12. Los Angeles Galaxy – Drop from 4th all the way to 12th? Yep. I took all that “benefit of the doubt,” folded it neatly and put it through the ProSoccerTalk paper shredder. It’s gone. After that mess they put on the field in a 3-1 loss to New England? Gone. Don’t forget, Bruce Arena’s side had two weeks to get ready for that one. Then again, they can “get ready” all they want – until Arena and Co. does something to improve that beleaguered back line, it may not matter.
11. FC Dallas – The score got away from them as D.C. and Maicon Santos took out some frustration in a 4-1 ambush at RFK Stadium. Brek Shea still looks rattled from the Olympic disappointment, and center back Hernan Pertuz got pulled out of position here and there. At least Blas Perez continues to look dangerous. Next chance to put things right comes up Thursday in Texas against New England.
10. D.C. United – How good to Nick DeLeon and Danny Cruz look along the wings at RFK right now? So good that it asks this question: Where might Andy Najar and Chris Pontius fit going forward? It’s a good problem to have for manager Ben Olsen, whose team broke out for a 4-1 win Friday over Dallas. Dwayne De Rosario was bright in that one, too, nearly tallying his first for 2012.
9. Chicago Fire – A win and a draw against two sides without a win can only say so much about where things stand; that’s what the Fire had before Sunday. So last week’s match at Colorado was a bit of a tell-all. Result: not so great. Scoring chances were at a premium as Frank Klopas’ men fell outside Denver. Everyone around Toyota Park is promising better this week at home against Houston.
8. New York Red Bulls – Two tough matches to open the season brought two losses and “sky is falling” sentiment from beyond the castle gates. Since then, two winnable matches have seen the men of Red Bull Arena get their business done, in a professional and resounding way. Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper find themselves near the top of the scoring chart. A road test at Columbus this week should tell us more.
7. Vancouver Whitecaps – While the goal-scoring trickle will remain a concern, let’s take a second to applaud the only MLS club not to concede one this season. The shutout streak stands at 360 minutes and counting. There was even a change along the back line this week (Jordan Harvey for Alain Rochat), but the impressive results remained the same.