Sometimes the pattern is more obvious

What was I in my picks last week, 2-5? 3-4? Something like that. That's a little annoying, sure, but what makes it worse is that there are a couple of ridiculously common themes going on in MLS this year, and all I had to do to go 6-1 or 7-0 was open my eyes a little.

Home teams beat road teams. Right now road teams are 9-20-6.

Eastern Conference teams beat Western Conference teams. Right now the West has won three games against the East, tied two, and lost eleven.

If in doubt, the latter trumps the former. New England was the only road team to get as much as a point - and they did it in the West. Bill and Mr. Shirt are on this topic too, but the three teams with the most wins in the West would be tied for the fewest wins in the East. My side of the Mississippi has a lot to answer for. I mean - er, the Missouri - crap...Canadian River? Red River? You win this round, geography!

I do resent Bill calling the West the Pink and Lavender Conference. Pink and lavender are pretty colors, and there's very little pretty going on when West meets East. The twain are meeting, and thence comes the beating.

Within the conferences...well, I'm afraid you're on your own. No one should be tempted to write off Houston, because the last time a defending champ missed the playoffs was...oh, yeah, 2006, I guess it does happen. DC United has way too much talent to spend the entire year on the canvas. And I'm not just saying this because those were the teams I picked to win the conferences, and so far they're making me look doubleplusungood.

But still. When last place Houston hosted Dallas, they got the draw. When last place San Jose went to Colorado, they won. The West is a complete coin toss.

Things only seem to be shaking out in the East - especially when last place is only two games out of first place. This year is going to be a gasoline fight.