|Team (prev. rank)||Comment|
|1. N.Y. Red Bulls (1)||Could this be the year the long curse ends and New York finally wins a major trophy?|
|2. Sporting K.C. (4)||The only team averaging less than a goal per game allowed (0.94) has won four of five.|
|3. Sounders FC (2)||Gave up a franchise-worst five goals to Rapids. Hadn’t allowed five in previous 700′.|
|4. Real Salt Lake (3)||Sits on top of the West for now, but could be as low as third by its next game on Oct. 19.|
|5. Portland (5)||Closing in on its first playoff berth as an MLS team after battling to tie in Vancouver.|
|6. Colorado (7)||Four-goal beating of Seattle went a long way in proving the mettle of this young team.|
|7. L.A. Galaxy (6)||Landon Donovan, with two goals, has tied Jeff Cunningham for the MLS record of 134.|
|8. Houston (10)||Two-time MLS Cup finalists surging late, as we’ve come to expect, with a 3-0-1 streak.|
|9. New England (9)||Lost lead in the dying seconds against Red Bulls; will that keep them out of the playoffs?|
|10. Montreal (8)||Has the league’s top scorer in Di Vaio but sinking down the stretch with 0-3-1 drought.|
|11. San Jose (11)||Steven Beitashour has had U.S. interest but chose to play for World Cup-qualified Iran.|
|12. Philadelphia (13)||DP Kleberson had his signature moment with a late free-kick winner at home vs. TFC.|
|13. Chicago (14)||Only team with two field players (Berry, Anibaba) to have played every minute of 2013.|
|14. Columbus (12)||Former USMNT great Brad Friedel reportedly interviewed for the open coaching job.|
|15. Vancouver (16)||Camilo scored twice vs. the Timbers, including an acrobatic goal of the year candidate.|
|16. FC Dallas (15)||Not beating 10-man RSL all but ensures a 7-1-3 run to start the year will be wasted.|
|17. Toronto FC (18)||A 5-16-11 record, good for a lowly 26 points, is still three points better than last year.|
|18. Chivas USA (17)||Outscored 11-1 in three straight losses; that has to be about as uncompetitive as it gets.|
|19. D.C. United (19)||High from the Open Cup triumph quickly ended in a return to league play with a 3-0 loss.|
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And now to our resident expert, Sounders FC analyst Alan Hinton. The local legend has agreed to offer his opinion — a feature that started last week — as we close out the regular season.
Here is Hinton’s top 10:
1. Seattle, 2. Portland, 3. Sporting Kansas City, 4. New York, 5. Los Angeles, 6. Real Salt Lake, 7. Colorado, 8. Houston, 9. Montreal, 10. San Jose.
Hinton does well to remind us that Sounders FC’s max of 63 points is still a league best, followed by Kansas City’s 60 and then 59 for New York and Portland. He says even though the Sounders would’ve been way ahead had they earned more than two points from the last nine, the team is still in good shape if it wins two or three of the remaining four.
Keep an eye on the season finale, Oct. 27 versus the Galaxy: “Could be huge?” according to Hinton.