Top of the Heap1. Real Salt Lake — Defending champions get a bye into this spot until they get knocked off. Early form usually doesn't mean a whole lot, but it's hard to ignore how good Javier Morales was and how good he makes them. Plus, they really are the only interesting thing going on in Utah this summer so let them have something.
The Potential Challengers
2. Columbus — About as unimpressive a 2-0 win as you can get against Toronto. Still the most talented team in the league. Also, they look like bumble bees. And I'm allergic to bees.
3. Kansas City — It could be that D.C. United is really bad, but I believe Peter Vermes has constructed a team that can play in the top part of the table for the entire year. Interesting dilemma: Does Chance Myers (who would've been the starter) supplant Kei Kamara (who was really good) at right wing next week?
4. Seattle — Steve Zakuani is a beast. If Fredy Montero and the newly signed Pat Noonan can mesh quickly, they should be able to score on anyone. I'd have them up higher, but they are such a bunch of diving whiners. (Worth noting, I only read Philadelphia blogs after last week's game.)
5. Los Angeles — Under-estimate The Bruce at your own risk. Plus, they'll have another DP before July. I don't know who it will be, maybe it'll be Eric Wynalda.
6. Colorado — Simply the best striking tandem (Omar Cummings and Conor Casey). Is it wrong that I really, really, really wish Cummings was an American? The U.S. striker problem is solved if he was just born in Tacoma.
(Teams that have small question marks that include injuries and form)
7. New York Red Bulls — Everyone knew their home form would be great, what can they do on the road? And when will they announce they've signed Thierry Henry? Tomorrow or will they wait until the La Liga season is over?
8. Chicago — Still not sure how they replace the players they lost in the off-season or why they let Jon Busch go. Or how they think they're going to score serving Brian McBride to his feet.
9. Houston — Already have injury question marks (Eddie Robinson) and fitness issues (Luis Angel Landin). It's never a good sign when the best comparison you can make for your DP is he's kinda like Ronaldo... now.
10. FC Dallas — Ditto the injury situation (Kyle Davies out eight weeks) but have the added pressure of trying to convince more than just the player's parents to show up for their home games.
11. New England — Three teams in a row with injury questions (Shalrie Joseph, Taylor Twellman, etc). The Revs should be fine. Should be.
The Danger Zone
(Teams that have unknowns that go beyond injury and form questions)
12. Toronto FC — Could easily jump into the Top 6 with a positive result in their next game, but with the numerous changes and lack of depth on defense, things could go south very quickly. As in they could get relocated to Buffalo. (Okay, I just did this to bring Toronto down a peg.)
13. Chivas USA — I'm not sure where the goals are going to come from. Zach Thornton will keep them in games, but they seem like the most likely team to suffer what KC did last year. Zach Thornton will also keep the team's supply of ice cream low.
14. D.C. United — In his last two MLS games as a coach, Curt Onalfo is 0-2 with 10 goals allowed and zero goals scored.
15. San Jose — Listless and helpless last week, of course some of that may have been RSL, but most of it was their under maned lineup.
16. Philadelphia — They play soccer the same way the Broadstreet Bullies played hockey.