SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

Sounders (Getty Images)

The Seattle Sounders are back on top.

On the strength of shutout wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union, Seattle vaulted to the top slot in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings, a position the club held for one week earlier this season. Things are certainly looking up for the Sounders, as Mauro Rosales continues to build toward 90-minute fitness and Alvaro Fernandez nears his return from a quad strain.

Last week's No. 1 side, Sporting Kansas City, dropped to fourth after suffering a 2-0 home loss to the expansion Montreal Impact. With the triumph, Montreal continued its slow but steady climb up the ladder, moving into a tie for the 11th position.

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


SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 9)

1. (Last week — 3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (6-1-1, 19 points)

SEA_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Los Angeles 2-0 on Wednesday; beat Philadelphia 1-0 on Saturday

This week: At Dallas, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Salt Lake, 10 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales grabbed the headlines this week for their offensive exploits, but let's give some credit to the Sounders back line, which strung together back-to-back shutouts despite losing goalkeeper Michael Gspurning to a hip injury midway through Wednesday's win over Los Angeles.

2. (2) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (7-2-1, 22 points)

SJ_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat D.C. United 5-3 on Wednesday; lost to Vancouver 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Chivas USA, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision

Outlook: After exploding for five goals in a midweek win over D.C., San Jose's potent offense couldn't again bail out its defense during Saturday's loss at Vancouver. With another three goals this week, Chris Wondolowski has started building a case for back-to-back MLS Player of the Month honors.

3. (4) REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-1, 22 points)

RSL_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat New England 2-1 on Saturday

This week: At Chicago, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Seattle, 10 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: With Jason Kreis' first-choice starting 11 together for the first time all season, Salt Lake conceded an early goal before rallying to victory behind Alvaro Saborio's brace. On the schedule for next weekend is a highly anticipated playoff rematch against Seattle. Make sure to buckle in for that one.

4. (1) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-2-0, 21 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Lost to Montreal 2-0 on Saturday

This week: At Chicago, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: After looking invincible for seven matches, Kansas City has been brought back to reality, suffering back-to-back losses against teams toiling toward the bottom of the standings. With the offense stalled, might Teal Bunbury return to the starting lineup?

5. (6) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (5-2-2, 17 points)

WhitecapsLogo

Last week: Beat San Jose 2-1 on Saturday

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

Outlook: When substitutes Davide Chiumiento and Eric Hassli combined for the winner against San Jose deep into stoppage time, Vancouver finally saw its ballyhooed offensive depth pay dividends. Jay DeMerit and the Whitecaps back line, however, did well to hold their own against San Jose's prolific attack.

6. (5) D.C. UNITED (5-3-3, 18 points)

DCU_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to San Jose 5-3 on Wednesday; beat Toronto 2-0 on Saturday

This week: At Houston, 4:30 p.m., Saturday, NBC Sports

Outlook: After United's makeshift back line was torn to shreds by San Jose midweek, the unit — including Andy Najar at right back — rebounded with a shutout performance against Toronto. After scoring in back-to-back appearances off the bench, it looks like Designated Player striker Hamdi Salihi is finally getting into a rhythm.

7. (8) NEW YORK RED BULLS (5-3-1, 16 points)

NY_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Los Angeles 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Houston, 7 p.m., Wednesday; at Philadelphia, 12:30 p.m., Sunday, ESPN2, TSN2

Outlook: The Red Bulls, missing a slew of players including Designated Players Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry, traveled across the country to take on the defending MLS Cup champion Galaxy, who rested most of their regulars ahead of the contest. But New York beat the odds, grinding out a 1-0 win. It looks like this team might have some fight after all.

8. (7) HOUSTON DYNAMO (2-2-2, 8 points)

HOU_Primary_COL

Last week: Idle

This week: At New York, 7 p.m., Wednesday; vs. D.C. United, 4:30 p.m., Saturday, NBC Sports

Outlook: After a week off, Houston only has a midweek trip to New York separating it from its long-awaited debut at BBVA Compass Stadium. For the Dynamo, Saturday's home opener against United will be the culmination of years of work for the organization off the field, as well as a welcome return to Houston following a seven-game road trip to start 2012.

9. (11) COLORADO RAPIDS (5-5-0, 15 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week: Lost to New England 2-1 on Wednesday; beat Dallas 2-0 on Sunday

This week: Idle

Outlook: After dropping a midweek contest to New England, Colorado bounced back Sunday, taking advantage of a pair of Dallas red cards to claim three points on the road. With a 45-minute shift against Dallas, striker Conor Casey continued to work his way back from a long-term Achilles injury.

10. (12) CHICAGO FIRE (3-2-2, 11 points)

CHI_primary_COL

Last week: Beat Chivas USA 2-1 on Friday

This week: Vs. Salt Lake, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; Vs. Kansas City, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: After snatching a late win against Chivas thanks to Marco Pappa's dramatic strike, Chicago will now set its sights on back-to-back home games against two of the league's top teams: Salt Lake and Kansas City. It's time to really see what this Fire team is made of.

T-11. (10) FC DALLAS (3-4-3, 12 points)

DAL_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Colorado 2-0 on Sunday

This week: Vs. Seattle, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; at Columbus, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Matters against Colorado on Sunday were already tough with Brek Shea out of the lineup. Tack on first-half red cards to Daniel Hernandez and Blas Perez, and getting a result became a near-impossible task. With a match against Seattle on Wednesday, things hardly get easier for Dallas.

T-11. (14) MONTREAL IMPACT (3-5-2, 11 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Beat Kansas City 2-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Los Angeles, 4 p.m., Saturday, TSN

Outlook: After some growing pains, the Impact have won back-to-back games. Expansion side or not, traveling to Livestrong Sporting Park and securing a shutout win over Kansas City is quite the accomplishment. This week, we'll see if Montreal can make it three in a row with a win at home over the struggling Galaxy.

13. (9) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-5-1, 10 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Seattle 2-0 on Wednesday; lost to New York 1-0 on Saturday

This week: At Montreal, 4 p.m., Saturday, TSN

Outlook: Even after resting the likes of David Beckham and Robbie Keane for a midweek trip to Seattle, the Galaxy still couldn't get anything going against the depleted Red Bulls on Saturday, dropping another home game and walking away from the two-game stretch with no points. Is it officially time to panic?

14. (17) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (3-6-0, 9 points)

NE_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Colorado 2-1 on Wednesday; lost to Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Vancouver, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: After recording a 2-1 win over Colorado on Wednesday, New England looked like it could be in for a banner week when Blake Brettschneider's superb strike gave the club an early lead at Salt Lake. Alas, the Revolution couldn't hold onto the result. But there are signs of encouragement for Jay Heaps' squad.

15. (13) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-5-1, 7 points)

UNI_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Seattle 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. New York, 12:30 p.m., Sunday, ESPN2, TSN2

Outlook: After again getting shut out, the Union have a league-low five goals in eight games played. For as well as goalkeeper Zac MacMath and the Philadelphia defense have played in recent weeks, this team will need to start finding the net if it's going to keep up in the Eastern Conference.

16. (15) CHIVAS USA (3-6-0, 9 points)

CHV_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Chicago 2-1 on Friday

This week: At San Jose, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision

Outlook: The good news for Chivas was that the club, in its fifth game at the Home Depot Center, finally gave the home fans a goal to cheer about. The bad news was that Juan Pablo Angel's penalty kick wasn't enough, as Marco Pappa's stoppage-time tally dropped Chivas to 0-5-0 at home.

17. (16) PORTLAND TIMBERS (2-5-2, 8 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Tied Columbus 0-0 on Saturday

This week: Idle

Outlook: Settling for a scoreless draw at home against a struggling Columbus team was not an acceptable result for the Timbers, who continue to underachieve. Coach John Spencer has tried rolling the dice — he slid captain Jack Jewsbury to right back against the Crew — but not much seems to be working.

18. (18) COLUMBUS CREW (2-4-2, 8 points)

CLB_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Portland 0-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Dallas, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Giving rookie Ethan Finlay just his second start didn't spark the Crew attack, which was shut out for the third time in four games. On the plus side, goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum continues to show well while filling in for the injured Will Hesmer.

19. (19) TORONTO FC (0-8-0, 0 points)

 TOR_Primary_COL 

Last week: Lost to D.C. United 2-0 on Saturday

This week: Idle

Outlook: It's hard to see Toronto as anything other than a lost cause at this point. With eight losses in as many games, including five defeats at BMO Field, Toronto is off to the worst start in league history. And Torsten Frings had to exit Saturday's match with a shoulder injury. Talk about salt in the wound.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Philadelphia Union, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, MLS- Toronto FC, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

  1. James says:

    If Nowak isn’t on the hotseat, he better be soon.

  2. JJ says:

    Defense wins championships …this is Seattle’s year!

  3. GSScasual says:

    Why is houston so high…

  4. Paddy Megroyn says:

    I can’t believe that [insert random MLS team name here] is so [choose one of the following: a)high or b) low]. These rankings are a joke.

  5. Scott says:

    Amen to that!

  6. soccerroo says:

    because they have yet to play a home game and using SKC as an example from last year they could go on a run that would put them up at the top by seasons end.

  7. fischy says:

    Probably due to the proximity to Mexico.

  8. Joe from Philly says:

    Ditto.

  9. The Imperative Voice says:

    The top? Ha. This team is classic post-2007 Dynamo, too much emphasis on defense, make do on offense, do a little summer fiddling, play for road ties, groove into the playoffs with a middling seed and see what happens.

    My concern is if you look at SJ 5-3 over DC and then us 3-2 down to DC, that there’s not enough firepower in town — even with us scoring run of play goals finally — to keep up in more frenetic or competitive games. DC scored on SJ just like us but SJ just kept scoring and scoring.

    The CM situation is unresolved, RM is an increasing concern, we’re too dependent on Davis, and rumors are flying around that Cameron is being scouted for a summer transfer that if true would take the last ounce of competent speed from the defense.

    As always, we’re just kind of muddling through the spring, I’ll be interested how we re-configure in the window.

  10. KC fan says:

    Would rather see Dom Dwyer than Teal Bunbury….but that’s probably just me.

  11. fischy says:

    The MLS schedule — and its impact on the standings — has become silly. I realize it’s warped because MLS is trying not to replicate the insanely long road trip SKC had while waiting for their stadium to open, but how do you compare DC United at #6, with 11 games played, and Houston, at #8, with 6 games played? More to the point, how fair is it that DC gets a much-better rested Houston twice in two weeks? Great stroke of luck that Houston could ride out injuries to Davis and Ashe (and others) while playing so few games, at the same time that DCU was desperately trying to find defenders for its third game in 8 days, and 7 games in 4 weeks?

    Coming into the season, there were all those critics of the unbalanced schedule. The real lack of balance is in how the games are scheduled, not which teams are on the schedule. Yeah, the unbalanced schedule could muck up the Supporters Shield to a degree, if some team from the East sneaks by better Western teams. That doesn’t seem likely. The real competition is for placing within the conferences, and that’s where this messed up scheduling will have huge impact. With no new stadiums debuting next year, I hope the league will do a better job next year.

  12. Ivar Clam man says:

    IT’s just a weekly rundown bro.. It’s not as if Ives still has LA at the top

  13. marco says:

    Toronto’s one bright spot this year is that they beat LA Galaxy in CCL, but that star is dimmer as Galaxy can lose to anyone.

  14. Matt (NEF) says:

    I dont think SSFC should be the top rated club yet. Having played 6 of their 8 matches at home and with San Jose getting alot of points on the road, which is clearly harder than at home.

    Also, Sounders are visiting Dallas (not hosting them) on Wednesday and host Salt Lake on Saturday. If they pick up another 6 points this week, then they definately will be worth putting on top.

  15. Joe Beck says:

    NOWAK OUT

  16. curmudgeon says:

    Why do teams drop in the power rankings when they lose to teams ranked higher than them (and thus that they *should* lose to)? Why do teams rise in the power rankings when they beat teams ranked lower than them (and thus that they *should* beat)?

  17. anon says:

    I’ve never been a Nowak fan – would like to see Philly hire someone like Steve Nicol or Gary Smith.

  18. marco says:

    I agree. If they take these six points then they deserve the top spot. In spite of rumors to the contrary, Sounders have been having problems scoring, not Union-esque, but in bottom half of table. Sigi has been for the most part playing six back, with neither FB’s nor Evans and Alonso going forward much. If they can find some scoring they should contend up until the end.

  19. marco says:

    Note on scoring problems, Injured wingers. Up top, Estrada and EJ have been adequate, with just Montero, player of the week, in poor form.

  20. Ian says:

    …you don’t like the boon-boo-ree?

  21. Seriously says:

    Philly with Stevie Nicol would be a great combo I think. I better front office for Nicol and a very good manager for Philly. I would support that move.

    I never had a problem with Nowak, even when he gutted the team I thought maybe he had a plan, but his changes have not panned out at all. I would much rather see Pajoy ride pine and put Mwanga on the field. At least I know Mwanga is capable of goals. I dont think Pajoy is at this point.

  22. fischy says:

    If that is meant for me — I was referring to MLS standings, not this power ranking.

  23. James says:

    Because it’s a subjective ranking system purely for fun and discussion. Along those lines, how you win/loose is indicative of how good you are at that time. If #1 Seattle beats #19 TFC 1-0 at home with a goal in the 93rd minute after playing horribly, then maybe they loose a spot or two.

    This isn’t the BCS. This is drinking a beer and talking about which teams look the best as of the last week(s).

  24. Air Jordanz says:

    You’re forgetting that Houston shut out SJ.

    I would be sad to see Cameron go, but hopefully it will increase his USMNT prospects to move somewhere more high profile.

    That said, the schedule to date has been very disruptive with all the weeks off and no home games.

    The sky’s not falling yet, dude.

  25. Air Jordanz says:

    Plus, Houston’s played half as many games as a couple of the teams at the top of the standings right now.

  26. SKChad says:

    +1

    Teal continues to struggle and has shown little in reserve games and even less when subbing for CJ

  27. DCUPedro says:

    We (DCU) played Houston with a different backline than we played San Jose (Dudar started, then got injured against Houston; Russell was in his normal position). That game was also a weekend tilt at RFK as opposed to a weekday matchup on the otherside of the country.

    The property of transitivity does not work in sports.

  28. Josh says:

    Relegate Toronto.

    Move San Jose. ;-P

  29. The Imperative Voice says:

    Ah, the Trust Doms have arrived, ready to tell me down is up.

    Funny, but SJ has thrown 3 up on the scoreboard 3 times and 5 once. Golden Boot, 21 GF, top of the West. The implication that because Houston beat SJ in an early season game we are, what, better on the attack? is thus just about self-refuting. We actually have 7 GF and a -1 GD.

    And the bigger concern is how the season is evolving. Realize we ain’t won since March? That shutout you are touting is the last one we had, in March. Since then it’s been 2 goals, 1 goal, 2 goals, 3 goals.

    I understand the conventional wisdom is it’s been a tough endless road trip. The reality is this is not baseball, they come back each week, and they had, what, two weeks’ break at one point? Which actually tends to coincide with struggle instead of us coming back restored. You can’t complain credibly that the road is TOO TOUGH but WE’VE BEEN GIVEN TOO MUCH TIME OFF. Which is it?

    I think one of the key factors is whether Davis is around, totally different team, but the implication of this to me is that the team is understaffed for offense, if one player’s presence is the difference between punchless and being in MLS Cup. Why not have two players like that at least? We’ve resisted signing playmakers and been hard negotiators. Meanwhile it’s the 5th year since the silverware years. We all know that this all coincides with the DeRo/ Clark/ Holden exodus but yet I’m supposed to expect greatness from Watson/ Clark/ Ashe/ etc.? 2+2, man. If we’re going to favor defense this much we have to pitch shutouts; we’re not. At which point I’m like, sign someone to attack DK, give us the chance to win the high scoring games.

    But that would detract from the notion that if we don’t have 2 d-mids and a pile of backs before we sign one decent midfielder, the world would collapse. We’ve become a self-caricature. This team did use to have some offensive talent, most of which is heading up the MLS leaderboard for other teams now.

    Please go look at the standings, see where we rank, then come back and we’ll talk. The SKC example is all well and good but they had offensive punch ready when they came home.

  30. JRP says:

    Right. Haven’t heard that before. Seattle will win all the games that don’t matter. They have hit their best from of 2012 shortly after Concacaf and before the playoffs start. Go Seattle. And if your club and fans know so much about soccer build a stadiums like smaller markets have. Go Sounders! Until it matters most. Then choke, like always.

  31. The Imperative Voice says:

    Not half, 2-4 fewer. If you adjust for points per game — or factor in games in hand, whichever floats your boat — that only moves us past 2-3 teams like Montreal, New England, and Dallas. Still only 1.3 ppg. DC that just beat us has 1.5 ppg. The leaders are over 2.

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    My point would not necessarily be transitive, but that if the Dynamo weren’t content with considering 2 goals a high scoring game like we do now, but were instead like the team that used to score 3, 4, or 5 a game sometimes during the title runs, we’d control our destiny better across a range of games to keep winning. You look at LA and they beat us twice out of the playoffs in three years without a goal scored. Obviously LA is no longer that type of team but to win in the playoffs we need to crack tough defenses and though you don’t have to be the early MLS Crew winning 6-4 I don’t think it could possibly hurt the Dynamo to be the sort of team that can win 5-3 and that doesn’t hit its limit losing 3-2. It’s not transitive so much as sometimes you have to be able to score to win and the games we’ve won were 1-0. That’s a tough ask in the playoffs, when everyone’s good.

  33. Robinswood says:

    Wow. Bitter much?

  34. soccerroo says:

    SKC was hurting for points last year when they finally got to a home game they took off and finished top in the East. Which is what I was talking about. Not that it will happen for Houston but it could

  35. Paddy Megroyn says:

    Wait, where did you get the beer and what’s SBI pouring today?

  36. Robinswood says:

    and pretty much a rotating cast of characters. I’m not sure Seattle has fielded more than 75% of its starting line-up in any game this season. Ej came in late, Fernandez and Rosales have been out.

    By mid-June, this team will be very, very tough to beat.

  37. JRP says:

    I am not bitter. My team’s track record against the Sounders is great. If they are going to be a top team in the league (and they are), act like it and build a soccer stadium. My local high school plays on a soccer only field. With the support Seattle has (ticket & merch sales) they have plenty of cash to build a real unique place to play the greatest sport in the world. Right now Seattle is piggy backing on the pigskin. That ain’t cool. And it is a legit criticism. No matter how you look at it. The owner’s don’t love the game. They love making money off the game. And they are making it hand over fist because they didn’t have to build a stadium like everyone else did.

  38. Rob says:

    PPG is the rational way to compare when unlike number of games have been played.

    With the schedule the way it is, SS gets an asterisk for this year for me. Thus the MLS cup becomes the most important goal for teams.

    Last year the SS indicated the best team over the entire season (Gals) who also happened to be the best team during the playoffs. This year the cup will be supreme.

  39. Rob says:

    Why do birds suddenly appear…

  40. Johnny Ramone says:

    Come on, Toronto….0-34! You can do it!

    It’s your WINTER of discontent!

  41. JJ says:

    CLink is a great fit for a fanbase that keeps growing. We have filled it before and we’ll fill it again. Why restrict ourselves by building a smaller stadium in a different (worse) part of town? Too many positives to move right now.

    1. Best location (there really is no better)
    2. Room for growth / Flexibility
    3. Relatively inexpensive
    4. Modern / Great facility

    And if you say “grass” is the main reason … grass is not worth 100′s of millions of dollars and does not even come close to outweighing the benefits above.

  42. JJ says:

    Plus, the stadium we play in does not decide if we are a top team or not, our record does that.

  43. marco says:

    The bond issue that funded the stadium in Seattle said dual purpose, football and soccer. There is no piggyback. Billionaire Paul Allen reneged on installing grass based solely on the cost of maintaining a grass field.

  44. Cabrito says:

    Quakes beat Seattle………in Seattle.

  45. Kyle says:

    JRP you are ridiculous. Thank goodness you do not run a soccer franchise, considering you think that:
    1. Building a soccer specific stadium automatically makes you successful.
    2. Building a stadium should just happen. It just should. Just do it.

    Seriously? My guess is you have never been to Seattle and don’t understand that the only place they could build a stadium would be far away from downtown. Clearly, that would be a stupid decision at this point to move a four year old team out of the heart of the city and expect that to make them more successful.
    Gotta love it when people simplify things without thinking about the enormous implications of something like building a stadium.

  46. Seattlite says:

    Yeah, I’m sure your local high school’s soccer field has seating capacity for 40,000 for regular league matches, and 70,000 for important matches. Do you even have a basic understanding of stadium construction? Do you know who pays for stadia in general(barring the Columbus)? It’s mostly the city, not the owners. And as a Seattle resident, I can say I’m happy they’re putting CLink to use for what is was build for… Sounders and Seahawks. If you don’t like it, feel free to raise the money to build another 60,000 seat stadium downtown. If you can’t do it, STFU.

  47. Charles says:

    What High School did you go to that would have a better stadium than the greatest in MLS ?

    Wow, impressive high school.

  48. Ivar Clam man says:

    If SSFC were to beat both Dallas and RSL this week,.. all of your heads would explode.

  49. Jim says:

    No, enough thug-ball!

  50. Paul says:

    Montreal is better than Galaxy? I’ll believe it when I see it. They get their shot this weekend.

  51. Todd says:

    Championship or not, Pareja’s style is much more exciting to watch in Colorado.

  52. Chevy Lee says:

    SKC, San Jose, Colorado, FCD should all be bumped a notch for not having a shirt sponsor

  53. CrazyJon85 says:

    is that the ghost of bin laden in the front row???