SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

MLSDB07242011106

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Bye weeks don't get much better than the one the Los Angeles Galaxy just had.

Despite not playing a minute, the Galaxy watched its three chief competitors fail to secure wins while adding Robbie Keane to the fold. Seattle and Dallas each played to draws, and Real Salt Lake fell to Toronto, allowing the Galaxy to fortify their stronghold on the top spot in both the race for the Supporters' Shield and the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

This past week's results didn't offer too much change near the top, although Colorado is lurking on edge of the league's top tier after the team's third consecutive victory.

Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):

SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 22)

1. (Last Week — 1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (13-3-9, 48 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week: Idle

This week: vs. San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Galaxy didn't do a thing but managed to improve their chances after watching Seattle, Dallas and RSL struggle to come up with points. Now with the addition of Keane and no longer having the distraction of the "What's wrong with Juan Pablo Angel?" questions, the Galaxy can look forward — first to their CONCACAF Champions League match on Tuesday and then a California Clasico match with struggling San Jose this weekend.

2. (2) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-5-9, 42 points)

SEA_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Chivas USA, 0-0, on Saturday.

This week: at FC Dallas, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Sounders let a golden opportunity to creep closer to Los Angeles slip away after Alvaro Fernandez couldn't convert an early penalty against the Goats. Having a potential second penalty waved off at the end of the game didn't help Seattle, either. After the Sounders' CCL match, they play in the league's Game of the Week in a high-profile tilt at FC Dallas, with crucial playoff positioning on the line.

3. (3) FC DALLAS (12-6-7, 43 points)

DAL_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Philadelphia, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Seattle, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: FCD let road points slip away by yielding two penalties to the Philadelphia Union and faces a tough but potentially special week. Between going on the road and trying to win on Mexican soil in CCL play on Wednesday (no big deal, never been done by an MLS team before) and then coming home to take on the Sounders, plenty is on the line for one of the league's more consistent units.

4. (5) COLORADO RAPIDS (10-6-10, 40 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week: Beat San Jose, 2-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Chivas USA, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: With another makeshift lineup, Colorado managed to maintain its winning ways and is right on the heels of Seattle and Dallas despite both of those teams having a game in hand on the Rapids. New players are stepping up each game for Colorado, it seems, as Caleb Folan and Jeff Larentowicz did the honors to lift the club to a come-from-behind win in California.

5. (6) COLUMBUS CREW (10-7-7, 37 points)

CLB_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat New England, 3-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: After falling behind the Crew managed three unanswered goals to strengthen their lead atop the Eastern Conference. They can double that lead with a win at home (where they're 7-1-4 this season) or watch it shrink to nothing as the Union come to town for a marquee matchup.

6. (4) REAL SALT LAKE (10-6-6, 36 points)

RSL_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Houston, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The lack of consistency with RSL is somewhat troubling. After looking so good against New York, RSL couldn't put it together against a TFC side that had been leaking goals at an alarming rate. Give Toronto credit for putting together a successful gameplan, and BMO Field can still be a tough place to play for an opponent, but RSL should have done better.

7. (7) PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-5-10, 34 points)

UNI_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: at Columbus, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Freddy Adu era got off to an OK start, with Sebastien Le Toux saving the Union twice from the penalty spot. While Adu gets more acclimated to his new teammates, Philadelphia has a golden chance to reclaim its post atop the conference if it can find a way to earn a road result at first-place Columbus. 

8. (8) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-7-9, 30 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Idle.

This week: vs. Portland, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. D.C. United, 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Galavision.

Outlook: Sporting KC fell behind Houston in the conference standings and trails the Dynamo and Red Bulls each by a point; however, SKC has a game in hand on Houston and two on New York. The club can leapfrog both teams with a landmark week which includes two more home games and one against a team it's trying to fend off in the playoff hunt in D.C. United.

T-9. (9) HOUSTON DYNAMO (7-7-10, 31 points)

HOU_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Portland, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: at New England, 8 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Real Salt Lake, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Based on the early returns, Houston got the better of its recent trade with Portland. Newcomer Adam Moffat's long-distance strike helped the Dynamo top the Timbers and pull even on points with the New York Red Bulls with a game in hand in the race for the Eastern Conference's third automatic playoff bid. Houston's home game with RSL is a big one, but the team will be foolish to overlook the Revs, especially since it has yet to win on the road this season (0-4-7).

T-9. (10) D.C. UNITED (7-6-9, 30 points)

DCU_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Vancouver, 4-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Chicago, 9 p.m., Thursday, ESPN2; at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Galavision.

Outlook: D.C.'s high-octane attack is coming together at the right time. With nine goals in their last three games, United is on a roll and faces two conference foes this week. D.C. has played the fewest games in the conference but has a chance to climb even further up the standings assuming Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius & Co. maintain their form in the final third.

11. (11) CHIVAS USA (7-8-9, 30 points)

CHV_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Seattle, 0-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Colorado, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Goats were perhaps a bit fortunate to walk away from Seattle with a point in tow, but as the club looks forward, it appears more certain that Angel will be looked upon to be the difference that boosts the team forward in its quest for the postseason.

12. (12) NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-13, 31 points)

NY_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Chicago, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: at New England, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: There's only so much Thierry Henry and Joel Lindpere can do at this point. Both continued their strong seasons with impressive goals against the Fire, but the club's leaky defense allowed Chicago to steal a point at Red Bull Arena. One must wonder if the sky-high expectations surrounding the Red Bulls at the season's start fostered a tension-filled environment that the team has been unable to escape.

13. (13) PORTLAND TIMBERS (7-11-5, 26 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Lost to Houston, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Vancouver, 10 p.m., Saturday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: The Timbers face a make-or-break week, as they'll likely either have their slim playoff hopes extinguished or improved based on the results of their two matches. Neither game will be easy, though, as facing a rested SKC team on the road is a challenge, as is a Cascadia Cup rivalry match against fellow expansion side Vancouver.

14. (16) TORONTO FC (4-11-11, 23 points)

 TOR_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Chicago, 7 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Aron Winter, tactical genius? The TFC coach shifted to an unconventional 3-4-3 and managed to hold RSL at bay (even though the visitors spoiled some golden chances) en route to the surprise result of the weekend. TFC faces a stacked week, with a CCL match in Panama and an away MLS match on the docket.

15. (14) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-11-9, 21 points)

NE_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Columbus, 3-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Houston, 8 p.m., Wednesday; vs. New York, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Revs shot themselves in the foot with some shoddy defending after Benny Feilhaber's well-taken opening goal in Columbus and now find themselves with a hill that's likely too steep to climb given the amount of games remaining in the season. Two upcoming games at home are a silver lining and an opportunity for improvement. 

16. (15) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-9-10, 25 points)

SJ_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Colorado, 2-1, on Saturday.

This week: at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Earthquakes let a lead against Colorado slip away and are now winless in 11 straight league matches. The prevailing hope is that incoming Ecuadorean striker Edmundo Zura can inject some life into an attack and team that sorely needs it.

17. (18) CHICAGO FIRE (2-7-14, 20 points)

CHI_primary_COL

Last week: Tied New York, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: vs. D.C. United, 9 p.m., Thursday, ESPN2; vs. Toronto, 7 p.m., Sunday.

Outlook: Credit Chicago for still putting up a fight. Despite playing to its league-high 14th draw, the Fire's attack put the Red Bulls on their heels. Newcomer Sebastian Grazzini scored his first goal, and Dominic Oduro continued his surprising season, but Chicago still hasn't found a way to close out a win and will be hard-pressed to do so against an in-form, motivated D.C. side.

18. (17) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (3-12-9, 18 points)

WhitecapsLogo

Last week: Lost to D.C. United, 4-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Portland, 10 p.m., Saturday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: The Whitecaps turned in a woeful performance at D.C., losing all momentum they had after a stout showing against Chicago the week before. A victory in the Cascadia Cup would help save some face, and that's exactly what Vancouver is going for in its first MLS trip to the Rose City.

This entry was posted in SBI MLS Power Rankings. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

  1. loko says:

    Tim ream is having quite the sophomore slump eh

  2. Poo says:

    yup. it’s all his fault

  3. Naboo says:

    constantly makes mistakes…hope he learns and gets that much better

  4. JoeW says:

    It’s easy to blame Ream for NYRB’s defensive errors but ultimately it’s about a defense that doesn’t work well…where the sum of the parts is greater than the sum of the whole. Taino was supposed to be the answer, then getting McCarty and playing 2 defensive mids in the middle was supposed to be the answer, then a new DP GK.

    As well put together and coherent as last year’s RB side was, this one is more of a bunch of parts that hasn’t coalesced. And for all the glitz and star power, the downside to having 3 DPs is that you have no depth. And this is the time of year when a lack of depth and no more cap room can make teams look bad.

  5. tim says:

    FCD winning in Mex will be huge… reports say UNAM is playing their youth squad. Good time for an MLS team to get a win there.

    Sounders can’t take the heat… and natural grass in THE OVEN. 3 points FCD and back to #2.

  6. Couchtoast says:

    Wow, those opening paragraphs are one pretty nice slap in the face to the Colorado Rapids.

  7. Keep Juninho in LA says:

    I already believe FCD deserves the #2 spot, but this time next week it’ll likely be official.

  8. Keep Juninho in LA says:

    Why? “They’re lurking on the edge of the top tier”? They’re certainly not a top tier team right now.

  9. rlw2020 says:

    i guess “top tier” refers to top 4 teams? .. we all know Ives hates Colorado.

  10. DCUPedro says:

    Obviously I’m partisan on this point, but on current form, I would like DC’s chances against the top teams in MLS right now. They strike me as the type of team that frequently wins MLS cup: middling team that doesn’t need to worry about CONCACAF play in August and September adds some pieces in the middle of the season, builds a chemistry while operating under the radar, and then wins road playoff games with quality goalkeeping and dangerous play from the forward position (see Colorado, RSL)

    Also fitting this bill: Kansas City.

    I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s KC-DCU tilt.

  11. PseudoNEmous Commenter says:

    That’s okay. I hate Colorado too. Getting the Ginger Ninja from NE and also because of the Mullan Mauling.

  12. Poo says:

    The lack of depth isnt due to 3 DPs, more to poor signings/trades.

  13. chris says:

    every body hates colorado get over it

  14. Hopper says:

    Me thinks you dorks are discounting Seattle too easily. They’ve shown this season they know how to win on the road. But I’ve come to expect the nonsensical hating on Seattle that goes on here.

    No doubt Dallas is a really good team, but Seattle’s been proving people wrong all year despite injuries to key players. In any case, it should be a good game.

  15. Will says:

    Not sure we can count on quality GK in the playoffs yet or are a sure bet to make the playoffs. Hamid is still inconsistent and Willis has only played one game.

    That said, we could be a dangerous team if we find a way in

  16. Will says:

    Also, I like KC to win MLS Cup

  17. Neruda says:

    RSL needs one or two more quality players, perhaps another worth-it DP. Kries is squeezing all he can out of his players but with key players missing for so long I’m afraid us RSL fans have to face a reality of a club that doesn’t have the deep pockets to attract big signings.

    Still no excuse for losing to TFC.

  18. Charles says:

    After the CCL games this week, the weekend has Seattle-Dallas and Philly-Columbus….wow.

    Forget work, I can’t wait, after I finish my lunch, I am going down to the stadium.

    SEAAAATTTTLLLLEE..

  19. Keep Juninho in LA says:

    Trust me, young grass Hopper, I have no love for FCD, nor any outrageous hatred for Seattle. I see FCD as an attacking team with a defense problem, and Seattle as defensive team with an attacking problem. I’ll put my money on FCD, but good luck to both teams.

  20. RB says:

    Hate? Who cares. Envy will do that to you. Just as long as everybody continues to underrate Colorado. I mean here we are, 3/4 of the way through the season, and despite umpteen injuries and absences, the Rapids are sitting on 40 pts, better than 14 of the other 17 teams in the league. (You RSL fans want to complain due to games in hand, fine: better than 13 of the other 17 teams, with 1 still pending.)

    Guess all those people saying that that MLS Cup win last year was just a fluke were… well, you know… wrong.

  21. Shake says:

    The trade of De Ro after half a season was absolute madness

  22. Livan says:

    They made enough money with the attendance increase from the CCL run…spend it cheapskates!

  23. philmatt24 says:

    Is it just me, or is it kind of sad that Seattle playing in “the league’s Game of the Week in a high-profile tilt at FC Dallas” is not on television OR available online? I understand spreading the ESPN “Game of the Week” love around the league, and FSC has a good one with the Portland-Vancouver game on Saturday, but I wish that FSC / FS+ would air a couple more MLS games each weekend, rather than just showing replays of old Premiership and Champions League games. It’d be great to have the option to watch SEA-FCD and then POR-VAN, or at least pull up SEA-FCD on my laptop while watching the other match…