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Real Salt Lake avenged a home defeat to Chivas USA with a 3-0 win at the Home Depot Center this weekend to remain atop the MLS rankings.

1. Real Salt Lake – Consider that comprehensive slice of retribution over Chivas USA on Saturday night as a formidable statement of intent. (1)

2. D.C. United – Sometimes, the offhand comments reveal more than intended about the standards of a side and the temperature in the locker room. Take, for instance, this statement Nick DeLeon made to the Washington Post after United scraped out a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia: “It makes a world of difference. If we don't get that result we're in here getting screamed at.” (4)

3. Sporting Kansas City – Multiple bids for Giovani dos Santos at one point or another, according to Sporting manager Peter Vermes? Ambition clearly isn't in short supply. (3)

4. New York – One of the quietly problematic visa peculiarities in the league: Mehdi Ballouchy still can't travel to Canada with his teammates. Red Bulls coach Hans Backe will have to return to the drawing board ahead of Wednesday's visit to Vancouver. (2)

5. San Jose – There is no ideal time to play in the altitude in Commerce City, but those rested legs certainly will help as the second half progresses on Wednesday night. (5)

6. Seattle – Sounders FC boss Sigi Schmid openly wondered whether he should sit backup Bryan Meredith and introduce Andrew Weber into the starting XI in the wake of the debacle at Stade Saputo. If he's airing those sorts of sentiments publicly, then it sounds as if the decision is just about made for him. (6)

7. Vancouver – One of those high-priced attackers – Camilo or Eric Hassli, most likely – will have to make way if the Whitecaps want to add yet another expensive cog (Carlos Bocanegra?) to the squad. The question at this stage: is Bocanegra (or a central defender at his price point) worth sacrificing a prolific, if sometimes inconsistent, forward in a league that isn't rife with potent poachers? (8)

8. Columbus – Where, oh where, should the Crew look for its new Designated Player? Brian Bliss made an excursion to Argentina. Robert Warzycha scoured for potential targets when he went back to Poland to watch a couple of Euro 2012 matches. The market is a bit cheaper in South America, but Warzycha may find a more suitable option for this workmanlike group in (11)

9. Colorado – The results may not always go the Rapids' way this year, but the performances – with one or two exceptions, of course – always offer a bit of panache that wouldn't have occurred under the previous regime. (9)

10. Houston – Another three points at home to Toronto FC on Wednesday night will vault the Dynamo right into the wild card mix with Chicago and Columbus. (7)

11. Chicago – The debate over Sebastián Grazzini's contract option appears a bit misplaced. Unless Fire boss Frank Klopas offered the Argentine schemer a deal that included a significant second-year pay hike, it makes sense to pick up the modest tab ($50,400, per MLS Players Union documents) for now. (10)

12. Chivas USA – The continued absences of Miller Bolaños (left hamstring strain), José Erik Correa (right hamstring strain) and Nick LaBrocca (left hamstring strain) will leave the Red-and-White a bit shorthanded when Montreal visits on Wednesday night. (12)

13. New England – It seems as if opposing sides have figured out the right formula – clog the middle and force the play wide – to limit the Revs' potential advantage in midfield. (14)

14. Montréal – If only Jesse Marsch could expect his side to produce such explosive performances on a weekly basis. (15)

15. Los Angeles – One of the fairly quiet problems in Galaxy-land this year: inconsistent goalkeeping. Josh Saunders marked his return from a leave of absence with a shutout in Sunday night's 1-0 victory over Portland. He will need to provide similar stability over the coming weeks to boost the Galaxy up the Western Conference table. (17)

16. Portland – At this stage of the season and with a string of frustrating performances in the rear-view mirror, one thing appears certain: the Timbers need to shop during the secondary window in order to make a playoff push. A dynamic central midfielder should rank top among the priorities. (13)

17. FC Dallas – Few, if any, observers would have predicted FCD would suffer through a 10-match winless streak at some point this season. Injuries have played their part, but there are wider concerns about the state of the squad of the moment. (16)

18. Philadelphia – Decent buildup play, poor in front of goal. The early stages of the Hackworth era may just resemble the latter stages of the Nowak epoch after all. (18)

19. Toronto FC – A night out here or there to relieve stress during the long MLS season isn't a bad idea. Getting arrested on a business trip in Houston, however, just isn't acceptable. Especially with a new boss in charge and yet another loss added to the record on Saturday. (19)

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and Contact him with your questions or comments at and follow him on Twitter by clicking here

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