1. Portland – One of the underrated parts of the Timbers' resurgence: the competition up front. Caleb Porter has cultivated two options to lead the line in Ryan Johnson and Frédéric Piquionne. Both players work hard for the team, but the goals desert them from time to time. With both in the squad (although Piquionne could leave for the CONCACAF Gold Cup), Porter possesses the latitude to chop, change and procure the necessary production.
2. Montreal – It sure doesn't look like Marco Di Vaio is a spent force at this level, does it?
3. Real Salt Lake – This recent 10-game stretch (seven wins, two defeats, one draw) has flown decidedly under the radar.
4. FC Dallas – Credit FCD for seizing the opening provided by C.J. Sapong and Sporting Kansas City and snatching a late point.
5. Seattle – It makes sense to accommodate Eddie Johnson and shunt Lamar Neagle out to the left flank. It might even reap dividends later in the season when Neagle's form drops. But it does hurt the Sounders in the short-term as Johnson and Obafemi Martins try to find some common ground.
6. Philadelphia – The key for the Union now: consistency. In order to maintain this sort of form, this upstart side must receive more production from other areas and spark Sébastien Le Toux to life in front of goal.
7. New York – Availability concerns torpedoed the Red Bulls' efforts at PPL Park, but the performances must improve when the reinforcements arrive to end this three-game losing streak.
8. Sporting Kansas City – One silly decision by C.J. Sapong robbed Sporting of a potentially critical result at FC Dallas.
9. Los Angeles – Championships are not won in June or July. But the groundwork laid by handing Gyasi Zardes can certainly help when the games increase in importance.
10. Vancouver – The reason behind the Whitecaps' recent uptick in form: 15 goals in six games.
11. New England – The trip to Boyds, Md. offers an ideal chance to book a place in the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. League matches take priority, but the Open Cup provides a decent chance for this growing team to make progress on another front.
12. Colorado – Are the past two matches a modest wobble or a regression to the mean?
13. Houston – One turgid draw with Toronto FC hardly represents a concern for the Dynamo. The recent downturn in overall form – including five previous matches without a defeat – proves a bit more concerning.
14. Chicago – Mike Magee has extricated the Fire from its early-season hole. Now it is up to the entire side to provide him with the necessary support during the summer months in order to sustain a playoff push.
15. Columbus – One win in five attempts and a host of injury concerns will not keep the disgruntled Crew fans from questioning Robert Warzycha's future with the club.
16. San Jose – So much for the steps forward in Commerce City. The performance in R.F.K. Stadium did not offer much hope of a second-half revival, though the absence of Chris Wondolowski loomed large.
17. Toronto FC – If only the Reds could procure road points in other venues outside of Houston on a regular basis.
18. D.C. United – United for stuck to its task and finally procured a victory. Whether it serves as a turning point remains to be seen, but it does place the side in good stead ahead of the season-making Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal against New England.
19. Chivas USA – Times are tough when the high point of the past seven games involves a plane buzzing the StubHub Center with a banner urging Jorge Vergara's dismissal.