Voices: Sacha Kljestan

Stock Up, Stock Down: LA Galaxy enter Shield race, Minnesota's main weakness


A double matchweek is my favorite type of week in MLS!

They're grueling for players – grinding out two games in four days, in brutal summer heat in most places. They're commonly called the dog days of summer for a reason. A few teams got on a roll, and a bunch of teams are mired in a losing streak.

With a lot to cover, I'll keep it simple this week. If your team is on a three-game winning streak... Stock Up. If there's a three-game losing streak... Stock Down!

Before diving in, I want to show some love to the brilliant individual performances we saw this past week.


Greg Vanney has been in charge of the LA Galaxy for 122 league games since he took over, and they had never won three in a row until Saturday night! What a time to do it.

Playing away from home against Western Conference-leading Real Salt Lake, Vanney rotated his squad and got a big-time statement win. Gabriel Pec has been in great form in the past six weeks, finally settling in and showing his quality since his arrival from Brazil. But more importantly, the last two wins have come via shutout, the first time the Galaxy have done that since 2022. Remember as well: all three wins have also come without their most influential player, Riqui Puig.

The Gs now sit tied with LAFC and Real Salt Lake at the summit of the Western Conference and in the thick of the Supporters' Shield race.

It's three straight dubs for the Rapids, outscoring their opponents 9-1 in those matches. That's exactly the response Chris Armas would have wanted after Colorado went four without a win before that.

A focused, organized and attack-minded Rapids had a fantastic week and pushed themselves into fourth place in the Western Conference. It's amazing what a three-game winning streak can do in MLS!

Between Djordje Mihailovic, Cole Bassett and Rafael Navarro, this attack is humming and I think they can cause problems next Saturday away at LAFC in what should be their biggest test of the season (10:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).

Did we write off the Revs too soon after a terrible start to the season? They still sit 12th in the Eastern Conference, but after a four-game winning streak, I am starting to think Caleb Porter has turned their season around. They are firmly in the race for a playoff position.

New England went into Cincinnati last weekend and got their own statement win behind a brace from Giacomo Vrioni. The additions of Xavier Arreaga and Aljaz Ivacic have proven impactful in the back, the aforementioned Vrioni is finally getting goals, and Carles Gil has been great all season despite the early results.

New England have momentum and confidence, setting up a mouth-watering contest against Columbus on Saturday (7:30 pm ET | Apple TV - Free).


Make it three straight losses in which Sporting KC have given up exactly four goals in each match. Peter Vermes is trying anything and everything to get a result, but there is not enough quality in this squad right now and zero confidence on the pitch.

It's three straight losses for Philly, including two at Subaru Park. That's something we never used to say.

After a gut-punch loss at Cincinnati midweek deep in stoppage time, Philly came home and looked flat against Charlotte. Jakob Glesnes especially looks like a shell of himself defensively.

The Union could use some new players in the summer transfer window to inject some life into the team.

D.C. United have lost three straight and collected only two points in their last eight games! It's bleak in the nation's capital.

To make matters worse, the club's best and most important player, Christian Benteke, was sent off this past weekend for a horrible display of dissent in the referee's face. That is pent-up frustration boiling over, plain and simple.

If you're coming second in duels, which the Black-and-Red are, then your edge is gone.

This has been my worry for Minnesota all year: their top-level talent is pretty good, but their depth is weak. With four starters gone, most teams would struggle and the Loons are struggling.

Three straight losses for Eric Ramsay's team, but they still sit fifth in the West after a bright start to the season. Can they hang on until Leagues Cup and then regroup?

Toronto have taken only two points from their last six matches and have you guessed it... three straight Ls. Was that great start to the season a mirage?

Toronto have lost 10 of their 20 matches this season and their last few losses have looked a lot like last season's Toronto FC. John Herdman needs to get this team back to basics and be harder to play against.

Are you starting to sense a theme here? Yep, you guessed it... it's three straight losses for New York City FC. Fortunately for Nick Cushing's team, they had won eight of their previous nine games and still sit sixth in the East.

With a young team, you are bound to get some inconsistent performances. NYCFC have their next two games at home, presenting an opportunity to start a winning streak again.

I'll save the analysis and give you the facts on San Jose: four straight losses, 51 goals against in 19 games played, and 11 points on the season. They also just dismissed head coach Luchi Gonzalez, hitting the reset button.

Wooden Spoon material?