SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 7)

Chivas USA (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                             Photo by ISIphotos.com

Don't look now, but here comes the Houston Dynamo.

Okay, so beating an injury-riddled New England team isn't the ultimate proof that Dom Kinnear's squad is back in business, but two straight wins and three straight shutouts should have fans in Houston excited that maybe, just maybe, the Dynamo is ready to rise and be a power in the West again.

Chivas USA continues to set the pace out West, and in MLS overall, with another victory that extended the gap between the Goats and Seattle.

Also on the rise is D.C. United, which posted a second straight comeback victory. That has to give head coach Tom Soehn some satisfaction after fans were calling for his head early in the season.

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


SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 7)

1 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (6-1-1)

2008_014

Last Week: Beat San Jose, 1-0, on Saturday

This Week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Road wins are always valuable, even against a struggling squad like San Jose. Kasey Keller is getting all the buzz but Zach Thornton is right there in the MLS goalkeeper of the year race.

2 (2). Seattle Sounders (4-2-1)

Seattle Sounders FC - JPEG      

Last Week: Tied Chicago, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: Outplayed for most of the night, the Sounders still showed great poise to battle back after Fredy Montero's red card. A return to Qwest Field (for a day game no less) should help the Sounders kick-start a suddenly struggling offense.

3 (3). Chicago Fire (2-0-5)

2008_013_2

Last Week: Tied Seattle Sounders, 1-1,on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Cuauhtemoc Blanco looked like his old dangerous self on Saturday, but the Fire still couldn't finish off its chances in a game it had ever chance to win. The growing question in Fire land is how in the world is Chris Rolfe still on the bench?

4 (5). D.C. United (3-1-3)

2008_017

Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Kansas City on Wednesday (Direct Kick), vs. Toronto FC on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Jaime Moreno dons the Superman cape one more time and delivers a pair of key goals to help D.C. pull off another comeback and move into first place in the East.

5 (9). Colorado Rapids (3-2-2)

2008_015_3 

Last Week: beat Real Salt Lake, 2-0, on Saturday

This Week: Bye Week

Outlook: The Rapids will go into the bye week with some momentum after knocking off Rocky Mountain rival Real Salt Lake and posting their first win in almost a month. Questions remain about the attack, something head coach Gary Smith should look to address during the off week.

6 (4). Real Salt Lake (3-3)

2008_024

Last Week: Lost to Colorado Rapids, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Los Angeles on Wednesday (9pm, Direct Kick); at Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Real Salt Lake apparently used up all its goals in the previous week's drubbing of New England. Losing Jamison Olave to a first-half red card made things tough, but RSL's road woes continue and Jason Kreis' team will continue to be ignored as a serious contender until it shows it can win away from Rio Tinto Stadium.

7 (7). Toronto FC (3-2-3)

2008_026 

Last Week: Tied Columbus, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Out played at home by Columbus on Saturday, particularly in the first half. Chad Barrett finally found a chance even he couldn't squander while Pablo Vitti continues to struggle.

8 (10). Houston Dynamo (2-2-2)

2008_019_2 

Last Week: Beat New England, 2-0, on Sunday

This Week: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday (9pm, ESPN2)

Outlook: Starting to look like the Dynamo of old. Could Stuart Holden be ready to finally break out? A winnable game against struggling FC Dallas squad could help the Dynamo move closer to Chivas and Seattle.

9 (8). Kansas City Wizards (3-3-1)

Kc_wizards_logo

Last Week: Bye week

This Week: vs. D.C. United on Wednesday (8:30pm, Direct Kick); at Columbus Crew (7pm, FSC).

Outlook: The Wizards will have hopefully addressed their struggling offense during the bye week. A tough week lies ahead against a red-hot D.C. United and desperate Columbus Crew.

10 (6). New England Revolution (2-2-2)

NE Revs  

Last Week: Lost to Houston, 2-0, on Sunday.

This Week: at Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Outlook: After overachieving early in the season, the myriad of injuries is finally catching up to the Revs. A draw vs. Chicago is vital to help avoid falling too far behind the pack in the East. Luckily for New England, the Fire is tying EVERYBODY these days.

11 (11).  Columbus Crew (0-2-5)

2008_016_2

Last Week: Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Kansas City Wizards (7pm, FSC).

Outlook: Yes, Columbus is winless, but the Crew has been playing much better in recent weeks and look poised for a breakout.

12 (14). Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1-4)

2008_021_2

Last Week: Beat New York, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday (9pm, Direct Kick), at Seattle Sounders on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura).

Outlook: Yes, the Galaxy deserves credit for having just one loss through six, but the more you watch LA the more you see an old team with seemingly little upside. LA catches a break by facing Seattle without Fredy Montero (red card suspension) but the Galaxy better start finding some attacking options for when Landon Donovan leaves on national team duty in a month.

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

2008_018

Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Houston Dynamo on Saturday (9pm, ESPN2)

Outlook: Schellas Hyndman deserves credit for acknowledging that his squad played poorly vs D.C., but he also shoulders blame for the shoddy defense he came into the season with. There is talent in the attack, but FC Dallas is falling further and further behind the pack in the West as it tries to sort things out.

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

Red_bulls_logo

Last Week: Beat San Jose, 2-1, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); lost to Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Friday (7:30pm, MSG)

Outlook: Coming away from the LA match without a point is devastating for a Red Bulls team desperate to keep pace in the East. At this point, the Red Bulls don't look capable of beating anybody in MLS, well, aside from San Jose, which happens to be next on the schedule. Anything short of a win on Friday and Juan Carlos Osorio will start to feel serious pressure.

15 (15). San Jose Earthquakes (1-3-2)

2008_025_2

Last Week: Lost to New York Red Bulls, 2-1, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); lost to Chivas USA, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls (7:30pm, MSG)

Outlook: What do you get when you take a team that had a weak offense and throw in an injury-plagued defense? You get the Earthquakes, who can thank the Red Bulls and FC Dallas for taking some of the attention away in the race for the league's worst team.

————————-

Some notes on this week's rankings:

Colorado's boost up to No. 5 might seem high but lackluster performances from Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC made it easy to move them up. I'm not sold on the Rapids at all, but they are getting results.

Chicago fans will wonder why the Fire isn't No. 2 after outplaying the Sounders. I said throughout the commentary on Saturday that Chicago was outplaying the Sounders, but the Fire's inability to take advantage of being a man up for an entire half leaves me with far more question marks than does Seattle's lackluster performance BEFORE Montero's red card.

D.C. fans will ask why their team isn't ahead of Chicago despite having more points. Fair question but I think that the two teams are evenly-matched early in the season and D.C. is playing up to its potential while the Fire is nowhere close. Chicago also scored a tie at RFK Stadium.

The bottom three is pretty much equally bad. Any way you want to rank them is fine with me. I gave FC Dallas the nod among that group because it has actually scored some goals lately and has held leads a few times. The Red Bulls were dreadful on Saturday and are only saved from the bottom because of their U.S. Open Cup win at San Jose. Yes, I realize both team fielded reserve sides, but the Red Bulls deserve credit for winning it.

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

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46 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 7)

  1. John says:

    San Jose, New York and Dallas are tied for last. Just admit it. Hell, put Puerto Rico Islanders ahead of all three.

  2. LDQ says:

    The Revs were unbelievably awful this weekend. The game wasn’t even worth watching. Most people were leaving early, i assume to watch more organized football, like at high school game or WPS

  3. Ian says:

    as impressive as Chicago was in the first half against Seattle, zero goals showing for it says it all. Not to mention the 2-0-5 record.

  4. Gary says:

    ives can we start an MLS head coach power ranking? i’d like to see where master tactician osorio places in that.

  5. Rafael says:

    D.C. United is playing better week after week. I like the veteran with youth mix. Watch out for Houston as well.

  6. H Bomb says:

    Pablo Vitti isn’t scoring…But he’s doing anything but struggle

  7. brett says:

    ian- a quarter of an inch to the right and Nyarko would have set the game at 1-0 in the first…. consider yourself lucky to have kept it at 0-0

    …. cant argue with the standings… the fire go up 1-0 with Sounders a man down and we let the game slip through our fingers… AGAIN…. gotta hand it to Sounders for being resilient enough to push forward and still press on the attack…. credit where credit is due…

    The fire need to finish their chances and they need to stop the opposing team from being so wide open… a simple solution is to MARK UP…. our defense simply looks lazy

  8. brett says:

    ian- just realized you could very well be a fire fan, so if that is the case i share your lament at the zero goals in the first…

  9. Turtle says:

    Colorado will make the playoffs. Gary Smith is for real.

  10. kpugs says:

    WOOHOO, STILL CLINGING TO 14!!!!!!!!!

  11. kpugs says:

    Turtle, do you honestly think making the playoffs in MLS is any type of accomplishment? NOT making the playoffs in this league is completely humiliating. So good for you.

  12. seven says:

    H Bomb is right about Vitti. He didn’t have a great game against Columbus, but he was outstanding in the previous 2 games. His lack of goals has more to do with Carver keeping him on the bench.

  13. ELAC says:

    Wow! So much buzz about Chivas USA!! That’s right, the real team in LA is better than most people think.

    Seattle ties against Chicago and everyone gets a boner.

  14. arsenfan says:

    Making the playoffs is now starting to mean something. 8 make it and 7 don’t – if you do make it, you are better than half the teams.

  15. Dave says:

    I have to say, Pablo Vitti struggling? I don’t think so. First of all, all of TFC struggled last game. Secondly, Vitti isn’t really playing as a striker, he plays on the wing most of the time. Thirdly, he’s been playing great, one of the best for TFC recently. There’s more to it then scoring goals.

  16. TFC_4_Life says:

    I agree that Vitti isn’t struggling, his game against Kansas was fantastic. Dave is right to point out he’s playing on the wing, thus giving him less scoring chances then an out and out striker. But one could argue that for his salary of over 300K he prob should produce more.

    I’d give him more time (he’s barely played in MLS) before making any sort of judgement.

  17. DC Josh says:

    The only team that has looked solid and consistent this year is Chivas USA. All the other teams are hot one week and cold another.

    Ives, I don’t think you assumed this much work would be involved with ranking the teams every week!?

    I hope my Black and Red can come away from KC with at least a tie, and healthy. We have some SERIOUS depth this year. Too bad we couldn’t have it last year when it seemed like we had 7 games a week.

    I’m very happy with Pontius and Wallace, two finalists for MLS rookie of the year. The DC United front office does it again.

  18. Looking Dangerous says:

    “D.C. is playing up to its potential while the Fire is nowhere close.”

    You started the year with DC at #13. Sounds like their “potential” has changed.

  19. Salt Laker says:

    You forgot that LA will be playing at RSL on Wednesday before playing Seattle on Sunday. Could be a rough week for them.

  20. einar says:

    ya vitti isnt struggleing and galaxy is playing better than what u think ives. comeing back from losing everytime except for one game is something to say. something your red bulls cant do. Buddle will be solid the next game sinc ehe is almost 100%.

  21. Turtle says:

    Kpugs – yes, I do. See: arsefan’s comment and Colorado’s recent history. Thanks for taking the time to ask :)

  22. guillermo says:

    If showing great poise is getting a fortunate goal on a corner kick that the Fire defense allowed to bounce into the area then I can understand their ranking. Seattle was outplayed the entire night and was fortunate to escape with a point (Sigi and their players admitted as much after the game), they should be ranked #3 behind Chicago at #2.

    How long before Denis Hamlett starts taking some heat for underachieving with the most talented roster in MLS?

  23. Steve says:

    No complaints from this Chicago fan. Still looks like there is tons of potential but after not seeing it delivered on you can start to wonder if things head the other way.

    Especailly in June when SuperLiga and the beginning of the National Team call-ups start to have an effect.

  24. ELAC says:

    RSL?

    Seriously, RSL is good and will get better.

    Mossiyan and Morales are good. Findley can be tough to defend.

    I hope Chivas can pull it out.

  25. Michael F. says:

    As a Red Bulls fan I am offended the Quakes get last billing. That’s should be our permanent spot until we win the title!

  26. Kaiser says:

    I was at the LA-NY game, and though the game wasn’t the best (but it sure was nice to get a win), I was impressed with the way the big rookie, Gonzalez, played on JPA. Granted JPA wasn’t getting the best service, but the kid didn’t back down. Some of Gonzalez’s decisions are still questionable, but he is getting better every game. He’ll be a top notch defender in a couple years. Also Ricketts is so calm and cool in goal. I think that attitude gives his defenders more confidence. They are a mcuh better team with him in goal.

    With all the speed and skill up front, how is NY not scoring goals? They really need an offensive midfielder! Don’t they still have a DP slot they could use?

  27. Ives says:

    About Vitti, I’m a fan and he has shown flashes of the skill expected, but a lot of his sequences are more style than substance. He can make a few good moves, dribble past someone, but then the shot or pass doesn’t come off. No, soccer isn’t just about goals, but until Vitti’s flashes start resulting in goals for either him or his teammates I’m going to say he’s struggling, because he is struggling to make an impact on the scoreboard.

    and Einar, was that dig at the Red Bulls supposed to bother me? I’m not a Red Bulls fan. You can talk about how terrible they are all day, but it really doesn’t mean a thing to me.

    Am I being unfair on LA? Tough to say. What would folks call their best performances of the year? I’ve seen plenty of LA and have yet to come away from any match thinking, “I saw some real signs there of a team that could turn it around and be a factor.”

    And KPugs, I’d say the playoffs mean more in MLS than ever before because unlike a few years ago, when eight of 10 teams got in, you know have seven of 15 teams who WON’T make it. That’s closer to 50 percent, so it does mean a bit more than you realize, or at least it should.

  28. Bootsy says:

    Some DC fans may ask why DC isn’t ahead of Chicago in your rankings, but I’m not one of them. We’ve picked up two comeback victories in the last two weeks — against two of the three worst-performing teams in the league. Including the USOC play-in match against the Metros, DC has six matches in the rest of May, three of which are on the road (and one of those against the mini-Goats) while hosting RSL, which made DC look bad in the second half of their game @RSL.

    We’re playing much better than I’d expected, but I didn’t expect much. This month will tell us a lot about where this team really is.

  29. Ryan G says:

    It’s friggin tough to be a Quakes fan. Not only do they suck, but they are boring as hell.

    God dammit.

  30. Rudy says:

    Ives, how about the fact that L.A. went to Colorado and didn’t get smoked? (Which has been the norm since the Dick opened) They managed a draw with the best team in the league(Chivas) and haven’t had a loss in league play for a while. They aren’t hemmoraging goals like last season either. Not saying they should be any higher in the power rankings or that they’ll even make the playoffs, but you do seem to be selling them a bit short. I’ve seen plenty of improvement.

  31. jh says:

    Even as an FC Dallas fan I was shocked, until I read the ranking post-script, that they weren’t last. They don’t deserve to be anything but last, but you’re point about scoring some goals and holding leads is understood.

    At least San Jose has an excuse (expansion team) and the Red Bulls are only a year removed from the championship game. It SUCKS to be a fan of the red and white.

  32. blag says:

    While I will say Chivas has been the most consistent recently, and deserves the number 1 spot at the moment, I doubt that they will stay up there for too much longer. Look at the teams they beat: Dallas twice, San Jose,Seattle, Colorado and Columbus.
    Nine of their points have been on struggling teams, granted they got the points. Seattle and Colorado are the only two teams I see in that list that have not been in the bottom tier of this season. Columbus has not been bad, but they are struggling to get a win.
    I believe someone else may make a run to take their spot sometime soon, but I can obviously be completely wrong. If they keep their streak going against the higher tier teams, then I will retract this statement.

  33. Michael Vann says:

    Chivas scares me. What Preki can get from is players is amazing. It seems like week in and week out he has a different lineup and a different player who steps up and is the hero. Preki’s got an eye for talent and a gift of getting his players to buy into his system. If you would have told me Chivas would be the best team right now with a subpar Sacha, I would have called you crazy.

  34. rke says:

    > D.C. fans will ask why their team isn’t ahead of Chicago despite having more points.

    No! I like this underdog status. Expect the cup for DC and they’ll disappoint. Expect less and they’ll prove you wrong. :)

    I’m not sure I agree about DC playing up to full potential. They’ve had a lot of presumed starters on the bench, the rookies are constantly getting better and more confident, and they’re playing solid minutes with or without the stars on the pitch. The defense is just starting to click. Plenty of room to improve still, though they are playing well.

    On the other hand, they’ve played some truly awful teams lately. I’m anxious to see them take on Chivas and Seattle.

    As for Chicago not playing near their potential — true enough. But will they? Or are they less than the sum of parts. I still see Chicago falling apart this season.

  35. soccerroo says:

    I have to agree with JH. It sucks not only being a fan or FC Dallas but Red Bulls and San Jose. none of the team areshowing any glimpse that they will overcome the problems they have. Hereis to hoping that FCD can start scoring 4-5 goal a game because that looks to be the only way they can win a game.

  36. EDB says:

    I think chicago should be further down. They can’t win a match..

  37. mEtRo BoY 4eVer! says:

    hey Ives if jco gets fired , would you apply for the position?

  38. Galaxian says:

    I have to agree that Ives and all you guyz are being unfair to LA. No credit for going to Colorado and playing better than them and drawing them while the “powerhouse” RSL is smoked 2-0? No credit for being tactically organized and loosing only 1 game so far? No credit for being undefeated away from home? No credit for tying league leaders Chivas? Come Wednesday LA will beat RSL and all will acknowledge the improvement of the Galaxy!

  39. njfan says:

    juan carlos osorio is jocker ok in spanish payaso,payaso, payaso, RED BULL NO HAVE COACH

  40. sean monaghan says:

    still 2nd in nation

    woot woot

  41. Kosta says:

    Ives, you are right about your defence on vitti struggling, although i don’t think he is struggling. You are right that he is having trouble finishing brilliant sequences. I think think the thing you have to remember is that he has still yet to play a full game on real grass, i’m sure up until the month and a half he has been on turf (only 3 actual games) he has never seen it before, let alone play on it. Other than the narrowly wide placed shot against KC most of his sequences end with him stumbling.

    I have played my whole life and played games on field turf, and it is really different getting your footing. Also, the bmo field turf is horrible, i have played on much better field turf than that. (It really isn’t as good as MLSE would make you think)

    What I am trying to get to here is that next week against DC on real grass Vitti is gonna come out of the gates flying…

  42. Tom says:

    Sounders game is Sunday not Saturday

  43. lou says:

    Ives, Gary had a great idea. No doubt the master mind genius that we all know as JUAN CARLOS OSORIO will be consistently ranked at the top of the MLS coaching power rankings, i mean let’s not forget this is the same man that got us to a mls cup final. long live JCO. I’m glad i’m typing this becuase i couldn’t have said that with a strait face.

  44. TCompton says:

    Personally, I think United is ranked to high (and I’m a United fan). The reason I say this is that our 2 game winning streak has been against two of the leagues worst teams.

    Plus, they were both comeback wins. Had United dominated both games and stayed in the lead, I might think otherwise.

    I guess the real test will be United’s next three games (@Kansas City, Toronto, @Chivas).

  45. Leonardo says:

    from a Chelsea point of view:
    Chicago is waaaay over-rated. D.C. and TFC have more points and therefore should be ranked higher.

    from a Barcelona point of view:
    Seattle should be #1. They have style and pure emotion when they play. it just feels good to watch them.

  46. Toby says:

    The Fire lack the glue that has held them together for much of the past four seasons which has been Chris Rolfe. If you look at the team’s record during his first four seasons, for whatever reason, he makes those around him better and seems to be a major cog in their tactical flow.

    The longer he is out, the more people will wonder about DH’s objectivity and coaching decisions.