Just how much are things changing in MLS? At present, San Jose, Toronto FC and FC Dallas can be considered streaking teams, while Chicago, New England and Seattle are struggling badly.
The most reliable constant remains the Los Angeles Galaxy, which posted a pair of impressive road victories last week to solidify its place atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings. The Columbus Crew remains the only other unbeaten team, but the Crew showed some vulnerability in its last-minute win vs. New England.
While LA and Columbus remain unbeaten, we saw the two remaining winless teams post victories last week as D.C. United and FC Dallas erased the zero from their win columns. Dallas did D.C. one better by beating D.C. at Pizza Hut Park last Saturday.
Now, without further delay, here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (Week 7)
1 (Last Week- 1). LOS ANGELES GALAXY (7-0-1)
Last Week- Beat Colorado Rapids, 1-0, on Wednesday, beat Seattle Sounders, 4-0, on Saturday.
Next Week– vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.
Outlook: Landon Donovan's best performance of the season helps cap a 2-0 road trip that gives the Galaxy a hammerlock on the West. The real test awaits when Donovan and Edson Buddle depart for national team camp.
Last Week- Beat New England Revolution, 3-2, last Saturday.
Next Week– vs. Chivas USA on Saturday.
Outlook: Struggled to beat a short-handed New England side. As promising as it was to have Robbie Rogers score and Chad Marshall play 90 minutes, both players are now set to leave for national team camp. Chivas USA should provide a stern test at Crew Stadium.
3 (6). SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-2)
Last Week- Beat New York Red Bulls, 4-0, on Saturday.
Next Week– at New England Revolution on Saturday.
Outlook: The Earthquakes were aided by the Red Bulls early red card, but still showed good quality in breaking down New York in the second half of their blowout. A match against a depleted New England side could help Frank Yallop's men move a step closer to matching last season's win total before June.
4 (3). NEW YORK RED BULLS (5-2)
Last Week– Lost to San Jose Earthquakes, 4-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Outlook: Hans Backe hasn't done much wrong since taking over, but his decision to start Luke Sassano proved costly when Sassano drew an early red card vs. the Earthquakes. New York actually played well down a man for about 25-30 minutes before eventually crumbling. They'll need to step it up against a struggling Seattle squad desperate for points.
5 (4). HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-1)
Last Week- Lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, last Wednesday, Beat Chivas USA, 2-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– at Real Salt Lake tonight.
Outlook: Dropping points to Dallas had to be disappointing, but Dom Kinnear's men responded well with a good performance against Chivas USA on the road. Lovel Palmer continues to be a rock in midfield, while Brad Davis is stepping up just when the Dynamo needs him to.
6 (10). REAL SALT LAKE (3-3-1)
Next Week– vs. Houston Dynamo tonight.
Outlook: That sound you hear is RSL storming up the standings. One of the league's most gifted teams, Real Salt Lake has responded well to an easy patch in its schedule. Now comes a stiff challenge from the Dynamo. With Javier Morales back in the fold, the champions should continue to climb.
7 (7). COLORADO RAPIDS (3-3-1)
Last Week- Lost to Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0, last Wednesday.
Next Week– at D.C. United on Saturday.
Outlook: The Rapids' scoring woes continue with their third shutout loss in five matches. How a team with Omar Cummings and Conor Casey can struggle to score consistently is a bit perplexing. Claudio Lopez was supposed to help the attack, but he has yet to crack the starting lineup. A trip to D.C. once seemed like a good cure for a struggling offense, but United has allowed one goal in its past two matches.
8 (11). CHIVAS USA (3-4-1)
Last Week- Beat New England, 4-0, last Wednesday, Lost to Houston Dynamo, 2-0, last Saturday.
Next Week- at Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Outlook: Fielding a rookie central midfield can sometimes lead to mistakes and mismatches, which we saw against Houston. Now Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski will have to take on a tough Crew midfield. Sacha Kljestan will need to continue his recent strong form if the Rojiblancos will have any chance at Crew Stadium.
9 (13). TORONTO FC (3-4)
Last Week- Beat Chicago Fire, 4-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
Outlook: As much as the weather played a part in TFC's win vs. Chicago, Toronto still deserves credit for finishing chances and posting a shutout in awful weather conditions. Unfortunately for Preki's squad, a visit to face Los Angeles awaits, and having the league's worst road team take on the league's best team is never a good recipe.
10 (5). KANSAS CITY WIZARDS (2-3-1)
Next Week- vs. Chicago Fire.
Outlook: The Wizards laid an egg in their loss to D.C., showing little life or creativity. A return home should do the trick, especially against a Fire team coming off a 4-0 lashing by TFC. Ryan Smith has fallen into a bit of a rut while Josh Wolff needs to step up and spark the attack.
11 (14). FC DALLAS (2-1-4)
Last Week- Beat Houston Dynamo, 1-0, last Wednesday, beat D.C. United, 1-0, last Saturday.
Next Week- at Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Outlook: Schellas Hyndman's squad was hovering under the radar for weeks, picking up draws here and there, but the two-win week serves notice that Dallas just might be ready to recapture the late-season form that pushed FCD to the brink of the playoffs last season.
12 (8). CHICAGO FIRE (2-3-2)
Last Week– Lost to Toronto FC, 4-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– at Kansas City Wizards on Saturday.
Outlook: Sure, you can blame the loss on the terrible weather in Toronto, but the fact remains Chicago showed very little against an opponent that was supposed to be inferior. Now the Fire has to win in Kansas City, where the Wizards are unbeaten this season. Still waiting for off-season signings Collins John and Julio Martinez to make an impact.
13 (9). SEATTLE SOUNDERS (2-3-3)
Next Week- at New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
Outlook: Refunding tickets after last week's awful loss to Los Angeles was a nice gesture, but it doesn't solve Sigi Schmid's problems. His defense is taking on water and the once-potent offense can't create enough chances. Things only get tougher against a New York team that is a perfect 3-0 at Red Bull Arena.
14 (12). NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (2-5-1)
Last Week– Lost to Chivas USA, 4-0, last Wednesday, Lost to Columbus Crew, 3-2, last Saturday.
Next Week- vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
Outlook: Injuries continue to mount, along with the losses, but it can't be denied that Steve Nicol's team put in a promising performance in a close loss to Columbus. Unfortunately for the Revs, help isn't on the way. It will take another effort like last Saturday's to take points from a surging San Jose.
15 (15). PHILADELPHIA UNION (1-5)
Last Week– Lost to Real Salt Lake, 3-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
Outlook: The Union will love coming home after a brutal road stretch. Unfortunately, a dangerous Dallas team awaits in a game that will be far from easy for a vulnerable Philly defense. Fans aren't the only ones counting the days until the transfer window opens. Peter Nowak must be as well.
16 (16). D.C. UNITED (1-5)
Last Week- Beat Kansas City Wizards, 2-1, last Wednesday, Lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, last Saturday.
Next Week– vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Outlook: Curt Onalfo's squad is looking much better after posting its first win of the season. The loss to Dallas was a tough one, but being able to compete on the road is a positive step. Now it's up to the offense to show it can produce goals consistently. Is Danny Allsopp really ready to do the heavy lifting?
What do you think of this week's rankings? Who do you feel is ranked too highly? Who isn't ranked high enough?
Share your thoughts below.