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MLS Western Conference Week 9: The Weather is Too Beautiful

So, it's Friday afternoon, gorgeous outside. Since I put off writing a Western Conference Weekly this week, because of the Timbers not playing this weekend, I'm doing it now, while the sun is out and the sky is blue and it's absolutely perfect outside. Clearly Geoff didn't agree to let me write for Stumptown Footy because of my abundant intelligence.

Whatever. It's a beautiful day outside, so I'm gonna keep this short. Seriously, why are you even reading this? Go outside.

Seattle Sounders

Last week: 1-0 win vs Philadelphia; 2-0 win at Dallas

They look like they're in third place in the Western Conference, but after winning both their matches this week and watching San Jose lose to Vancouver, the Sounders now have the highest points per match in MLS. Drat. They're looking much better with Mauro Rosales back, but they've been coasting against teams like Philly and Dallas. RSL will be a real test for them, especially on short rest.

Week 10 projection: 3-1 loss vs Salt Lake

San Jose Earthquakes

Last week: 2-1 loss at Vancouver

Even with Seattle on points now, the Earthquakes are still ahead of RSL on ppm despite suffering just their second loss of the season last weekend in Vancouver. The Quakes scored early, but they found breaking down the Vancouver defense more difficult than in the teams' first meeting earlier this year. Their defense allowed numerous chances in the second half and finally broke down in the fourth minute of injury time.

Week 10 projection: 2-0 win vs Chivas

Real Salt Lake

Last week: 2-1 win vs New England; 0-0 draw at Chicago

RSL is first on the table but third in ppm after taking four points last week. Alvaro Saborio scored twice against New England, but they were unable to get on the board against Chicago after Javier Morales left with an injury, held to just two shots on target. RSL have been battered and bruised during a very difficult early season schedule, but after Saturday's clash with Seattle, they'll get two weeks to recover.

Week 10 projection: 3-1 win at Seattle

Vancouver Whitecaps

Last week: 2-1 win vs San Jose

The Whitecaps are the team of the week in my opinion, beating the first place team at home with the winning goal coming in stoppage time. With 2011 first round SuperDraft pick Omar Salgado finally starting to shine on the first team and Camilo Sanvezzo becoming one of the league's better playmakers, the Whitecaps are starting to look less like a fluke and more like a serious contender.

Week 10 projection: 2-1 win at New England

Colorado Rapids

Last week: 2-0 win at Dallas

The good news is Colorado won on Sunday in spite of Conor Casey lumbering around the field for 45 minutes. The bad news: Omar Cummings and Marvell Wynne will be out with injuries for the next few weeks at least. Colorado was already struggling with a lineup with too many midfielders and not enough goal scorers, and unless they can get Casey up to speed very quickly, they're going to struggle until Cummings returns.

Week 10 projection: 2-0 loss at DC United

FC Dallas

Last week: 2-0 loss vs Colorado; 2-0 loss vs Seattle

After weeks of Dallas players taking dives in and around the box, FC Dallas is taking a dive in the standings. Blas Perez and Daniel Hernandez were both red carded in the Colorado match, in what could be seen as sort of lifetime achievement awards for their play so far this season. With their starting squad dwindling due to injuries and suspensions, Dallas is going to struggle to compete even against the weak Eastern Conference teams coming up on their schedule.

Week 10 projection: 2-0 loss at Columbus

LA Galaxy

Last week: 1-0 loss vs New York

The biggest surprise of the week: two high-payroll teams with potent offenses and weak defenses only scored one goal in a match between them. What's more, the LA defense allowed only one shot on target during the match, but that one shot was all it took for Kenny Cooper to match his 2011 goal total. Sigh.

Week 10 projection: 2-0 loss at Montreal

Chivas USA

Last week: 2-1 loss vs Chicago

Chivas reverted to early season form last Friday, creating very little on the attack and relying heavily on Dan Kennedy to keep their game alive. Juan Pablo Angel finally opened his 2012 account with a first half goal, but Chivas allowed the equalizer only two minutes later, then broke down in the final minutes, allowing the winner in stoppage time. They're still ahead of the Timbers in the Western Conference table, but how much longer will that last?

Week 10 projection: 2-0 loss at San Jose