The most well-rounded squad in MLS, the Earthquakes also have a fortress at Buck Shaw Stadium. Vancouver seems to be the only team who has figured out San Jose. Chris Wondolowski is on pace to win the Golden Boot and MVP awards.
2) New York Red Bulls
Besides a few early season injuries, about the only downside to the Red Bulls is that they have not been very good on the road this season. Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper have been in excellent form of late. The addition of Sebastian Le Toux adds scoring depth.
3) Real Salt Lake
Another team with a prominent home field advantage, Real has done what has been expected as of late. They beat up on a couple of poor teams in Portland and Vancouver. San Jose walloped them in Santa Clara, but upcoming matches with Vancouver and Colorado should keep them on track.
4) Sporting Kansas City
A team that started the season on fire by winning seven straight, Sporting cooled off as of late. The main question is if All-Star Aurelien Collin and the defense can shore up enough to complement the high flying offense.
The summer heat has been nothing but beneficial to the Dynamo as usual. They are riding a six game unbeaten streak and have been crushing their opponents. They may lose Geoff Cameron to English side Stoke City, but don't expect that to affect them in a huge way.
6) DC United
United has hit the skids with two road losses, but they have been to solid opponents in Houston and Columbus. All-Star captain Dwayne De Rosario should help his team right the ship. A tough schedule lies ahead with matches against French side Paris Saint-Germain, a home match against Columbus and a road match at Sporting KC.
7) Seattle Sounders
Seattle has been playing solid of late despite a 4-2 loss to Premiership side Chelsea in a friendly. Freddy Montero has found his scoring touch and rumors have arose about his possible transfer abroad somewhere. Expect Seattle to shore up their defense by adding help in the transfer window. Also, a great matchup at Sporting KC looms in the coming weeks as the Sounders look to win their fourth consecutive US Open Cup title.
8) Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps are a ways back in the Western Conference despite sitting in third place. At times their play has been confounding as their goal difference is at -2 despite having a solid overall record. The loss of Eric Hasli by way of trade to Toronto FC won't be beneficial. Rookie Darren Mattocks has been a bright spot and the addition of Scotsman Barry Robson should help.
The "Superclub" has been looking more like themselves lately, but their defense is complacent at times. They scored five goals but gave up three in a win over Portland and drew 2-2 at Vancouver. David Beckham's free kicks have been on point as usual; Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have found their scoring touch as of late.
10) Chicago Fire
The Fire are 4-2-1 in their last seven matches, but have looked like a middling side. At times they look solid on both sides of the ball, so losses to the Galaxy and Red Bulls are somewhat understandable. Their matches of late have been low scoring, so expect them to try to add some scoring punch.
11) Columbus Crew
Like most other clubs, The Crew have been solid at home and poor on the road. They should have beaten Montreal on the road and a win over DC United was impressive. They should be higher in the standings and better than their record shows.
12) Chivas USA
The Goats have been better than expected. They sit seven points out of the final Western Conference playoff spot behind their rivals the Galaxy. They do have three games in hand, but don't expect them to make a major run to make it in to the postseason.
The Rapids have been horrible on the road and not too good at home either. Forwards Conor Casey and Omar Cummings should be producing more. Their scoring attack is punchless and don't expect it to improve much in their next three matches being at the Rio Tinto, home to the Sounders and home to Real Salt Lake.
14) Montreal Impact
The Impact have been solid at Saputo Stadium and abominable on the road. Their -12 goal differential have them tied for second-to-last in that category. Donovan Ricketts has been outstanding in goal and the addition of designated player Marco DiVaio should help their scoring attack.
15) New England Revolution
The Revs seem as if they should be better with midfielder Lee Nguyen and forward Saer Sene starring in their offensive attack. Goalie Matt Reis has kept them in many games. Manager Jay Heaps and the Revs brass need to figure out how to at least beat fellow lower tier teams such as Montreal and Toronto.
The Union have looked much improved as of late. Interim Manager John Hackworth is pushing the right buttons that former boss Peter Nowak could not. Freddy Adu should be healthy to return for their next match against New England. They have received scoring from many different faces and forward Antoine Hoppenot has been a bright spot.
17) Toronto FC
The loss of Forward Danny Koevermans is painful, but Toronto has put together a solid three-match win streak. Manager Paul Mariner seems to have found a cohesive offensive attack. The Reds have a difficult upcoming schedule with matches against Houston, at Chicago and at Columbus, but seem headed in the right direction.
18) FC Dallas
Dallas is another club that seems headed in the right direction after narrowly falling 2-1 to San Jose as their only loss in their last six matches. The return of David Ferriera should help an already potent offensive attack. Trade speculation surrounding Brek Shea has clouded the young midfielder's future with the club.
19) Portland Timbers
The Timbers are in complete disarray and a managerial change after the firing of John Spencer hasn't helped any. There hasn't been much reason for optimism, except for a manageable upcoming schedule with home matches against Chivas USA and FC Dallas. Scottish forward Kris Boyd has been the lone bright spot with seven goals scored on the season.