The 2008 MLS season is already throwing up several surprises. Among them: two-time defending champ Houston's winless opening start, the fall from grace of Chivas USA keeper Brad Guzan and strikers Luciano Emilio (D.C. United) and Brian Ching (Houston), and finally, Toronto's three-game winning streak after starting the season with two losses.
However, Goal.com's Pat Walsh says the biggest surprise by far is the Columbus Crew's 4-1-0 start. And don't expect the Crew to cede much ground, either, he says, as the team that many expected would battle Toronto for last place in the East, has become a formidable, organized team unit under Coach Sigi Schmid.
The Crew's weak defense has improved markedly this season thanks to the arrival of Brian Carroll, who's been excellent as a holding midfielder, and the steady, experienced Argentine Gino Padula at left back. Up front, Guillermo Barros Schelotto continues to pull the strings as brilliantly as he did last season, but this year (so far) he has the scoring support of Robbie Rogers and Alejandro Moreno. Altogether, the trio has combined for seven goals.