SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

SportingKCCelebration (Getty)

There is a new team atop the SBI MLS Power Rankings, and it's a team that knows what it feels like to be in the top spot.

Sporting Kansas City has edged past the San Jose Earthquakes for the No. 1 spot after posting their third straight league win with a road shutout against Toronto FC. The newly-crowned U.S. Open Cup champions will have the credentials tested quickly though, with a showdown against the New York Red Bulls awaiting on Sunday with first place in the East on the line.

Three teams continuing to climb up the rankings are the Chicago Fire, Montreal Impact and FC Dallas. All three are a combined 9-0-1 in the month of August, with the Fire riding their recent winning streak to within grasp of the top teams in the East. Montreal and FC Dallas have both revived their playoff lives with their unbeaten streaks, making the races in the East and West that much more interesting.

The bottom of the standings hasn't changed, with the Portland Timbers still rooted to the basement after seeing their winless streak extended to eight matches.

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


SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 24)

1. (Last week – 2) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (14-7-4, 46 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Beat Toronto FC, 1-0, last Saturday

This week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

Outlook: Held on to first place in the East, and moved into the top spot here, thanks to Kei Kamara's winning goal. The Kamara-Teal Bunbury partnership is really blossoming, while the defense continues to play well. The back-line faces a stiff test in Sunday's showdown vs. the high-powered Red Bulls.

————————-

2. (1) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (14-6-5, 47 points)

SJ_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost at Montreal, 3-1, last Saturday.

This week: vs. Colorado on Saturday.

Outlook: The Western Conference leaders are still in first place, but their starting to look vulnerable. Luckily for them, they are hitting a rather reasonable portion of their schedule. They need Chris Wondolowski to take charge of an attack that has struggled to generate consistent offense lately.

————————-

3. (4) NEW YORK RED BULLS (13-7-5, 44 points)

NY_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Portland, 3-2, last Sunday.

This week: at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Outlook: A major confidence-building comeback for the Red Bulls, and an encouraging performance from suddenly surging Jan Gunnar Solli. With Bill Gaudette looking sharp in goal, the Red Bulls stand poised to provide a serious test for Sporting Kansas City as the East powers prepare to meet three times in the next seven weeks.

————————-

4. (3) HOUSTON DYNAMO (11-6-8, 41 points)

HOU_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Columbus, 2-2, last Sunday.

This Week: Tonight vs. CF FAS (CONCACAF), on Saturday vs. Toronto FC

Outlook: Dropped points at home for the first time in six weeks, but the Dynamo did look good battling for a draw. They will have their depth, and endurance, tested as they kick off their CONCACAF Champions League campaign.

————————-

5. (6) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-6-7, 40 points)

SEA_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Vancouver, 2-0, last Saturday.

This week: at Chivas USA on Saturday

Outlook: Osvaldo Alonso put in another outstanding effort in midfield to propel the Sounders to within range of RSL for second place in the West. Eddie Johnson found the net again, but he also missed a few easy ones. The surging Sounders had better be careful because Chivas USA is a tricky opponent sure to give them trouble.

————————-

6. (8) CHICAGO FIRE (12-7-5, 41 points)

CHI_primary_COL

Last week: Beat New England, 2-1, last Saturday.

This week: at D.C. United on Sunday

Outlook: A 3-0 record in the month of August has propelled the Fire into position to take a shot at first place in the East. Tonight the Fire can not only move closer to a top three spot in the East, they could knock rival D.C. United out of their own playoff spot.

————————-

7. (7) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (11-11-4, 37 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week : Tied Columbus, 1-1, last Wednesday.

This week:  vs. Metapan on Thursday (CONCACAF), vs. FC Dallas on Sunday.

Outlook: Definitely missed Landon Donovan during their road draw at Columbus, but some extra time off should help them in a very intriguing showdown vs. surging FC Dallas in what should be an exciting and wide-open match.

————————-

8. (5) REAL SALT LAKE (13-10-3, 42 points)

RSL_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to FC Dallas, 2-0, last Sunday.

This week: Beat Tauro FC, 2-0, on Tuesday (CONCACAF), at Philadelphia on Friday.

Outlook: Recorded a sorely-needed victory on Tuesday night against Tauro, snapping a four-match losing streak in all competitions. Paulo Jr. gave the offense some energy it has been lacking in recent weeks, and his performance just might start to wake up some of the team's other mis-firing attacking players. They will have to battle fatigue on Friday, playing with just three days rest.

————————-

9. (9) D.C. UNITED (11-8-4, 37 points)

DCU_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Philadelphia, 1-1, last Sunday.

This week: vs. Chicago tonight, at Montreal on Saturday.

Outlook: It is easy to look at D.C.'s recent struggles and think about the team's late-season slide a year ago. That cost them a playoff berth then, and just might do the same now if Ben Olsen's team doesn't wake up and start winning. If they are not careful they could drop a two-loss week this week and tumble several points out of a playoff spot.

————————-

10. (10) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (10-9-7, 37 points)

WhitecapsLogo

Last week : Lost to FC Dallas, 2-1 last Wednesday, lost to Seattle, 2-0, last Saturday.

This week: vs. Portland on Saturday.

————————-

11. (12) MONTREAL IMPACT (11-13-3, 33 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Beat San Jose, 3-1, last Saturday.

This week: vs. D.C. United on Saturday.

————————-

12. (13) FC DALLAS (8-11-8, 32 points)

DAL_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Vancouver, 2-0, last Wednesday, beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, last Saturday.

This week: at Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.

————————-

13. (11) COLUMBUS CREW (8-8-6, 28 points)

CLB_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied LA Galaxy, 1-1, last Wednesday, tied Houston, 2-2, last Sunday.

This week: vs. Toronto FC tonight, vs. New England on Saturday.

————————-

14. (16) CHIVAS USA (7-9-6, 27 points)

CHV_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, last Saturday.

This week: vs. Seattle on Saturday.

————————-

15. (14) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-12-3, 24 points)

UNI_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied D.C. United, 1-1, last Sunday.

This week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Friday night.

————————-

16. (15) COLORADO RAPIDS (8-15-2, 26 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week : Tied Chivas USA, 1-1, last Saturday

This week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

————————-

 

17. (17) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (6-13-5, 23 points)

NE_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to the Chicago Fire, 2-1, last Saturday.

This week: at Columbus Crew on Saturday.

————————-

18. (18) TORONTO FC (5-14-5, 19 points)

TOR_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Portland, 2-2, last Wednesday, lost to Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, last Saturday.

This week: at Columbus Crew tonight, at Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Outlook: Paul Mariner has learned the hard way that TFC's roster just wasn't good enough to really turn things around in a hurry. There remain some positive signs, like the continued improvement of rookie Luis Silva, and the impressive debut of centerback Darren O'Dea, but it is safe to say the remains games of the season will be nothing more than audition process for 2013. That's even with Champions League still to play (because let's face it, beating out Santos Laguna in their group will be all but impossible).

————————-

19. (19) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-13-6, 20 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Tied Toronto FC, 2-2, last Wednesday; lost to New York Red Bulls, 3-2, last Sunday.

This week: vs. Vancouver on Saturday.

Outlook: It is tough to look at bright sides in an eight-match winless run, particularly after blowing a two-goal lead in Sunday's loss but Portland fans can take some solace in the play of Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe, two players who figure to  be parts of the team's rebuilding process. 

———————

What do you think of this week's rankings? Agree with Sporting Kansas City being in the top spot? Who do you think is ranked too low? Who is ranked too high?

Share your thoughts below.

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

5 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

  1. Carl says:

    Columbus should be higher, @ 11. They’ve played 5 fewer games than Montreal and only trail them by 5 points. At their rate of over 1 point per game they’re better in the standings, and they’ve just added DP Higuain and are playing well.

    Other than that, rankings look good.

  2. Carl says:

    Good point Carl. You were right. After tonight’s win Crew now have 33 points, 3 back of Montreal with FOUR games in hand.

  3. lem says:

    What a joke.

  4. hogatroge says:

    As a Dynamo fan, I agree. Columbus looked sharp.

    As a Montreal anti-fan, I’m confident the Crew will overtake the Quebecois for the last playoff slot.

  5. Ceez says:

    San Jose’s outlook…

    THEY’RE vs. THEIR vs. THERE!! Come on, writers! Fundamentals!

    Ok. I’m done.