MLS Power Rankings Week 7: Sporting KC Shoots To The Basement

Posted In Features - By Chris 'UZ' White On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 With 0 Comments

It’s been an entertaining start to the season so far, and as the spring starts to wind down as May begins, a lot of team will start to face tough summer schedules. Seasons will be decided in the summer doldrums as always, and some teams like the Rapids and Revolution are going to need strong summers to keep their hopes alive. Movers and shakers this week include the Timbers after their shock win over RSL and Sporting KC, who have been lowered to the dead tiers after winding up in last place this week.

1. Real Salt Lake (1)
We’re going to need to wait until RSL lose a few of those games in hand that they have over the Galaxy before we start to drop them in the standings despite them not being in first place right now, obviously. Choking away the CCL followed by a loss to the expansion Timbers has to be a blow to their confidence though. They should have the talent to make up for it in the long run.

2. New York Red Bulls (3)
The swag has finally begun to start for this powerful New York Red Bulls team after a disappointing start. The stars are beginning to align - both literally and figuratively - and the goals are starting to flow. This team when clicking is probably better than Real Salt Lake. The question will be if they can keep up this performance all the way to their first trophy in club history.

3. Los Angeles Galaxy (2)
The team is finally at full strength and the results should start to come in more frequently for the still Landon Donovan led Galaxy side. The Dallas match was just strange on too many levels for me to consider it a real blip on the radar for the Galaxy. They have too many games over Salt Lake played right now to keep them the favorites for the Supporter’s Shield though.

4. Philadelphia Union (5)
Philly is a heck of a new team this season. All of these 1-0 wins might eventually turn problematic if other teams start putting goals in the net but right now everything is happy and sunny in the city of brotherly love. Le Toux finally getting his first goal of the season helping lead them to a 10 men win has got to be a confidence boost for their best striker as well.

5. Colorado Rapids (3)
Colorado is still falling after three straight losses but finally earned a point against the Fire and should be getting their load of injured players including Marvell Wynne and Conor Casey back in the first few games of May. The Rapids are going to need them with a long road-trip coming up as well as a torrent of games in both May and July. It could be tough on the defending champs if they have one of their patented summer swoons.

6. Seattle Sounders (6)
The loss of Steve Zakuani will hurt Seattle long-term most likely, but they were able to keep the points flowing against Toronto. Perhaps the rage they felt after the terrible tackle to knock out Steve will be channelled into some good results for the rest of the year. It might take them playing a better team than Toronto to make that sort of a judgement call, though.

7. Houston Dynamo (7)
Houston continues to surprise with its new additions this season giving them a climbing rank in the standings. Tally Hall has obviously been awesome between the sticks all year and Brad Davis is the engine of the offense as expected but it’s rookie Will Bruin who has become the guy to watch in Houston, with a hat trick last week propelling him immediately to the top of the Rookie Of the Year race.

8. FC Dallas (9)
That weird result against the LA Galaxy aside, it’s going to be tough in Dallas to deal with the loss of the league’s last MVP for any length of time. If they can continue to cope without him it will be a great story, but they simply don’t have any other players of the high caliber class that Ferriera brings to the pitch week in and week out. Winning games on defense and goalkeeping may be the norm in Dallas for the next few weeks.

9. Portland Timbers (13)
A win over Real Salt Lake, no matter home or away and no matter how tired they were after that tough CCL choke, is impressive. The Timbers home field advantage has quickly turned into the best in MLS, with announcers struggling to shout for TV audiences over the roar of the Timbers Army. Perhaps this Portland team can squeak out a playoff spot on home wins alone this season. It would certainly be a great story.

10. Columbus Crew (15)
Columbus continues to surprise with decent results, over sub-par teams they may be. They still have a lot of work to do on the road, where they can’t seem to pull results out as easily as they do in Crew Stadium. Either way, a pleasent surprise to see Columbus overcoming the loss of so many players to be a new contender for a playoff spot in the East. A few road wins and they may even be in the discussion for a top 3 slot.

11. DC United (10)
DC has pretty much kept the same look all season long - an improved team from last year by leaps and bounds but not a team that can finish off the tougher games in its schedule. The dismantling by New York showed that DC has a lot of work to do, and the following 4-1 loss to Houston didn’t help matters any. With games against Seattle and Dallas upcoming it seems that it may get worse before it gets better.

12. Chicago Fire (8)
They managed to grab a point on the road against Colorado but it was a game that they probably could have won, just continuing the frustration at the end of a terrible April for the Fire. They need to start pulling their still fairly taltented team together and stopping teams so they can claw their way out of the East’s basement, their impressive start showed that they could possibly make the playoffs if they tried.

13. Chivas USA (17)
Two wins for Chivas USA and suddenly it’s time to start looking up in Goatland again. It may have been a mistake for them to pass on Benny Feilhaber - there’s no doubt that his skills would have been great for Chivas - but they seem to have found what they need to find as a team and although their wins haven’t come against great teams, Chivas has at least started to show that they’re at the very least not the worst in the league.

14. New England Revolution (14)
Ouch, a 3-0 loss to Chivas USA can’t be good for the ego. That quiet offseason is starting to haunt this New England squad who keep looking frighteningly like last year’s as they keep dropping results. Feilhaber will certainly be a boost to the club but they don’t seem to have what it takes to be an elite team even with Benny added into the mix. Maybe they should have gotten Charlie Davies as well!

15. Sporting Kansas City (11)
This prolonged road trip for Sporting is really starting to wear thin on them, you can tell. For such a supremely strong team talent-wise, being in the very bottom of either conference but especially the East has to be unacceptable. As with many other teams down here, the defense seems to be the problem as the offense has certainly more than pulled its weight for this team. Maybe if they change their name to the Wizards again they can get some magic back.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (12)
This is certainly the same team that made the Eastern Conference Finals last year in name, but it doesn’t look like that squad at all. Only defensive stalwarts Philadelphia have scored fewer goals than the Earthquakes, and three of those goals are from Chris Wondolowski, who leads the league in shots taken. Things aren’t looking good for San Jose, who are looking more like a single year fluke team powered by Wondo than a team who will be challenging for a cup any time soon.

17. Vancouver Whitecaps (16)
They’re basically just a poor man’s Portland at this point, pulling out results at home but never the kind of results you’re looking for. Even with those good entertaining games they’ve played the Whitecaps are still stuck at only a single win and still look like one of the worst teams in the league on the road. The team also has the second most goals conceded in the league with 14. Perhaps a few defensive adjustments will be in order as soon as they can.

18. Toronto FC (18)
Poor Canadian MLS fans. I think the fact that I saw a Toronto fan starting a #Preseason2012 hashtag on twitter about 2011 says all you need to know about this season for the Reds.

About Chris 'UZ' White - Managing Editor of Burgundy Wave on the SBnation network. Fan of the Colorado Rapids, Crystal Palace FC and the US national team. Would like to find the guy who created the em dash - did someone really create the em dash? - and buy him a beer.

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