It's time for fans in Columbus to hit the panic button as the defending MLS Cup champions are still searching for their first win of 2009. Four weeks into the season has seen the Crew rack up two draws and two losses, making their title run of 2008 seem like a distant memory.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific Northwest, MLS' newest team still has yet to concede a goal. Seattle has celebrated their inaugural MLS season with three straight shutout victories and remain atop the power rankings for the second week in a row.
Last week's ranking in parenthesis
1. Seattle Sounders FC (1)
It's pretty simple for Seattle. Three matches, three wins. Seven goals scored, none conceded. There was some speculation that the allegations against Freddie Montero would distract the club this week, but they didn't. The Sounders took down Toronto FC 2-0.
2. Chivas USA (2)
Chivas continued their strong start to the season with a 2-1 victory over Columbus this week. They are the only team besides Seattle to not drop any points on the season, and remain tied atop the Western Conference with Seattle after yet another victory.
3. Chicago Fire (3)
Chicago has yet to be defeated in 2009 and remains atop the Eastern Conference with seven points from three matches. Chicago beat New York this weekend with 10 men after John Thorrington was shown a red card, and their success this season has been happening without a completely healthy Cuauhtemoc Blanco. If this team gets to full strength, they could make a title run.
4. New England Revolution (7)
Even though victories over Dallas don't mean as much as they used to, New England still makes a big leap up the power rankings. They are one of the five undefeated teams in MLS at the moment and are sharing the top spot in the East with Chicago. Never, ever count Taylor Twellman and company out.
5. DC United (6)
DC United are quietly putting together a solid start to the season. One win and two draws from three matches, and some key contributions from Christian Gomez and Luciano Emilio have helped DC remain near the top of the table.
6. Colorado Rapids (12)
Colorado picked up their second victory on the trot this week after defeating the hapless LA Galaxy. Conor Casey has come up huge for the Rapids thus far, scoring three goals on the season. Colorado has found their offense, and with a little improvement on the defense, could be dangerous in the playoffs.
7. Real Salt Lake (13)
RSL made a huge statement with their 4-1 victory over Columbus on ESPN Thursday night. Robbie Findley netted a hat trick and Salt Lake looked like a legitimate playoff team against last season's champions.
8. Toronto FC (5)
Toronto has started slowly, but there doesn't seem to be any shame in losing to Seattle. Amado Guevara and Dwayne De Rosario should be a combination to be feared this season. You still have to like Toronto's chances to make some noise in the postseason.
9. Columbus Crew (4)
Does Columbus miss Sigi Schmid that much, or have they just been thrown off by the absence of Frankie Hejduk thanks to international duty? Whatever the reason, they need to find an answer to their troubles soon as they find themselves plummeting towards the cellar in the East. Blown out by Real Salt Lake on national TV, defeated by Chivas...Winless and panicking.
10. Kansas City Wizards (15)
KC picked up their first win of the season this past weekend with a victory over San Jose. They put in an aggressive effort on offense and moved out of the basement in the Eastern Conference. Jimmy Conrad remains one of my favorite players ever.
11. San Jose Earthquakes (10)
The Earthquakes just look out of sync so far this season. They had a decent year in 2008 and didn't struggle as badly as many expansion teams usually do. Perhaps this is just a sophomore slump, perhaps the Convey-Huckerby combination isn't as good in reality as it is on paper.
12. LA Galaxy (11)
Is it too early to say that Bruce Arena is on the hot seat? Nope. LA is on pace to have the worst defense in the league for the second straight season as Landon Donovan grows more upset by the minute.
13. Houston Dynamo (8)
Houston started slowly in 2008 as well, but not this slowly. One win in three matches is not what the Dynamo were hoping for. They clearly miss Dwayne De Rosario, and Dave Van Den Bergh is not an adequate replacement.
14. New York Red Bulls (9)
Who would have guessed that after seven combined matches, both of last year's MLS Cup finalists would still be searching for their victory? As ugly as Columbus has been, New York has been worse, with their 3-0 loss at the hands of Seattle on opening night setting the tone for the season to date.
15. FC Dallas (14)
After three games, Dallas is the only MLS team without a single point to their name. Enough said.
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