We’ve already dropped the knowledge and science on Parts II and III; here are your top money-makers and heart-breakers right now in MLS:
1. Real Salt Lake – Someday, Jason Kreis will slog off the field after a memorable 8-0 romp-and-stomp over some overmatched, beleaguered MLS visitor into Rio Tinto. RSL’s perfectionist manager will seem utterly forlorn as declares before a room of notebooks, cameras and microphones: “I just don’t know how we’ll win another game this year if we don’t play any better than that.” (Kreis loved the effort but noted ample room for improvement following his team’s 2-0 win over the Red Bulls.) … Oh, and DO NOT call anyone at Rio Tinto a “second-stringer!”
2. Los Angeles Galaxy – Galaxy players received their championship bling for claiming MLS Cup 2011, and then promptly vented their Champions League frustrations by whipping the black and red out of D.C. United. Robbie Keane hit for two in Sunday’s 3-1 victory. All the Galaxy money men were in top form in this one.
3. Seattle Sounders – A night to remember for young David Estrada, whose hat trick propelled the home side over understandably distracted and hung-over Toronto FC. Yes, things were arranged for success, but it was still quite a response after last week’s painful Champions League disappointment around the Sound.
4. Sporting Kansas City – C.J. Sapong, Graham Zusi and Kei Kamara got in their licks while the home team pointed a whopping 27 shots toward New England goal, threatening to turn SKC’s home opener into a real stat-padder. Peter Vermes side had a man advantage for almost 80 minutes of this one. An injury to Aurelien Collin does ask some questions about that depth at center back everyone suspected might be a problem. By the way, SKC in home openers? Now 11-2-4 all time.
5. Colorado Rapids – Jaime Castrillon and Tony Cascio scored for the Rapids in a big win at Philly despite Jeff Larentowicz’s second-half expulsion. It was a scruffy win, to be sure, but a win is a win at PPL Park and now the Rapids’ 2-0 start under new boss Oscar Pareja is a bit of a talker around MLS.
6. Houston Dynamo – Two weeks ago, the Dynamo traveled West and sneaked away with a 1-0 win at Chivas USA. Last week, the Dynamo traveled West and sneaked away with a 1-0 win over San Jose. It’s a fantastic way to start the seven-game road swing to begin the season, which easily could have devolved into a big ol’ beat down. Houston has already matched its 2011 road win total.