6. Houston Dynamo – It’s difficult to downgrade the Orange; Houston’s road record is all there is to go on, and at 2-2-2 it’s good enough to be a top-5 team. Then again, the Dynamo’s oddball April just ended without a win; there were draws in Chicago and Columbus before a weekend loss at in-form D.C. United. Dominic Kinnear’s men have one more away from home (at New York) before finally moving into that new facility.
5. D.C. United – The Eastern Conference’s hottest team keeps ticking off results – and keep progressing steadily in the rankings. Ben Olsen likes the swagger and confidence he’s seeing around RFK. It’s easy with so many attackers are sharing great form, including Maicon Santos, Dwayne De Rosario and that trio of young go-go guys (Chris Pontius, Danny Cruz and Andy Najar). Olsen might have a choice to make in goal, where a Joe Willis wobble has cracked a potential gap for Bill Hamid’s return. Plus, the defense will need adjustment after a concerning hamstring injury to steady Emiliano Dudar. All that aside, a mid-week meeting with the hottest team from the West, San Jose, should be a telling dandy. (Oh, last week’s win over Houston meant back-to-back D.C. victories for the first time since 2009; ain’t that an eye-popper?)
4. Seattle Sounders – Alvaro Fernandez and Mauro Rosales could be available for Wednesday’s L.A. Galaxy visit, which is surely a hot ticket around CenturyLink. Eddie Johnson’s poacher’s special at Chicago was a valuable strike for a side having trouble finding the net, not to mention what it might do for Johnson’s ongoing fortunes. Right back Adam Johansson also got back into last week’s lineup, just in time for a busy spell for the Sounders. By the way, when should everyone count themselves officially “concerned” that Fredy Montero has yet to register a goal or assist for 2012?
3. Real Salt Lake – We checked with Real Salt Lake officials last week. The answer is “No,” Jonny Steele does not mind us saying he’s got the best porn-name in the business. The former Northern Ireland youth international hit another late game-winner over the weekend (his second heroic rescue this year) in a 3-2 result over Toronto. While Kyle Beckerman’s fantastic season moves forward, central midfield mate Javier Morales inches closer to elite form that helps makes RSL’s possession game the league’s best when it reaches full rev.
2. San Jose Earthquakes – A food fight nearly broke out at the ProSoccerTalk luncheon buffet today, figuratively speaking. There’s growing sentiment that Frank Yallop’s men deserve top spot, and a case certainly can be made. The Buck Shaw bunch hasn’t lost since March 17; a 2-1 weekend win at Philly was the latest in the growing string of impressive results. Things will look even better if Steven Lenhart, a two-goal scorer Saturday, can keep sticking ‘em in – removing some of the striking weight from Chris Wondolowski. “Wonder Wondo” wears the burden well, but San Jose clearly is a better team when the scoring is more balanced.
1. Sporting Kansas City – Anybody want to be Montreal this week? Peter Vermes men have been kicking each other since that April 21 loss to Portland, the club’s first 2012 outing that didn’t finish with all the points. Rested and full of pep and venom, SKC gets the expansion visitors into their Livestrong Sporting Park cauldron. Jesse Marsch’s Impact has one point from a possible 18 on the road thus far, so ProSoccerTalk advises a PG-13 rating on this one (for potentially disturbing scenes of destruction and devastation).