This is a sight all should fear. Both because of the constipated look and because that ball is likely going somewhere dangerous for your team.
A quick note: I do not like to number teams and so I won't do it. While these weekly features are subjective, numbering teams is a slippery slope. Due to that the teams are placed in certain categories, with no numerical order within those categories. On we go!
This week we have a new highest rank! I think we can all agree on who occupies it.
The Cherry On Top
Sporting Kansas City (PROMOTED)
Sporting beat Real Salt Lake. Real Salt Lake didn't crumble, but they didn't really threaten either. As long as their form continues, Sporting Kansas City are the best in the league beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The Cream of the Crop
They might have registered a loss, but they weren't embarrassed and they dealt with the pressure KC brought decently well. They just need to keep their heads up and get ready to continue amassing points.
A 1-0 win is never something that looks mighty impressive, but in the end they got the results that were needed. Better yet, they beat Colorado at the Clink for a bit of sportsmanlike revenge on Brian Mullan.
The Quakes managed a pretty good result away at New York, and while their goals were half gifts, half skill, they still held the Red Bulls to only two goals against. They are starting to look mighty appealing as a pick to win week in and week out.
Despite their defensive struggles and dropping points this week, it's not like San Jose are a bunch of slackers. The Red Bulls defense did well in the sense that they only conceded two goals, and that's something to build on. If they can hold down the fort in the back and not yuk it up, they just might win more consistently.
While some pundits are unimpressed with FC Dallas' last minute comebacks against weaker teams, long-time team observers have started to wonder if the Toros have started to turn the corner. The second half against Montreal in particular showed signs of revitalization.
LA Galaxy (PROMOTED)
For one half the LA Galaxy looked like last season's team. If Beckham and Juninho can get energized and propel the midfield forward, they could very well be back on track.
The MLS Middle Class
Two losses in a row isn't exactly what they were hoping for. What's worse is Conor Casey is dealing with an illness that will keep him out of this coming match.
The Crew's scoring scoring has taken a bit of a hit in the past few games, scoring just one in two matches, but it might be able to make its mark against a defensively average Houston side.
The Dynamo again didn't create much during the lightning-fest at Chicago but Will Bruin got his first goal and that confidence-builder can go a long way towards helping him find his scoring touch. Amassing a good amount of points on the road will go a long way when they start that long homestand in their new stadium.
The Fire impressed me this past game, showing off a quick-passing attack that showed lots of movement off the ball and a high work rate. Sebastian Grazzini and, Marco Pappa, and Dominic Oduro all looked solid.
It really is a shame that the results don't show how much good Mr. Heaps' team has managed to do the past few games. People who assume the Revs are an easy W this season will be sorely mistaken.
The Goats managed another win! Whatever their disastrous home form stems from, it's not carrying over to the road. To top it all off Dan Kennedy was named player of the week, though against Real Salt Lake he could have won those honors as well.
Eight points in their last four matches have DC believing again and with good reason: They have played the Caps, FCD, Seattle and New England.
Philadelphia Union (PROMOTED)
FINALLY a win! The Union looked pretty sharp against the Crew and while they weren't able to manufacture any goals from the run of play, the addition of German forward Kai Herdlind might help.
Inactive this past weekend. Eric Hassli really needs to get going to have a chance against Sporting Kansas City.
Montreal's physicality was limited by the number of cards they accumulated in the first half, but the strategy was sound. What wasn't so sound was Mr. Marsch's substitutions which may have cost his team a point, but he manned up and accepted responsibility for it.
Portland Timbers (DEMOTED)
At what point do we start questioning the coaching in Portland? Four losses in a row and nothing to show for a lot of talk. Is it simply a matter of personnel available? Their defenders have not been very sharp, but the coach must bear some if not a good amount of the blame for this many losses.