SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

DCGoal (Getty Images)

D.C. United has perched themselves atop the Eastern Conference standings, and as a result, the club is at its highest spot of the season in the SBI MLS Power Rankings.

D.C. is up to No. 2 after finishing off a three-win home stand over the weekend, but the team was not the highest riser of the week. The Columbus Crew shot up seven spots to No. 8 after a tremendous week, which included a landmark victory in Seattle over the Sounders and another win over the Chicago Fire to punctuate their five-game unbeaten stretch with six points.

Real Salt Lake still hold down the top spot entering the international break, while the Sounders have suffered a dip in form and as a result have dipped a bit in the rankings as well.

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


SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 12)

1. (Last week — 1) REAL SALT LAKE (9-3-2, 29 points)

RSL_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat FC Dallas 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m.

Outlook: Alvaro Saborio and Nat Borchers made sure that not having Nick Rimando or Kyle Beckerman available did not hold RSL back, with their heroics accounting for the club's goals in a wild win over FC Dallas. After losing consecutive games to Sporting Kansas City and San Jose, RSL have responded with a six-game unbeaten run and currently sit in pole position for the Supporters' Shield.

2. (5) D.C. UNITED (8-4-3, 27 points)

DCU_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat New England 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m.

Outlook: D.C. has been able to keep winning despite a rash of injuries, and getting balanced contributions across the roster is a big reason why the club is currently in first place in the East. Maicon Santos' winner was his seventh goal of the season, but Branko Boskovic, whose contract is up next month, played a major role in the team's hot start while centerbacks Brandon McDonald and Dejan Jakovic got on the board.

3. (4) NEW YORK RED BULLS (8-3-2, 26 points)

NY_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Chivas USA 1-1 on Wednesday

Next Game: June 17 at Chicago Fire, 5 p.m.

Outlook: The Red Bulls' five-game winning streak is no more after being held to a draw by Chivas USA, but the club still has not lost since bottoming out in D.C. on April 22, and is just a point of United's pace in the East with two games in hand. With stars and starters returning to health, the Red Bulls are set up for a successful summer.

4. (3) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8-3-3, 27 points)

SJ_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Los Angeles 3-2 on Wednesday; Lost to Sporting KC 2-1 on Sunday

Next Game: June 20 at Colorado Rapids, 9:30 p.m.

Outlook: Alan Gordon's heroics could not stretch to a fourth straight game against SKC after a wild stretch in which he singlehandedly saved points for the club in games against Chivas USA, Columbus and Los Angeles. With Chris Wondolowski off on national team duty, Gordon's stepping up certainly helped the club wade through a tough stretch.

5. (T-6) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (8-3-1, 25 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Beat San Jose 2-1 on Sunday

Next Game: June 16 vs. Toronto FC, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: For the first time in a while, Sporting Kansas City got back to playing its brand of soccer. The club looked rejuvenated in its win over San Jose, which put an end to a four-game winless run. Graham Zusi returned from U.S. national team camp like a man on a mission, and Kei Kamara, C.J. Sapong and Aurelien Collin returned to their respective effective forms after a bit of a lull.

6. (2) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (7-3-3, 24 points)

SEA_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Columbus 2-0 on Wednesday; Tied Chivas USA 1-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Montreal Impact, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: What is going on in Seattle? The club fell for the third time at home this season and has not won in four matches despite getting all of its attacking stars — Fredy Montero, Mauro Rosales, Alvaro Fernandez, Eddie Johnson — healthy and playing. Thankfully for the Sounders, David Estrada stepped up again with his equalizer to salvage a point heading into the break, and perhaps the U.S. Open Cup is what the club needs to rediscover its winning ways.

7. (8) HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-3-4, 16 points)

HOU_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Los Angeles 2-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 10 at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m.

Outlook: After falling behind early to the Galaxy and looking a bit lost without Geoff Cameron in the back line, the Dynamo presevered, getting a bit lucky on Mike Magee's own goal, and then going to their bread and butter — set pieces — to find the winner through Andre Hainault. With a 2-0-1 mark at home so far, BBVA Compass Stadium is proving to be quite a comfortable new base.

8. (15) COLUMBUS CREW (5-4-3, 18 points)

CLB_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Seattle 2-0 on Wednesday; Beat Chicago 2-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Finally, the Curse of Sigi is no more. The Crew beat former manager Sigi Schmid for the first time behind Justin Meram and Emilio Renteria, and Renteria and Eddie Gaven stepped up in Saturday's win to keep the Crew unbeaten in five matches and soar up the standings with a six-point haul.

9. (T-6) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-3-4, 19 points)

WhitecapsLogo

Last week: Tied Portland 1-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 10 vs. Houston Dynamo, 7 p.m.

Outlook: A week after missing badly on a handful of chances, rookie Darren Mattocks came through when the Whitecaps needed him to, showing great poise to finish late in Portland and steal a point in their Cascadia Cup match.

10. (10) COLORADO RAPIDS (6-6-1, 19 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week: Beat Montreal 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7 p.m.

Outlook: These Rapids have some fight in them. Despite being down a man after Tyrone Marshall's ejection, Colorado fought back behind the newcomer tandem of Martin Rivero and Jaime Castrillon to snatch some extra points and remain in fourth place in the West.

11. (9) CHICAGO FIRE (5-4-3, 18 points)

CHI_primary_COL

Last week: Beat FC Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday; Lost to Columbus 2-1 on Saturday

Next Game: Saturday at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Fire had a bit of Lady Luck on their side in the mid-week victory over FC Dallas, with Marco Pappa being a good 4-to-5 yards offside when Sebastian Grazzini's penalty kick was stuffed by Kevin Hartman and rebounded right to the Guatemalan for the game winner. The lack of consistency has hurt Chicago, but the club is right in the mix for playoff contention in the East.

12. (12) CHIVAS USA (4-6-3, 15 points)

CHV_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied New York 1-1 on Wednesday; Tied Seattle 1-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m.

Outlook: The two Juans got it done for Chivas, with Pablo Angel making for a memorable return to Red Bull Arena with his highlight-reel goal and Agudelo opening his account for his new club with a tally against the Sounders. The club will undoubtedly be unsatisfied with blowing one-goal leads in both matches, though.

13. (11) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-7-1, 13 points)

NE_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to D.C. United 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: Saturday vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Credit the Revs for battling back from a 2-0 deficit to tie D.C. on the road, but in a way that makes falling on Santos' game-winner even more cruel as the club fell to 1-6-0 away from Gillette Stadium.

14. (13) PORTLAND TIMBERS (3-5-4, 13 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Tied Vancouver 1-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 17 at Los Angeles Galaxy, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Another late-game lead, another blown opportunity for three points, as the Timbers succumbed to a late strike by Mattocks to settle for a home draw against the Whitecaps. The killer instinct and consistent finishing going forward just have not been there for Portland.

15. (14) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-7-3, 12 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Lost to Colorado 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 vs. Seattle Sounders, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Again, Montreal failed to seal a result while playing with a man advantage, wasting a strong performance in the midfield from Patrice Bernier and Felipe and a goal from rookie Andrew Wenger, who made his first career start. The Impact turn their attention to their second home opener, as they are scheduled to play in the renovated Stade Saputo for the first time when they resume the season.

16. (T-16) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-8-2, 11 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to San Jose 3-2 on Wednesday; Lost to Houston 2-1 on Saturday

Next Game: June 17 vs. Portland Timbers, 7 p.m.

Outlook: The Galaxy had a chance to enter the break with a six-point haul, but instead could not hold leads against both versions of the San Jose Earthquakes and are left with even more questions going forward. The home loss to San Jose, in which the club blew a 2-0 lead late, is one that will linger the most.

17. (T-16) FC DALLAS (3-8-4, 13 points)

DAL_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Chicago 2-1 on Wednesday; Lost to RSL 3-2 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Houston Dynamo, 5 p.m. 

Outlook: FCD's season full of injury, suspension and heartbreak continued in spectacular fashion, with a horrendous no-call on Pappa's PK follow-up accounting for the Fire's game-winner, and then twice battling back from one-goal deficits against RSL in the final 15 minutes only to lose in stoppage time.

18. (18) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-7-2, 8 points)

UNI_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Toronto 1-0 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m.

Outlook: Things can't be more restless in Philadelphia, where the club had the dubious distinction of ending Toronto FC's nine-game losing streak to open the season. Third-string goalkeeper Chris Konopka fared well in his spot start, but the defense that just lost centerback rock Danny Califf fell apart late to gift Danny Koevermans the winner.

19. (19) TORONTO FC (1-9-0, 3 points)

 TOR_Primary_COL 

Last week: Beat Philadelphia 1-0 on Saturday

Next Game: June 16 at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: After weeks of heartbreak, the Reds not only won their fourth straight Canadian championship to earn a place in the CONCACAF Champions League, but they won their first league game as well. The club doesn't play for three weeks and resumes with games at Sporting KC and Houston, but for now, there are at least some positive vibes at BMO Field.

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26 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

  1. James says:

    DOWN WITH NOWAK

  2. KevDC says:

    ¡Vamos United! Beat Philly!

  3. DavidKamerun says:

    Remember when Ives said Califf for Lahoud + allocation $ was a good move? I do. Let’s see if this gets deleted.

  4. Neruda says:

    Who’s going to bale on this Galaxy team by years end? I predict Keane for sure and LD will want out while even Arena may be gone too. It’s an exciting train wreck to watch.

    Still LA has the ownership to get back to winning with one check. First a major shake up will have to happen or MLS will add another DP slot, which is unlikely this season.

  5. curmudgeon says:

    I’m a DCU fan, I’m happy to see them doing well, etc. But this ranking, and the #3 they got from the folks at MLS’ website, are both bunk. Are we playing better than most of the teams in the league? Yeah, probably. But except for United’s evisceration of Jersey over a month ago, we have yet to put in a solid performance against one of the better teams in the league? RSL we haven’t played yet; but KC outplayed us, and SJ really outplayed us. Seattle we drew against, but I think that overall they outplayed us (without Rosales).

    Given how we’ve done in recent years, I’m overjoyed with the improvement we’ve made. But I’m not ready to say we’re playing like one of the best teams in the league. We aren’t.

  6. curmudgeon says:

    P.S. Yeah, I know, the power rankings are meant to reflect how things are going *right now*; but really, we have too many issues that need serious work to say that we’re playing *that* well.

  7. matt says:

    It may still turn out to be a good move. Califf on the bench or in a power-struggle with Nowak would not make the Union’s defense any better than it is now, so it’s not like the move made things worse. Also, Ives is not a psychic, sometimes he calls it wrong, just like all sports journalists. No need to be a snarky jerk about it.

  8. elgringorico says:

    It’s been a long time since the KC game. I think that is a really good matchup at this point with DC taking a slight edge. San Jose did indeed absolutely outplay DC, but that is the only time this season we have been clearly outplayed.

  9. hogatroge says:

    Sometimes predictions–even from experts–are wrong.

    If you don’t like it, there are plenty of other inferior websites from which to get your soccer news.

  10. Tyler says:

    If we are playing better than most teams then who are you going to put ahead of us?? The only team I could see is San Jose. Maybe Seattle.. Maybe. SKC has been playing poorly the past month, we split with Houston (and of course, thrashed NYRB). Even if someone was looking for reasons to drop us down their rankings the absolute lowest you could put us would be #5.

  11. DavidKamerun says:

    It’s not Ives that ticks me off so much as the Nowak regime. The trade was (to most Union watchers) plainly 1) political and 2) a really hard sell from a tactical standpoint. Our backline has no height without Califf and Lahoud does nothing to address that (he seems nice and all, but to no one does he start ahead of any of our many other talented midfielders).

    I guess it makes sense that Ives would give Nowak the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard for Union faithful to do so at this point. Sure, it still could work out, but that would be the exception rather than the rule.

    That said, the move DID make things worse. One of the league’s most promising right backs is now a centerback and, his skill and heroics aside, is clearly not being well-used.

  12. DavidKamerun says:

    OK, I admit, that was very BigSoccerish of me. I’m just bitter and lashing out at everyone. I even lectured my dog the other day for half an hour about the importance of consistent lineups.

  13. marco says:

    Sounders problems. Montero and EJ like to play in the same spaces. Although neither are good in the air, Sigi has his attack sending in high crosses which a team like RSL just ate up. Fernandez and Morales are just back and not playing well. RB Johanson is not an improvement over Riley yet. Alonso is the top DM but where is the CAM Sigi?

  14. JJ says:

    I don’t see Montero and EJ playing in the same space much. And EJ’s not good in the air? You’re nuts. He wins most 50/50′s and is the only Sounder fwd to ever do so. He has shown this in every game with exception to the RSL game. The problem is that the rest of the team doesn’t know how to run on to the headers.

    I believe the biggest issue is sticking with Rosales and Fernandez even though their form has obviously dipped since coming back from injury.

    A lot of minutes on recently healed bodies does not often equal success.

    Also, if we got a “CAM” he would definitely occupy the same space as Montero. A CAM is not the answer. The answer is getting rest and fully healed and then back in form. We have all the pieces to succeed. Although, I agree RB has been our position of weekness when we all thought (myself included) that LB would be. Burch has played pretty darn good and Leo has filled in well.

  15. elgringorico says:

    I would put us at 3 behind RSL and San Jose.

  16. MC says:

    I love the blog, but i have to say; where has the proof reading gone? This season in paticular has seen a number of articles with poor grammar/sentence construction and lots of misplaced and mispelled words.
    I really dont remember ever thinking that was an issue in the past, but lately it has made me wonder what’s going on!

  17. JRP says:

    It is so great to see a league with many good teams. Last year at this time there were only three respectable teams (all in the west). This year, there are at twice as many (most from the east). Of course, being from SLC, I hope to see RSL hold the top spot and keep the shield but I recognize that anything can happen. Except for you LA fans. Anything ain’t going to happen.

  18. kris77 says:

    Keane and LD will be gone, but Arena is not going anywhere. He knows this league and soccer way to well to get rid of him for one bad season. He seems pretty close with the owner and I’m sure they both talk about what’s going on. I just don’t see anything happening to him unless he has a couple bad seasons under his belt.

  19. JRP says:

    Your last statement is a question and should end in a question mark. Zing.

  20. elgringorico says:

    Does it really irk you that much? Who cares. This is the internet, not a scientific journal.

  21. Tyler says:

    I agree 100%

  22. curmudgeon says:

    For a power ranking, the thrashing of Jersey was way too long ago. Meanwhile, although we split with Houston, the home match was very close to even while the away match was very much in their favor (we were incredibly lucky not to get spanked). Who would I put ahead of us? RSL. San Jose. KC, who just beat SJ (and bossed most of the match while doing so). Possibly Jersey — I have to think about that some more. Not Seattle right now — I do think they’re a better team than us, but in a power ranking it’s recent results that matter most.

  23. Seriously says:

    Yeah a bit petty, but I’m right there with ya. I said it was a bad move and it will remain a bad move. I’ll be surprised to see Lahoud be more than a bit player in this side. He is not better than anyone on the roster and one of the best CB’s in the league was traded for him. Bad move, Union should have dumped Nowak. He has lost it, this whole year has been a train wreck in philly. I don’t know what happened but he is not where he was back with DCU.

  24. MRJ says:

    Actually, isn’t it an indirect question embedded in a declrative sentence in which case it does not take a question mark? :-). Zing.

  25. ben in el cajon says:

    I predicted that Donovan and Keane would leave once the Galaxy washed out of the champions league. We’ll be lucky to keep Donovan through this season, but Keane will surely leave right after the Euros. There will be no need for a fourth DP.

  26. ben in el cajon says:

    You said it. I’m so depressed. Move Chivas to SD! They won’t do any worse! LA ’till I die (for my sins) or they put a team in San Diego.