Second Half: We've learned a lot already
Earlier, I had some questions about the second half of the MLS season, and two weeks in I already have some answers:
3) New England has remarkably improved their team. They've added Daniel Hernandez and just announced this morning, Ricardo Phillips, who will join in September. They lacked depth, as seen during the Gold Cup, and now they've fixed that problem. If they could just add a solid veteran defender as a backup, like maybe Robin Fraser now that the Crew are dead, they would be near perfect. But with three other (four?) very solid teams, anything can happen in the playoffs.
4) The Metros are on the verge of going away, thanks to the strength of the top four in the East. But they have nine games remaining: 2 against Chivas, and 7 against the teams in front of them. And they beat the Crew yesterday in a game they absolutely had to win. It can definitely be done. But don't bet on it.
7) It's early, but FC Dallas has really fallen off the track. They may be going through the same thing the Galaxy are, which is feasting on expansion teams early and appearing better than you really are:
5-1-0 vs expansion
5-5-5 vs rest of league
6-1-1 vs expansion
3-8-4 vs rest of league
Good news for San Jose and Colorado, who have only played 4 and 3 games vs RSL/Chivas respectively. FC Dallas will still easily make the playoffs, but may not enter as favorites.