Chaos subsided in Week Seven, as results around the league more or less went to form. Nonetheless, things are never very stable on the Countdown.
1. New York Red Bulls (1) - Does anybody really question whether they’re the top team in MLS right now? 11 points through five games gives the Red Bulls the top points per game average in the league, and Saturday’s romp of the San Jose Earthquakes does nothing to dispel the notion that the Metros deserve the top spot.
2. Seattle Sounders (2) - Starting to look like their old selves, on the road at Colorado the Sounders looked absolutely lethal in the attack (albeit less than sturdy in defense). That, however, was their formula on the way to the Supporters Shield in 2014.
3. Vancouver Whitecaps (5) - Were helped considerably by a second-half Sebastian Saucedo red card, but delivering RSL’s first loss at Rio Tinto is an admirable way to bounce back from their unwatchable outing in San Jose.
4. Columbus Crew SC (4) - The Crew are so, so good at dominating teams playing with ten men. This time, Rafa Ramos gifted Crew SC with his first-half red card and a horrible giveaway that resulted in the first goal. Now let’s see if they can win without a man advantage.
5. D.C. United (3) - A home draw to the Dynamo isn’t ideal, but nobody below them made much of a statement. The damage for United, then, is pretty limited.
7. LA Galaxy (10) - It was ugly and they arguably didn’t deserve it, but their win over SKC is huge. Why? What do you call a Bruce Arena team that earns points in the spring? Supporters Shield winners.
8. Real Salt Lake (6) - They’ve been punching above their weight in the points department, and a more significant fall would have happened if teams below them had made a case, but losing to Vancouver after going a man down isn’t entirely dishonorable.
9. Sporting Kansas City (9) - Played fairly well in their at-the-death loss to LA Galaxy, which is a good sign with Graham Zusi back in the lineup to spark the attack. Nonetheless, there are lingering questions about whether this team will ever get out of third gear.
10. Houston Dynamo (12) - They were dreadful in March, but their last three results are a close away loss to Seattle (granted, the Sounders went a man down in the second half), a huge home win over Montreal, and now a solid away draw to D.C. United. They aren’t much to look at, but the results have been there recently for the Dynamo.
11. Orlando City (7) - Any hopes of a result in Columbus derailed by Ramos, so the Lions get a little bit of a pass after a big jump last week. They’ll be without their Portuguese revelation at right back, however, for a few weeks once the Disciplinary Committee gets their hands on him.
12. Portland Timbers (14) - What do you call a Caleb Porter team that gets points in the spring? A playoff team. The Timbers haven’t been going gangbusters by any means, but they’ve treaded water without Diego Valeri and Will Johnson.
13. FC Dallas (19) - Their visit to the cellar was somewhat honorary last week, but while FCD’s performance out of the gates against TFC was certainly cause for hope, the lack of decisiveness with which they closed out the game after an absurd weather delay is cause for continued concern.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (11) - Although losing to the Red Bulls on the road is understandable, the Quakes weren’t even in the game for the first hour. What was 2-0 could have been much, much worse by the time San Jose showed up late in the second half.
15. Toronto FC (13) - Only two more away fixtures before the Reds get to have their home opener in a renovated BMO Field. Although TFC may not be as bad as their record, an elite team would have more than zero points from their last four games, even if they were all on the road.
16. Chicago Fire (16) - One of four teams in the East to have played five or fewer games. The Whitecaps and Union, on the other hand, have played eight. MLS scheduling is great.
17. Philadelphia Union (18) - Their performances this past week haven’t been those of a truly miserable team. Just a well below average one.
18. Colorado Rapids (17) - The Rapids weren’t horrible in their loss to Seattle. In fact, the Rapids created enough chances that it’s safe to say their scoreless days are probably behind them. But still, a 3-1 loss at home to anybody won’t buoy a team’s place in the Countdown.
19. New York City FC (15) - What a miserable week. Last week they lost at Philadelphia. Then they unconvincingly drew the Union at Yankee Stadium. Then they lost at home to a significantly weakened Portland team. And while the loss of David Villa can certainly account for part of this, he played 135 minutes of soccer against the Union with Philly being up 2-1 during that time. So, yeah.
20. Montreal Impact (20) - Let’s hope they find Estadio Azteca to be an easier place to play than they found BBVA Compass Stadium.