Another week of MLS play is in the books, and it was a wild one. How does the league stack up now?
The team with the worst points per game average managed to lose twice this week, once on Wednesday and then again on Saturday. Even worse, there was nothing particularly surprising about the results as the Rapids aren't clicking.
Real Salt Lake
It was a mixed week for one of the worst team in MLS right now. They've lost players to injury and international duty, but RSL looks a ways away from figuring it out after Saturday's loss to a poor Seattle Sounders side. Credit to them for eking out a surprise midweek win to New York City FC, though.
Ben Olsen called his side phonies not long ago, and we can only imagine what choice words he has for his squad lately. They can't score goals with any regularity, and that's a problem.
They beat the Timbers by a big 4-1 score, but a dubious early penalty call and a dumb red card from the Timbers' Diego Chara were no doubt big factors.
Just when it looks like the Loons have turned a corner, they drop points. They looked close to squeezing at least a point from their match to the LA Galaxy on Sunday, but disorganization and bad defending on set pieces hurt them again.
New York Red Bulls
Their draw to Toronto FC will make them feel better, but TFC were coming out of a packed schedule of games. The Red Bulls still have questions that need answering.
The side in orange plays a high risk, high reward counterattacking style that didn't work for them in back-to-back losses this week. As good as this team can be, when they are shut down on the counter, they are pretty much shut down period, which is a concern.
The Caps deserve a big boost from beating Sporting Kansas City, which has hovered in the top of the West all season. It's not just that the Caps won, it's that they put together a nice team performance. But knowing SKC were missing some key starters should be enough to temper too much excitement over the win. We'll see if they can build upon it.
The Crew seem to mostly fall in a pattern where they win one week and then lose the next. This week it was their turn to lose, and we're not really sure what it means.
San Jose Earthquakes
They haven't been consistent all year, but a draw to Orlando at home and a win over FC Dallas on the road is a pretty nice point haul. It's been tough to tell if the Quakes have been on the rise or not all season, and they remain a tough team to figure out.
New England Revolution
Back-to-back wins are nice, particularly because the Revs seems to be playing with more chemistry than they have all season. Can they maintain it?
Sure, they beat RSL, but the win was as unconvincing as it gets. The Sounders have been poor, which is a crime with all the talent they have on their roster. Their 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City was much more reflective of how they've looked and this is a team falling in the rankings fast.
There's still reason to doubt that Atlanta can keep grinding out wins, but their quality might make their rigid tactical identity less of an issue. Miguel Almiron's hat trick is a good sign.
It's too soon to start making declarations about the Galaxy being back to their old selves, but they do look a lot better since Jermaine Jones has been injured and Giovani dos Santos can play in a freer role.
The Timbers have been dropping points and have only looked like a shadow of the team that started the season so red hot. Their loss to Montreal was harsh – the Timbers are better than it showed – but it may be time to re-assess how good this Timbers team really is?
The Lions stumbled this week, suffering their first home loss to rival NYCFC and drawing midweek to San Jose. It looked like the stretch of games drained them and it doesn't look like a systemic issue for the Lions, at least not yet.
They're on a winning streak and everyone is pulling their weight right now. Teams that aren't believers in the Chicago transformation might end up burned.
Don't look now but the Union are on fire. They've managed to go straight from their worst losing streak to their best winning streak, which is very MLS of them. But there's no denying that just about everyone is putting in better performances for Philly these days.
New York City FC
For the first time since 2015, NYCFC went to Orlando and won, picking up their largest winning margin on the road ever. Their loss to RSL midweek was less impressive though.
Sporting Kansas City
Even when they aren't winning, they still look competitive. Their loss to Vancouver is tempered by some absences that can explain the result, but they need to start to show more conistency even without players like Ike Opara.
They aren't unbeaten anymore, but with the scheduling what it is in MLS, FCD were going to drop points sooner or later.
Their winning streak ended at six, but their midweek draw this week was a fine result, particularly with the crazy-packed stretch of games the visit to the New York Red Bulls came after.