Our weekly dose of Major League Soccer quick takes, plotlines to watch and Power Rankings.
Teams from the Western Conference dominate the top of this week's Power Rankings, boasting four of the first five slots. Seattle, which proved it travels as well as it plays at Qwest Field, jumped into pole position with Chivas USA -- MLS' other 3-0-0 club -- right on its heels. Colorado continued its solid early-season form with another gritty victory and takes the fourth spot, while Real Salt Lake jumps six places into fifth position. Not all teams in the West have quality, however, as the winless Los Angeles Galaxy and 0-3-0 FC Dallas sit at 13th and 15th, respectively. As the season wears on, watch to see whether the dramatic division between the haves and the have-nots continues to play out in the West.
Columbus, last season's regular-season and playoff champion, is reeling. After getting trounced in Salt Lake City last week, the Crew traveled to Los Angeles and fell 2-1 to Preki's Chivas USA side. The team sits at 0-2-2 in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just a point ahead of the Red Bulls. It's been a tough start for a squad that many thought had a chance to repeat. Goalkeeper Will Hesmer's troubles holding onto the ball against RSL exemplify his squad's struggles. After the Rapids visit on Saturday, the Crew get two weeks off to lick their wounds and regroup. Expect a vastly improved team to return from its mini-vacation.
All seven of this week's matches take place on Saturday in what should be the most exciting day of MLS action in the young season. Seattle returns home to play host to Kansas City, while Toronto can bounce back with an easy match against FC Dallas. Elsewhere, Chivas USA and the Galaxy battle it out for Home Depot Center bragging rights. The New England Revolution get the week off, giving Steve Ralston -- who played a half and scored the game-winning goal in his team's victory over FCD -- more time to heal.