After last weekend's matchups, the hierarchy of Major League Soccer is a little clearer. With the best teams of the young 2012 season going head-to-head last weekend — RSL and Kansas City — Kansas City should feel a little more assured of its superiority at the top of the table after beating RSL 1-0. Meanwhile, other heavyweights battling it out allowed some lower teams to gain ground on the teams above them who dropped points.
Last week: 19
The 4-3-3 just isn't working in Toronto, but Aron Winter sticks stubbornly to his Dutch system that hasn't yielded any results. The Reds miss Torsten Frings on the defensive end of the field. Since his injury against Seattle, Toronto has given up five goals in three games while not scoring any.
This week: vs. Chicago, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Last week: 17
Another week, another loss for les bleus. D.C. hasn't looked great this season, so this weekend is as good a chance as any to get some points.
This week: at D.C., Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
Last week: 16
The Revs of 2012 are better than the Revs of 2011 — but just barely. Jay Heaps has gotten more out of this year's team than Steve Nicol could last year, but it's still shaping up to be a long season at Foxboro.
This week: No games.
Last week: 15
The Crew has been uninspiring and flat this year. Losing to Philadelphia was another addition to its growing resume of bad games, which includes a 4-1 thrashing at New York's hands.
This week: vs. Houston, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Last week: 18
It's been painful, but Philadelphia finally got its first win last weekend. Granted, Columbus hasn't been the strongest team this year, but neither has Portland, which beat the Union earlier. This is a step in the right direction, at least.
This week: at Chivas, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Last week: 13
It's been all downhill in the Rose City since the second week of the season. Last weekend, the Timbers lost to the Galaxy, just in time for Kansas City to roll into Jeld-Wen Field this weekend. It's gut-check time in Portland.
This week: vs. Kansas City, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Last week: 12
After failing to score in their last two games, the Rapids need Conor Casey back more than ever. The target striker made it a goal to return this weekend. He would provide a welcome spark against the Galaxy.
This week: vs. Los Angeles, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Last week: 14
D.C. struggled to score early in the season, but after finding some goals, the team is back to .500. Another regional rivalry game looms this week, this time against the Red Bulls.
This week: vs. Montreal, Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.; vs. New York, Sunday at 4 p.m. (ESPN2).
Last week: 10
The Whitecaps had a week off to think about their loss to San Jose a couple weeks ago. Two home games against top Western Conference teams follow this week, so the lack of action last week will feel like a distant memory when Kansas City and Dallas roll into town.
This week: vs. Kansas City, Wednesday at 8 p.m.; vs. Dallas, Saturday at 8 p.m.
Last week: 11
Well, the wonder team finally found a win. Also, David Beckham's strike to seal the points in Portland was nothing short of excellent. It may be a sign that Los Angeles is finally waking up.
This week: at Colorado, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Last week: 9
Chicago was undone by its own weather on Sunday. The Fire had more shots and more chances to score than Houston when the game was suspended. Its extra energy from not playing the full 90 minutes can carry over into this weekend at Toronto.
This week: at Toronto, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network).
Last week: 7
Houston's return to league play after a two-week break was abbreviated by the weather in Chicago. Brian Ching played a nice ball to Will Bruin to get Houston on the scoreboard; that forward pairing could be dangerous moving forward.
This week: at Columbus, Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Last week: 8
Although it's not much of a feat to beat Toronto FC in MLS play these days, Chivas got it done again last weekend. This team keeps winning games against both weak and strong opponents.
This week: vs. Philadelphia, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Last week: 3
The reason New York and San Jose flipped order in this week's rankings is New York's performance against San Jose last weekend. Rafael Marquez is becoming more of a liability than an asset for the team, and he'll be lucky to escape suspension after breaking Shea Salinas' collarbone.
This week: at D.C., Sunday at 4 p.m. (ESPN2).
Last week: 4
San Jose went into New York last weekend and, in the words of Thierry Henry, taught them a lesson in soccer. Even though it wasn't pretty, it's what the Earthquakes had to do to get a point after a cross-country flight. It doesn't get any easier this weekend with RSL coming to town.
This week: vs. Salt Lake, Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (ABC 4/ESPN 700).
Last week: 6
After an inconsistent first few games, FC Dallas gets a bit of a break in its schedule. Games against Montreal and Vancouver offer Dallas a chance to get back on track and start scoring some more goals. The game against the Impact last week was Dallas' first with more than one goal since First Kick.
This week: at Vancouver, Saturday at 8 p.m.
Last week: 5
Even though Seattle beat Colorado last weekend, it did so without a goal from a forward. Since David Estrada stopped scoring, the Sounders haven't found any goals from the forward position. It's only a matter of time before their lack of firepower comes back to haunt them.
This week: No games.
Last week: 2
There is little shame in losing to Kansas City with the way it's been looking this season. Minus the Chivas USA game and spells of the Montreal game, RSL looks good so far. Another big matchup, this time with a Western Conference leader, looms this weekend. Again, it's on the road. The individual battle to watch in this game: Steven Lenhart vs. Jamison Olave.
This week: at San Jose, Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (ABC 4/ESPN 700).
Last week: 1
The questions heading into Sporting's matchup with RSL last weekend have been answered. Kansas City is the best team in the league right now; back-to-back wins against Los Angeles and Salt Lake are proof of that. Of course, the boys in blue got a big assist from the schedule-makers, who gave them both of those teams at home early in the season.
This week: at Vancouver, Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT; at Portland, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.