The second week of games sure had some surprises for us, and it has caused a good bit of change. As is our history, we try not to make large, knee-jerk changes, but when you win on the road or lose at home, especially to a team you are not supposed to, that matters. Also, it could just be one game, so some of this is a move balancing what we think about the team against what their results have been.
One thing we can definitely say is Minnesota has work to do. Other teams have shown us some things that we will track and see if we had them too low or too high to start the year. Either way, another round of matches is fast approaching.
The good news is we have some key matchups this weekend that will help us see which teams are contenders v. pretenders.
1. Columbus Crew (Previously 1).
No game last week, but this week they go to CF Montreal so we get to see some things.
2. Los Angeles FC (2).
A 1-1 tie against the Sounders tells us more about Seattle than LAFC. This weekend Bradley’s boys head to Houston.
3. Seattle Sounders (4).
Underestimate the Sounders at your peril, folks. We get a fun one this weekend, too, as they host a red-hot Chicharito and the LA Galaxy.
4. Toronto FC (5).
They move up only because the Union wet the bed, Portland struggled a little at home to Houston, and they were tied by Vancouver.
5. Portland Timbers (6).
After losing to Vancouver, Portland beat Houston, which is ok. The talent remains, and they are playing internationally right now, so maybe Savarese is having to juggle too much, but if they don’t get something out of Dallas, where they travel to Saturday, this placement is simply not justified.
6. Philadelphia Union (3).
Insert your favorite “ouch” .gif here as the Union lost at home to Miami. Unless Inter really has flipped the switch that is not the kind of loss a Shield winner is supposed to take at home. They play NYC this weekend, so that ought to show us how they bounce back – or not.
7. Atlanta United (8).
This might be too much of a move after beating Chicago, but the Union did poorly. They go to New England this weekend so they have a chance to make us look good… or not.
8. Sporting Kansas City (7).
A home draw with Orlando is not awful. Now they travel to Utah and we find out of RSL is legit.
9. New York City FC (10).
Last week we said, “[L]et’s just say we will not be watching NYC’s next game for good reasons” after they lost to D.C. And oh my, did they respond. Now, Cincinnati has quite the fatal flaw, but credit NYC for putting FCC to the sword each and every time.
10. LA Galaxy (14).
Chicharito is the talk of the town with five goals in two games. The LA Galaxy has two wins under their belt. Now we get to see how real this all is as they travel to Seattle.
11. New England Revolution (11).
A 1-0 win over D.C. certainly is a good result, especially after United had beaten NYC in the first round. Now they host Atlanta, who seem to be very real themselves.
12. Nashville SC (13).
Tie Cincinnati, tie Montreal. Not sure what we have here, especially after the results those two teams got in their other games. They host Miami this weekend so maybe find out more in that game.
13. Minnesota United (9).
“They still have quality, so we hesitate to drop them too much based on one result, but is it possible they have been figured out?” Lose at home to RSL? Erm… And now they host Austin. This could be problematic if they don’t turn things around fast.
14. Orlando City (15).
A tie at Sporting is definitely a good result. Now they get to host Cincinnati so we get to see if they can do as NYC did.
15. Colorado Rapids (12).
The first team to lost to Austin, the Rapids surely can’t be happy with that. Now they travel to Vancouver where the Whitecaps have not been awful.
16. Vancouver Whitecaps (18).
With a road tie at Toronto, it is safe to say Vancouver have shown us something. Hosting Colorado will give them a chance to show some consistency – the true test of quality.
17. San Jose Earthquakes (20).
“We just need more data.” And data we got in the form of a 3-1 win over Dallas. Did FCD make some tactical mistakes? Maybe. But San Jose still took advantage. And that second goal…. Oh, the pass on that second goal. This weekend they host D.C. United.
18. CF Montreal (21).
After a surprise win against Toronto, CFM followed that up with a tie at Nashville. Those are two solid results, even though there are still some questions. But now they host Columbus and we get to see if they really can beat the best teams consistently.
19. FC Dallas (16).
This team has a lot to figure out. The Breakdown of last week’s loss to San Jose gives you the detail you need (seriously, always read that). With all the new faces, maybe some of that is understandable, but with a talented Portland side coming in Saturday, time is running out to fix things.
20. New York Red Bulls (17).
It is very possible the Red Bulls aren’t bad, but two losses is no way to start the season. They host Chicago, so whatcha got?
21. Inter Miami (27).
“[T]hey are going to have to prove it.” A 2-1 win over Philadelphia certainly is one way. Can they build on that? They travel to a decent to possibly good Nashville team.
22. Austin FC (25).
Well how are ya’, partner? A 3-1 win on the road at Colorado is not a bad way to get your first victory in franchise history. We need more data to know where they land, but that is definitely not a bad result. Going to the struggling Loons ought to let us see more about where the new kids should fall.
23. Real Salt Lake (26).
Well well well. We thought RSL was going to have issues this season, and they may still have them, but not in their first game as they beat Minnesota, 2-1. No rest for them though as they now host Sporting KC which should be a real challenge.
Lots of Questions and/or Concerns
24. D.C. United (19).
Beat NYC, good result. Lose at New England, not so much. Now they travel to San Jose and maybe that gives us a better bracket of where they fall.
25. Houston Dynamo (22).
A home win against a decent San Jose side got our attention but the loss to Portland shows us they still have work to do. Maybe they can do something against LAFC?
26. Chicago Fire (23).
And reality is that the Fire have work to do as they were beaten by Atlanta and now have to travel to play the Red Bulls.
27. FC Cincinnati (24).
Just when we thought they might have something, they lay an egg. Back to the bottom you go, FCC.