Our weekly dose of Major League Soccer quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.
After one practice with his new club,
After surprising starts by Seattle and Chivas USA, life in MLS is returning to normal. Perennial powers D.C. United and Houston lead the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, with Chicago and surging Columbus waiting in the wings just below United. To be fair, Chivas remains tied with Houston -- although the L.A. club has played two more matches -- and expansion Seattle is third, but both have stumbled in recent weeks and need to regain their form. For now, though, the traditionally strong clubs are making midseason runs.
Four teams -- Chivas USA, Chicago, Kansas City and New England -- will take a two-week break to compete in the 2009 SuperLiga, leaving 11 MLS squads to fill out the schedule. The week kicks off with a bang Wednesday as D.C. travels to Seattle, where the Sounders are 4-1-2. Just three days later, the Sounders visit struggling New York while United travels to Colorado. Filling out the docket are matches between Columbus and FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and Houston, and Los Angeles and San Jose.