Quick riffs on Matchday 9 from

Jaime Uribarri

I don’t mean to kick a team when they’re down, but it’s painfully clear that D.C. United is everybody’s ideal opponent right now. It may sound cruel, but these days a match against Curt Onalfo’s side is pretty much a guaranteed win.

Houston proved it tonight by barely breaking a sweat, cruising to a 2-0 victory that would’ve (should’ve) been a blowout had Dominic Oduro and Brian Mullan put away their numerous chances. United, on the other hand, had just one clear shot on goal, a header by Christian Castillo that landed in the stands at Robertson Stadium.

It’s hard not to feel bad for Onalfo, but it’s also hard not to wonder what he was thinking when he put this team together, especially in attack. Injuries aside (all teams face them), D.C. practically generates no offense, managing only four goals in nine league games. Even more troubling is the fact that there is no real solution in sight.

Jonah Freedman

I wish I could take something else on besides the topic of the diatribe spewed by my esteemed colleague Jaime, but I can’t see past D.C. right now. With nearly every match, the memories of four MLS Cups become more distant. This just isn’t right for MLS’ first dynasty.

D.C.’s defense should be better than it is. Yet they’ve allowed an MLS-worst 18 goals. And must we keep harping on the anemic offense? No one is free of blame, not even iconic Jaime Moreno. United haven’t scored in 326 minutes. Worse, Edson Buddle his scored more than twice their total on the season.

There are few ideas, fewer scoring chances and lots of long nights for the Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles. The fans deserve better than this.

Greg Lalas

It must feel good to be Preki right now. He’s playing it low-key, of course. But after suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous punditry for the first third of this season, he doesn’t have to suffer us fools for the moment.

Because TFC are on a roll.

Granted, they beat a Revolution side tonight that might lose an intrasquad scrimmage right now, but still, a win’s a win, and the Reds are racking them up. And on Saturday they did it without DeRo or DeG. No, they’re not about to beat the likes of LA or Columbus, but don’t be surprised if Preki’s boys are taking arms against MLS’ best come the fall.

Yes, I’m predicting right here, right now (thank you, Jesus Jones) that Toronto will make the playoffs.

Fidencio Enriquez

For the second time in two weeks, Chivas USA find a way to lose a game. Last week against Columbus, Justin Braun caused the penalty that gave the Crew a last-minute win. On Saturday night, the Goats back line was caught napping and Fabian Espindola, who had come off the bench a few minutes earlier, gave Real Salt Lake the win with a last-minute goal.

Two draws that should’ve been, weren’t. At least Chivas USA can be confident they’ll walk away with at least one point when they visit RFK Stadium next week to take on the league’s piñata ... right?

And how ‘bout them Quakes? I don’t want to get ahead of myself, or jinx the team for that matter, but they might be a legitimate contender in the Western Conference. Chris Wondolowski got his fifth goal in six starts and, against Seattle, San Jose’s defense literally risked life and limb trying to preserve their one-goal lead as the Sounders just poured on the pressure during the second half.

Nick Firchau

Craig Rocastle, get out your checkbook. And don’t plan on seeing the Rocky Mountains any time soon.

The Kansas City Wizards’ British import made one of ugliest tackles of the weekend on Sunday in a 1-0 loss to Columbus, and it wouldn’t be surprising if further review this week begets a fine or suspension for the incident.

How bad was it? We’ve seen worse. But in a year when MLS discipline officials are seemingly looking to the tape every Monday and putting someone in the penalty box, Rocastle’s swift kick to Crew hero Emilio Renteria in the 90th minute Sunday is as worthy of a slap on the wrist as any.

Rocastle was on the turf when he let loose a swift boot to the legs of Renteria, a clear shot levied out of frustration. Referee Alejandro Mariscal booked Rocastle for the tackle -- which understandably buckled Renteria -- but he got off easy. A yellow card and a verbal warning, a little chirping from some of Renteria’s teammates, but nothing drastic.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto was suspended for the Crew’s 3-1 win over New York last Thursday for an ill-advised elbow to the face of Chivas USA’s Michael Umaña in the Crew’s 1-0 win on May 15. Rocastle likely deserves at the least the same fate, meaning Kansas City heads to Real Salt Lake next Saturday with one less player to help them turn around their season.

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