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
1 – 1. Sporting Kansas City (7-0-1 – 21 pts, 12 gf, 3 ga). This week: Lost to Portland 1-0. Despite suffering their first loss of the season, KC stays in top spot. Now they get a week off to stew on the loss. Up next: Montreal on May 5
2 – 3. San Jose Earthquakes (5-1-1 – 16 pts, 13 gf, 5 ga). This week: Beat Real Salt Lake 3-1. The scoreline might have flattered San Jose a bit, but nonetheless, they have come through two big tests with good performances. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday
3 – 4. Seattle Sounders (3-1-1 – 10 pts, 6 gf, 2 ga). This week: Didn’t play. The Sounders haven’t been scoring much, but they are (along with Kansas City) probably the top defensive team in the league. Up next: At Chicago on Saturday
4 – 2. Real Salt Lake (5-0-3 – 15 pts, 12 gf, 8 ga). This week: Lost 3-1 to San Jose. Once again RSL played fairly even with, but couldn’t beat, one of their playoff challengers. But, they’re road games, at least. Up next: At FC Dallas on Wednesday
5 – 9. DC United (3-3-2 – 12 pts, 12 gf, 8 ga). This week: Beat New York 4-1. This week is the biggest test for DC in showing they are a playoff team: Winning two matches in a row for the first time since 2010. Can they do it against a tired Houston squad? Up next: Houston on Saturday
6 – 6. Houston Dynamo (2-2-1 – 8 pts, 5 gf, 5 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with Columbus. Houston have coped reasonably well with their 7-match road trip – and they probably deserved a win against Columbus. Up next: At DC United on Saturday
7 – 10. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-2-2 – 11 pts, 6 gf, 6 ga). This week: Beat Dallas 1-0. The Whitecaps should just keep Hassli on the bench, play LeToux at forward and let Camilo cut from the wings. It works better. Up next: At Colombus on Saturday
8 – 7. FC Dallas (3-1-3 – 10 pts, 8 gf, 10 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 at Vancouver. Dallas might statistically be a playoff team, but unless they find someone who can score goals without Blas Perez setting them up or scoring them, they’re going to struggle to make it. Up next: Real Salt Lake on Sunday
9 – 11. Chicago Fire (2-2-1 – 8 pts, 6 gf, 6 ga). This week: Beat Toronto 3-2. Sure, every goal the Fire scored against Toronto was thanks to poor defending. You still have to capitalize on those mistakes, amiright? Up next: Seattle on Saturday
10 – 12. LA Galaxy (3-0-3 – 9 pts, 10 gf, 10 ga). This week: Beat Colorado 2-1. The Galaxy have won their last two, but this weekend’s match against Dallas is probably a good marker for what seems to be two very equal teams. Up next: FC Dallas on Saturday
11 – 5. New York Red Bulls (3-1-3 – 10 pts, 17 gf, 14 ga) This week: Lost to DC United 4-1. Only Toronto is a more chaotic, awful defending team than New York. But at least the Red Bulls can score goals. Up next: New England on Saturday
12 – 8. Colorado Rapids (3-0-4 – 9 pts, 8 gf, 10 ga). This week: Lost 2-1 to LA Galaxy. The Rapids almost got a Get Out of Jail Free card against LA with the penalty call that wasn’t. But drawing that match wouldn’t paper over the lack of attacking impetus the team has so far. Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday
13 – 14. Columbus Crew (2-1-3 – 7 pts, 6 gf, 9 ga). This week: Drew 2-2 with Houston. The Crew grabbed a point at home against Houston, but their key players have been worryingly unproductive so far. Up next: Vancouver on Saturday
14 – 16. Portland Timbers (2-1-4 – 7 pts, 9 gf, 11 ga). This week: Beat Kansas City 1-0. It wasn’t pretty, but the Timbers four-match slide is over, and against the league’s best team to boot. Now they need to show it wasn’t a fluke by beating Montreal. Up next: At Montreal on Saturday
15 – 15. New England Revolution (2-0-4 – 6 pts, 5 gf, 8 ga). This week: Didn’t play. Players like Lee Nguyen, Saer Sene, Benny Feilhaber, Jose Moreno and Kelyn Rowe must be licking their lips at the opportunity to take on the catastrophic Red Bulls defense. New England’s defense? Well, not so much. Up next: At New York on Saturday
16 – 17. Philadelphia Union (2-1-3 – 7 pts, 4 gf, 6 ga). This week: Beat Chivas USA 1-0. Red cards to Keon Daniels and one of the Farfan brothers is not the way Union supporters hoped their team would gear up for San Jose’s visit. It was nice to see Freddy Adu score, though. Up next: San Jose on Saturday
17 – 13. Chivas USA (3-0-4 – 9 pts, 4 gf, 5 ga). This week: Lost 1-0 to Philadelphia. At some point Chivas’s weird “See, we’re a playoff team, no one can beat us on the road” charade has to end – particularly after losing to a team that was down to 9 men. What better place than Denver? Up next: At Colorado on Saturday
18-18. Montreal Impact (1-2-5 – 5 pts, 7 gf, 15 ga). This week: Didn’t play. After some half-decent matches lately, Portland, who aren’t completely out of the woods with their struggles yet, represents a half-decent chance for Montreal to get a home point or win. Up next: Portland on Saturday
19 – 19. Toronto FC (0-0-6 – 0 pts, 4 gf, 13 ga). This week: Lost 3-2 to Chicago. On the bright side for TFC, no one expects them to beat RSL, so they won’t have to worry about the weight of expectations hanging over them. On the not-so-bright side, everything else. Up next: At Real Salt Lake on Saturday
By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood | Only Love Soccer
Saturday I was able to head down to Tucson to attend the final and third-place matches of Tucson’s possibly turning annual preseason tournament, dubbed this year the Desert Diamond Cup. I attended last year, when Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake joined FC Tucson and the Arizona Sahuaros for a round-robin tournament. This year they eliminated the local clubs – which I kind of wished they hadn’t – and moved the tournament to Tucson Electric Park (I think it’s called something else now, but it was TEP when I lived there, so TEP it stays.) I liked it at the smaller stadium, though seeing as how attendance was announced as over 10,000, it was probably a wise move on their part. Here is my verdict on the games.
Third place match: Real Salt Lake 1, New York Red Bulls 0.
I was actually a little surprised that both teams fielded largely first teams in this game. Thierry Henry played the whole match, as did Kyle Beckerman, who is apparently the Cactus Pricks’ (FC Tucson’s supporters club. Yes, you heard that right) favorite player. Of the two teams, RSL, as you’d expect, looked the more composed of the two, and new signing Terakazu Tanaka should compete with Beckerman for most ridiculous hair on the team. The Red Bulls were a little wasteful, though Kenny Cooper and Henry combined nicely on a couple occasions. The match’s lone goal came from Chris Wingert, and it was a firebolt. (I just made that word up. Watch it here – goal comes at about the :35 mark.) The atmosphere was good, but the lack of local teams (or Beckham or Donovan or Keane, though I’ll get to that in a minute) made it a little flat sometimes.
Championship match: LA Galaxy 0, New England Revolution 0 (Galaxy win 4-2 on penalties)
OK, a big boo goes to the Galaxy, who didn’t play any starters except Juninho and Todd Dunivant in the match. I know the Galaxy have a Champions League match coming up on Wednesday, but throw us a bone here, guys, OK? Hey, I’m a big fan of Brian Perk and Jack McBean too, but still. As far as the Revs go, though their tournament was a surprisingly good one, they still couldn’t beat the Galaxy’s fourth string with their starters. It’s been mentioned in other blogs, but Saer Sene – a new signing at forward – was unconvincing despite being a foot taller than anyone on the Galaxy. By the end of the match, we were ready to go – it was cold and dull. Sort of a anticlimactic end to what has been a good tournament, with several good goals. On to the regular season!
Oh, one more thing: The second match had twin refs. No joke.
Goals: Osvaldo Alonso (1), Lamar Neagle (1)
Seattle takes 26 shots against Real Salt Lake, but fail to find the breakthrough until the second half and eventually run out of steam. It wasn’t a terrible performance from the Sounders, but they were a bit wasteful in the first half, and Real Salt Lake was always going to sit back and defend and soak up all the pressure, which they did very well. Osvaldo Alonso got the first goal on a penalty, and when Lamar Neagle scored around the 63rd minute, there was hope for Seattle, but they never found a third. Real Salt Lake, who played quite well in this matchup, move on to face either LA or New York. Probably LA.
Goals: Saborio 2(2), Grabavoy (1)
A bit of a shock result with RSL overwhelming Seattle in Utah. It will be very difficult for the Sounders to win by 3 or 4 in Seattle, though it’s not impossible. Alvaro Saborio scored twice. The first was contested as offside by Seattle, though it didn’t look it, and the second was a nice backheel flick. Ned Grabavoy wrapped up the points with a second-half goal, and he might have sent RSL into the second round. A pretty disappointing performance from the Sounders, who were all over the place defensively and created little in attack. Fredy Montero in particular was poor. The second leg is Wednesday.
By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood
The Galaxy won the biggest game in the MLS this weekend, beating Dallas 3-1 to consolidate their spot at the top of the table. Colorado was the other big winner, beating Columbus impressively to continue their recent good run of form. At the bottom of the table, Vancouver won the clash of probably the two worst teams in the MLS, hammering Chicago 4-2.
All times Pacific; first number is current ranking, second is previous ranking. I trust you can figure out the rest…
1 – 2. LA Galaxy beat Dallas 3-1 at home. Now having safely defeated nearest rivals Dallas, the Galaxy can take it easy and rest their aging bones until the have what should be a fairly easy match against San Jose next week. Season: 13-9-3, 35 gf, 20 ga; Up next: San Jose on Aug. 20
2 – 3. Seattle Sounders won 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City. The Sounders rallied from a goal down at Kansas City, thanks in a large part of Omar Bravo’s red card. With their playoff spot all but a formality at this point, they’ll try to catch LA for best record. Season: 11-8-5, 35 gf, 27 ga; Up next: Chivas USA on Saturday
3 – 1. FC Dallas lost 3-1 at LA Galaxy. Dallas will be disappointed to give up three goals – all on set pieces to the Galaxy, but on the bright side, they showed they can compete very well against the league’s top team – and at times looked like the better of the two. Season: 12-6-6, 31 gf, 23 ga. Up next: At Philadelphia on Saturday
4 – 5. Real Salt Lake beat New York 3-0 at home. RSL escaped from their recent doldrums to crush New York, though at this point, that’s not saying much. Nonetheless, they have an eminently winnable match coming up against Toronto, and they’ll hope to move up the table. Season: 10-6-5, 29 gf, 16 ga; Up next: At Toronto on Saturday
5 – 6. Colorado Rapids won 2-0 at home against Columbus. The Rapids are probably the league’s hottest team at this moment after beating East-leading Columbus convincingly in their last match. Can they continue their streak against San Jose? Well, they should. Season record: 9-10-6, 35 goals for, 31 goal against; Up next: At San Jose on Saturday
6 – 4. Columbus Crew lost 2-0 at Colorado. The Crew were punchless against Colorado, but a home match against New England should be a cure for their ills. Season: 9-7-7, 24 gf 22 ga; Up next: New England on Saturday
7 – 7. Philadelphia Union drew 1-1 at home against Houston. The Union continue to struggle lately. They need to pick up some results so they don’t drop further down the playoff table. Dallas will be a tough team to get three points against. Season: 8-9-5, 27 gf, 20 ga; Up next: Dallas on Saturday
8 – 8. Sporting Kansas City lost 2-1 at home against Seattle. KC’s 14-match undefeated streak was ended by Seattle – and Omar Bravo’s red card. Sporting now get some time off before traveling to Jello Wind Park in Portland. Season: 7-9-7, 32 gf, 30 ga; Up next: Portland on Aug. 17
9 – 11. Chivas USA won 3-2 at New England. The Goats continue their recent resurgence by beating New England, though they have a tough match coming up at Seattle. Nick LaBrocca is one of the players of the year in the MLS. Season: 7-8-8, 30 gf, 26 ga; Up next: At Seattle on Saturday
10 – 10. DC United drew 3-3 at home against Toronto. United were perhaps a bit fortuitous to draw at home against Toronto after Bill Hamid was sent off in the 7th minute. Their defense will need to be better against Vancouver. Season: 6-9-6, 29 gf, 33 ga; Up next: Vancouver on Saturday
11 – 9. Red Bull New York lost 3-0 at Real Salt Lake. A season of low points reached another one with a dismal display in Salt Lake. At least their next match is against Chicago, probably the only team that is playing worse than them at this point. Well, them and San Jose. Season: 6-12-6, 37 gf, 33 ga; Up next: Chicago on Saturday
12 – 12. Portland Timbers drew 1-1 at San Jose. After a barren stretch of no wins and one point in 9 matches, the Timbers have gotten back into the playoff race in recent weeks. Can they win at Houston this weekend? Season: 7-5-10, 28 gf, 35 ga; Up next: At Houston on Sunday
13 – 13. Houston Dynamo drew 1-1 at Philadelphia. Houston managed to get a point at Philadelphia this past week. To stay in the playoff race, they need to get three points against Portland. Season: 6-10-7, 27 gf, 28 ga; Up next: Portland on Sunday
14 – 14. San Jose Earthquakes drew 1-1 at home against Portland. San Jose are in full on free fall. Can they catch themselves when they take on the defending champs? Not likely, but hey, that’s what they play these games, amiright? Season: 5-10-8, 25 gf, 30 ga; Up next: Colorado on Saturday
15 – 15. New England Revolution lost 3-2 at home to Chivas USA. The Revs have been somewhat resurgent lately, but that ended when they gave up three goals to Chivas this past weekend. It doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Columbus, but New England is reaching the point where they have to go on quite a run to make the playoffs. Season: 4-9-10, 22 gf, 33 ga; Up next: At Columbus on Saturday
16 – 17. Toronto FC drew 3-3 at DC United. Toronto should have picked up three points at DC United after Bill Hamid was sent off in the 7th minute. Unfortunately, their defense is BY FAR the worst in the league. Was that the final nail in their playoff-making coffin? Season: 3-11-11, 24 gf, 46 ga; Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday
17 – 18. Vancouver Whitecaps beat Chicago 4-2 at home. The Whitecaps beat Chicago – and convincingly – on Sunday. They won’t make the playoffs this year, barring something crazy happening, but with Eric Hassli and … well, with Eric Hassli, at least … they have something to build on for next year. Season: 3-9-11, 25 gf, 36 ga; Up next: At DC United on Saturday
18 – 16. Chicago Fire lost 4-2 at Vancouver. Will this season ever end? If Chicago wins the US Open Cup, that means they will play in the Champions League next year with a 36-year-old designated player and a team that has only won two matches 67 percent of the way through the season. Season: 2-13-7, 23 gf, 30 ga; Up next: At New York on Saturday
By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood
All times Pacific; first number is current ranking, second is previous ranking. I trust you can figure out the rest…
1 – 3. Real Salt Lake won 1-0 at home against FC Dallas. RSL shut down high flying Dallas and won thanks to a somewhat lucky goal. They seem to be approaching their best again. Season: 8-6-3, 22 gf, 12 ga; Up next: At Vancouver on Saturday
2 – 2. LA Galaxy won 2-1 at home against Chicago. I know the Galaxy beat Chicago and haven’t lost in a while, but they were decidedly unimpressive in that game – and have been for the last few weeks. Season: 10-9-2, 27 gf, 16 ga; Up next: Columbus on July 20
3 – 1. FC Dallas lost 1-0 at Real Salt Lake. One week at No. 1, one loss, albeit a close one. Nonetheless, Dallas should be in the Top 5 for the rest of the season. Season: 10-4-5, 26 gf, 18 ga. Up next: DC United on Saturday
4 – 4. Seattle Sounders won 3-2 at Portland. Sounders are now undefeated in 7 (4 wins), and with a win at home to Colorado could start challenging for the Supporters Shield (Best regular-season record). Season: 9-8-4, 28 gf, 20 ga; Up next: Colorado on Saturday
5 – 5. Philadelphia Union drew 0-0 at San Jose. Union haven’t been terrible lately, but only one win in their last six, they seem to be slowing down a bit. A Revs team fresh off a friendly hammering at the hands of ManU could be ripe for the taking. Season: 7-7-4, 21 gf, 16 ga; Up next: At New England on Sunday
6 – 6. Red Bull New York lost 1-0 at DC United; beat Toronto 5-0 at home. After crushing Toronto, the Red Bulls were woeful in losing to United. This team has serious self-confidence issues – like they have too much of it. They have to be wary against a Chivas team that beat them in New York last time. Season: 6-10-4, 34 gf, 24 ga; Up next: At Chivas USA on Saturday
7 – 8. Columbus Crew won 1-0 at Vancouver. Don’t look now, but the Crew are suddenly starting to look like the best team in the East. Which doesn’t say much for the East. But nevertheless, they have eminently winnable matches against San Jose, a friendly-distracted Galaxy side and Portland, who have yet to win on the road. Season: 7-6-5, 21 gf 19 ga; Up next: San Jose on Saturday
8 – 11. Colorado Rapids won 2-1 at home against Vancouver; drew 1-1 at Kansas City. A win and a draw have seen the Rapids right the ship a bit after their injury-plagued struggles of earlier in the season. They will have a tought task on their hands winning at Seattle, though. Season record: 6-9-5, 22 goals for, 23 goal against; Up next: At Seattle on Saturday
9 – 10. DC United won 1-0 at home against New York. United have been up and down, but they’ve been up often enough to stay in the playoff race, something they’ll hope to continue when they travel to Dallas this weekend. Season: 5-7-5, 24 gf, 29 ga; Up next: At Dallas on Saturday
10 – 9. Sporting Kansas City drew 1-1 at home with Chivas USA; drew 1-1 at home with Colorado. Consecutive home draws have slowed down Sporting’s hot streak some, but they still haven’t lost in 10. Season: 5-7-6, 23 gf, 24 ga; Up next: At Houston on Saturday
11 – 12. Chivas USA drew 1-1 at Kansas City; beat San Jose 2-0 at home. Chivas have had back-to-back good results. Now they take on New York, who saw Justin Braun score a hat trick (his only three goals this season, incidentally) last time they played. Season: 5-7-7, 24 gf, 23 ga; Up next: New York on Saturday
12 – 13. Houston Dynamo won 1-0 at home against Toronto. Dynamo have been struggling, but a win against Toronto could give them a big bump heading into a tough match against Kansas City. Season: 5-8-6, 22 gf, 22 ga; Up next: Sporting Kansas City on Saturday
13 – 7. San Jose Earthquakes drew 0-0 at home against Philadelphia; lost 2-0 at Chivas USA. After a very good run of form, the Earthquakes offense has come screeching to a halt. It’s hard to see that changing in a road trip to Columbus this weekend. Season: 5-7-6, 22 gf, 21 ga; Up next: At Columbus on Saturday
14 – 14. Chicago Fire lost 2-1 at LA Galaxy. The Fire outplayed the Galaxy but still lost. Luckily for them, they’re doing well in the U.S. Open Cup, and I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see them face Seattle in the final (unless scheduling has them play earlier.) A home match against Portland gives them as good an opportunity as any to finally pick up another win. Season: 2-12-5, 20 gf, 24 ga; Up next: Portland on Saturday
15 – 17. New England Revolution didn’t play. The only thing the Revs accomplished in their week off from MLS play was getting out-classed by a Manchester United squad that was about 50-50 starters and reserves. Season: 3-7-8, 16 gf, 24 ga; Up next: Philadelphia on Sunday
16 – 15. Portland Timbers lost 3-2 at home to Seattle. I just looked at my Week 10 rankings, and Portland was ranked No. 5 and had 17 points from 10 matches. Now they have 18 from 17 matches. Season: 5-3-9, 21 gf, 31 ga; Up next: At Chicago on Saturday
17 – 18. Vancouver Whitecaps lost 2-1 at Colorado; lost 1-0 at home to Columbus. Whitecaps keep losing, but maybe the signing of Mustapha Jarju will provide a boost, especially if Eric Hassli continues to miss matches. Season: 2-8-10, 19 gf, 28 ga; Up next: Real Salt Lake on Saturday
18 – 16. Toronto FC lost 1-0 at Houston; lost 5-0 at New York. Toronto get a week off to hopefully integrate Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans into the team and find someone who can defend. Season: 3-9-9, 17 gf, 36 ga; Up next: FC Dallas on July 20
By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood
A pretty comfortable win for Real Salt Lake, who, unless they collapse in the away leg at Saprissa, should be able to reach the final against either Monterrey or Cruz Azul. (I’m picking Monterrey.) Alvaro Saborio scored a 9th minute goal after Nat Borchers had what looked like a good goal ruled out for a foul, and then Fabian Espindola finished the match off with a second-half goal. I like Real Salt Lake, even though they have a stupid name, and unlike, oh, every other MLS team that has reached this point in the competition, I think they have a chance to knock off their Mexican rivals. Wouldn’t it be great to see them trying to avoid the usual CONCACAF squad getting knocked off in the second round of the World Club Cup by an African side?
By Jeremiah Paschke-Wood
Real Salt Lake 4, Columbus 1 (4-1 aggregate): A terrible showing from Columbus, who had a
player sent off in the first leg, then give up two first half goals to Alvaro Saborio and Javier Morales to pretty much put the tie to bed. You have to wonder how Columbus is going to compete this year with the likes of Joshua Gardner and Richard Balchan (pictured) in midfield, no disrespect to them. As for Real Salt Lake, it was a nice performance – seven shots on target in the match, and Morales grabbed a brace. Andy Williams leapt off the thrift store LP bins to score the fourth goal. They will play the winner of Saprissa v. Olimpia in the semifinal, which could mean, gasp! an MLS team in the final. Hey, let’s not count our chickens before they hatch, though.
Santos Laguna 1, Cruz Azul 3 (1-5 aggregate): A fairly impressive performance by Cruz
Azul, who, leading 2-0 from the home leg, got an early goal from Emanuel Villa and then coasted to the win. Former Pachuca standout and total traitor Christian Gimenez (pictured) scored goals in both matches, because, let’s be honest: He’s awesome. Umm…what else? Villa had two goals. Cruz Azul will take on the winner of Toluca-Monterrey, which is probably being edged at this point by Monterrey.