1- New England
Yeah, yeah they are struggling. But what team is more likely to be in the MLS Cup right now? Besides, salvaging a point a man down at Giants Stadium was huge. A sign of a team’s character is how they play when the chips are down and injuries abound. Sure they were outplayed by New York, but that one point looks pretty good. The Revs haven’t quit when they’ve been behind the 8-ball even once this year, and to me that speaks loudly to the management of Steve Nicol and the leadership of Shalrie Joseph and Jay Heaps.
Chad Barrett’s poor finishing at all levels dooms this talented player to the halls of ridicule. But as I have always said you have to put yourself in those positions and Barrett does better than many in MLS to do so.
Robbie Rogers is having a whale of a season. Peter Nowak are you taking notes? Schelotto is the most impressive player in MLS perhaps. I saw on another website a Euro-snob who trashes MLS leave me a note about how impressive Schelotto was and how while he still thinks the rest of MLS is rubbish he will watch Columbus when they are on TV. Slowly but surely people will come around to the league.
4- FC Dallas
Arturo Alvarez is having a whale of a season. Peter Nowak are you taking notes? Kenny Cooper is back and more comfortable without Carlos Ruiz. No Toja and no Richetti and yet right now playing the best football in the league. However, those four lost points against direct western conference competition in the first two games will haunt the Hoops all year and keep them from the top of this list right now.
5- Kansas City
Claudio Suarez was brought in to be a striker but he seems to be drifting all over the place, to put his stamp on play. It’s working for the Wizards right now.
A bad loss to San Jose, but still a very positive first month of the season.
7- Toronto FC
Amado Guevara is as good as any player in MLS has been the last five years. Are you taking notes Preki? Add Laurent Robert and Rohan Ricketts and now you actually have a team north of the border.
8- Real Salt Lake
RSL may have too many above average MLS players. Seriously, man for man this team looks stacked but they don’t seem to be as effective or cohesive away from home yet as they should be.
9- San Jose
Kei Kamara? Seriously though man for man San Jose looks at the very least better than LA or Red Bulls on paper.
I love how the LA fans are treating a two-two draw against a depleted Dynamo side at home as a victory. Guess what this was a point gained for the Dynamo and two more lost for the “most important club in MLS.” Houston does however have serious issues. Patrick Ianni better not be on the Olympic Team this summer in his current form, and despite the constant Tony Caig bashing, had Zach Wells been the keeper for the Dynamo, chances are LA walks away with three points.
11- Red Bulls
See above. The free kick was legit as Cristman was clipped oh so slightly if you see the replay. If you are a man up against an injury depleted team and you can’t close the deal at home you don’t deserve to be any higher than this. Until Dane Richards returns this team will struggle.
12- DC United
Francis Doe should give the Red and Black something more effective up top. But Doe can’t help a shaky defense, and perhaps DC needs to dump its now long running 3-5-2 hybrid (which has been cloaked as a 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 at times this year by Tom Soehn.) Erpen, Boswell and Carroll were all blamed for DC’s bad defensive breakdowns the past few years in critical matches but perhaps it is simply the system?
13- Chivas USA
No Sacha Klejstan= no chance of victory. This team has become as reliant on one player in its attack as any team in the league. Klejstan is the link player to the outstanding striker pair up top. The back line is a mess and Jonathan Bornstein was used by Abe Thompson.
14- LA Galaxy
Before we get any further, I knowthe Galaxy fans are all hailing Saturday night as some sort of victory. Guess what? Salvaging a point at home against a team currently in last place that is beset by injuries and suspensions isn’t any great accomplishment. Besides, the number of chances created by Houston was scary but on a positive note a great performance from Steve Cronin, his best as an MLS starter.