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 Cream of the Crop
I'm not one prone to exaggeration, but this RSL team is made of sterner stuff than most. While they didn't exactly dominate at Jeld Wen, they looked plenty comfortable and walking out of Portland with 3 points is more than enough validation for their effort.
Yeesh. Losing to the Quakes is bad but for the Sounders losing at their home is worse. They dropped valuable points on a weekend when Salt Lake picked up 3. No good.
Sporting Kansas City (PROMOTED)
They've finally clawed their way to the top of the rankings. Four straight wins will do that, no matter who they're playing against. Sporting's healthy and fast so as long as they don't sustain any injuries they will be a big, tough matchup for any of the teams in MLS.
LA Galaxy (DEMOTED)
While I would hesitate to sound the alarm on LA so early, their defense is certainly cause for concern. The goals will come for sure, but the back four have spring a leak they have yet to fix. I must admit I'm surprised LA would really drop down at any point this season, but they're below even FC Dallas on the league table and that's nothing to scoff at.
The Rapids are quickly picking up points where other teams are dropping them, and Cummings looks to be doing quite well so far on his own, far different from the ineffective Cummings we saw all last season. Unfortunately for them skipper Pablo Mastroeni is now out for a while with concussions so when the Rapids face a stern test who knows if they will survive. For now however they're doing very well.
Columbus Crew (PROMOTED)
The Crew have been quietly impressive. No one outside of Columbus has paid much attention but this Crew team looks well put-together at the moment and is also heading to reeling Philadelphia this week. While Philly is desperate to score, I have to say Columbus probably feels good about its chances.
Beating Seattle at their home is almost always worth a bump up in categories, but now it's up to the Quakes to hold onto their spot.
New York Red Bulls (PROMOTED)
9 goals in two games.
The MLS Middle Class
FC Dallas (DEMOTED)
Ferreira needs another surgery, Perea is leaving, Benitez and Hernandez are suspended... the litany of personnel issues almost make you think God himself has a bet riding against FCD's early-season record. It has got to be a nightmare for Schellas to sort it all out.
Vancouver Whitecaps (DEMOTED)
Their defense has been solid but the lack of almost any scoring whatsoever is just shameful for a team that's up to their neck in strikers. Le Toux's return to Philly was uneventful, the match was boring, and Vancouver has disappointed to start the season.
Houston was inactive this week. It's a shame because usually I watch their games to make sure I root against them. One less important game this past week then.
Losing to the Rapids isn't something to be embarrassed about, though that final ball constantly eluding Chicago might be a problem later on when they're desperate for points.
D.C. United (Promoted)
Their first win and major offensive explosion of the season has the black and red believing. I'm still mad about Maicon Santos scoring a cracker of a goal against us, but perhaps I should be happy that DC fans have something to cheer about. They are a good fanbase that suffers with an awful stadium and terrible marketing and they deserve better. I mean, who else are they supposed to cheer for? The Redskins? The Nationals? The *shudder* WIZARDS? Those are terrible teams with fans they don't deserve, fans that would be better served helping out United.
New England Revolution (PROMOTED)
They beat LA at the Home Depot Center. Those are words I never would have predicted earlier this year. Good for the Revs!
Portland Timbers (DEMOTED)
Losing to rivals Salt Lak in the last 5 minutes? Ouch. Nagbe's goals were good, but I'd hold off on christening him as the new Messi in MLS. The rest of his game isn't nearly as good as his finishing. Mind you, if he keeps scoring goals like that he could just stand there and wait for the ball and no one would care.
They lost to the second best team in MLS in Sporting Kansas City. Nothing wrong with that, especially since it was 1-0.
They stemmed the bleeding and got a draw, though their offense was again anemic. With the Crew coming into town, can Philly finally put it all together and get a W?
More losses. Braun is still invisible.
Toronto losing Frings had as big an impact as we thought it would. 3-0 hurts, but how will they handle a potent Santos Laguna without their midfield general? It'll be bloody I predict, though for MLS' sake I wish them the best.