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The first ball has been kicked in anger in the 2009 MLS season and now Kyle McCarthy strikes back, ranking the teams where he thinks they belong after the first week of action.

Here's how the teams in Major League Soccer stacked up in columnist Kyle McCarthy's eyes after the first week of the 2009 season.

1. Columbus Crew – Still the champs.

2. Toronto FC – Amado Guevara needs to play like that every single week. Or at least more often than he managed performances like that last season.

3. Chicago Fire – Difficult to pick between two Eastern Conference teams benefiting from two pretty poor defensive performances.

4. Houston Dynamo – Decent opening salvo against Columbus, but lack of depth up top is apparent.

5. Real Salt Lake – Exhibition victory over Austin isn't the same as getting your season started on the same day as everyone else.

6. New England Revolution – Will need to win more than their fair share of 1-0 games this season.

7. Seattle Sounders FC – Don't get ahead of yourselves, Sounders FC fans. One good game against one non-existent opponent doesn't make a season.

8. Chivas USA – Relying on Paulo Nagamura (four goals in four previous MLS seasons, two goals in one game in 2009) to score two goals every week might not be a good idea. Unfortunately for Preki, he doesn't have many other options.

9. D.C. United – Cut Tom Soehn some slack over not making an immediate substitution when Greg Janicki and Devon McTavish collided and United held a two goal lead. How was he to know that a phantom penalty would put Los Angeles within one goal before Marc Burch could take the field?

10. Kansas City Wizards – Those individual errors will happen with a young defense, but Toronto at home is a game that most playoff teams find a way to win. Especially because CAB is a difficult and unique home venue.

11. Colorado Rapids – Not a bad performance. Not a good performance either. Same old Rapids?

12. San Jose Earthquakes – Different year, same offensive issues.

13. Los Angeles Galaxy – Over/under on the number of games in which Landon Donovan saves the Galaxy one or more points: six. Running total: one. Games remaining: 29. I like the over.

14. New York Red Bulls – Indefensible display in Seattle.

15. FC Dallas – Complete and total defensive disarray in the first week doesn't bode well for the next 29 weeks.

Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSnet.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at kyle.mccarthy@goal.com.

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