MLS Power Rankings! Week 9

1. Los Angeles. Time to admit this team is back. Need any more reason than 5-1? Fine. Cronin seems to be rediscovering the groove he had briefly last year, and Carlos Ruiz is getting healthy. Look out, league.
2. New England. Holding steady - and remarkably good on the road, in case you haven't noticed. Getting healthy against Western Conference cupcakes. Getting it done with bench players and no-names. Steve Nicol has the engine purring just fine.
3. Chicago. Easy to see why they came out flat against Houston. That's what happens when you believe your own press releases. Ambush sucker game loss shouldn't change much, though - they were probably just looking ahead to Sunday afternoon in New York, where they have scores to settle.
4. Toronto. Stayed unbeaten at home, however ugly it was. Tough, and getting tougher. Carver may be a whiner, but he's whining while he's winning. Could get a free six points in four days, too.
5. Kansas City. Entering the really tough part of the schedule. Yeah, and they might not win this weekend, either. It's not easy to win on the road. When this team gets back to the T-Bone Shack, and can settle in for some home games, remember when you wrote them off. So what if Jimmy Conrad is their leading scorer right now.
6. Chivas USA. An unprecedented come-from-behind win helps the healing process immensely. Look for them to do some damage this week against overconfident Colorado.
7. Columbus. Rogers and Schelotto and Moffat are great at home, but its ays here they're still just average on the road, and Toronto proved it. Still in first, but they were taken out of their game by Toronto. The idea is to impose your game plan on the other team.
8. Real Salt Lake. Extremely, criminally awful on the least, until this weekend's game.
9. Houston. Really awkward homecoming at San Jose on Thursday. Should be an emotional game. Another road win should get them up the Power Rankings!, as well as the real standings.
10. Colorado. A deceptively good record due to easy schedule. Dallas was in first place in the West too, now look at 'em.
11. San Jose. Nothing's going right for San Jose, where hard luck meets failure. Will their fans cheer the home team on ESPN?
12. New York. Don't get too excited about these guys. Playing ugly at home, bound to get worse with Altidore absent for the Olympics. They can always rely on Claudio Reyna, though.
13. DC United. On the bright side. Haven't fired anyone yet. And they have two games this weekend to reverse the slide. For all the good it will do them.
14. FC Dallas. Maybe the biggest problem franchise in the league right now. I defy anyone to argue with this.