SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Five

BlasPerezFCDallas (GettyImages)

By IVES GALARCEP 

The Montreal Impact saw their dream start to the 2013 MLS season halted by Sporting Kansas City, but that didn’t stop two other teams from continuing impressive runs that few outside of their home markets could have seen coming.

FC Dallas and Chivas USA are two of the hottest teams in the league at the moment, with the Goats running their unbeaten streak to four matches while Dallas improved their record to a league-best 4-1 after edging New England.

The top team in the league, at the moment, is the Los Angeles Galaxy, which remained unbeaten after riding a late Jose Villarreal equalizer to a 2-2 draw vs. Toronto FC. Landon Donovan made his return to action for the Galaxy, which did well to earn a draw in Canada despite missing the services of star striker Robbie Keane.

The New York Red Bulls finally broke through with their first win of the season while Cascadia clubs Portland and Seattle are still in search of their first victories of the 2013 MLS campaign. Portland pulled off yet another second-half comeback, but settled for the draw. The Sounders fell to a short-handed Real Salt Lake side to stay in the Western Conference basement.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week Five:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Five)

1.  LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-0-2)

LA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Toronto FC, 2-2, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Monterrey on Wednesday (CONCACAF);

OUTLOOK- The only remaining unbeaten team in the league, the Galaxy needed a Jose Villarreal equalizer to pull out a draw in Toronto. With Landon Donovan back, the Galaxy are a step closer to full strength, but that may not be enough to beat a tough Monterrey side in CONCACAF Champions League.

————————-

2.  HOUSTON DYNAMO (3-1)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Portland Timbers on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Dynamo tied the league record for longest home unbeaten streak in all competitions (34 matches) with their win vs. San Jose. Giles Barnes was outstanding vs. the Earthquakes and is really rounding into another good threat for Dom Kinnear’s side.

————————-

3. FC DALLAS (4-1)


DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat New England Revolution, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Toronto FC on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another win for a first-place Dallas side that is gaining more confidence every week. The midfield tandem of Andrew Jacobson and Michel are playing very well together, allowing David Ferreira the freedom to create. Kenny Cooper still hasn’t really gotten going yet, but with Blas Perez back, FC Dallas could keep their hot streak going into the summer.

————————-

 
 

4.  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (2-1-2)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK- Beat Montreal Impact, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. D.C. United on Friday.

OUTLOOK- We finally saw the team we were expecting Sporting KC to be when the season began. A stingy defense and a potent attack was on display in Saturday’s win, and it isn’t a surprise that Benny Feilhaber’s best game of the season sparked the turnaround.

————————-

5. MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK-  Lost to Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye.

OUTLOOK- Thoroughly outplayed in their first loss of the season. They clearly missed Alessandro Nesta, but their inability to create chances against Sporting KC makes you wonder just how close they truly are to being among the elite teams in the league. The bye week should help one of the league’s older teams recuperate.

————————-

6. CHIVAS USA (3-1-1)

CHV_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye.

OUTLOOK- The Goats are for real. Their free-flowing attacking soccer keeps pressure on teams and keeps opponents from being able to really go after Chivas USA’s defense. Bobby Burling has quietly put together an outstanding first month, with Edgar Mejia another pleasant surprise. The bye week comes at a good time considering Juan Agudelo’s hamstring injury, though you just know Jose Luis Sanchez Sola would rather keep playing.

————————-

7. REAL SALT LAKE (2-2-1)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Seattle Sounders, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- No Alvaro Saborio or Javier Morales in the starting lineup? No problem. Luis Gil and rookie Devon Sandoval filled in admirably against a struggling Seattle side. Tony Beltran turned in a quality showing, reminding us why Jurgen Klinsmann thought enough of him to bring him in for the recent World Cup qualifiers.

————————-

8. COLUMBUS CREW (2-1-1)

CLB_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Bye Week

THIS WEEK- vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- A week off can only help the Crew, as they regroup heading into a winnable home game against the Philadelphia Union.

————————-

9. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-2-1)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Houston Dynamo, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- It was probably too much to ask a makeshift Earthquakes lineup to go to BBVA Compass Stadium and snap Houston’s record unbeaten streak at home, but it was still a pretty flat performance from a team clearly missing starters like Steven Lenhart, Steven Beitashour and Alan Gordon.

————————-

10. NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-2-2)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Philadelphia Union, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Chicago Fire on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- Thierry Henry played the role of super sub to deliver the Red Bulls their first win of the season. Puguy Luyindola earned the assist on Henry’s game-winner, but what Red Bulls fans will remember from him that game is the number of wasted chances he squandered. Kudos to Tim Cahill for battling through injury to play vs. the Union. Next up is a winnable road game against a struggling Chicago Fire team, though the Red Bulls have traditionally struggled at Toyota Park.

————————-

11. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-2)


WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK- Lost to Chivas USA, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Whitecaps saw their defense ripped apart on the counter in the first half against Chivas USA, and their offense really didn’t get going until the second half. Rookies Erik Hurtado and Kekuta Manneh are serious speedsters, but it was Darren Mattocks who failed to show much in a match he should have been able to make more of a mark in.

————————-

12.  PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-2)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to New York Red Bulls, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Columbus Crew on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Union never posed much of a threat to the Red Bulls, aside from Conor Casey’s second-half header, and you couldn’t help but wonder whether newly-acquired Brazilian Kleberson will have to wait long to be plugged into the starting lineup. The midfield is lacking some spark, and some bit and the former Manchester United midfielder should be able to upgrade the middle.

———————–

13. TORONTO FC (1-2-1)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-2, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- TFC’s offense looked good in testing the Galaxy’s defense, but the defense showed vulnerabilities that make you wonder whether Ryan Nelsen will need to do some shopping this summer to bring the Toronto defense up to a playoff level.

————————-

14. D.C. UNITED (1-2-1)

DCU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Bye Week

THIS WEEK- at Sporting Kansas City on Friday.

OUTLOOK- A week off should help D.C. heading into a very tough Eastern Conference clash vs. Sporting KC. Bill Hamid’s form has been outstanding the first month of the season, but it is the D.C. attack that Ben Olsen will have worked on closely during the bye week.

————————-

15. PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-1-3)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Colorado Rapids, 2-2, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another slow start, another halftime deficit and another second-half rally. The Timbers are showing tremendous heart to keep fighting back, but Caleb Porter has to be fed up with the first-half breakdowns that keep putting his team in early holes. A road point is a positive though, as is receiving the team’s first penalty kick since 2011. Given some of the clear penalties they have been denied it’s safe to say they aren’t going to complain about how soft the PK awarded vs. Colorado was.

————————-

16. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-3-1)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Real Salt Lake, 2-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Santos Laguna on Tuesday (CONCACAF);

OUTLOOK- What is going on with the Sounders? They just aren’t playing as a cohesive unit, and their defense is showing some signs of vulnerability. The offense has too much talent to keep on struggling, but that back-line could wind up being the team’s Achilles heel in the long run.

————————-

17. (17) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-2-1)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye.

OUTLOOK- The Res are making games ugly, and their defense is holding up well, but until their offense starts generating serious chances and converting them, new England will stay near the bottom of the East standings. A week off, and a week closer to getting Saer Sene back can’t hurt. One of the few bright spots continues to be Andrew Farrell, who is playing some of the best and steadiest right back in MLS.

————————- 

18. COLORADO RAPIDS (0-3-2)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Portland Timbers, 2-2, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown continued to look good as Rapids rookies, but the team’s plethora of injuries has them struggling early. Oscar Pareja’s side does have a gripe on the soft penalty awarded to Portland, but you can also make the argument that Atiba Harris should have been smarter and not gone for the no-look side volley clearance attempt in the penalty area. Having homegrown player Shane O’Neill make his starting debut for the Rapids was a significant milestone even if he is probably still in need of some seasoning.

————————-

19. CHICAGO FIRE (0-3-1)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Bye Week.

THIS WEEK- vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- Frank Klopas probably spent the bye week searching the want adds for forwards, though given the team’s recent defensive struggles, having another week for Arne Friedrich to heal had to be a welcome relief. Having Sean Johnson back from international duty is a plus as well.

————————-

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

36 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Five

  1. Old School says:

    With the parity in our league, it’s really hard to rate these clubs from a week to week basis.

    You’re a braver man than I, Ives/staff.

  2. tippos says:

    Montreal’s old legs probably haven’t been helped playing 4 of their first 5 on turf.

  3. D.C. Fan says:

    I must be in denial or shock, cuz I had no idea we sucked! i need to pay more attention….

    • ed - houston says:

      You all can right a few things if you beat SKC on Friday. I will be rooting for you all.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      You should know by now that Ives is a big ole Red Bull fan, and as such he can’t help but let some of that DC hatred creep into his ratings. I am not saying we are setting the world on fire right now, but Ives seems to consistently rate DC lower than anyone else.

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        As much as it’s dumb and tiresome to say this over and over, I’ll say it one more time. I have never been, nor am I now a Red Bulls fan. Why exactly should D.C. United be rated any higher, least of all higher than the Red Bulls considering the Red Bulls thoroughly outplayed them the last time the teams met? When D.C. does something to merit a higher rating they will get one.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          I’m not saying you are biased, I will say we have the same talented squad minus Najar that beat Red Bulls last year and went deep in the playoffs, our current records are practically the same (points baby, they are one point up), we are poised, I think, for a turn around (i believe both teams have good coaches capable of such), and that was an away game.

          i think the two teams are closer in power than the rankings show and than the last game against each other showed (more like their records, and the game was an AWAY DRAW for DCU and a home draw for NY). That said, parity means the teams could all be really close, but somebody has to be 14 and somebody has to be 10). right now the table says they are one point away from each other with the red bulls a game more played, and both teams are underperforming for their potential.

          • ThaDeuce says:

            and obviously both teams’ rankings are further diminished by their under performances and the rise of teams like Chivas. holy cow we were wrong about Chivas!

        • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

          1. OK Sorry, my mistake.
          2. Schedule Strength. DC has played 3 playoff teams and the team that they eliminated from the playoffs in last year’s penultimate game.

    • Aaron says:

      It’s denial.

  4. Big Chil says:

    Rapids start has been a tough one. For the most part, have dominated opponents on possession, and have scored first in all but one game. We should get our first win v. RSL this week, after the way we handled them in the 1-1 draw in Utah. We’ll be climbing the table & rankings soon enough.

    • timothy says:

      I’m not so optimistic and wouldn’t say we’ve dominated possession. But there are signs that they’ll improve as long as they can keep Harris off the pitch

    • Zac says:

      You’re out of your mind if you’re counting on a win against RSL this weekend. You had chances in the first game of the RMC, but only because RSL’s defenders found themselves out of position too often. Borchers is back to command the back line and our guys are finally getting healthy again. I expect RSL to take it to the Rapids and put them right back into their (losing) place in the Rocky Mountain pecking order.

    • Neruda says:

      Crapids? I think not. RSL will not make same mistakes as they did I first game and expect them to test Irwin a lot.

    • Big Chil says:

      Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnd the Rapids won, 1-0.

  5. crockshot says:

    after the last two seasons when houston languished in the middle-tier for most of the season, i feel a bit uneasy about actually being in the top so far with power rankings.

    • ed - houston says:

      Yeah me too but our goal should be the SS. I know MLS cup is the ultuimate goal but a SS or US open cup would be nice as a first time throphy.

      • Falsify says:

        I’d rather Houston be at the top. Nothing more annoying than losing to a mid-tier team in the conference final. :-\

  6. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    id say its more our centre mids/maybe one of our fullbacks that are currently our (TFCs) weakness, suspect that Cesar being out allows for us to move someone more qualified back in

  7. TFC OZZ - Disgruntled TFC Fan says:

    TFC’s defense did look weak. I was pretty shocked at how many chances LA were able to get, simply because defenders were not properly marking people at the top of the box. There was a large “hole” at just inside the 18, and that simply can’t happen.

    I too, agree that the offense looked strong. There was some unnecessary passing, but I am definitely looking forward to the Dichio/Earnshaw tandem up front.

  8. PD says:

    I had a feeling that once Philly started facing teams that are stronger that we would see more of this kind of performance. They really need a string puller (will this be Kleberson?) and a real steady #1 before we can start to take them seriously for a playoff run. I know that age is cited, but I simply do not see Marfan or McMath growing into the kind of player that this squad needs. I really hope it happens soon, but until then this is still an incomplete team, even though there are some impressive pieces collected.

  9. Charles says:

    I think you have Chivas and Seattle backward. Seattle is 3-1-1 and ranked 6th.

  10. Steve says:

    Does anyone else prefer “Win – Draw – Loss” to “Win – Loss – Draw?” Am I alone?

  11. Rex says:

    As a dynamo fan, I am happy to see them at #2, but I don’t think they are that good yet. You noted Dynamo ‘s record at home, but you must also note that they have played all but one of their games at home. If they had played 2 home 2 away and were 2-2 would you still have them at #2?

    • G. Bean says:

      Usually when Houston reaches this position in the rankings it takes a swan dive rather quickly. This may finally be a SS winning team.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Rex, there are a lot of underachieving teams early in the season and right now, for my money, Houston is No. 2 in the bunch. You say they aren’t “That good” yet. I say not many teams in MLS are really that good yet. The next month should help bring some balance to things and really tell us where teams are going to wind up.

  12. dan says:

    Leonardo is killing me, hopefully Meyer starts when he is fit. Without our defensive brief lapses that have cost crucial goals the galaxy would have a perfect record

  13. Shane says:

    The penalty given to Portland was a make-up call for the even softer PK given to Colorado earlier in the match

  14. Ceez says:

    Where are the “this week (last week)” numbers?