Is this a love-hate relationship?
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!
The Cherry On Top
True, Sporting lost to lowly Portland, but it was on an own goal. It was a pretty slick own goal too, so there's that. Their offense couldn't score on the Timbers, but we'll take that as a one-off.
The Cream of the Crop
San Jose Earthquakes (PROMOTED)
Whether they were down to nine men or not, San Jose beat RSL and that's impressive. Chris Wondolowski is still scoring. San Jose looks like a scary matchup for any team at the moment.
They were inactive this week.
I really wanted to drop New York down a spot, but any team that can score the way they can needs a bit of a break. One more awful result like the one against D.C. and they will surely take a tumble. That was a laughable display at United. How much of this is on the coaching staff?
Real Salt Lake (DEMOTED)
They have lost a fair share of games already, and while losing to San Jose can be chalked up to being down two men, they shouldn't be down two men in the first place. A big match looms against FC Dallas to determine how tough a team they really are.
The Galaxy looked firmly in charge against Colorado. Only a weak penalty call against them could have leveled the game, luckily for the Galaxy karma intervened.
D.C. United (PROMOTED)
This DC squad is starting to look like it's a serious competitor this year. I believe so. For now at least. Those were quite a few dandies that were scored on Sunday.
The MLS Middle Class
FC Dallas (DEMOTED)
They lost against Vancouver and now they don't have Blas Perez for the match against RSL. Yuck.
They managed a draw against the Dynamo, and based on good performance I'm really not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. The match was entertaining at least and both teams showed they can at least compete at a good level.
See above. I'm not sure what conclusions to draw seeing as the Crew are as average a team as it gets. Perhaps the same could be said of the Dynamo? They're very close to opening their new home which could fuel them to new heights though.
The Fire are starting to impress me. Beating Toronto is nothing to brag about, and Toronto put up a good fight. They didn't simply keel over and die when the Fire walked onto the field. Chicago put in a strong attacking performance.
The Goats really, REALLY should have done better against a nine-man Philly squad. True, they only really had an advantage for about fifteen minutes, but these home losses are simply unacceptable. At least they didn't drop points to a Western Conference opponent.
Philadelphia Union (PROMOTED)
Despite boneheaded moves by Keon Daniel and Gabriel Farfan, which will SURELY come back to haunt them next week when they miss a match via suspension, Philadelphia has strung together results. Chivas might have struggled against the Union but the Goats have been solid opponents lately, so good for Philly.
Right now I hate Vancouver. Boo! Their defense has returned to normal and is their biggest strength. I still find that they are rated rather highly in other power rankings based on... theory? Until they string together convincing results I don't find them to be above average.
Colorado Rapids (DEMOTED)
That's three losses in a row. The problem all season so far with the Rapids has been their lack of a spark in the midfield.
They played DC to a draw last week, and given the way DC is playing that's a pretty nice accomplishment for the expansion Impact.
Portland Timbers (PROMOTED)
They finally handed Sporting their only loss so far, and they defended damn well while doing it. Maybe Spencer's crew has learned how to operate as a unit in the back?
I've changed the last tier's name this week in honor of MLSE (Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment), who owns TFC. They have managed to single-handedly ruin ALL of the teams they own. When was the last time you heard the Raptors, Blue Jays or Maple Leafs mentioned in a positive light? TFC could be headed down that road if they aren't on it already.
A harsh paragraph above disguises the fact that despite a record sixth loss in a row, TFC put up a solid effort (in some ways...) against Chicago. It's to the point where I want them to win simply because I feel awful for them.