SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)

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                                                                                  Photo by ISIphotos.com

D.C. United is on fire.

When D.C. and Los Angeles took the field on Sunday it was supposed to be a battle between two of the most in-form teams in MLS. It was never that close. D.C. showed off its suddenly unstoppable attack in shredding a Galaxy defense that showed it wasn’t quite past the problems that plagued it earlier this year.

This past weekend was a weekend of comebacks. Ben Olsen made an emotional return to action, seeing his first playing time of the year, while Taylor Twellman made his return from injury for New England.

We also saw the Kansas City Wizards stop the bleeding, if only temporarily, thanks to a last-minute own goal from Real Salt Lake, we saw Kevin Goldthwaite (pictured, right) and the Red Bulls gift-wrap a goal and point for Chivas USA, and we saw the Chicago Fire finish winless for the month of June after finishing off May as the hottest team in the league.

Here is how this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out:

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. (Last week- 1) New England Revolution (9-4-3)

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Last Week: Beat Toronto FC, 2-1, last Saturday.

This Week: at Los Angeles on Friday (vs. Richmond Kickers in U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.)

Last Five Games: 3-1-1

Outlook: Steve Ralston is on a roll and the best news of the weekend was Taylor Twellman’s return to action after being out since May 11.

2. (3) Columbus Crew (8-4-2)

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Last Week: Beat Colorado, 2-1, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Chicago on Saturday.

Last Five Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Robbie Rogers and Emmanuel Ekpo give the Crew speed and skill to take the heat of Schelotto. Now a tougher test awaits in Chicago, which is starving for a win after going winless in June.

3. (4) D.C. United (7-7-1)

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Last Week: beat Los Angeles, 4-1, on Sunday.

This Week: Off in MLS (Rochester on Rhinos on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup)

Last Five Games: 4-0-1

Outlook: Unbeaten in seven straight, with 18 goals scored in that span, D.C. must be hating having a bye week in MLS. With Ben Olsen making his first appearance of the season, D.C. couldn’t be riding higher.

4. (5) Toronto FC (6-5-3)

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Last Week: Lost to New England, 2-1, last Saturday.

This Week: Off in MLS (vs. Vancouver in CONCACAF Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, vs. Pachuca in Carlsberg Cup on Saturday.)

Last Five Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Road woes continue, though New England is the league’s best right now. Battle against Canadian rivals from Vancouver should be interesting.

5. (2) Los Angeles Galaxy (6-5-3)

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Last Week: lost to D.C. United, 4-1, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. New England on Friday.

Last Five Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Defense was just ripped to shreds, leaving us to wonder whether their recent success was a product of a weak schedule rather than the Galaxy’s growth as a team.

6. (8) Houston Dynamo (4-4-7)

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Last Week: tied FC Dallas, 1-1, on Thursday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Thursday (at Charleston Battery on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup).

Last Five Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: Dynamo defense limited FC Dallas to five shots but could not finish off enough of their own chances, resulting in a third tie in three meetings against their in-state rivals.

7. (6) Chicago Fire (6-5-2)

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Last Week: tied San Jose, 0-0 on Saturday.

This Week: at Columbus on Saturday.

Last Five Games: 1-3-1

Outlook: When you can’t even beat San Jose at home you know you have problems. Fire go winless for June and must now travel to Crew Stadium to take on a revived Crew squad.

8. (9) New York Red Bulls (5-4-5)

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Last Week: tied Chivas USA, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Colorado on Friday (at Crystal Palace Baltimore on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup).

Last Five Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: Played a solid half against Chivas before a costly blunder. The road point was still well-earned as the Red Bulls get close to having Juan Pablo Angel back for a key match against the Rapids on Friday.

9. (10) Chivas USA (5-6-3)

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Last Week: tied New York Red Bulls, 1-1, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. San Jose on Saturday (at Seattle Sounders in U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday).

Last Five Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Offense created some chances but generally struggled to beat a fiesty Red Bulls defense. Maykel Galindo is sorely missed and forwards aren’t stepping up to fill the void.

10. (7) Real Salt Lake (5-6-4)

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Last Week:lost to Kansas City, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Houston on Thursday.

Last Five Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: Road woes continue as unfortunate own goal by Tony Beltran costs RSL a point against struggling Wizards. Salt Lake’s home dominance will be put to the test by the Dynamo.

11. (11) FC Dallas (4-6-5)

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Last Week: tied Houston, 1-1 on Thursday.

This Week: vs. Kansas City on Saturday (vs. Miami FC on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup).

Last Five Games: 1-3-1

Outlook: Schellas Hyndman’s tinkering continues as he gets to know the team. Coach will have a good chance for a win against the Wizards.

12. (12) Colorado Rapids (5-8-1)

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Last Week: lost to Columbus, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Friday.

Last Five Games: 1-3-1

Outlook: Kept on its heels for much of its loss to Columbus, the Rapids defense struggled to get the ball away from the Crew, though the attack did still manage to out-shoot the Crew. Quality chances were lacking though and things won’t get easier against a tough Red Bulls defense, especially if Christian Gomez is still sidelined with a leg injury.

13. (13) Kansas City Wizards (4-5-4)

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Last Week: beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at FC Dallas on Friday (at Carolina Railhawks on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup).

Last Five Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: The Wizards got lucky to win thanks to a fluke own goal but KC was due some luck after its terribly long road trip. As encouraging as three points are, getting just two shots on goal shows just how flat the offense still is.

14. (14) San Jose Earthquakes (3-8-3)

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Last Week: tied Chicago, 0-0, last Saturday.

This Week: at Chivas USA on Saturday.

Last Five Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: Earthquakes defense should be boosted by shutting out Chicago, but managing just one shot on goal is awful.

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What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)

  1. mike says:

    That goal was coming in the KC game, the question was would it come with time still in the game. KC had chances they just didn’t put any on net. They had 3-4 great opportunities before they finally put one in.

  2. brett says:

    this is nothing new from the fire… our record in the month of June over the past couple years is horrid… for some reason the Fire always slump in the Months of June and July….

    Hopefully we’ll break the July slump… id rather not have another year were we are breaking our backs to get into the playoffs…. id much rather come out in the month of July with some wins…. especially against confrence rival columbus..

    im not to worried about our standing, we’ve played the least amount of games in the league… most teams we have 2 games in hand, and in one case (the revs) we have 3 games in hand…. if the Fire can capitalize on these games then we’re right back up top…. thank god the league didnt schedule our make up games in June…

  3. kco says:

    Building on what mike said, KC had their chances and some of their best chances didn’t even count as a shot (exhibit A, Jack Jewsbury diving onto a ball in front of the net that was just out of his reach). But as Ives points out, it is a problem when KC gets off 21 shots and only 2-3 are on goal.

    3 more points and a goal scored by a Wizard next Friday is very much in reach against a tinkering FCD squad. C’MON WIZARDS!

  4. Ives – how is that picture NOT a caption this?!

  5. northzax says:

    bye week? heck, DCU has a bye month, we don’t play another MLS game until July 22, the rescheduled Dynamo game. without that rainout, we’d be off MLS until August 2.

  6. Tim Crawford says:

    Ives – The Revs have a USOC match on Tues also.

  7. RK says:

    What’s the Carlsberg Cup? Just a friendly tune-up for Pachuca?

  8. kpugs says:

    I don’t get how RBNY keep moving up. We’ve literally given away 4 points total against the Revs and Chivas. A draw is better than a loss, sure. But NOT giving away two ridiculously soft goals and hanging onto 1-0 leads is not only better, but should be expected. I’m still nowhere near happy with this club.

  9. MiamiAl says:

    I think D.C. United should be at #2.

  10. beckster says:

    MiamiA, DC is my team – always was – always will be. The game yesterday was wonderful but I think #2 is a bit high because (1)Bennie is a long way from a full return (2) the coaching is still suspect – Soehn will continue to be outcoached by many of the managers (3)several positions still weak (goal, center back, defensive mid) but our offense is HOT!

  11. Nathan says:

    My question is this (and I’m sure it’s been discussed before somewhere): Is Edson Buddle really that much better now, or are MLS defence’s really bad this year?

  12. Eugene says:

    I agree with the top 4 but wonder if DCU should be ranked higher on the basis of their quality and scintillating form recently. Columbus has been kind of iffy, even though they are currently above DC on points. I would think DC should be number 2, but its a toss up.

    On the other hand, LA is probably too high given that 7 of the 13 games they’ve played have been at home — very skewed on the home/away ratio leading me to believe that as those away games come in the future, LA will continue to slide.

    My biggest beef with this list is that RSL are ranked 10th and moved down from 7th despite being above Houston and Chivas USA in the western conference table (they have one more win than Houston). How did RSL get there and manage to leap frog all of their opponents? By playing good defense. RSL have only given up 2 goals in their last 5 games, posting 3 clean sheets. In the last game against KC, the goal given up was an own goal from Tony Beltran — ok, so mistakes happen, but for sure KC didn’t beat them. Without that own goal, RSL would have posted their fourth straight clean sheet and taken a point on the road. Yeah KC is weak, but they were at home. I would argue that RSL should be ranked 5th or 6th, depending upon where people put LA.

    I also soon expect NY will start moving up the rankings now that they are about to get Rojas and have Angel and Reyna coming back.