MLS Power Rankings Week 8: Much Of The Same

Posted In Features - By Chris 'UZ' White On Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 With 2 Comments

An injury for the top team might make next week’s rankings a bit more interesting, but for now it’s business as usual in our weekly power rankings with the same top 5 as last week with only some minor changes in positioning.

1. Real Salt Lake (1)
It wasn’t a very convincing win for Salt Lake over the shorthanded Goats, but that’s not what people are going to remember from that one, since it was a win nonetheless. Javier Morales’ injury will be the story, as the important Salt Lake midfielder may be out for months with that terrible looking ankle injury - seriously, anyone who runs MLS games on TV, stop showing that injury. Even that tackle from Mullan to Zakuani didn’t look as grotesque.

2. New York Red Bulls (2)
The New York train is finally starting to click and other MLS teams should be scared. They even played well in Los Angeles, a tough task for any team. There’s just so much offensive power on this team especially with Thierry Henry firing goals in after that slump to start the season. This is the best chance that New York has ever had to finally win that elusive MLS Cup, and it will be a travesty if they don’t make it that far with the talent they’ve put together.

3. Los Angeles Galaxy (3)
A fluke goal from Brek Shea and the defensive play of the year by Tim Ream - that ball was in the net, by the way - are the only things that kept the Galaxy from getting four more points out of those last couple of games. They put on a heck of a show against the powerful Red Bulls and the team looks worlds better than they did back when they were Donovan-less against Real Salt Lake earlier in the season and lost 4-1. You know, Don Garber’s dream of a NY-LA final might just come true after all with these two teams looking so good.

4. Colorado Rapids (5)
Four points out of a tough two-game road trip despite being so injured that only four first team starters were actually playing against the Revolution is just what the doctor ordered for Colorado. If they’re going to contend for much more than a decent playoff spot they need to get healthy and quick, now that both Caleb Folan and Omar Cummings have been added to the injured reserve list for the next couple of games. If the injury bug continues to strike, Colorado has no chance at any trophy.

5. Philadelphia Union (4)
Philly really, really, really needs to get some offense going somewhere. All of these 1-0 games are not only bad for Philadelphia’s collective blood pressure, but it’s going to make it really hard to see them as an MLS Cup winning squad. Is it possible to finish a season with both the fewest goals for AND fewest goals against? That seems to be the way that Philly is headed right now on their molasses like pace.

6. Portland Timbers (9)
Portland keeps on moving up both the standings and these power rankings thanks to their fortress of a home stadium providing them points galore. They’ve knocked out Real Salt Lake and the Union at their home stadium, and there’s no signs of them slowing down any time soon… until they go on the road again, of course. At that point the Timbers may fall back down to Earth just a bit like they did against the Galaxy a while back.

7. FC Dallas (8)
Dallas’ win against LA last week was a brilliant result for the team, but drawing DC United wasn’t what they were hoping for. They might be starting to miss their best offensive player and if DF stays out for the long term Dallas may be screwed. Still, they’ve managed three games unbeaten with two wins in a row so anything can happen with Dallas, including perhaps a surprise playoff run if they get Ferriera back.

8. Seattle Sounders (6)
Seattle is once again a team stuck in limbo after that loss to DC United, where they were quite frankly outplayed by a team that still isn’t that far removed from one of the worst teams in the history of the league. Other than that great Toronto match for them, they’ve looked just a bit too inept in front of goal for their own good, and they’re going to need someone to grab the reins with Zakuani remaining out the rest of the season.

9. DC United (11)
Beating Seattle is never an easy task no matter where your team is playing, and DC looked like the better team during that game. They also drew an equally tough Dallas team, getting even more points for Ben Olson’s campaign to the playoffs in his first year as a head coach. I know there’s nothing DC United fans would love more than a return trip to their old stomping grounds in that fashion, and the results they’re getting will work well in that regard.

10. Houston Dynamo (7)
The loss to Colorado was simply embarassing at home, allowing a 45 yard free kick to go uncontested into the net and letting a back-up left back score the game winner after being up 1-0 with less than 20 to play. Following that with a loss to Toronto may spell blood in the water for the Dynamo, although they at least still have the tools available to right the ship quickly. Brad Davis is making an early case for league MVP and Will Bruin continues to impress in his rookie campaign.

11. Columbus Crew (10)
Columbus needs to win those home games, not get draws, especially considering how abysmal their road form has been this season. Their goals have seemingly all come from the penalty spot as well, and you can’t mount a playoff run with a team that can barely match Charlie Davies goal-scoring on the length of the season. If they can sort out the road form Columbus has a better chance at getting something going.

12. Chivas USA (13)
They probably shouldn’t have lost to RSL, but can you really knock them for losing 1-0 after being down to 9 men for almost the entierty of the match? They at least still have that 3-0 win over New England a week ago on their resume to show that they’re not quite one of the worst in MLS, but they can’t start getting red cards all over the place with their already starved depth on their team. Either way, they may just be better than we originally thought.

13. New England Revolution (14)
The Revs should very much have won that match-up against the Rapids on Saturday after outchancing the incredibly shorthanded Rapids and outplaying them pretty much everywhere except the central midfield. Feilhaber has looked like a man among boys since joining the team although he doesn’t have a goal in a Revolution uniform yet, and he should probably find some way to spread his magic to the rest of his teammates so they can put a few into the net.

14. Chicago Fire (12)
Chicago’s pathetic April at the very least starred a competent looking offense with Chaves and Pappa scoring good looking goals even as the defense faltered to the tune of only giving the team a single win. So far this May it’s looked like the roles have been reversed, with a 0-0 draw with the incompetant on the road Vancouver Whitecaps being their first result. If they have no offense and their defense is better, they’re just going to turn into a (really) poor man’s Union.

15. Sporting Kansas City (15)
Kansas City didn’t play this week so it’s hard to say anything bad about them, but they still have that 1-0 loss to New York on their minds because of it and they’re still in the basement of an Eastern conference that was supposed to be so weak that Sporting would simply steamroll through and grab an easy playoff spot. Right now it’s looking like they’ll be lucky to even snag a wildcard with the terrible first half they’re putting together.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (16)
Another team that didn’t play, but once again another team that is not doing so hot in the first place so they’ve really given themselves no reason to move up here. Last year’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals looks to be miles away from this poor San Jose squad, wallowing in their own inability to score a goal… or stop one. Wondolowski needs to regain that golden boot form sometime soon or they’re not going anywhere.

17. Toronto FC (18)
Toronto won a game! Toronto won a game! Joao Plata looked like a savvy veteran out there on the pitch, igniting the Reds to two late goals in the game - one of which he scored - and injecting himself into the rookie of the year discussion alongside Will Bruin with his brilliant performance against a Houston team that is no slouch. Another bright spot in the future for Toronto FC’s rebuilding project, and I’m sure Reds fans are thrilled to have him.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps (17)
Regardless of Toronto’s win, Canada is still kind of stuck at the bottom here. Vancouver had so many chances to win that Chicago game but just looked terrible in front of goal. They are certainly the worst of the ‘Good at home, bad on the road’ group of teams.

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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  2. Assumer says:

    “That ball was in the net by the way”. Yes it was, but this is soccer, and thus the ball must be all the way over the line.

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