of games, and the Dynamo got six points for their efforts. With Sergio Koke coming in, Brian Ching getting healthy and the defense clicking, this is starting to resemble the Dynamo teams from the middle of the last decade.
The Quakes got steamrolled in New York after conceding two bad, early goals. They were undisciplined and just didn’t look up for the fight – totally unlike a Frank Yallop team. Not time to panic just yet, but the tactical shift to a 4-3-3 is not paying early dividends.
Injuries and red cards have played havoc with Sporting’s young season, to the point that it’s hard to get a read on what this team really is. Right now, they look like they could use a few more months of preseason and another orchestrator in the central midfield.
In terms of pure talent, this is probably a top-three team – but in terms of results, they’re an early-season disappointment. The leadership of Dax McCarty is missed as much, if not more, than his onfield contributions. That first half in Portland is one of the worst any team has submitted this season.
DC’s a fun team to watch because they attack relentlessly, and have the goal total to vouch for it. A healthy Chris Pontius makes their midfield dynamic and, obviously, Charlie Davies is the story of the young season thus far. How they hold up on defense, though, will tell the story of how good this team becomes.
Two home games, seven goals, six points. For 72 hours, Rip City was probably Mardi Gras, Christmas Morning and Super Bowl weekend all rolled into one. The Timbers play a direct, uncomplicated style and are improving each week. Can’t ask for more than that from an expansion team.
The ‘Caps pressed and pressed for the winner last weekend but couldn’t find it. Disappointing, but at the same time, they also recorded their first-ever shutout. It was badly needed for a group that had been leaky at the back, and always seems to be missing a few pieces.
After what looked like a promising start, the Fire taken a dive. Their defense bunches up far too easily and can be exposed with quick switches, and they’re getting precious little creativity from the center of the pitch. Right now, they’re a team that can’t get on the same page with each other.
A 1-0 loss in Houston without so many key players is an acceptable result, and A.J. Soares once again looked like a Rookie of the Year candidate. But they need to regroup before they can prove themselves as a tough out this season, and they'll certainly need to muster more offense than we've seen so far.
A point on the road is a good result, and a shutout of previously high-scoring Vancouver is nice as well. But there’s not much to say this team will be a regular threat to score themselves, and they’re lacking on on-field identity. Like TFC, it’s a work in progress that will probably get worse before it gets better.
Aron Winter said he was embarrassed by his team’s showing against DC, and he was right to be. But keep in mind this is a squad being molded on the fly, and not likely to have their feet under them fully until midseason at the earliest. Keeping morale from slipping is, at this point, almost as important as getting results.