Considering how the Western Conference was supposed to dominate Major League Soccer this year, the East has looked pretty good recently. New York and D.C. United are two of the top teams in the league right now, and Toronto is making a bid for comeback team of the year.
Not to be outdone, San Jose continues to win, coming from behind on a regular basis, and Los Angeles is climbing back up the table. The Galaxy will get another boost, with former MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez set to return from ACL rehabilitation this month. Most teams are at the midway point of their seasons, but how will these rankings look heading into the playoffs?
Last week: 1. A gutsy 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Galaxy saw the Quakes — as usual — come from behind to take three points. Down 3-1 at halftime, San Jose scored three goals in the second half, capped by Chris Wondolowski’s winner. This week: at Portland, Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. MDT; at Dallas, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Last week: 4. D.C. keeps rolling. It has won four of its last five games, and the early-season scoring woes are far behind for the traditional MLS powerhouse. This week: No games.
Last week: 2. Yes, Toronto is experiencing some sort of resurgence under a new head coach, but top teams like New York are still expected to win those games. Although it wasn’t a huge setback, a road win this week would erase that bad result from the team’s memory. This week: at New England, Sunday at 5 p.m.
Last week: 3. It hasn’t quite gone to plan for RSL recently. The team can’t win at home, and it couldn’t pull out a game on the road in Columbus either. These troubles all started with the Open Cup loss to NASL Minnesota in late May. This week: vs. Seattle, Wednesday at 8 p.m. (CW 30/ESPN 700); vs. Portland, Saturday at 7 p.m. (CW 30/ESPN 700).
Last week: 6. Chicago is steadily climbing the Eastern Conference table. A good result on the road against Kansas City has the Fire on a three-game winning streak. This week: at Houston, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; vs. Los Angeles, Sunday at 1 p.m. (ESPN).
Last week: 5. It says something about Kansas City’s start to the season that it’s still in third place in the East. This is despite a 2-5-2 run, since that blazing 7-0 start. This week: at Montreal, Wednesday at 5 p.m.; vs. Houston, Saturday at 6 p.m.
Last week: 7. The Whitecaps got the week off to think about its winless-in-three streak. Barry Robson, the team's new Designated Player, should provide a boost in the next couple of games, as he is ready to make his MLS debut. This week: at Colorado, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; at Chivas, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Last week: 11. Sure, it was against lowly Portland, but a 3-0 home win is what Colorado needed to get some sort of hope for the rest of the season. The Rapids are not out of reach from the top four Western spots, and a run of form could see them overtake Vancouver soon. This week: vs. Vancouver, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; at Seattle, Saturday at 9 p.m. (NBC Sports Network).
Last week: 8. The wheels have come off a little bit in Seattle. The Sounders are winless in nine games, and they find solace in blaming the officiating — Wednesday will be the sixth game in a row in which Seattle has a player suspended — but there’s no excuse for their poor form. This week: at Salt Lake, Wednesday at 8 p.m. (CW 30/ESPN 700); vs. Colorado, Saturday at 9 p.m. (NBC Sports Network).
Last week: 9. Now that Los Angeles has regained its form, Chivas has lost it. The Goats are 1-1-3 in their last five and 2-1-3 since trading away defender Heath Pearce. This week: vs. Vancouver, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Last week: 10. It must be frustrating to be up 3-1 at halftime and squander that lead, as the Galaxy did in San Jose last weekend, but there’s no excuse for David Beckham’s late- and postgame antics. He should be suspended. This week: vs. Philadelphia, Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.; at Chicago, Sunday at 1 p.m. (ESPN).
Last week: 14. Houston finally won again on the road to go with its stellar home form this season. A 2-1 win in Philadelphia was the Dynamo’s first win in its three away games since opening BBVA Compass Stadium. This week: vs. Chicago, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; at Kansas City, Saturday at 6 p.m.
Last week: 12. The pressure will be right back on head coach John Spencer after a 3-0 loss against Colorado last weekend. A Cascadia Cup win is nice, especially against Seattle, but the Timbers have to show that kind of determination against the rest of the league as well. This week: vs. San Jose, Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.; at Salt Lake, Saturday at 7 p.m. (CW 30/ESPN 700).
Last week: 13. Dallas had last week off and now faces two massive home games this week in the Texas heat. A reborn Toronto FC and high-flying San Jose will provide stern tests. This week: vs. Toronto, Wednesday at 7 p.m.; vs. San Jose, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Last week: 17. A 2-0 win at home against Real Salt Lake ensured that a power outage in the Columbus area didn’t translate to the pitch at Crew Stadium. It was a much more comfortable win for the Crew than it was likely expecting. This week: at Montreal, Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
Last week: 19. Look out for Toronto FC. Once the laughingstock of the league, the team under new head coach Paul Mariner is in good form after a 3-0 win in Montreal and a 1-1 tie against what was the first-place team in the conference. This week: at Dallas, Wednesday at 7 p.m.; at Philadelphia, Sunday at 2 p.m.
Last week: 18. Only a Diego Fagundez goal in stoppage time prevented Seattle from ending its winless streak in New England last weekend. The Revs did well to recover after having a one-goal lead reversed on them, but they can’t let teams like Seattle back into games if they expect to win. This week: vs. New York, Sunday at 5 p.m.
Last week: 16. New head coach John Hackworth is in the process of remolding Philadelphia into the team he wants to see, but the product hasn’t shown on the field yet. Off the field this week, the club fired sporting director Diego Gutiérrez and youth technical director Alecko Eskandarian. This week: at Los Angeles, Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.; vs. Toronto, Sunday at 2 p.m.
Last week: 15. Two 3-0 losses have Montreal looking like the expansion team that started this season, not the gritty club that saw it climb out of the basement and leapfrog the two teams in front of it in the standings. If the Impact can find a way to beat Kansas City again, that feeling will return, but there won’t be a lot of confidence in the team right now. This week: vs. Kansas City, Wednesday at 5 p.m.; vs. Columbus, Sunday at 5:30 p.m.