MLS Power Rankings Week 9: All Draws From League Play Makes TAO A Dull Power Rankings

Posted In Features - By Chris 'UZ' White On Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 With 0 Comments

OK fine, so the pun in the title is a stretch, but you get the idea. So many draws happened in Major League soccer this week that it’s really difficult to gauge if anyone should be moving around at all. Minus the Red Bull’s dropped home game against Chivas USA (!) and the Earthquakes 3-0 drubbing of the Crew it was a fairly quiet week for interesting results to talk about. As such there’s not all that much movement in this week’s Power Rankings.

1. Real Salt Lake (1)
Another week, another 1st place spot for the Royals out of Utah, although their recent form is starting to look a bit worrying now that they’re on a 1-1-1 record in their last three with one of those being a squeak-by win against 9 man Chivas. Either way, they’ll stay atop the rankings until a team has played well enough to outseat them and if the Red Bulls play like they did this week again it’s going to be a while before that happens.

2. Los Angeles Galaxy (3)
Every time we start to doubt Los Angeles, they come back with a game like that one. 4-1 over anyone in MLS is a hard task, even against a weak squad like Sporting Kansas City. Juan Pablo Angel is finally scoring and with him, the rest of the Galaxy are looking better every week. If they can keep the form that they have now, they will contend for the Supporters Shield this season, make no question about it.

3. New York Red Bulls (2)
Ouch, ouch, ouch. Red Bull Arena was supposed to be a fortress, not a place where Chivas can come in and look the better side en route to a 3-2 win. The Bulls had to come from behind twice and it’s a tough thing to ask of any team to come back from a 1 goal deficit three times in a game. Once again as the it was at the start of the season, New York’s form will have to be called into question. They go from looking like tops in the league to a good side loaded with inconsistency week by week. Is that enough to propel them to a cup?

4. Colorado Rapids (4)
Five points in three tough road games for the Rapids, as banged up as they are, has to be seen as a victory for Colorado. Coming back home, they finally have Conor Casey back after 20 minutes of good looking football against DC United and if the injuries stop the Rapids finally have a shot to get back on track against Toronto at home this Sunday. The draw at DC could have been a win, but the Rapids never win at RFK so they can’t be too mad at it.

5. FC Dallas (7)
Did losing David Ferreira make this team better somehow? Considering these past couple of results for FC Dallas, it’s looking like it somehow might have managed to do that. Being the first team to score two goals on the Union is nothing to sneeze at, but all of these wins against top tier clubs like them and the Galaxy are making the suddenly close to the top of the table Hoops look like a real league contender again after that slow start to the season.

6. Portland Timbers (6)
A Portland blog used the headline of “Portland wins 1-1″ after the draw against their Cascadia rivals in Seattle and it’s hard to argue against that (unless you’re an angry Seattle fan of course) because that is the best point on the road that Portland has earned so far. Seattle still outplayed Portland for good stretches of that game but for a Portland team that has looked god-awful away from home, marching into the tough Qwest Field and earning anything is a good sign.

7. Philadelphia Union (5)
Is that the start of something ominous for the Philadelphia Union? There’s been quite a bit of talk that the continuing 1-0 matches that we’ve seen all season from Philly were unsustainable and that either the offense was going to have to heat up or the defense was going to fail them… and it looked like that against Dallas. We’re still stuck wondering here what exactly happened to that not powerful but at least competent offense from last season went. Did the rest of the league just figure out Le Toux over the offseason all at once?

8. Seattle Sounders (8)
Considering Seattle’s decent recent form and Portland’s terrible showings on the road since season’s start, there’s really no reason that the Sounders should have drawn with the Timbers at the first ever Cascadia MLS match. They certainly didn’t look terrible but they didn’t look great either. Seattle seems to be finding their niche right now - the same niche from last year, by the way - of the strong team that just isn’t quite strong enough to sneak into the Supporter’s Shield discussion.

9. DC United (9)
It was a good draw against the reigning champion Colorado Rapids, despite a couple of knocks picked up by Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff. Hopefully DC can avoid injuries like that for the rest of the season, they can’t afford to lose a single minute from their top offensive players considering they still have one of the worst defenses in the league. Even there, guys like rookie Perry Kitchen and Chris Korb have given reason for hope in the nation’s capital for the future.

10. Houston Dynamo (10)
The Dynamo have to be breathing a sigh of relief after they earned some sort of result against Real Salt Lake. That bad run of form from Houston for the past few matches hurt a fair bit and going into Rio Tinto looked ominous. Hopefully the Dynamo can take this hard earned road point and turn it into something more over the next couple of matches so they can get back into the discussion for the playoffs in the Eastern conference.

11. Chivas USA (12)
A win for Chivas USA over the New York Red Bulls? At Red Bull Arena? I don’t think anybody saw this coming, is this the same squad that we were watching drop every single match early in the season? We knew that under Robin Frasier it would take a bit of time for this team to mature into anything, and the team over the last few has finally started to look like the moderately talented squad that they are. This Red Bulls win can only mean good things for Chivas’ future.

12. New England Revolution (13)
The Revs need to get some points to get back on track to that strong start to the year that they made, and beating the weaker teams in the league like the Vancouver Whitecaps are a necessity when you’re trying to make the playoffs. The team still looks a little wonky offensively even with the Benny Feilhaber addition but their defense has a gang of clean sheets recently and it’s a great thing for their confidence to know that 1 goal may just be enough.

13. Chicago Fire (14)
Chicago may have only earned a point out of their trip to Toronto, but going into the notoriously tough to play BMO field and not only earning a draw but a draw from two goals down is a great thing for this Fire squad. After that terrible April it’s finally looking like May might get them back on track, or at least get them back into some points in the standings. The East’s playoff slots are still very much up for grabs.

14. Columbus Crew (11)
That’s got to sting for Columbus, who have been making an unfortunate case for the worst road team in the league this season alongside the Timbers and Whitecaps. Losing to a not-all-that-tough squad like San Jose 3-0 has got to be a blow to their confidence, they just have to go back home as soon as possible and get some more home points. That’s looking to be the only way that they’ll get a playoff spot even in the weakened Eastern conference at this rate.

15. San Jose Earthquakes (16)
San Jose finally earn a win and earn it in a dominant fashion at home against the Columbus Crew. A little while ago we were debating whether or not San Jose was the worst in the league, but now we’ve been reminded that when they’re on form this team is just as dangerous as any other team in the league. Still, Chris Wondolowski could use a bit more offensive support up top. Steven Lenhart looked like he was that offensive support until MLS took away his goal and assist after the game had finished!

16. Toronto FC (17)
Toronto have only moved up in these rankings because Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver are just so straight up bad. Toronto have to be embarrassed at that performance, drawing a team as lowly as the Fire after being up 2-0 at home. Joao Plata still looks good, but he can’t do much when he’s not on the field, which he wasn’t for way too long in that match against Chicago. It’s not looking like this lost season will be getting better any time soon for Reds fans.

17. Sporting Kansas City (15)
The good news: Kansas City scored a goal, the first goal of the match even! The bad news: They allowed four goals against them after they scored that goal. I don’t know how this season could get much worse for Kansas City, when’s that shiny new home stadium opening up for them again? Actually, unless the Sporks can pull a Portland-esque home record out of there the playoffs are looking like an early long-shot for SKC.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps (18)
Another week, another loss. This must be getting tiring for Vancouver fans.

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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