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MLS Power Rankings: March 25

1 (4) Montreal (4-0-0, 9 points). Beat New York 1-0; Beat Toronto 2-1. Montreal No. 1, really? Yeah, I know, but they’re the only team that has performed in every match so far this season.

2 (16) Dallas (3-1-0, 9 points). Beat Real Salt Lake 2-0; Beat Houston 3-2. Until the win over RSL, Dallas hadn’t been exactly convincing, but as the second 3-win team in the league, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

3 (1) Los Angeles (2-0-1, 7 points). Beat Colorado 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Chivas USA. Two sluggish performances kept the Galaxy undefeated, but just barely. They need to put teams away, though.

4 (2) Houston (2-1-0, 6 points). Beat Vancouver 2-1; Lost 3-2 to Dallas. A nice comeback against Vancouver kept the Dynamo’s long home undefeated streak going and also ended a bad stretch of results.

5 (15) Chivas USA (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat Chicago 4-1; Drew 1-1 with Los Angeles. A crushing win at Chicago hopefully will be enough to get by far the lowest-attended team in the league to start drawing a crowd.

6 (3) Vancouver (2-1-0, 6 points). Lost 2-1 to Houston. For about an hour, the Caps were the best team against Houston. Then Darren Mattocks failed to score on a break away and the Dynamo scored twice. Still, the Caps are pretty decent.

7 (11) San Jose (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat Seattle 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Columbus. Like Dallas, San Jose haven’t been exactly convincing so far, but a good win against a quality team should be enough.

8 (8) Columbus (2-1-1, 7 points). Beat DC United 1-0; Drew 1-1 with San Jose. The Crew’s win at DC might have been mostly down to good goalkeeping and some luck, but they have to feel like a solid playoff team.

9 (12) Philadelphia (2-1-0, 6 points). Didn’t play; Beat New England 1-0. The Union have only shown glimmers of their potential this season but have been eking out results against so-so teams while their new players try to gel.

10 (6) Kansas City (1-1-2, 5 points). Drew 0-0 with New England; Drew 0-0 with Chicago. Two matches, two excruciating goalless draws. KC were the more dominant in both matches, but aren’t creating – or scoring – chances.

11 (5) Real Salt Lake (1-2-1, 4 points). Lost to Dallas 2-0; Drew 1-1 with Colorado. We’ll probably give RSL a pass this week with so many internationals not playing, but they haven’t looked like the same team so far this season.

12 (7) DC United (1-2-1, 4 points). Lost 1-0 to Columbus; Drew 0-0 with New York. Good defense, virtually no attack whatsoever. Not sure what’s wrong in DC, but they need to get it right before they’re far back of the playoff pack.

13 (9) New England (1-1-1, 4 points). Drew 0-0 with Kansas City; Lost 1-0 to Philadelphia. No shock that the Revs didn’t score against the league’s best defense and minus Jerry Bengtson and Saer Sene. Still waiting for Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja to get on the same page, though.

14 (14)  Toronto (1-2-0, 3 points). Didn’t play; Lost 2-1 to Montreal. I’m enjoying Toronto, who probably have the worst squad – on paper at least – in the league, but seem hungry. The two signings from England are looking good as well.

15 (18) Portland (0-1-2, 2 points). Didn’t play; Drew 1-1 with Seattle. Well, Portland looked better against Seattle, though they gave up the first goal for the third straight match. Now if they can equate dangerous play with goals.

16 (10) Seattle (0-2-1, 1 point). Lost to San Jose 1-0; Drew 1-1 with Portland. It’s great that the Sounders advanced to the Champions League semifinals, but are they doing it at the expense of their league position?

17 (13) New York (0-2-2, 2 points). Lost 1-0 to Montreal; Drew 0-0 with DC United. Another scoreless match, though at least in this case it was because Thierry Henry refuses to play on turf was injured. New York have been desperately poor, though.

18 (17) Colorado (0-3-1, 1 point). Lost 1-0 to Los Angeles; Drew 1-1 with Real Salt Lake. Two decent performances (three if you count the loss to Dallas) have only resulted in one point for the Rapids, who, predictably, are still missing Martin Rivero and Edson Buddle.

19 (19) Chicago (0-3-1, 1 point). Lost 4-1 to Chivas USA; Drew 0-0 with Kansas City. On the bright side, it can’t get any worse for Chicago. Can it?

MLS Power Rankings: Birthday Edition

1 (1) Los Angeles (1-0-0, 3 points). Didn’t play. The Galaxy got a week off for Champions League matches, though that now means they have a three-day window between that and the Chivas match. Up next: Chivas USA on Sunday

2 (2) Houston (1-0-0, 3 points). Didn’t play. With Seattle’s Champions League win, the pressure is on Houston, sort of, to get a result at Santos Laguna, which seems a bit unlikely. Up next: At Dallas on Sunday

3 (7) Vancouver (2-0-0, 6 points). Beat Columbus 2-1. Vancouver were occasionally dominant against Columbus, but their finishing was poor. Also, Darren Mattocks is still 20 goals shy of his 20 goal prediction for this year. Up next: At Houston on March 23

4 (6) Montreal (2-0-0, 6 points). Beat Portland 2-1. There isn’t really a question that Montreal is pretty good. The question is more whether they can keep this up all season. Up next: Toronto on Saturday

5 (4) Real Salt Lake (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to DC United 1-0. It was an uninspiring – if a little cruel – defeat in DC this weekend. Nonetheless, Real looks playoff-quality. Up next: Colorado on Saturday

6 (3) Kansas City (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Toronto 2-1. For the second consecutive match, KC gave up an early goal in a road game, except this time they couldn’t come back to win. They can’t keep doing that if they want to stay among the elite. Up next: Chicago on Saturday

7 (11) DC United (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Real Salt Lake 1-0. It was a mostly mediocre performance against RSL, but three points are good, and they’re bound to figure out their striker situation at some point. Up next: At New York on Saturday

8 (5) Columbus (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Vancouver 2-1. The Crew were less convincing against Vancouver than they were against Chivas, but still could’ve gotten a point. Up next: San Jose on Saturday

9 (14) New England (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chicago 1-0. Well that was a nice way to open the season, wasn’t it? Sure, the Fire were better early on, but the Revs grew into the match and could’ve won by multiple goals. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday

10 (8) Seattle (0-1-0, 0 points). Didn’t play. The Sounders became the first MLS team to beat a Mexican team in the Champions League quarterfinals. And apparently Obafemi Martins is on his way. Up next: Portland on Saturday

11 (13) San Jose (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat New York 2-1. For 80 minutes, it looked like the Quakes were going to go goalless and lose again, then they rallied and grabbed a crucial three points. Still, they really need their wounded players to get healthy. Up next: At Columbus on Saturday

12 (17) Philadelphia (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Colorado 2-1. It’s debatable whether the Union deserved three points against Colorado in terrible conditions, but the Union will take it. They have a winnable match at home against the Revs up next. Up next: New England on Saturday

13 (12) New York (0-1-1, 1 point). Lost to San Jose 2-1. The Red Bulls are still all over the place defensively, but they look decent in attack and get to play at home next. Up next: DC United on Saturday

14 (18)  Toronto (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Kansas City 2-1. Wow, that’s probably the best Toronto has played in a year, at least. They probably still won’t win much this season, but their fight is encouraging. And Robert Earnshaw could score 15 goals this year. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

15 (19) Chivas USA (1-1-0, 3 points). Beat Dallas 3-1. OK, so is Chivas the team that were hammered by Columbus at home or the one that wore Dallas out at the end to romp to an easy victory. Will anyone watch? Up next: At LA Galaxy on Sunday

16 (9) Dallas (1-1-0, 3 points). Lost to Chivas 3-1. You could certainly make the argument that Dallas are still better than Chivas, but nonetheless, falling apart as they did late is worrying. Up next: Houston on Sunday

17 (15) Colorado (0-2-0, 0 points). Lost to Philadelphia 2-1. The Rapids desperately need Edson Buddle, Jaime Castrillon and Martin Rivero back. And some decent goalkeeping. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday

18 (10) Portland (0-1-1, 1 point). Lost 2-1 to Montreal. I still think the Timbers will get it going at some point this year. It might not be enough to get them into the playoffs, but it’ll happen. Up next: At Seattle on Saturday

19 (16) Chicago (0-2-0, 0 points). Lost to New England 1-0. Arne Friedrich is out for at least a few more weeks, if not longer. Sherjill MacDonald is a disappointment. The midfield isn’t working. Am I missing anything, Fire fans? Up next: At Kansas City on Saturday

MLS Power Rankings: March 4

1 (1) Los Angeles (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chicago 4-0. Mike Magee and the Galaxy announced they wouldn’t be pushovers sans Donovan and Beckham by thrashing the Fire. Now they deal with Champions League matches. Up next: Chivas USA on March 17

2 (2) Houston (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat DC United 2-0. Houston did what they were supposed to, beating a surprisingly defensive DC United. Next up is the Champions League. Up next: At FC Dallas on March 17

3 (3) Kansas City (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Philadelphia 3-1. KC was a bit shaky initially against Philadelphia, but cruised in a dominant second half. Up next: At Toronto on Saturday

4 (6) Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat San Jose 2-0. RSL might have been a bit lucky that San Jose’s finishing was so poor, but the attack – particularly Joao Plata – looks good. Up next: At DC United on Saturday

5 (5) Columbus (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Chivas USA 3-0. Since Chivas were arguably the worst team in opening weekend, it’s hard to give the Crew too much credit. They were very good, though. Up next: At Vancouver on Saturday

6 (17) Montreal (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Seattle 1-0. The Impact could’ve been three goals up against Seattle in the first half, but will have to just settle for three points on the road. Up next: At Portland on Saturday

7 (11) Vancouver (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Toronto 1-0. It wasn’t a vintage display from Vancouver against Toronto, but this still looks like a fairly solid team. Now for Kenny Miller to start scoring. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

8 (4) Seattle (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost 1-0 to Montreal. Perhaps their opener wasn’t a true indication of Seattle’s quality, but it was still disappointing. Up next: Portland on March 16

9 (12) Dallas (1-0-0, 3 points). Beat Colorado 1-0. A win is a win, but Dallas’s inability to put Colorado away in the second half was a warning sign. Up next: At Chivas on Sunday

10 (13) Portland (0-0-1, 1 point). Drew 3-3 with New York. Based on one match, the Timbers will be a fun attacking team that can’t stop anyone. Mikael Silvestre in particular had arguably the worst MLS debut EVER. Up next: Montreal on Saturday

11 (9) DC United (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost 2-0 to Houston. United were perhaps a bit unlucky to not leave Houston with a point, but they were surprisingly flat. Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday

12 (8) New York (0-0-1, 1 point). Drew 3-3 with Portland. What’s worse, giving up 3 goals at home or blowing a 2-goal lead on the road? Not sure, but the Red Bulls look all out of sorts on defense. Up next: At San Jose on Sunday

13 (7) San Jose (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Real Salt Lake 2-0. Uncharacteristically poor finishing from Chris Wondolowski and Mike Fucito … well, Wondolowski, anyway … was mostly to blame for the Quakes loss. Up next: New York on Sunday

14 (15) New England (0-0-0, 0 points). Didn’t play. Chicago on Saturday will either be a rude awakening for a young team or a good opportunity to take advantage of a struggling one (Chicago). Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

15 (14) Colorado (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Dallas 1-0. The Rapids were probably a bit unlucky against Dallas, but were sorely lacking a creative presence in midfield with Martin Riveros injured. And decent goalkeeping … Up next: Philadelphia on Saturday

16 (10) Chicago (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Los Angeles 4-0. The Fire probably aren’t as bad as this scoreline indicates, but wow, when you say “At least it wasn’t 5-0!” that’ s not the way a playoff team wants to start. Up next: New England on Saturday

17 (16) Philadelphia (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Kansas City 3-1. After a very good start against Kansas City, the Union were steamrolled. But, all things considered, they looked mostly OK. Up next: At Colorado on Saturday

18 (18)  Toronto (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Vancouver 1-0. As lacking as Toronto is in the squad department, they were well-organized against Vancouver. Not a playoff team, but maybe they’ll fight their way out of last place. Up next: Kansas City on Saturday

19 (18) Chivas USA (0-1-0, 0 points). Lost to Columbus 3-0. Well, based on one match, the Chelis’ experiment is an unmitigated failure. Let’s hope it gets better. Up next: Dallas on Sunday

MLS Power Rankings: Feb. 28

1. Los Angeles. As defending champs, the Galaxy get their spot here. Don’t expect them to stay, at least not for the first month or two.

2. Houston. I didn’t just put the Dynamo here because they were runners-up – they do have the pieces to be a top team. I think.

3. Kansas City. Despite some offseason changes, KC has enough talent on the roster to continue their domination of the East.

4. Seattle. How Seattle replaces Fredy Montero will mean the difference between this team being an MLS Cup contender or just a playoff team.

5. Columbus. Can Higuain and Arrieta duplicate the form they showed at the end of last season? I guess we’ll find out.

6. Real Salt Lake. RSL cut a lot of players from their staff in the offseason, but still have a solid core.

7. San Jose. Can lightning strike twice? It’s hard to see the Quakes challenging for the Supporter’s Shield again if it doesn’t.

8. New York. The Red Bulls were brutal in the preseason, and not the good kind of brutal. A team with Henry should be a playoff team, though – they just might take a while to gel.

9. DC United. DeRo will miss the season opener and possibly a few other matches. The defense hasn’t been fixed, and there are some new faces in attack.

10. Chicago. The Fire are younger and more mobile in midfield, but a lot depends on Sherjill MacDonald’s ability to score goals.

11. Vancouver. The Whitecaps should be higher, but after their fade at the end of last season, we’re a bit hesitant to place them there.

12. Dallas. Kenny Cooper, Eric Hassli and David Ferreira and Blas Perez healthy could make this one of the top teams in the West. Could.

13. Portland. Tons of changes for the Timbers, but after the struggles of last season, that’s a good thing. Question is: Can they win on the road?

14. Colorado. Oscar Pareja finally has closer to the team he probably wants, but it seems woefully thin in attack and lightweight in defense.

15. New England. The Revs should be better, but don’t quite look ready to challenge in the East.

16. Philadelphia. The Union are stocked with young talent, but the Freddy Adu saga and lack of veteran presence could hinder them.

17. Montreal. Montreal could very well be a playoff team, but a lot depends on the old guys still getting up for games, which is a big if.

18. Chivas USA. Hard to tell what will happen with Chelis’ new Chivas team, but they don’t seem to be ready to be a contender this season. Will he be given time?

19. Toronto. It’ll be a long season for Ryan Nelson and co., but at least they should be fighting in games and not quite as bad defensively.

MLS rankings: July 19

This weekend’s games: Toronto 1, New England 0; Kansas City 2, Columbus 0; Chicago 1, Vancouver 0; Dallas 2, Colorado 1; San Jose 5, Real Salt Lake 0; LA Galaxy 5, Portland 3; New York 2, Seattle 2; Houston 4, DC United 0

Wednesday’s games: New York 1, Chicago 0; Chivas USA 1, Portland 0; Toronto 2, Colorado 1; Montreal 2, New England 1; Houston 2, Kansas City 1; Vancouver 2, LA Galaxy 2; San Jose 2, Dallas 1

Team of the Week: San Jose Earthquakes. It seems most of the media attention is revolving around the Galaxy’s trio of highly paid superstars scoring five against Portland, but the Earthquakes solidified their hold on the Supporter’s Shield trophy by scoring five against the league’s second-best team. Now that is impressive.

Flop of the Week: Columbus Crew. It’s true, two wannabe top seeds gave up four or more goals this weekend, but both were playing on the road a man down. The well-rested Crew were hosting a Sporting Kansas City team that played on Wednesday and had only won once in their last six on the road. And Kansas City still won 2-0. Emilio Renteria, possibly the worst forward in the league this year, was especially wasteful.

1 – 1. San Jose Earthquakes (13-4-4 – 43 pts, 43 gf, 25 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 2-1; Beat Real Salt Lake 5-0. It’s true most of the goals came after Kyle Beckerman was sent off, but nevertheless, what better statement to make than putting five up on your nearest challenger? Up next: At Vancouver on Sunday

2 – 4. Sporting Kansas City (11-3-6 – 36 pts, 26 gf, 19 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Houston; Beat Columbus 2-0. The solid, efficient Kansas City team of the first two months of the season – the one that plays good defense and scores opportunistic goals? Looks like they’re back. Up next: New England on Saturday

3 – 5. New York Red Bulls (10-5-5 – 35 pts, 35 gf, 29 ga) This week: Beat Chicago 1-0; Drew 2-2 with Seattle. New signings Sebatian LeToux and Bill Gaudette as well as the departure of Dane Richards give the Red Bulls a little more depth going into the playoffs. LeToux scored against Seattle. Up next: Philadelphia on Saturday

4 – 2. Real Salt Lake (11-3-7 – 36 pts, 31 gf, 26 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 5-0. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in coach Jason Kreis’s locker room after the pasting RSL took at the hands of San Jose. They’ll be back next week, and probably better. Or I hope so, anyway. Up next: Colorado on Saturday

5 – 3. DC United (10-3-6 – 33 pts, 34 gf, 26 ga). This week: Lost 4-0 to Houston. Sure, they were a man down for a long time after goalkeeper Bill Hamid was sent off early, but for the Eastern Conference leaders to submit so meekly to a thrashing from a mediocre Houston team doesn’t look good. Up next: At Columbus on Saturday

6 – 6. Seattle Sounders (8-7-5 – 31 pts, 25 gf, 21 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with New York. The Sounders got a draw against New York, which is a decent away result. Still, we have to ask the question: Is it time for Fredy Montero to move on? Up next: At Colorado on July 28

7 – 9. Houston Dynamo (8-7-5 – 31 pts, 28 gf, 25 ga). This week: Beat Kansas City 2-1; Beat DC United 4-0. They’re clearly not 4 goals better than a full-strength DC team, but they definitely needed the three points and followed them up with a win against conference challenger Kansas City. Up next: Montreal on Saturday

8 – 8. Chicago Fire (9-4-7 – 31 pts, 22 gf, 22 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to New York; Beat Vancouver 1-0. Another sort of ugly, low-scoring result for the Fire, but nonetheless, it IS a result, which is the only thing that matters heading into the playoffs. Up next: At San Jose on July 28

9 – 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (8-7-6 – 31 pts, 23 gf, 25 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with LA Galaxy; Lost 1-0 to Chicago. The Whitecaps are now winless in four. They just announced the signing of Scottish international forward Kenny Miller, which seems a curious signing, what with Mattock, Camilo and Hassli on the team already. Up next: San Jose on Sunday

10 – 11. LA Galaxy (8-3-10 – 27 pts, 35 gf, 34 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with Vancouver; Beat Portland 5-3. Against Portland, the Galaxy had possibly their first match of the season where all three DP’s played well. They’ll be a team the likes of San Jose and RSL don’t want to face in the playoffs. Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday

11 – 15. Philadelphia Union (6-2-9 – 20 pts, 20 gf, 19 ga). This week: Beat Montreal 2-1. Don’t look now, but the Union are coming up fast on the final playoff spot in the East. Well, they’re 11 points behind. But still, it’s amazing what a head coach change and some roster solidity can do. Up next: At New York on Saturday

12 – 12. Columbus Crew (6-4-7 – 22 pts, 17 gf, 19 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Kansas City. The Crew have possibly the least effective striker force in the league, and that’s including Chivas, who are last in goals but at least have players who can put the ball in the back of the net at some point. This team needs something to kickstart them, and fast. Up next: DC United on Saturday

13 – 14. Montreal Impact (7-3-12 – 24 pts, 30 gf, 39 ga). This week: Beat New England 2-1; Lost 2-1 to Philadelphia. The Impact followed a disappointing late defeat to the Union by beating the Revs on the road. It’s probably too late to hope for consistency, but could they make a run for a playoff spot the last 10 matches? Up next: At Houston on Saturday

14 – 16. Chivas USA (6-5-7 – 23 pts, 12 gf, 18 ga). This week: Beat Portland 1-0. This team sure doesn’t score goals, but it also doesn’t concede. They’re a ways from a playoff berth, though. Up next: At LA Galaxy on Saturdy

15 – 10. New England Revolution (6-4-9 – 22 pts, 25 gf, 25 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Montreal; Lost 1-0 to Toronto. A week ago, the Revs were looking like a playoff team. Then last-place Toronto came to town and shut them down, then Montreal beat them, and once again they just look like a team that could be good next year. Up next: At Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

16 – 13. Colorado Rapids (7-1-12 – 22 pts, 27 gf, 28 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Toronto; Lost 2-1 to Dallas. I like what head coach Oscar Pareja is trying to do with this team and their style of play, but everyone is healthy now, and they’re teetering on the brink of freefall. Can he keep his job? Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday

17 – 19. Toronto FC (5-4-11 – 19 pts, 24 gf, 36 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 2-1; Beat New England 1-0. Sure they might have lost their first 10 matches, and they might be without striker Danny Koevermans for the rest of the season, but Toronto sure are trying to get back into the playoff race. Up next: Houston on July 28

18 – 18. FC Dallas (4-7-10 – 19 pts, 20 gf, 30 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 2-1;Beat Colorado 2-1. Dallas’s long winless streak finally ended, but this is a team with problems – one I just can’t see mounting a playoff streak, unless David Fereira drives them there by sheer force of will. Up next: Portland on Saturday

19 – 17. Portland Timbers (5-4-10 – 19 pts, 19 gf, 30 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Chivas USA; Lost 5-3 to LA Galaxy. Any hope that interim coach Gavin Wilkerson would kickstart this team back up the table is starting to fade. They need some sort of changes in the offseason if they want to keep the fanbase happy. Up next: At Dallas on Saturday

MLS rankings: July 12

1 – 1. San Jose Earthquakes (11-4-4 – 37 pts, 36 gf, 24 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Dallas; Lost 2-1 to Portland. The Quakes had a bumpy week, getting shocked by Portland before drawing with Dallas despite dominating. On the bright side, they got rid of Tressor Moreno. Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday

2 – 4. Real Salt Lake (11-3-6 – 36 pts, 31 gf, 21 ga). This week: Beat Portland 3-0; Drew 0-0 with Seattle. After a poor couple weeks, RSL finally played like expected, drawing with the Sounders and then hammering Portland. Could it be a coincidence that their improved defensive play came when Jamison Olave returned? Nope. Up next: At San Jose on Saturday

3 – 2. DC United (10-3-5 – 33 pts, 34 gf, 22 ga). This week: Didn’t play. United didn’t play, but got some investors who want to make the team “a global brand.” Up next: At Houston on Sunday

4 – 6. Sporting Kansas City (10-3-5 – 33 pts, 23 gf, 17 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Houston; Beat Montreal 3-1. KC were lucky to beat Montreal, then a bit unlucky not to beat Houston. Nonetheless, their defense has picked up lately – if they can just score some goals. Up next: At Columbus on Saturday

5 – 3. New York Red Bulls (9-4-5 – 31 pts, 32 gf, 27 ga) This week: Lost 2-0 to New England. The Red Bulls long streak of not beating the Revs on the road stretched to 10 years with another loss this weekend. Rumors have it that a new designated player is on the verge of joining. Who could it be? Up next: Seattle on Sunday

6 – 8. Seattle Sounders (8-6-5 – 30 pts, 23 gf, 19 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 2-1; Drew 0-0 with Real Salt Lake. The Sounders ended their 9-match winless streak by beating Colorado. Steve Zakuani working back to fitness can only be good for the team. Up next: At New York on Sunday

7 – 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (8-6-5 – 30 pts, 21 gf, 22 ga). This week: Lost 3-2 to Toronto; Drew 0-0 with Chivas USA; Beat Colorado 1-0. The Caps continue to be hard to break down, but you’d think that an offense with LeToux, Camilo, Hassli and Mattock could score more goals. Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

8 – 5. Chicago Fire (8-4-6 – 28 pts, 21 gf, 21 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to LA Galaxy; Drew 0-0 with Houston. The Fire’s run up into the upper half of the MLS slowed as they were shut out twice this week. Apparently they have a new forward about to join the team, though getting Sebastian Grazzini back will be a more pressing concern. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday

9 – 9. Houston Dynamo (6-7-5 – 25 pts, 22 gf, 24 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Kansas City; Drew 0-0 with Chicago. They’ve only lost five times, but you can’t help but think something is missing with the Dynamo. Unfortunately, with Geoff Cameron on the verge of leaving for Europe, something else could be missing soon. Up next: DC United on Sunday

10 – 13. New England Revolution (6-4-7 – 22 pts, 24 gf, 22 ga). This week: Beat New York 2-0. With the win over the Red Bulls, the Revs are only three points behind Houston for the final playoff spot. New signing Jerry Bengtson scored on his debut. I hope I spelled his name right. Up next: Toronto on Saturday

11 – 12. LA Galaxy (7-2-10 – 23 pts, 28 gf, 29 ga). This week: Beat Chicago 2-0; Lost 2-1 to Philadelphia. The Galaxy ended a brief skid by beating the Fire in Chicago. Look for them to cement a playoff position in the coming weeks, or if there is any justice, not. Up next: At Portland on Saturday

12 – 10. Columbus Crew (6-4-6 – 22 pts, 17 gf, 17 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Montreal. A late loss to Montreal hurts, but with Tony Tchani playing well and Milovan Mirosevic back to fitness, they should start competing for the playoffs again. Up next: Sporting Kansas City on Saturday

13 – 11. Colorado Rapids (7-1-10 – 22 pts, 25 gf, 24 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Seattle; Lost 1-0 to Vancouver. Two matches, two one-goal losses. The Rapids are competitive, but an occasional draw wouldn’t hurt. Up next: Dallas on Saturday

14 – 15. Montreal Impact (6-3-10 – 21 pts, 27 gf, 33 ga). This week: Beat Columbus 2-1; Lost 3-1 to Kansas City. The Impact are playing well, but lack the ability to shut anyone down. Alessando Nesta should help, if he ever gets match-fit. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday

15 – 17. Philadelphia Union (5-2-9 – 17 pts, 18 gf, 18 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 3-0; Beat LA Galaxy 2-1. Don’t look now, but with the Piotr Nowak era over, the Union are starting to play like a playoff team. Is it too little too late, though? Up next: Montreal on Saturday

16 – 14. Chivas USA (5-5-7 – 20 pts, 11 gf, 18 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Vancouver. Chivas could not be more ho-hum. They occasionally look decent, but just can’t score any goals – and it doesn’t help that Juan Pablo Angel and Juan Agudelo have yet to get any regular playing time together. Up next: Portland on July 18

17 – 16. Portland Timbers (5-4-8 – 19 pts, 16 gf, 24 ga). This week: Lost 3-0 to Real Salt Lake; Beat San Jose 2-1. It will be interesting to see how the Timbers perform in the post-John Spencer era. Though he was relatively clueless with tactics and the team was poor defensively at key moments, there’s no discounting the fire he brought to the squad. Up next: LA Galaxy on Saturday

18 – 18. FC Dallas (3-7-9 – 16 pts, 17 gf, 27 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with San Jose; Drew 1-1 with Toronto. On the bright side, David Fereira has now played a full 90 minutes in a match and looks like a game-changer. On the not so bright side, they’re well behind the Galaxy for the final spot and not winning any matches. Up next: At Colorado on Saturday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (3-4-11 – 13 pts, 21 gf, 35 ga). This week: Beat Vancouver 3-2; Lost 3-0 to Philadelphia; Drew 1-1 with Dallas. Toronto has been playing better but not winning matches. The 3-0 loss to the Union might have all but ended their playoff hopes, if not statistically. Up next: At New England on Saturday

MLS rankings: America’s Birth edition

Someone is very proud of this photoshopping job.

I hate to be the harbinger of doom, folks, but the end of the world is nigh: My Top 13 teams and MLSSoccer.com’s are exactly the same, though I did snicker when I saw they labeled Columbus goalkeeper Andy Grunenbaum as a “match-winner.” Anyway, normal weekly service has resumed now that our self-imposed Euros exile is over. Glad to be back.

1 – 3. San Jose Earthquakes (11-3-3 – 36 pts, 35 gf, 22 ga). This week: Beat LA Galaxy 4-3; Beat Real Salt Lake 2-1; Beat Colorado 2-1. Comeback victories against the Galaxy and Colorado as well as a win over Supporter’s Trophy challengers Real Salt Lake make the Earthquakes an easy choice for No. 1. They might be occasionally subpar defensively, but few teams score as opportunistically – and often – as they do. Up next: At Portland today

2 – 2. DC United (10-3-5 – 33 pts, 34 gf, 22 ga). This week: Beat Montreal 3-0; Lost 3-2 to New York. Despite a loss to conference challengers New York, a rampaging win over the Impact has United back on top in the East. Is Chris Pontius a candidate for league MVP? Up next: At Houston on July 15

3 – 6. New York Red Bulls (9-4-4 – 31 pts, 32 gf, 25 ga) This week: Drew 1-1 with Toronto; Beat DC United 3-2; Drew 1-1 with Vancouver. Part of the key for New York’s success lately, particularly with Henry on vacation or wherever he’s been lately, is the play of Connor Lade and Brandon Barklage allowing Jan Gunnar Solli to be more active offensively, which is good, because he’s a terrible defender. Up next: At New England on Sunday

4 – 1. Real Salt Lake (10-2-6 – 32 pts, 28 gf, 21 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Columbus; Lost 2-1 to San Jose; Lost 3-2 to LA Galaxy. Three matches ago, RSL was the top team in the MLS. Now, thanks to some atypically atrocious defending (When does it become typical? Two more games?), they’re now struggling to hold off the Fire for the fifth spot in the power rankings. Up next: Seattle on Wednesday

5 – 8. Chicago Fire (8-3-5 – 27 pts, 21 gf, 19 ga). This week: Beat Kansas City 1-0; Beat Columbus 2-1. They might not be particularly high-scoring, but the Fire have been very effective lately at just winning matches – and against good competition no less. If they can keep Marco Pappa from heading off for parts unknown, they should waltz into the playoffs. Up next: At Houston today

6 – 4. Sporting Kansas City (9-2-5 – 29 pts, 20 gf, 16 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Chicago; Lost 4-0 to Philadelphia; Drew 1-1 with Seattle. A Sporting team that was dominating opponents thanks to their high pressure defense is now struggling to keep anyone from scoring – and they’ve had trouble scoring goals of their own all season. Up next: At Montreal on Wednesday

7 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (7-5-4 – 26 pts, 18 gf, 19 ga). This week: Lost 3-0 to LA Galaxy; Drew 1-1 with New York. A week off will allow the Caps to forget about their drubbing at the hands of LA, which could’ve been 7-0 if Landon Donovan had brought his shooting boots, as well as integrate Barry Robson into the midfield. Up next: At Colorado on Wednesday

8 – 7. Seattle Sounders (7-5-5 – 26 pts, 21 gf, 18 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with New England; Lost 2-1 to Portland; Drew 1-1 with Kansas City. For those keeping score, the Sounders haven’t won an MLS match since May 9. But at least Eddie Johnson is scoring now, and it looks like Steve Zakuani will play some part in the season. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Wednesday

9 – 9. Houston Dynamo (6-5-5 – 23 pts, 22 gf, 24 ga). This week: Beat Philadelphia 2-1; Lost to Montreal 4-2; Drew 3-3 with Toronto. The Dynamo have the pieces to be a fairly solid MLS Cup contender, but unfortunately, they’ve rarely shown that on the field – whether they’re playing at their new stadium or not. Three points against the Union is three points, but it was a pretty unimpressive performance. Up next: Chicago today

10 – 10. Columbus Crew (6-4-5 – 22 pts, 16 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Real Salt Lake 2-0; Lost to Chicago 2-1. Two of the big keys to the Crew’s improved play lately have been defensive solidity, which is always a plus, but also Tony Tchani, who is finally starting to play like a guy that much was expected out of a few years ago. Who knew? Up next: At Montreal on Sunday

11 – 11. Colorado Rapids (7-1-8 – 22 pts, 24 gf, 21 ga). This week: Beat Portland 3-0; Lost 2-1 to San Jose. You know, if the Rapids could keep Conor Casey and Omar Cummings on the field for any length of time, they’d be pretty good. Up next: Vancouver on Wednesday

12 – 14. LA Galaxy (6-2-9 – 20 pts, 25 gf, 27 ga). This week: Lost to San Jose 4-3; Beat Vancouver 3-0; Beat Real Salt Lake 3-2. Despite their collapse against San Jose, the Galaxy are finally starting to play like defending champs. Am I the only person that thinks David Beckham could use a suspension for a couple games so he stops constantly berating the refs? Up next: Philadelphia on Wednesday

13 – 12. New England Revolution (5-4-7 – 19 pts, 22 gf, 22 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with Seattle; Drew 2-2 with Toronto. I know the Revs haven’t given up the most goals in the league, but their defense is surely one of the worst when it comes to stopping teams from scoring when it matters. The lack of pressure on opposing wingers and fullbacks is atrocious. Up next: New York on Sunday

14 – 15. Chivas USA (5-4-7 – 19 pts, 11 gf, 18 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with FC Dallas; Beat Montreal 2-1. Chivas has seen some encouraging play from young guys on the team, but they must take the next step quickly if they hope to do anything other than finish in the middle of the pack of non-playoff teams. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday

15 – 13. Montreal Impact (5-3-9 – 18 pts, 24 gf, 29 ga). This week: Lost 3-0 to Toronto; Beat Houston 4-2; Lost 2-1 to Chivas USA. Injuries to some of the defense and general inconsistency has obscured some fine performances from what is soon to be the league’s oldest team. I guess that’s about par for an expansion team. But with all the 36-year-olds coming in, what is the plan for the future? Up next: Kansas City on Wednesday

16 – 16. Portland Timbers (4-4-7 – 16 pts, 14 gf, 20 ga). This week: Lost to Colorado 3-0; Beat Seattle 2-1. Another anonymous performance – this time against Colorado – erased all the goodwill from beating Seattle in the previous match. Is coach John Spencer soon to be out of a job? Up next: San Jose today

17 – 18. Philadelphia Union (3-2-9 – 11 pts, 13 gf, 17 ga). This week: Lost to Houston 2-1; Beat Kansas City 4-0. The Union look much better now that Piotr Nowak is gone, but it’s probably too late for them to do anything this year. They’ll be better next year, though. Except for Jorge Perlaza, who is a black hole of mixed chances and wrong decisions. Up next: At LA Galaxy on Wednesday

18 – 17. FC Dallas (3-5-9 – 14 pts, 16 gf, 26 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Chivas USA. Dallas is certainly the most talented team that won’t be within 10 points of the playoffs probably this year. The question is, what do they change for next year? Will Brek Shea be gone? Can they get rid of George John, whose head seems to be elsewhere? Will David Fereira ever be a viable player again? Up next: Toronto on Wednesday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (2-3-10 – 9 pts, 17 gf, 29 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with New York; Beat Montreal 3-0; Drew 2-2 with New England; Drew 3-3 with Houston. It says it all about the ineptness of the Aron Winter regime that Toronto has looked like a playoff team since he left, though by my estimation they’ll need to win 12 of their last 19 matches to make the playoffs, a tall order for a team with two wins on the season. Up next: At Dallas on Wednesday

MLS rankings: June 20

1 – 1. Real Salt Lake (10-2-3 – 32 pts, 25 gf, 14 ga). This week: Beat Chivas USA 3-0. Up next: LA Galaxy today

2 – 4. DC United (9-3-4 – 30 pts, 29 gf, 19 ga). This week: Beat Philadelphia 1-0. Up next: At New York on Sunday

3 – 3. San Jose Earthquakes (8-3-3 – 27 pts, 27 gf, 17 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Up next: At Colorado today

4 – 5. Sporting Kansas City (9-1-3 – 28 pts, 19 gf, 10 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 2-0. Up next: At Seattle today

5 – 7. Vancouver Whitecaps (7-4-3 – 25 pts, 17 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 1-0; Beat Houston 3-1. Up next: New York today

6 – 2. New York Red Bulls (8-2-4 – 26 pts, 27 gf, 21 ga) This week: Lost 3-1 to Chicago. Up next: At Vancouver today

7 – 6. Seattle Sounders (7-3-4 – 24 pts, 17 gf, 13 ga). This week: Lost 4-1 to Montreal. Up next: Kansas City today

8 – 10. Chicago Fire (6-3-5 – 21 pts, 18 gf, 18 ga). This week: Beat New York 3-1; Lost to New England 2-0. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

9 – 8. Houston Dynamo (5-4-4 – 19 pts, 15 gf, 16 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 2-1; Lost to Vancouver 3-1. Up next: Toronto today

10 – 11. Columbus Crew (5-4-4 – 19 pts, 13 gf, 13 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with New England. Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

11 – 9. Colorado Rapids (6-1-7 – 19 pts, 20 gf, 19 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Vancouver. Up next: San Jose today

12 – 12. New England Revolution (5-2-7 – 17 pts, 18 gf, 18 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Columbus; Beat Chicago 2-0. Up next: At Toronto on Saturday

13 – 15. Montreal Impact (4-3-7 – 15 pts, 19 gf, 22 ga). This week: Beat Seattle 4-1. Up next: At Chivas USA today

14 – 17. LA Galaxy (4-2-8 – 14 pts, 16 gf, 21 ga). This week: Beat Portland 1-0. Up next: At Real Salt Lake today

15 – 13. Chivas USA (4-3-7 – 15 pts, 9 gf, 17 ga). This week: Lost 3-0 to Real Salt Lake. Up next: Montreal today

16 – 14. Portland Timbers (3-4-6 – 13 pts, 12 gf, 16 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to LA Galaxy. Up next: Seattle on Sunday

17 – 16. FC Dallas (3-4-9 – 13 pts, 16 gf, 26 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Houston. Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday

18 – 18. Philadelphia Union (2-2-8 – 8 pts, 8 gf, 15 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to DC United. Up next: Kansas City on Saturday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (1-0-10 – 3 pts, 8 gf, 23 ga). This week: Lost to Kansas City 2-0. Up next: At Houston today

MLS rankings: May 16

Don’t look now, but Mlssoccer.com’s power rankings have the exact same Top 6 as we do. WE ARE ONE. On an only semi-related note, I’m traveling this weekend, so you might not get the traditional preview, though I hope to get a few stories out in the next couple days, so who knows?

1 – 4. Real Salt Lake (8-2-3 – 26 pts, 19 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat Seattle 1-0; Drew 0-0 with Chicago. RSL jump up to first on the strength of a road win at Seattle. They haven’t been pretty this year, but they have been effective. Up next: FC Dallas on May 26

2 – 2. San Jose Earthquakes (7-2-2 – 23 pts, 22 gf, 12 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with Chivas USA. A draw at home with Chivas is disappointing, but the Quakes won’t win every game – and they probably could’ve won that match by two or three goals. Up next: Columbus on Saturday

3 – 1. Seattle Sounders (7-1-2 – 22 pts, 13 gf, 4 ga). This week: Lost to Real Salt Lake 1-0; Beat Dallas 2-0. After ascending to top spot, the Sounders lay an egg at home against RSL. Despite their recent good play, they need to sort out some issues on offense. Up next: At Vancouver on Saturday

4 – 7. New York Red Bulls (7-1-3 – 22 pts, 23 gf, 16 ga) This week: Beat Philadelphia 3-2; Beat Houston 1-0. The Red Bulls returned to a bit of their comical defending against Philadelphia – probably because Rafa Marquez was back, but still look like the team to beat in the East, at least right now. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

5 – 3. Sporting Kansas City (7-0-3 – 21 pts, 13 gf, 7 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Chicago. KC’s sink in the standings continues. Until they can find a midfielder to create something in attack (or until one of the current starters does it), they’re going to struggle a little bit. Up next: At Colorado on Saturday

6 – 6. DC United (5-3-4 – 18 pts, 20 gf, 16 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Houston. We’ll chalk up DC’s loss at Houston to the emotion of the new park opening, but United were surprisingly muted in attack. Perhaps Maicon Santos is returning to Maicon Santos-like form? Up next: Colorado on Wednesday

7 – 10. Chicago Fire (4-3-2 – 15 pts, 11 gf, 10 ga). This week: Beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1; Drew 0-0 with Real Salt Lake. Don’t look now, but the Fire haven’t lost in three matches. They might’ve benefited from a dumb sending-off by KC, but they fully deserved the three points. Up next: At Portland on Sunday

8 – 8. Houston Dynamo (3-3-3 – 12 pts, 8 gf, 9 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Portland; Beat DC United 1-0; Lost 1-0 to New York. A busy week for Houston see them pick up four points from three matches. They look like a playoff team, but aren’t scoring a lot of goals. Up next: At New England on Saturday

9 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-3 – 17 pts, 10 gf, 11 ga). This week: Lost 4-1 to New England. The Whitecaps don’t give up many goals, but when they do, they do it in bunches. The 4-1 scoreline in favor of the Revs probably was a bit inflated, but does highlight how poor the Caps second-string defense is after a midweek Canadian Cup match. Guess what’s happening this week? Up next: Seattle on Saturday

10 – 9. Colorado Rapids (5-0-5 – 15 pts, 15 gf, 12 ga). This week: Didn’t play. The Rapids were off this week. Which version of the team will show up today against DC United? Up next: At DC United on Wednesday

11 – 12. Montreal Impact (3-3-5 – 12 pts, 12 gf, 16 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with LA Galaxy. The Impact are looking less and less like an expansion team with every week, something that will probably continue if Marco Di Vaio joins from Bologna. Up next: New York on Saturday

12 – 14. New England Revolution (4-0-6 – 12 pts, 12 gf, 13 ga). This week: Beat Vancouver 4-1. The Revs had shown flickers of potential leading up to their crushing win over the Whitecaps. Now the question is – can they build on the performance? Up next: Houston on Saturday

13 – 13. LA Galaxy (3-2-5 – 11 pts, 12 gf, 15 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with Montreal. The Galaxy are winless in four straight, look disinterested in attack and haphazard in defense. How will they turn this around? Will the made-up derby with Chivas kick-start their season? Up next: At Chivas USA on Saturday

14 – 15. Columbus Crew (3-2-4 – 11 pts, 8 gf, 11 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 2-1. Columbus end their winless skid by beating Dallas, who can’t keep players on the field a full 90 minutes. An improved performance from Mirovan Mirosevic was a good sign. Up next: At San Jose on Saturday

15 – 11. FC Dallas (3-3-6 – 12 pts, 11 gf, 18 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Columbus; Lost 2-0 to Seattle. I think it’s about time to examine Dallas’s issues – namely, who is in charge of a team that seemingly has players sent off every match. Is the clock ticking on Shellas Hyndman’s (I didn’t spell that right, did I?) reign? Up next: Philadelphia on Saturday

16 – 16. Portland Timbers (2-3-5 – 9 pts, 9 gf, 13 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Houston. I suppose for a struggling team, back-to-back scoreless draws counts for something. When I watch Portland, though, I think “Does John Spencer know what he’s doing?” Up next: Chicago on Sunday

17 – 18. Chivas USA (3-1-6 – 10 pts, 6 gf, 12 ga). This week: Drew 1-1 with San Jose. Chivas picked up a much-needed point against San Jose, and blah blah, they’re boring. Up next: LA Galaxy on Saturday

18 – 17. Philadelphia Union (2-1-6 – 7 pts, 7 gf, 12 ga). This week: Lost 3-2 to New York. The Union nearly rallied for a point after Freddy Adu was stupidly (and harshly, but still) sent off for simulation. At least Lionard Pajoy looked alive. Up next: At Dallas on Saturday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-8 – 0 pts, 6 gf, 18 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Toronto beat Montreal in the semifinals of the Canadian Cup, which I guess is enough to keep Aron Winter in a job. If they beat Vancouver to advance to the Champions League again, UGH. Up next: At DC United on Saturday

MLS rankings: May 8

1 – 3. Seattle Sounders (6-1-1 – 19 pts, 11 gf, 3 ga). This week: Beat Philadelphia 1-0. The Sounders have been virtually flawless the last couple weeks, hence the jump up to first this week Up next: At Dallas on Wednesday

2 – 2. San Jose Earthquakes (7-1-2 – 22 pts, 21 gf, 11 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Vancouver. The Earthquakes weren’t bad against a good Vancouver team, but their defense is definitely their weak point. Up next: Chivas USA on Sunday

3 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (7-0-2 – 21 pts, 12 gf, 5 ga). This week: Lost to Montreal 2-0. More worrying than a home loss to Montreal was KC’s complete inability to muster anything offensively against an expansion team. Up next: At Chicago on Saturday

4 – 4. Real Salt Lake (7-1-3 – 22 pts, 18 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat New England 2-1. Poor refereeing overshadowed a decent performance by RSL defensively with only 10 men. Up next: At Chicago on Wednesday

5 – 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-2 – 17 pts, 9 gf, 7 ga). This week: Beat San Jose 2-1. With the win against San Jose, can we finally call Vancouver elite? Not quite yet, I don’t think. Up next: At New England on Saturday

6 – 6. DC United (5-3-3 – 18 pts, 20 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 2-0. United get back on track at Toronto, but it WAS Toronto. Up next: At Houston on Saturday

7 – 9. New York Red Bulls (5-1-3 – 16 pts, 19 gf, 14 ga) This week: Beat LA 1-0. Two matches, two clean sheets? What happened to this team? Up next: Houston on Wednesday

8 – 8. Houston Dynamo (2-2-2 – 8 pts, 7 gf, 8 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Dynamo had their third weekend off of the season already and close out their season-opening road trip at New York on Wednesday. Up next: At New York on Wednesday

9 – 10. Colorado Rapids (5-0-5 – 15 pts, 15 gf, 12 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 2-0. It might have been mostly thanks to the two red cards, but the Rapids come back from a bad loss to get a big win. What’s next? Up next: At DC United on May 16

10 – 11. Chicago Fire (3-2-2 – 11 pts, 9 gf, 9 ga). This week: Beat Chivas USA 2-1. Can a win at Chivas get the Fire’s season going? Up next: Real Salt Lake on Wednesday

11 – 7. FC Dallas (3-3-4 – 12 pts, 10 gf, 14 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to Colorado. Moments of madness from Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez condemned Dallas to a home loss, but they didn’t look like winning before the sendings-off. Can they beat Seattle without the two? Up next: Seattle on Wednesday

12 – 16. Montreal Impact (3-2-5 – 11 pts, 11 gf, 15 ga). This week: Beat Kansas City 2-0. Based on their performance of the last two weeks, maybe the Impact can make it to the playoffs. They’re only another mid- to late-thirties Italian away! Up next: LA Galaxy on Saturday

13 – 12. LA Galaxy (3-1-5 – 10 pts, 11 gf, 14 ga). This week: Lost to New York 1-0. Congrats, Galaxy, you’ve officially dropped below an expansion team in the power rankings. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday

14 – 13. New England Revolution (3-0-6 – 9 pts, 8 gf, 12 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Real Salt Lake. The Revs were unlucky to come away from Salt Lake City with a loss, due to some horrendous ref’ing. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday

15 – 14. Columbus Crew (2-2-4 – 8 pts, 6 gf, 10 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Portland. I suppose a scoreless draw at Portland counts as a positive result for the Crew now, right? Up next: Dallas on Saturday

16 – 17. Portland Timbers (2-2-5 – 8 pts, 9 gf, 13 ga). This week: Drew 0-0 with Columbus. The Timbers’ play was much-improved against Columbus, but if they want to get back in the playoff race (and keep John Spencer in a job), they’re going to have to start winning games. Up next: At Houston on May 15

17 – 15. Philadelphia Union (2-1-5 – 7 pts, 5 gf, 9 ga). This week: Lost to Seattle 1-0. Kai Herdling looks like a decent signing at forward, but the Union just are not creating goal-scoring chances for him or Lionard Pajoy. Up next: New York on Sunday

18 – 18. Chivas USA (3-0-6 – 9 pts, 5 gf, 11 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to Chicago. The last-second loss to Chicago must have been hard to take, but it was deserved. Up next: At San Jose on Sunday

19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-8 – 0 pts, 6 gf, 18 ga). This week: Lost 2-0 to DC United. Toronto is doomed. Seriously, why haven’t they fired Aron Winter yet? Up next: At DC United on May 19

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