Voices: Steve Zakuani

27 Takeaways: One observation on every MLS team after Week 4

It was another eventful week in Week 4 of the MLS season and, as always, the latest slate of results leaves us with plenty of storylines to discuss. Here's this week's installment of 27 Takeaways, one for every MLS team, as the season churns onward.

Atlanta United logo
Atlanta United

Any time you fail to hold on to a lead, you’ll be disappointed. Even more so when the goal you concede is one that should have been prevented. However, seeing Josef Martinez on the scoresheet will bring a smile to every Atlanta fan and fill the team with hope that his best form is just around the corner.

Austin FC logo
Austin FC

They came mighty close to recording their third win in four games but the a collapse saw the points slip from their grasp. If nothing else, this defeat will serve as a brutal reminder of the unforgiving nature of MLS.

Chicago Fire FC logo
Chicago Fire FC

A 10 game winless streak dating back to last season tells you all you need to know about where this team currently stands. There’s no time to hang their heads or feel sorry for themselves as they head to D.C. on Thursday in what is already surely a must-win game — even if it’s just to boost morale.

FC Cincinnati logo
FC Cincinnati

For a club badly in need of a boost, playing their first game at their shiny new stadium should be all the motivation the Cincinnati players need to up their game and start making home feel like a fortress.

Colorado Rapids logo
Colorado Rapids

With two wins on the bounce, the Rapids will feel confident about making it three in a row when Houston comes to town as they’ll be riding high on confidence following the tremendous comeback win over Minnesota.

The champions finally announced themselves to the 2021 season as they recorded a good win vs D.C. without needing to get out of second gear — an ominous sign for the rest of the league. Lucas Zelarayan’s free kick was the icing on the cake.

FC Dallas logo
FC Dallas

If they can build on the win and draw they’ve got in their last two games with another win this weekend, the masses may just start believing that they can go toe to toe with the very best in the West rather than being a middle of the pack team.

D.C. United logo
D.C. United

They are leaking goals at an alarming rate — seven in the last two — but should take comfort from being back at home this weekend, the site of their only win this season.

Houston Dynamo FC logo
Houston Dynamo FC

We can look at them as winless since the opening weekend or unbeaten in two and that probably sums them up right now — not great but not bad. Internally, they’ll know they can play better and will be desperate to start picking up some wins.

Los Angeles Football Club logo
Los Angeles Football Club

Diego Rossi’s goal was a welcome sight as it displayed all of his best attributes and this team needs him at his very best until Carlos Vela comes back. Bob Bradley will be alarmed by the acres of space afforded to Jonathan dos Santos for the Galaxy’s game winning goal. At this level, you can’t defend like that and expect to succeed.

LA Galaxy logo
LA Galaxy

Belief, hunger, passion — it was all on show and this is a much different team than they’ve been in recent years. In big games, you need your big players to do big things and Chicharito and dos Santos did just that to help record an impressive win.

Inter Miami CF logo
Inter Miami CF

With very little possession, Miami were able to generate enough attacking plays to ultimately claim a point at the weekend. They are also unbeaten in three and while they haven’t set the world on fire, I think we can all see that even if the improvements are incremental at best, they do seem to be making progress in the right direction.

Minnesota United FC logo
Minnesota United FC

Just when it looked like Minnesota were figuring it out and riding the Emanuel Reynoso wave like they did last season, all of the bad habits they seemed to have develop in the offseason came back to bite them as they threw away what would have been a much needed win. I believe they are still the team we thought they would be, but time is running out for them to prove it.

CF Montréal logo
CF Montréal

After a great start to 2021, Montréal have started to stumble as the goals have dried up. With two big away games this week, now would be a great time for Romell Quioto and co. to find their scoring boots.

Nashville SC logo
Nashville SC

This is not a team that will score a ton of goals — six in four so far — but they don’t need to because they remain one of the best defensive groups in the league. A second consecutive clean sheet was the launch pad for an impressive three points at the weekend.

New England Revolution logo
New England Revolution

The Revs simply didn’t play well at the weekend. I suspect it’s a one off as they’ve looked dangerous so far this season. Facing two of the top Eastern Conference teams in Philadelphia and Columbus this week should give us all a better idea of exactly where this team stands.

New York City FC logo
New York City FC

Valentin Castellanos is the man of the moment as he just cannot stop scoring. As a team, NYCFC have eight goals in the past three games and they look like a team that can score in every game due to the quality of chances they create every game.

New York Red Bulls logo
New York Red Bulls

Another week, another impressive outing from Caden Clark. He was the ringleader — with his creativity, awareness and goal scoring impact — in a performance that made extremely light work of Toronto FC.

Orlando City SC logo
Orlando City SC

Nani is playing at an MVP level but his team are continuing to have a hard time holding on to a lead. If they can develop the consistent ability to get the second goal after taking the lead, they can be a supporters shield contender.

Philadelphia Union logo
Philadelphia Union

Last year's Supporters' Shield winners finally looked something like their best selves as they picked up their first W of the season. With two home games this week, the goal has to be to get six points from six.

Portland Timbers logo
Portland Timbers

Diego Valeri uncharacteristically fluffed his lines as the Timbers fell to a disappointing defeat. They are too good to stay where they currently are in the table, but they do need to get their attacking game going before they can think about climbing up the table.

Real Salt Lake logo
Real Salt Lake

A very late collapse took away from what would have been a great win spearheaded by a brilliant Rubio Rubin goal. The second San Jose goal was a particularly disappointing one to concede as too much time was given to Carlos Fierro to pick out the best goal scorer in MLS history.

San Jose Earthquakes logo
San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose prepared for a big week in which they face Seattle and Portland in the best way possible. This win, more than their other two this season, showed that they can dig deep and find a way to win when their backs are against the wall.

Seattle Sounders FC logo
Seattle Sounders FC

To be unbeaten after the schedule they’ve faced is maybe the biggest indicator that it’s going to be business as usual for the Sounders this season — they will be in the hunt for silverware when it’s all said and done.

Sporting Kansas City logo
Sporting Kansas City

They left it late, almost too late, but it was honestly well deserved. Sporting KC created a lot of chances and the encouraging thing was that the whole attacking group looked dangerous at times.

Toronto FC logo
Toronto FC

Alejandro Pozuelo can’t come back soon enough. This is a team lacking inspiration and ideas, two things the Spaniard has in abundance.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The Whitecaps bounced back from last weeks defeat with an impressive result against their Canadian rivals. They sit in fourth place and in order to stay there, they need to show they can be good on the road as they play their next 3 games away from their temporary home.