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
This week's match against Sporting Kansas City will put to rest, for the time being, who the top dog in MLS is. I think RSL are in for a big, ugly fight.
The Sounders didn't impress against DC, but they really didn't do much to impugn their reputation either. Michael Gspurning is starting to look like a really good keeper to replace Master Goalkeeper (a new title I invented for him) Kasey Keller.
Sporting managed to make LA look just weak and helpless. I don't know how much of that was LA and how much of that was Sporting; likely a bit of both. Either way their showdown with RSL looms and for all of our sakes' I hope there's a clear victor at the end.
The Rapids lost to Real Salt Lake in a pretty decisive fashion, though they had a marked improvement in the second half. We'll give them a bit of a pass this week as RSL is probably the best team in the league at the moment.
The Quakes keep finding ways to win, this time coming from behind to score 3 unanswered against a pretty stout Vancouver defense. Lenhart's absence didn't hurt the team too much it seems.
Right now it doesn't matter what the New York defense looks like. If Cooper and Henry can keep scoring like this it it'll be a two horse race in the Eastern Conference.
FC Dallas (PROMOTED)
Putting them into "Almost Elite" is a bit of a homer call, but FC Dallas looked like the FCD of old during much of this match. Their last minute win cannot be understated; it gives the team the hope and belief that it's not over until the final whistle blows. That mentality served this team well in 2010.
The MLS Middle Class
Columbus Crew (DEMOTED)
The Crew were shredded to bits against New York and really were never in control of the game at any point. They were about as fearsome as a toothless old dog. Once the shellshock of the defeat is over though I expect them to continue their good form.
LA Galaxy (DEMOTED)
What can we say about the Galaxy that hasn't already been said?
Brad Davis is said to be carrying an injury. I'm not entirely sure that a Brad Davis-less Houston poses much a threat to anybody except the guppies of the league.
The Fire were inactive this week. Boo.
United is finally starting to come about. They looked pretty darn good against the Sounders, considering the competition. If DC can get their defensive back line sorted out they should have more success than not. They pressured the ball well, they clogged up the midfield, and were tough customers to play against. A good game from DC.
The point was right there for the Revs to take, but Ihemelu and his excellent coiffe said "NO POINT FOR YOU!". The Revs couldn't handle FCD's speed all game long but otherwise were serviceable. Not a bad effort from Heaps this year.
Chivas USA (PROMOTED)
I want to like the Goats. I hope for their sake that Mr. Fraser has figured out how to make their attack click. Their defense again looked solid and unshakeable (except for that silly mistake that led to the goal).
Vancouver Whitecaps (DEMOTED)
The Whitecaps have really not given their fanbase anything to get worked up about so far this season. Except for Jay DeMerit, who still is a quality defender.
Another lead lost, another loss at home. I don't really believe they have a serious homefield advantage anymore.
Out of action this week. Perhaps they can put something together with some practice.
Montreal Impact (PROMOTED)
A historic win and two nice goals should make for happy Montréalers (Montrealians? Montrealiers?) considering not only their prior run of form but their opponent. Few cities dislike each other more than Montréal and Toronto.
Slaughtered by Santos and embarrassed by their Moose-loving neighbors, I can think of nothing worse to say of poor TFC right now. The news coming out of Toronto however is that Frings might be available for their next match, and that return would be a massive boost.