Voices: Steve Zakuani

27 Takeaways: One observation on every MLS team after Week 5

Week 5 in MLS is a wrap, which means that it's time for another edition of 27 Takeaways as we take stock of what it all means looking ahead to the rest of the season. Let's jump right in.

Atlanta United logo
Atlanta United

A win is a win so they’ll take it, especially when it comes in the dramatic fashion it did. The next step for this Atlanta United team is to find a way to really unlock the offense and get the Marcelino Moreno-Josef Martinez link up going.

Austin FC logo
Austin FC

Two defeats on the bounce have taken some shine away from Austin FC's decent start. They’ve given up over 40 shots in their last two games, so being a bit stingier on the defensive side will go a long way toward righting the ship and stopping this mini slide.

Chicago Fire FC logo
Chicago Fire FC

Scoreless for the third game in a row and winless in 11 dating back to last season. With the next two games being at home, now is as good a time as any for this team to show some character and pick up some points. Anything less than that will dim any real hope of mounting a run for a playoff spot.

FC Cincinnati logo
FC Cincinnati

Even when they drew level late on against Miami, the fear was always that Cincinnati would still give up another goal because they’ve yet to show they can be a solid defensive team — conceding 13 goals in four games is exactly why they are where they are in the table.

Colorado Rapids logo
Colorado Rapids

Diego Rubio and Cole Bassett led the way for Robin Fraser’s impressive group in their latest win. They are well built from back to front and definitely have enough quality to make the rest of the West sit up and take note.

The Crew's away form is a serious cause for concern as is their lack of goals — only three so far this season. The quality of this team is not in question, but no matter how good you are, you never want to dig yourself too big of a hole even this early in the season. They need Gyasi Zardes to get going ASAP.

FC Dallas logo
FC Dallas

The manner of defeat was harsh, but in reality FC Dallas never really got going against Minnesota. They didn’t create enough good openings, and the win against Portland aside, their lack of goals is becoming a bit of a concern.

D.C. United logo
D.C. United

They were on both the right and wrong side of a 1-0 score line this past week, an improvement from their recent defensive form. Edison Flores got his first goal in midweek and the hope will be that D.C. United's record signing can kick on and hit a good run of form.

Houston Dynamo FC logo
Houston Dynamo FC

Consistency is what this team needs. One week Houston look like a real contender, and the next they look extremely beatable. With that said, their home form has been good and they’ll be expecting to pick up the points when Vancouver come to town.

Los Angeles Football Club logo
Los Angeles Football Club

When LAFC were leaking goals last season, there was no need to overly panic because they were still scoring so freely. Now that the goals have dried up, the defensive fragility is even more pronounced and it’s alarming how easily they ship goals. There is too much talent on this team for them to be where they are in the table and I expect them to put a run together when Carlos Vela is fully fit.

LA Galaxy logo
LA Galaxy

The clean sheet would have been a welcome sight as that’s been the Galaxy's Achilles heel in recent seasons. If those can become the norm and not the exception, Chicharito's goals may just be enough to keep them near the top of the West.

Inter Miami CF logo
Inter Miami CF

Gonzalo Higuain has been fantastic so far this term with four goals in five games. But it’s not just the goals, his movement and involvement in the general build up has also been very good. The scary part is, he still looks like he has a couple of gears he can still tap into.

Minnesota United FC logo
Minnesota United FC

Two wins this past week, both 1-0, is exactly what the doctor ordered for this team. Now the Loons need to show they can pick up points away from the friendly confines of Allianz Field.

CF Montréal logo
CF Montréal

A last gasp defeat undid what would have been a well earned point. Montréal have stumbled slightly of late but will have to fancy themselves to pick up a win against the struggling FC Cincinnati this weekend.

Nashville SC logo
Nashville SC

It’s now three clean sheets in a row which means Nashville have regained what worked so well in 2020. They still need more from the attacking group if they are to make their way even higher up the table.

New England Revolution logo
New England Revolution

They’ve won every home game so far this campaign and I see no reason why that won’t continue when RBNY come to town on Saturday. A first clean sheet in three games against Columbus this weekend would have pleased Bruce Arena just as much as recording a win against one of the MLS Cup favorites heading into the season.

New York City FC logo
New York City FC

There will be disappointment in failing to hold onto their lead against Toronto and so it was definitely a case of two points lost. Nonetheless, NYCFC will still feel good about where they stand — third in the East while being the top scorers — as they head into a big game against Columbus.

New York Red Bulls logo
New York Red Bulls

Both of the Red Bulls' wins this season have come at home and they are yet to pick up an away point. Ideally, they would want to be heading to conference leading New England in slightly better form, but this is the kind of game that can really kick start your season if you can win it.

Orlando City SC logo
Orlando City SC

Still unbeaten, two clean sheets in the last three, and Orlando finally showed they can hold onto a lead as they overcame D.C. United. With Toronto coming to town, they have the chance to make a statement win against a team they’d have expected to compete against for silverware.

Philadelphia Union logo
Philadelphia Union

Seven points in the last three games shows that Philadelphia are starting to click into gear. They’ve only conceded one goal in that span, and until their offensive game gets going, they’ll need to keep riding their defensive play into getting good results.

Portland Timbers logo
Portland Timbers

A much needed win away to San Jose came by way of going back to basics — 4-4-2, playing mainly on the counter, and being defensively sound. With only 34% of the ball, the Timbers still managed to have 18 shots which shows that perhaps this team is at their best when they let the opponent dictate the game and try to play on the counter.

Real Salt Lake logo
Real Salt Lake

For the amount of possession they had, not getting a shot on target was disappointing. RSL need Albert Rusnak to get going. Through four games, he’s yet to hit his best form or impact the stat sheet, he’s too good to not be more influential.

San Jose Earthquakes logo
San Jose Earthquakes

Two defeats — both at home — may threaten to undo the good start they’d been enjoying. San Jose get a third chance to get it right when Sporting Kansas City come to town this weekend. If they fail to win again, serious questions about their ability to hang with the top teams will need to be raised.

Seattle Sounders FC logo
Seattle Sounders FC

Wins away at Portland and San Jose, followed by a home win against LAFC have cemented the best start in club history for a team that looks incredible defensively. Not only are the Sounders not conceding goals, they’re barely even giving up chances. Impressive.

Sporting Kansas City logo
Sporting Kansas City

Bounced back from a midweek defeat in the best fashion — a comprehensive home win inspired by their record signing, Alan Pulido. The ball moved really well and the chances were flowing all night long. Now SKC just need to take that same momentum on the road where they’ve lost their last two.

Toronto FC logo
Toronto FC

With a win and a draw in the past week there are signs that Toronto are beginning to find their best form. As they get healthier, I can see them putting a string of good results together, especially if Jozy Altidore can stay fit and consistently find the back of the net.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC logo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Three defeats in four, one win in five, the Whitecaps are beginning to slide down the table in a concerning manner. They’ve also failed to score in three of the last four so now would be a great time for Lucas Cavallini to find his scoring boots.