The Clean Sheet: Who's in first?

and their leading scorer (midfielder Ross Paule) has more than half of his goals (four of seven) from the penalty spot.

Yes, I know the hated Fire don't have 30 either, but to be fair they really are not an MLS-caliber team any more, they just happen to be in MLS, so they don't count.

The Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew are the two first-place teams in Major League Soccer.

I don't care about the main reasons why they are in first place (which happen to be Joe Cannon for Colorado and the fact the East relatively stinks right now in the case of Columbus), but they are. So you just have to give full marks to both of these teams for proving a whole lotta people wrong so far.

The Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew are the two first-place teams in Major League Soccer.

Yeah, apparently the world has been turned upside down. So, in other news:

  • Ronnie O'Brien and Dema Kovalenko were married Saturday at a lovely little service in Napa Valley. El Salvador midfielder Denis Alas sent a nice necklace to the newlyweds.

  • Metro forward Sergio Galvan Rey recorded his third consecutive hat trick over the weekend and now leads the MLS scoring race by a full 10 goals over Rapids forward Alberto Delgado.

  • In the new Nielsen ratings, ABC was the top-rated network for the ninth consecutive week.

  • The veteran players from the 1998 U.S. World Cup team got together and sent Steve Sampson a nice bundt cake to congratulate him on his big win over the Quakes last weekend.

  • I got all of my MLS predictions right one weekend.

  • Kansas City played its seventh consecutive game on national television, and every single viewer had heard of all 11 Wizards players on the field.

  • Eric Wynalda became the charter member of the Chivas USA supporters club.

  • That guy Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! said something that didn't make me want to two-foot him.

  • Tiger Woods was in contention for a major.

  • Greg Lalas was spotted at a Celine Dion concert. Then again ...

    You get my point.


    I know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy ... so every week TCS is gonna put a little action on the action, if you know what I'm talkin' about. Each week in this space we'll track how last week went and what's on the books, so to speak, for the upcoming week.

    LAST WEEK: One up and two down as we win with the Metros, but lose when my Burn do me no favors and the Quakes can't knock off FC Entertainment before a raucous crowd at the HDC.

    CURRENT BANK: -500

    THIS WEEK: D.C. at home against the Fire and Columbus at home to Metros sound like keepers, so let's go 100 each on the home sides. I think the Revs and Mile High Club draw, my Burn rebounds against L.A. and K.C. and San Jose share the spoils, 50 on each of those.


    Saturday - FIRE AT ADUNITED (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports World): Justin Mapp becomes the latest Fire player to go out for the season through injury. Does anyone want to play for these guys? Well, except Zach Thornton.

    Sunday - THE SURREAL LIFE (10 p.m. ET on VH1): Flavor Flav is charisma personified, and watching he and Ivan Drago's wife paw each other, well, you just can't look away. Add in Charo coochie-coochieing all over the shop and some annoying chick from American Idol and someway, somehow, you end up with a pretty fun TV show.


  • I'm not advocating violence in any way, but I don't know how Ronnie O'Brien didn't just haul off and punch Dema Kovalenko right in the face after what happened last weekend. Ronnie, you are a bigger man than I ... your old pal Tino woulda snapped and used whatever WWE finishing move first came to mind. Least I would have done was get that Texas Rangers relief pitcher to throw a chair at him.

  • Speaking of that yutz Frank Francisco from the Rangers -- if you remember, Manchester United's Eric Cantona got a year suspension for karate-kicking the "fan" (the guy was no saint, either) in the stands at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park awhile back. Sounds about right for a punishment for this guy, if you ask me.

  • Apparently soccer movies are like reasons to look forward to Jessica Simpson playing Daisy Duke in the upcoming "Dukes of Hazzard" flick - everyone's got one. The Chicago Tribune reported this week that Mike Ditka has himself up for a role in a flick called "Kicking & Screaming," a soccer-themed comedy with Robert Duvall and Will Ferrell.

  • As part of some overall shrinkage in the Los Angeles Times' sports section, the Planet LA rag is dumping its daily soccer column. As a footie fan out here or anywhere, that stinks. Write 'em and tell 'em so at You can read the leaked memo from the sports editor at

  • The Soccer Silicon Valley Quakes season tix drive has already resulted in pledges of over 1,000 new season seats, according to a SSV press release. Some people sit around and complain ... these guys at SSV don't bother, they just get up and make things happen. If you live in the San Jose area and have not pledged to their effort yet, please either do so or don't ever read my column again, I don't want to know you.

    The Clean Sheet runs each Thursday on Views and opinions expressed in this column views and opinions are the author's, and not necessarily those of Major League Soccer or its clubs. Send any questions and comments to

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