With the various international half-breaks and all, things have been a little up and down, but now we have some real data to dig into, including a major change at the top. Two actually, as essentially the Sounders fell back to the pack enough that they are no longer alone in the top group.
And yes, these are challenging times for the teams, but guess what? The games still matter. So whether players are out for international duty or injury, you still have the rest of your roster to find a way to compete, and if you fail to do that (*cough* Galaxy *cough*) you will be docked for it.
1. Sporting Kansas City (2).
Beat the top dog in their house? Where it clearly is not a fluke? Yeah, you become the top dog.
2. Seattle Sounders (Previously 1).
Hitting a bit of a skid.
3. New England Revolution (5).
Do they really have just bunches and bunches of bad teams on their schedule? Maybe, but they get the results.
4. Colorado Rapids (3).
A mixed bag of results.
5. New York City FC (7).
They lost to the Crew, but then got two wins including a trouncing of The Lions.
6. Portland Timbers (6).
They toughed out a win over Dallas, then beat LAFC before losing to an awakened Minnesota side.
7. Columbus Crew (10).
Some good results show that they are working their way back into being quality.
8. Nashville SC (13).
For a team that spent much of the season getting ties, they seem to have hit their stride. True, it’s been against bad teams, but they look like they have figured out how to score.
9. Orlando City (8).
Just when you think they are getting their feet back under them after losing to Chicago with a few good results, they get pasted by NYCFC.
10. Philadelphia Union (9).
The results are ok until you look at who they played. It’s hard to move them up when they beat D.C. and Miami.
11. Minnesota United (18).
Here we go. This is the Loons we expected to see this season. We need more consistency to move them up much faster, but yes, this is what we thought they would be.
Middle of the Road
12. LA Galaxy (4).
“The pattern of struggling against the best but beating most of the rest continues…” Not anymore. Reality came and splashed cold water in their face.
13. Los Angeles FC (12).
“Not even a week as their 2-0 win at Austin shows they are quite back.” But then they show that they still have work to do in losing to Portland and being tied by Vancouver.
14. Real Salt Lake (15).
“Will the real Salt Lake please stand up?” Not yet, apparently, as they lost to LAFC, were tied at home by the Galaxy then beat the Rapids 3-0.
15. Houston Dynamo (16).
Two road ties against bad teams is what teams here need to do.
16. New York Red Bulls (11).
D.C. isn’t terrible, but they aren’t great either, so a road loss there shows us other teams are better.
17. Austin FC (14).
Consistently falling short.
18. CF Montreal (24).
“Add a win over NYC and that rebuild might be gaining traction.” Now add on a win over Cincinnati and competitive road games against NYCFC and the Revs, and yeah, Montreal isn’t the trash they were earlier this year.
19. D.C. United (20).
Decent results within their bracket move them up slightly but not a lot.
Lots of Questions and/or Concerns
20. Vancouver Whitecaps (26).
Nice little turnaround as they beat the Galaxy, tie Houston (albeit at home) and get a road tie at LAFC. Still concerns though.
21. FC Cincinnati (19).
A run of bad results is very ungood.
22. San Jose Earthquakes (22).
Three ties are not bad, but they are not “move ’em up” great.
23. Atlanta United (17).
A coaching change may or may not be what they need, but they do need something.
24. FC Dallas (25).
This is what is so frustrating about this team. When they put a real goalscorer in front of two attacking playmakers, they can do some real damage. Why they do so infrequently contributes to their poor performances.
25. Toronto FC (23).
“So they went on the road after a coaching change and got a result against the Revolution. That does not suck. But it also is only one game.” And they followed that up with two poor results and a road win over Chicago…
26. Chicago Fire (21).
So we thought the Fire had something there, then they reverted to form and couldn’t even beat D.C. (tie) or Toronto (loss) at home.
27. Inter Miami (27).
They have entered into what used to be exclusively the Cincinnati zone.