We've come to the virtual halfway mark of the season, as most teams have played 17 games. Looking back, it's hard to argue against the Earthquakes being our unanimous No. 1 team. Five different teams have held the top spot at one point or another, but the Earthquakes have undeniably been the most consistent.
They've also been very, very good. They are on pace to break the single-season record for points in a season and could be one of the highest-scoring in league history, too. It's notable that DC United has nearly made it to the top of the mountain, despite some unfortunate results against other top teams, and could well make a run at the Supporters' Shield as the unbalanced schedule kicks in.
We decided not to tier the rankings this week, but we promise those will be back next week.
1. San Jose Earthquakes (1.00; 1.07): They are taking this whole "Goonies Never Say Die" thing a tad too literally for me as they keep falling into deficits, only to come out on the other end. Can't argue with the results, though.
2. D.C. United (2.75; 3.64): Beat up on another bad team this week, which is kinda their m.o. Would be nice if they could beat a top team one of these days, but still making the easy games look easy, as they should.
3. Real Salt Lake (3.00; 2.75): Three straight losses seems like way too many for a team this good. The talent is definitely there and have to imagine they'll get it straightened out sooner or later.
4. New York Red Bulls (3.50; 3.00): A tie on the road is nothing to be ashamed of. A tie against TFC is a bit worrisome, sure, but probably just a blip.
5. Sporting KC (5.92; 4.93): Remember when they were running away with the Supporters' Shield? Seems like an awful long time ago now.
6. Chicago Fire (6.50; 8.14): Well looky here. Quietly slipping under just about everyone's radar, the Fire could end up being a contender if they can keep all these pieces together.
7. Seattle Sounders (6.92; 6.07): Another tie leaves them with eight straight without a win. They seem to be turning the corner, especially if you count their win over the Earthquakes in U.S. Open Cup play, but need to start getting results in MLS.
9. Houston Dynamo (9.92; 8.79): Another unimpressive result against an unimpressive team in front of an unimpressive crowd out BBVA Compass Stadium. Good thing the standings aren't measured in style points.
10. LA Galaxy (10.25; 8.71): A couple steps forward, one step back. The loss the Earthquakes was a little worse than it may have seemed as not only did they give up four goals, but two of the goals they scored were handed to them on a platter.
11. Colorado Rapids (11.00; 11.29): No one can deny that Oscar Pareja has made this a more interesting team. Now, can they find a little consistency?
12. Columbus Crew (11.08; 11.07): Beat RSL 2-0 and you'd think that would gain them a few points in the rankings. You'd be wrong.
13. New England Revolution (13.50; 12.36): Have needed stoppage-time goals to pull out a point in each of their past two. It's better than last year, but still not great.
14. Chivas USA (14.08; 12.64): Got the week off from MLS play but did manage to advance to the Open Cup semis with a very unimpressive win over the Charlotte Eagles.
15. Montreal Impact (14.75; 12.63): Just when you thought that they were starting to figure things out, they fall apart again. Maybe they are as bad as we all assumed.
16. Portland Timbers (15.92; 14.36): Thought they may have turned a corner after beating the Sounders. They didn't.
17. Philadelphia Union (17.42; 15.64): John Hackworth seems to have at least succeeded in making them a more interesting team, but that's not necessarily translating into results.
18. FC Dallas (17.58; 16.29): Still really crappy.
19. Toronto FC (18.42; 17.64): The signs of progress are there. Just a darn shame it took until midseason to start showing them.
How the poll works: Each voter ranks the teams from 1-19. The teams are then ordered by average, with the lowest average going first and so on. The editor then splits the rankings into five tiers, looking for natural breaks in the averages. We then pick some kind of group of songs to theme them to.
Who participated: Jeremiah Oshan (SB Nation, soccer); Aaron Campeau (SB Nation, soccer); Ryan Rosenblatt (SB Nation, soccer); Drew Epperley (SB Nation, soccer); Jason Anderson (SB Nation, soccer); Phillip Quin (SB Nation, soccer); Martin Shatzer (Black and Red United); Scott Kessler (Brotherly Game); Denzel Eslinger (RSL Soapbox); Robert Jonas (Quake, Rattle and Goal); Daniel Robertson (Big D Soccer); Dave Clark and Josh Yockey (Sounder at Heart); Duncan Fletcher (Waking the Red), Steve Stoehr (The Bent Musket); Ben Schneider (Once a Metro); Alicia Ratterree (The Goat Parade); Brenton Walters (The Vancouver Whitecaps Offside); Geoff Gibson (Stumptown Footy); Sofiane Benzaza (Mount Royal Soccer); Alex Englen (The Daily Wiz); Tweed Thornton and Ryan Sealock (Hot Time In Old Town).