Now It Gets Interesting
Some teams are really jumping off the page now, not the least of which is St. Louis City. They have yet to face a quality team whereas LAFC has faced more than one, so that is a factor, but overall, they are neck and neck with the powerhouse of the league.
The same can be said for New England who – other than their ugly loss to LAFC – have done some great work.
On the other end of the spectrum, Atlanta and Miami have had “who are you?” games. No bueno. Let’s go through them one by one, shall we?
1. Los Angeles FC (Previously 1)
They just keep grinding out wins. This week, they faced a short-staffed FC Dallas team that typically struggles in Los Angeles, but the North Texas group fought through a super early goal and an early red card to survive long enough to get the equalizer, but LAFC has extra difference makers, and Dallas doesn’t. 2-1 FC Hollywood.
2. St. Louis City SC (2)
The first half against RSL ended 0-0, then the new kids ripped off four straight to own another MLS side. If they can do this to a team in the opt half of the league, they will pass LAFC. So strong right now.
3. FC Cincinnati (3)
We dinged them early because they started slow against a poor team, but all they have done since is get The Pace result in every game. Win at home, tie on the road – until they won at Nashville. Up they go.
4. Seattle Sounders (8)
Yep, they are back, with a sound thumping of SKC on the road. We dinged them for their loss to Cincinnati and tie to LAFC, but those aren’t awful results. It just means they aren’t in that league (yet).
5. New England Revolution (9)
Yes, they lost hard to LAFC and we had questions about other things, but their play shows they know more than we do. The latest is a 2-1 road win vs. D.C. United.
6. Orlando City (11)
Nice bounce back from Pareja’s lads, winning 2-1 at Philadelphia.
7. Minnesota United (6)
A 1-1 home tie to Vancouver is not a good result in general, but it’s also not a loss and this team has been playing above expectations from the jump.
8. Nashville SC (4)
This may be a tough drop, but maybe not. A home loss to Cincinnati means they drop, but we have had questions about our confidence in them for a few weeks now.
9. New York City FC (7)
In a way, a 1-0 road loss isn’t a bad thing, and maybe Houston is better than we gave them credit. Or maybe Houston is just figuring things out. This isn’t the only questionable result on NYC’s resume though.
10. Columbus Crew (16)
Sulu says, “Oh my!” Atlanta was on a tear, and we wondered how they would respond after putting a thumping on Portland the week before. Well, the Crew put a 6-1 hurting on United to show them how it felt. New coach figuring out how to win with his new team?
11. Atlanta United (10)
We had them pegged as moving up, considering how they had been playing, but the Crew put them in their place. Ouch.
12. Philadelphia Union (5)
Pretty big fall, but seems justified after their games since Week One. Can they get their confidence back? To be fair, Orlando is a very good side, but it was at home, so a 2-1 loss hurts.
13. New York Red Bulls (14)
So they paid a lot of money for goal scorers and didn’t get it at first, but they started getting results when they did get goals. The most recent is a 1-1 at Charlotte.
14. Inter Miami (12)
They beat Montreal (ok) and then Philadelphia (whoa) and we thought maybe they had something. Three losses later, including a 3-2 loss AT HOME to CHICAGO and, no, they don’t. In fact, this is probably the last of the credit they should get for the win over the Union.
15. FC Dallas (13)
What a gutsy performance from FCD against LAFC. They deserved a point, but if you don’t have difference-makers, sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.
16. Austin FC (15)
This team has been so up and down this season. A 1-1 home tie to the Rapids is not what Wolff wanted. Can they recapture the magic of last season?
17. LA Galaxy (18)
“Middling” describes this team to a T. A 0-0 road tie against the Timbers is just another verse.
18. Houston Dynamo (25)
We had real doubts about their first win. They turned out another performance, getting a penalty to stand up against NYCFC at home. They are not St. Louis just yet, but they look like they are better than the bottom tier – for now.
19. Real Salt Lake (17)
Maybe it isn’t fair to hold this against them, but getting pasted at home by the expansion side is not a good look. Maybe they are too high?
20. CF Montreal (20)
They didn’t play last week, no reason for movement. Did they take advantage of the week off?
21. San Jose Earthquakes (19)
It’s really hard to tell with these guys. Wins over Vancouver and Colorado aren’t great wins. They played hard against Atlanta and lost like everyone else to St. Louis. But we envisioned an uninspiring tie against Toronto, and that’s what we got – sans goals.
Not Bad, Not Terrible (They’re Terrible)
22. Sporting Kansas City (21)
What do you get with a hard-fighting Peter Vermes team without that ugly goal to win the game? Sporting 2023. And from time to time, that means a visitor like the Sounders comes in and exposes them. This week, to the tune of 4-1.
23. Chicago Fire (28)
Last week they gave away what looked like their first win when Cincy scored two for a 3-3 tie. This week, they played at a desperate Miami side and took all three points on a 3-2 scoreline. Ok 1871, we see you.
24. Vancouver Whitecaps (26)
Going on the road and taking a point from the Loons is a good result. Will they ever, though, win consistently at home? Until then, it’s the Chornobyl Group for them.
25. Portland Timbers (22)
The injuries are tearing through a team that can’t afford them, and it shows. This week, it was a 0-0 home tie to the Galaxy.
26. Toronto FC (23)
We got a little excited about TFC when they beat Miami, but this is an example of that being a one-off. They followed with a 0-0 tie at San Jose, which isn’t awful, but it isn’t upward movement either.
27. Charlotte FC (24)
Looks like their win over Orlando was taking advantage of a tired Lions side as this week, it was a home tie to the Red Bulls.
28. D.C. United (27)
They are back to what we thought, this time via a 2-1 home loss to the Revolution.
29. Colorado Rapids (29)
While it was a road tie, a 1-1 result in Austin isn’t enough to get them off the bottom.