Chris Pontius has helped D.C. United win two important games with four goals in the last two weeks. His hat-trick at the New York Red Bulls lifted United to a 3-1 win.
There are a few surprises this year in Major League Soccer. Sporting Kansas City's great start to the season is one, even though the team's talent was never in question. Injuries have been a major player already this year. And there seems to be one surprising blow out every week.
Some major movement this week in the rankings. San Jose moves up to No. 2 and D.C. United continues to crawl up the ranking with impressive performances.
1. Sporting Kansas City (7-1-0, 21 pts.) - It was a long week for Sporting Kansas City. SKC had a midweek game in Vancouver, which it won, 3-1, and another game in Portland on Saturday, which it lost, 1-0. To win those two games on the road after playing Real Salt Lake last weekend would have been a miracle.
2. San Jose Earthquakes (5-1-1, 16 pts.) - Yes, Real Salt Lake was down to nine men, but that's not matter in San Jose right now. Frank Yallop got his 100th win as a manager in MLS, and this put the Quakes in first place in the Western Conference for the first time since being refounded as an expansion team in 2008.
3. Real Salt Lake (5-3-0, 15 pts.) - Two stoppage time goals killed off the nine men Royals. Salt Lake will be without leading goalscorer Fabian Espindola, after he was sent off in 30th minute, and defender Jámison Olave, who was sent packing in the 69th minute, for the rest of its three games-in-eight-days tour.
4. Seattle Sounders (3-1-1, 10 pts.) - The Sounders got the week off, which isn't good for the rest of MLS as Seattle needed sometime to rest and continue to gel on the field.
5. New York Red Bulls (3-2-1, 10 pts.) A crushing loss to D.C. United wasn't in the cards. The loss really exposed—not like we didn't already know it—New York's slack and unorganized defending.
6. D.C. United (3-2-3, 12 pts.) Chris Pontius is on a tear right now. He added three more goals in a convincing 4-1 win over a New York side that previously looked like it had it all figured out.
7. Los Angeles Galaxy (3-3-0, 9 pts.) - It wasn't pretty, but the Galaxy got things done and were able to beat a tough Colorado team that matches up well and can stifle the best teams with its tough play.
8. Houston Dynamo (2-1-2, 8 pts.) - Once Houston can get completely healthy, the Dynamo should jump up the Eastern Conference standings.
9. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-2-2, 10 pts.) - Losing to Kansas City was tough at home for the Whitecaps, but right now, SKC is on a roll. Beating Dallas on short rest was a perfect way to rebound though. Vancouver has a lot of potential; now it's about finding it on a consistent basis.
10. New England Revolution (2-0-3, 6 pts.) - New England needed this week off. Injuries, illness and lots of travel have weighed down the Revs through the first part of the season.
11. Colorado Rapids (3-4-0, 8 pts.) Losing to Los Angeles was tough, but Colorado should be able to rebound. The Rapids need to turn things around because they're falling behind in the very tough Western Conference.
12. FC Dallas (3-2-1, 10 pts.) - Dallas looks like it hasn't settled in yet. Injuries to key players hasn't helped. Right now, the Hoops need someone to take control and put the team on his back. Brek Shea did it last year. David Ferreria did it the year before. Now it's someone else's turn.
13. Chivas USA (3-0-4, 9 pts.) - Chivas has been a road warrior team, but it ran into a Philadelphia Union side that looks like its figuring things out. The question now is whether Chivas win at home anytime soon?
14. Portland Timbers (2-4-1, 7 pts.) - The Timbers got just the lift they might need. After a run of disappointing results, Portland beat the previously undefeated Sporting Kansas City.
15. Philadelphia Union (2-3-1, 7 pts.) - Are the Union figuring this messy puzzle out? Or were the back-to-back wins a fluke?
16. Chicago Fire (2-2-2, 8 pts.) - The Fire needed to beat Toronto. No team wants to have the privilege of being a winless teams first win of the year.
17. Columbus Crew (2-2-1, 7 pts.) - Columbus is still trying to rebuild, and the project still needs time to come to complete fruition.
18. Montreal Impact (1-4-1, 4 pts.) - The Impact needed the week off. Now, hopefully Montreal can continue to improve.
19. Toronto FC (0-5-0, 0 pts.) - Another disappointing loss for the Reds. Giving up three goals to Chicago hurts any team, but it really hurts Toronto because something rare happened: Toronto was able to score more than one goal.