SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)

Zach Thornton (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                   Photo by ISIphotos.com

There were some big winners and big losers in this week's MLS Power Rankings, but nothing changed at the top.

Chivas USA did suffer its first defeat of the season last Wednesday, to Toronto FC, but the Goats quickly rebounded with a shutout victory over FC Dallas to re-establish itself as the class of the West and the top team in the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

Things in the East are a little more unstable. Previously unbeaten New England was not only beaten, but battered and butchered by a rampant Real Salt Lake side. Toronto FC, wallowing near the bottom of the rankings last week, pulled off consecutive wins vs. Chivas USA and Kansas City and catapulted into first place in the East.

Here is how this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out after Week 6:


SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)

1 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (5-1-1)

2008_014

Last Week: Lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Wednesday; beat FC Dallas, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Never a good turf team, Chivas USA struggled to adapt its possession game to BMO Field and fell to an inspired TFC performance. The Goats rebounded by handily disposing of an FC Dallas squad forced to play a man down.

2 (4). Seattle Sounders (4-2)

Seattle Sounders FC - JPEG      

Last Week: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Chicago Fire on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: With Kasey Keller back in goal and Steve Zakuani in the lineup, the Sounders went back to looking like the powerhouse they were early in the season. Granted, San Jose wasn't the toughest opponent, but a real stiff test awaits on Saturday with a trip to face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.

3 (2). Chicago Fire (2-0-4)

2008_013_2

Last Week: Tied Columbus, 2-2, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Showed great poise to fight back from two goals down, but once-stingy defense continues to be vulnerable. The back-line will need to play much better if the Fire will beat Seattle on Saturday. Will Chris Rolfe remain a sub all year?

4 (6). Real Salt Lake (3-2)

2008_024

Last Week: Beat New England Revolution, 6-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: RSL's dynamic attack simply overwhelmed New England on Saturday. There were set piece goals as well as goals in the run of play. Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales made a strong case for being the best central midfield tandem in the league and Clint Mathis is enjoying a nice renaissance.

5 (8). D.C. United (2-1-3)

2008_017

Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 2-0, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); Beat New York Red Bulls, 3-2, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

Outlook: No Jaime Moreno, no Christian Gomez, no problem. D.C. never stopped pressing against the Red Bulls and its offense still found chances without its two most established playmakers. The defense showed vulnerability, but you can't really complain about a road victory.

6 (3). New England Revolution (2-1-2)

NE Revs  

Last Week: Lost to Real Salt Lake, 6-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Houston Dynamo on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: We know the Revs were missing several key players, including Matt Reis, Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Albright and Gabriel Badilla, but that still doesn't excuse the shellacking they suffered vs. RSL. The normally reliable central midfield was thoroughly outplayed by Real Salt Lake while the back-line suffered on set pieces as well as in open play. Now New England faces a struggling Houston attack that will be coming off a bye.

7 (14). Toronto FC (3-2-2)

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Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 1-0, on Wednesday; Beat Kansas City, 1-0, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook:John Carver's resignation came as a surprise, but Toronto FC's play under interim head coach Chris Cummins has been stellar. The once-fault back-line is suddenly limiting chances while the midfield is starting to play up to its potential. Throw in Danny Dichio's sudden boost in form and Toronto finds itself in first place with a home date vs. Columbus to come.

8 (5). Kansas City Wizards (3-3-1)

Kc_wizards_logo

Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Wednesday; lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Sunday.

This Week: Bye week

Outlook: First, the Wizards failed to score more than a PK goal despite being a man up for 88 minutes vs. the Red Bulls, then they failed to score a goal against Toronto FC. The bye week should give head coach Curt Onalfo some time to try and fix the suddenly fault attack.

9 (7). Colorado Rapids (2-2-2)

2008_015_3 

Last Week: Tied Los Angeles, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Showed good creativity in scoring lone goal vs. LA, but scoring one goal against the Galaxy's suspect defense isn't good enough. At least not at home. An even tougher test awaits in arch-rival Real Salt Lake.

10 (10). Houston Dynamo (1-2-2)

2008_019_2 

Last Week: Bye

This Week: at New England Revolution on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: The Dynamo scored a win before the bye and will now travel East to take on a wounded Revs team coming off an embarrassing defeat. Can the Houston attack start creating some chances in bunches? And is the defense really ready to start posting shutouts like last year's D?

11 (12).  Columbus Crew (0-2-4)

2008_016_2

Last Week: Tied Chicago Fire, 2-2, on Saturday.

This Week: at Toronto FC on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: The Crew just can't catch a break. A suspect red card issued to Gino Padula opened the door for the Chicago Fire to battle back from two goals down. As tough as that result was to take, it can't be ignored that Columbus is playing much better than it was earlier in the season. Beating a suddenly-hot Toronto FC squad at BMO Field will be a tall order.

12 (9). New York Red Bulls (1-4-2)

Red_bulls_logo

Last Week: Lost to Kansas City, 1-0, on Thursday; lost to D.C. United, 3-2, on Sunday.

This Week: at San Jose on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup), at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: A crushing late loss to D.C. United has to shake the Red Bulls' confidence as they head to a West Coast swing. A more favorable schedule lies ahead but the team's defensive woes are very real. A match against Los Angeles could serve as a perfect opportunity to rebound, but the Galaxy needs three points just as desperately as New York does.

13 (13). FC Dallas (1-4-1)

2008_018

Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 2-0, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); Lost to Chivas USA, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)

Outlook: Dallas created some chances vs. Chivas USA, but just couldn't beat Zach Thornton (yes, being a man down didn't help). The defense remains shaky and the offense needs to start holding the ball a bit more to try and limit the pressure the back-line faces. Another road trip won't make things any easier for an FCD team whose attack has underperformed all year.

14 (15). Los Angeles Galaxy (0-1-4)

2008_021_2

Last Week: Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: A point on the road vs. Colorado is nothing to sneeze at, but the Galaxy's offense remains anemic. The return of Edson Buddle should help, as should a visit from the Red Bulls on Saturday. If Bruce Arena's men can't take points from New York, then the season is pretty much a wrap.

15 (11). San Jose Earthquakes (1-3-2)

2008_025_2

Last Week: Lost to Seattle Sounders, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); vs. Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: When your offense can't create chances, and your defense can't stop people, you are doomed. Losing Ryan Cochrane, along with still missing injured defender Jason Hernandez, has the Earthquakes defense looking extremely weak. There isn't much reason to believe San Jose will turn things around vs. Chivas USA.

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

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39 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)

  1. brett says:

    ives- “will chris rolfe remain a sub all year”

    if so then DH needs to go…

    personally ive already started to get frustrated with his tactics when it comes to subbing… he seems to know who to sub, but the timing is SOOOOO poor…

    he tends to wait to late and its reflected in how many LATE chances we get nearing extra time…. Rolfe getting 10Min to play is out of the question… if the offense or defense arent doing their job then changes need to come at the 60th marker

  2. brett says:

    also, i agree with the suspect red card… however, understandable as it look like his cleats were up on the challenge, but i think a bit exaggeration by blanco…

    HOWEVER, there should have been a red card on that LEG BREAKING challenge on Nyarko outside the box in the 2nd half… that was scary

  3. DC Josh says:

    Don’t think the Fire deserve the 3rd spot. RSL deserves it. They were the best team of the week.

  4. Rekro says:

    The 1-1 draw against colorado isn’t really indicative of how LA played on Saturday. To tell you the truth that was probably their best performance of the season.

  5. Jimmy Bobo says:

    I’m just thrilled that FC Dallas are not at the bottom. Our inability to defend is nothing short of scandalous. (Or is it…”shambolic?”). Anyway, I would feel worse if we were at the absolute bottom which is where I think we will be at the end of the season. Man, I can’t wait to say goodbye to Schellas. The only question is when we will pull the plug on this manager. They never should have gotten rid of Morrow.

  6. brant says:

    Brett -
    You’re right, the tackle on Nyarko was worse than the tackle on Blanco.

    However, there should’ve also been a PK awarded to Columbus when Soumare wrapped his arms around Marshall’s waist and threw him down on the corner kick in the first half, which likely would’ve been a yellow card for Soumare, too.
    And Nyarko was clearly offside on Segares’ tying goal in the dying minutes. You could try to claim that Nyarko wasn’t invovled in the play, except that the keeper can’t be expecting Segares to shoot there, and may have cheated toward Nyarko expecting a thru-ball.

  7. Aljarov says:

    “an unimpressive Dallas squad”….They played with 10 men for 65 minutes after Sala was sent off, what exactly did you expect?

    Having TFC in 7th doesn’t make much sense, they have more wins/points than 3 of the teams you placed above them and with 2 wins last week, that 0 and their current 1st place in the East position – should count for more….certainly more than 6:0 thrashed NE.

  8. JoeW says:

    I agree pretty much with what you have here Ives with only two exceptions:
    –I’d rank RSL higher. Right now (based on their dismantling of NE), they’re playing the best soccer in MLS, unless it’s the suddenly recharged Seattle. I see cutting Chivas some slack because of the turf adjustment but they don’t look as good/hot now as they were 2 weeks ago. So for me, RSL would go up at least one slot and arguably occupy the top slot on the basis of a 6-0 pasting of a team that was playing everyone tough and generating good results.
    –I’d probably rank DCU a slot lower. As good as the team looked in the first half, it was against the Red Bulls. I don’t mean that as a slight but it’s like evaluating Colorado against RSL–somehow Salt Lake seems to bring out the best in Colorado so it’s not an accurate evaluation. To-date DCU has played hard and gritty but not brilliantly so I’d have a hard time saying they’re the 5th best team in MLS: Chivas, Seattle, Chicago, RSL, NE and KC have all been more consistent and/or more impressive over the course of this young season.

  9. Charley says:

    agree with Aljarov about the Dallas comment. Dallas had an inspired performance showing complete dominance in the first half, even after Sala was sent off. Really, the scoreline doesn’t do the game justice. The last goal was because we pushed up all but one player on the corner to try and get the goal. I think Dallas is going to be okay this year. Now I don’t know if they will make the playoffs, but they will get better throughout the year.

  10. Jimmie says:

    RSL fan says, “6-0 is still only 3 points.”

    So, lets see what RSL does at C.Rapids. A result will be good. A loss will be bad.

    Is RSL for Real or a yo-yo team?

  11. seven says:

    Dichio hasn’t had “a sudden boost in form”. He’s just on the field now. Cummins has gone to a 4-3-3 which actually makes use of Toronto’s attacking weapons rather than having Barrett isolated by himself up front.

  12. Ives says:

    Fair enough about Dallas Al. They were a man down, something that perhaps was easy to forget as the game went on. That said, I watch Dallas and they just don’t impress me. Their attack shows flashes, but are never consistent enough, 11 men or 10.

    As for Toronto, winning twice is big, and it’s reflected in their huge jump, but it was two home games they won after going four without a win. I jumped them up and dropped the Revs, but in both instances we are talking about one week. You don’t suddenly forget the previous six weeks because of the most recent week. If Toronto keeps it going they’ll move up. It’s as simple as that.

    Lastly, I realize TFC is in first place in the East right now, but they have also played FOUR home games to Chicago’s TWO and New England’s ONE. That does matter.

  13. beckster says:

    Ives, you know I’m a DC United fan but let’s not get carried away here. They looked ok first half and pretty poor second half against, let’s face it, not the league’s powerhouse. They are middle of the pack until they fix that defense.

  14. dcu#10fan says:

    How bad is everyone on the Galaxy not named Landon? Galaxy have six goals, LD has three goals and three assists. They better hope Buddle can add something now that he is returning because Alan Gordon is not getting any better and most of the rest are has beens (Lewis, among others), never weres (too many to name) or could be some days (Gonzalez and Delagarza).

    Great to see youth with some quality on DCU – really lacking in previous years. Also a nice sign for college soccer given where Pontius, Wallace, Barklage and Jacobson (who barely played in his year in France) last got meaningful minutes. Good combo of drafting, bringing North Americans back from Europe (Jakovic and Jacobson), bringing in some USL groomed help, and a bit of other overseas scouting to renew a team that was drifting and looking old last year.

  15. Chase says:

    Brant,

    That’s a pretty liberal interpretation of the offside rule my friend…

  16. Nick Z says:

    “Dallas had an inspired performance showing complete dominance in the first half”–Charley

    ————

    Okay, it’s official, FC Dallas fans are the most delusional fans in the league. Every week when the rankings come out we have to hear these absurd comments from Dallas fans about how their team was really the better team and didn’t deserve to lose and outplayed their opponent. This happens EVERY WEEK. They “outplayed” Chicago and lost, “outplayed” New England and lost, “outplayed” Toronto FC in Toronto and got the draw, and now they “dominated” Chivas with the man advantage and lost.

    Hey guys, here’s a thought. Maybe your team actually sucks and you’re just too blind to admit it or too clueless about soccer to realize it. (Well, except for you Jimmy Bobo. At least there’s one sensible FC Dallas fan).

  17. Jeff says:

    You definitely have an American perspective in your ranking system. Wins mean everything.

  18. brant says:

    Chase:

    link to offside-ref.co.uk

    The Offside Rule and Offside Trap in Football(Soccer)

    It is not an offence in itself to be in an offside position.

    A player is in an offside position if:
    -he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent

    A player is not in an offside position if:

    -he is in his own half of the field of play
    -he is level with the second last opponent
    -he is level with the last two opponents

    Commiting an Offside Offence
    A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:

    -interfering with play
    -interfering with an opponent
    -gaining an advantage by being in that position
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I’d say he was gaining an advantage.

  19. brett says:

    brant- are you referring to the make-up call after the Nyarko foul?? i remember watching the game and saying “that should have been a foul but it seems the ref gave us a make up call” :D

  20. brett says:

    brant- wasnt that in the 2nd?? if not, then i was thinking of a different call, but i do recall that one as well….

  21. brett says:

    brant- as for your convo about Nyarko being “off sides” on Sega’s goal, he would have been if the shot was blocked… but being offsides and not in a position to alter the goal, block the viewing or even partake in it means he was not offsides….

    as i said, if the ball would have been saved and deflected to Nyarko, then he’d be offsides… but he was NOT a factor in the play..

  22. WK says:

    i’m hoping the Quakes pull a jekyl-hyde thing and rebound against the Goats. bottom is probably where we deserve to be, or just above the Galaxy!

  23. brant says:

    Brett – The Marshall take-down was in the 1st half b/c Columbus was attacking the stage end of the field.

    And in 30 years of playing soccer in 4 countries on 2 continents, I’ve seen that Nyarko/offsides call made pretty much every game that had competent referees (cue screed about MLS refs…)

  24. brett says:

    Nyarko was on the far side of the goal, he wasnt in the play, he wasnt blocking the GK’ers view of the field… he wasnt offsides

    IF the ball would have found its way to him, say a deflection or blocked shot, then yes i’d agree with you… he was offsides on the shot, but not being part of the play or a hindrance he was not offsides

  25. Charley says:

    wow, nick. what’s with the hostility? :)

    I said they dominated the first half, which is true if you look at shots on goal and possession, considering for the last 15 minutes of it, Dallas was down a man, and still getting good shots on goal. Now the second half, they weren’t as good, but they held their own until the defense let up on the first goal, but still fought back pretty tenaciously stretching to get the equalizer.

    It didn’t work out, and we lost. it’s true.

    I’m not saying we aren’t bad, because our defense is pretty awful at times, but I also don’t see teams wanting to play us, because we can be pretty dangerous. The offense has shown some (albeit only glimpses) skill and threat with dvdb on the left and ferreira in the middle.

    we have gotten four points in two games against Ive’s number 7 team.

    Do i think that FCD is better than the team in front of them, yes i do. but once again, I doubt they make the playoffs. I just don’t think that the scoreline shows the way they play.

  26. utePhan says:

    Just an FYI…you have the Red Bulls/San Jose Open Cup match on this week’s schedule, but not the RSL/Seattle match, which takes place tomorrow.

  27. jloome says:

    Although I’d say based on the season to date TFC’s ranking is fair, if you’d actually watched the last two games, the level of dominant play from Toronto suggests to me they’ll be higher than DC and New England shortly.

    And I wouldnt’ hold out hope that Seattle is the “powerhouse” you suggest; being up for teams having bad weeks is one thing. But we’ve seen two out of the last three weeks what happens when they face a side reaching form, and they ain’t exactly deep.

  28. TO says:

    I think he has TFC and DC United in the wrong order. TFC finally figured out its problems and now the talent is starting to shine. Vitti and Dichio should have seen more of the pitch and the 4 3 3 formation has given the mid and forwards the space to creat. When Dero comes back Barrett will have to sit on the bench until Danny comes up lame as his 33 year old body will break down at some point if he continues to play 90 minutes every week. I hope they don’t play Danny during the nutralite games and save him for regular season games only. MLS defences can’t handle the big man he wreaks havoc on them. Go TFC!

  29. C-note says:

    My hope is that this Wednesday as the Fire hosts Club America that Rolfe will start and be so brilliant that coach DH will have to give him more minutes – at the very least to sub him in earlier.
    I agree Fire could be lower on the chart.
    Brett – good and fair points, thats the way to go. “See” you later on Luis’ blog.

  30. Andrew says:

    I dont think you can take much from the RSL vs. NE game. It was just one of those days for each team. Thats what happenes to young and inexperienced teams when sh*t hits the fan.

  31. Bobby says:

    freddie ljungburg and osvaldo alonso are definatly the best midfield tandem in the MLS.

  32. Doug says:

    I am a sounders season ticket holder and huge fan. But while they have the second best record, for the sake of the league I hope they are not the second best team. We deserved to lose against kc as kc was playing some great football and strong d. Chibas owned us and looked like they were playing at a level ahead. All that bs sigi was saying about howthe game would have been different had we scored on montero’s first opportunity does not explain why we could not string passes together which was a failing that followed us into the quakes game last week. I was counting and we did not have more than three straight passes all game. We are not a threat on deadball opportunities as none of our starters, including the two freddies can cross a ball with any pace and have only one target man-jaqua. Our defense squad wide is good but unless we start gelling offensively I expect our record will soon reflect our actual level in the league-middle of the pack and fighting for a playoff position.

  33. aristotle says:

    Let me start by stating that I AM NOT a Dallas fan, in fact I’ve never really cared much for Dallas, ever. So my comments are completely objective.

    Chivas has been the luckiest team in the MLS this season by far. Dallas has been very unlucky and are playing much better than their record. I thought for sure they might beat Chivas this week but had to play with 10 men for most of the game. They played very well against New England in an away game to start the season and were unlucky to not get a tie. They outplayed Toronto in Toronto and barely got a tie. They won 3-2 in their second game against Toronto. They out shot Chicago 20-11 in their season opener. They out shot Chivas 13-8 in their first game against Chivas, but much more importantly, they could have had a 3-0 lead very easily before Chivas made them pay for missing so many good chances. In every game this season they have at the very least been pressing for the equalizer late in the game. They have never been out of a game yet.

    Please. Tell me what is so bad about Dallas? With a little tweaking and an end to their bad luck, this is a MUCH better team than their current record.

  34. alex says:

    As a Toronto fan i can vouch for the fact Dallas outplayed us for the first home game. The second was a little more even.

    I think people who are saying Seattle is over-rated are completely relying on the idea that because they’re new, they can’t be that good.

    Life sucks, but reality is Seattle build a top half MLS squad before they played their first game. They are solid stright through the centre of the park.

  35. Nicole says:

    Your power rankings are just not right down at the bottom.

    The Galaxy are definitely better than Dallas and New York. Dallas is by far the worst team in the league. The Earthquakes are better than Dallas.

    Should be:

    12. Los Angeles Galaxy

    13. New York Red Bulls

    14. San Jose Earthquakes

    15. FC Dallas

  36. JesseMT says:

    Hey Doug -

    While I think you are right to point out the Sounders weaknesses, the rest of the league is just not any better. Chivas is the clear #1 at this point, and everybody is a fair measure back. Even if we lose this weekend, two of our three losses will have been against the top team in each conference, and the third will have been while playing a man down.

    It’s hard not to like the Sounders to rack up the points in May – we play LA, Dallas, Colorado and Columbus. Not exactly the upper echelon of MLS right now, although Colorado on the road will be tough and Columbus should improve.

    As for the bottom four: the order I would go with is New York, San Jose, FC Dallas, LA. At least SJ and FCD have won a match…

  37. Jospeh D'Hippopotamus says:

    New England should be much futher down. They were lucky to get results earlier. RSL is that much better. RBNY is better than you give them credit for. LA’s defense isn’t suspect anymore, it is their offense that is terrible. Arena has turned them into a boring team, bring in Klinsmann.

  38. Jospeh D'Hippopotamus says:

    Also, FCD deserves more credit.

  39. RLW2020 says:

    chicago is stacked this year. its going to be chi-tor east final. look for a few sales at the end of the year tho.