SuperLiga rears its SuperHead again, taking four MLS sides (Chicago, New England, Chivas, Kansas City) out of rotation for a couple of weeks. Considering the fact that three of these teams are in a dogfight for playoff places and the other has a slight lead on most of the pack, might the MLS landscape have shifted drastically around them by the time they return? Judging by just one "contender" side grabbing three points this week, maybe not. Oh Parity Police, will you never cease to taunt and frustrate us with your capricious machinations?
The Alpha Dog
1. Houston Dynamo (WWWWD)
Despite RSL having few chances, the Dynamo didn't create enough of their own at home, particularly after Olave walked for RSL. Although there were some baffling decisions by whistleman Maruffo (really? shocker!), they seemed to go both ways and thus cancel each other out. Fortunately, Houston will be served the recovery softball with a visit to the moribund Galaxy, who, thanks to the USA's remarkable victory today, will still be Donovan-less.
Next: Galaxy (Away)
The Playoff Pack
2. +4 Colorado Rapids (DDWDW)
Seven unbeaten for the Rapids as they return, refreshed, from a week off and prove they don't need Conor Casey to bag the results, scoring a big 3-0 over DC United. Which is probably a good thing, seeing as how he might be seeing Gold Cup duty on the back of his South African travels. But what will happen if Omar Cummings is Gold Cup-bound as well? They've got two make-up matches to rectify their games played deficiency this week. Can they make a move on Seattle for #3 in the West?
Next: FC Dallas (Home), Sounders (Away)
3. -1 Columbus Crew (WDWWL)
It all looked to be going so well for the Crew in the first half, but somehow they managed to surrender that advantage to one of the worst teams in the league. In so doing, they squandered the chance to move up to second in the East. Home to the Red Bulls next week will give them another opportunity.
Next: Red Bulls (Home)
After a bit of a surge in recent weeks, the cross-country road double proves too much for United as they fight back impressively in Seattle for a draw, only to watch it all fall apart against the Rapids in a heavy loss. Next week brings an opportunity to rest, lick wounds, and prepare the reserves for the Open Cup.
5. -1 Chivas USA (DLWLL)
The Sounders had a big chance to make a bit of a move on the idle Chivas, but could only creep along in pursuit on the back of a pair of draws. The Rapids, however, might prove more lethal as they close to within 7 points with three games in hand. Chivas looked strong in their SuperLiga opener, but were undone by poor finishing and Livingston's terrible judgement. SuperLiga will keep them idle once again next week.
6. +1 Seattle Sounders (DLWDD)
It all looked to be going so well after the Sounders stormed back from a goal down at home to lead 3-1. But United's cardiac attack snuck another barely deserved result to leave Sigi's men frustrated. At the weekend, they turned the table by coming back from 1-0 down to draw with the Red Bulls. Despite the positive of taking a point, they'll be frustrated that their second half pressure didn't lead to all three, particularly against the league's worst side. Home to Colorado next weekend will be for the #3 spot in the West.
Next: Rapids (Home)
7. -2 Chicago Fire (WWLLL)
One week survived without any damage to their league standing, but another SuperLiga-imposed week away from the league might see the Crew and TFC making significant noise. Will the win in their SuperLiga opener start to build confidence eroded by three consecutive league losses?
8. Kansas City Wizards (WDDLW)
Idle, but largely unpunished, the Wiz make their SuperLiga bow by shading the match against Atlas, but failing to get three points. Next week brings another chance for their league position to slip further away as they continue in SuperLiga.
Bum-Sniffing Omega Mutts
9. Toronto FC (LWLLW)
A remarkable result books their passage into the Champions' League, and the Crew fail to leap clear of them on the MLS table. Not a bad week for TFC. Two matches this coming week give them a chance to build on their Canadian championship.
Next: Red Bulls (Home), RSL (Away)
10. +1 Real Salt Lake (DLDWD)
A solid road result for RSL given Houston's league dominance over the last month or so. With only a couple of chances presented to them, RSL manage to find net on one of them, then survive a sending off. Next up is a visit from the newly crowned champions of Canada. Can the mini-revival continue?
Next: Toronto FC (Home)
11. -1 New England Revolution (DLWWL)
A barnstorming performance in SuperLiga does nothing for their yo-yo MLS fortunes. By the time they return to league action, they may be cut adrift from the playoff contenders. And what does the future hold for Taylor Twellman? Questions abound, but will remain unanswered next week as SuperLiga continues.
12. +1 FC Dallas (DWDLW)
A huge win for Dallas that leaves them, somewhat surprisingly given their league position, with only one loss in their last six league outings. Does Hyndman have them pointed in the right direction at long last, or is this just standard operating procedure for Dallas: grab a few results that make them look moderately dangerous, and then fall away precipitously when push comes to shove in the playoff run? A midweek road date with the surging Rapids may give us a clue.
Next: Rapids (Away)
13. +1 San Jose Earthquakes (LWDLW)
Big win at home for the Quakes, though admittedly their defense were not under the heaviest amount of pressure they'll face in MLS this season. Will the return of Huckerby boost their struggling attack? Can they offload Convey for some defensive help? All these questions and more to be answered in this, your MLS summer swap extravaganza! Unfortunately for Yallop, the MLS scheduling gnomes give him a week off to stew and ponder the extraordinary roadblocks that summer throws in the path of every side in this league.
14. -2 Los Angeles Galaxy (DDWLL)
Ouch. After that long stretch of draws, the away win against TFC seemed to indicate that maybe Arena had figured something out. Obviously not. Berhalter continues to give away cards and goals at an alarming rate, and the Gals, who looked like they might be in adequate shape with Donovan and Beckham due to return, are now in the almighty floundering state they've been saddled with for the last few years. Home to the Dynamo next weekend wouldn't seem to offer any relief.
Next: Houston (Home)
15. New York Red Bulls (LLLLD)
Damn, I bet people actually in New York City could probably hear Cepero screaming for Hall to "Leave it!" but somehow the message didn't get through. From then on it was all Seattle after an early Red Bulls onslaught. Angel bagging a goal, even a gift, is a bonus for the Bulls, but they'll be frustrated not to have closed this one out. One-point hauls won't get them back into the playoff frame any time soon, and they're in serious danger of being the only ones left in the MLS basement after Dallas and the Quakes grab wins. Time to hit the road in search of precious points.
Next: TFC (Away), Crew (Away)