SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Seven

FCDallasWins (Getty)

FC Dallas just keeps on rolling and now they have reached the top of the charts after handing the Los Angeles Galaxy their first loss of the season.

Things are certainly breaking FC Dallas’ way on the schedule. The Galaxy rested several starters after their CONCACAF Champions League disappointment, and FC Dallas’ stingy defense made things difficult for Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy.

The second hottest team in MLS just might be the Portland Timbers, who posted their second straight shutout win at home to climb even further up the West standings. Will Johnson’s free kick goal (his third goal in three matches) was a masterpiece and he is looking like a Best XI candidate.

On the other side of the power rankings, we have a new team at the bottom. The Seattle Sounders outplayed New England last weekend, but once again poor finishing did them in and they fell even further back of the pack in the West, with every team in the conference sporting two wins while the Sounders still search for their first win of the season.

Here are the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Seven)

1. (Last week- 5) FC DALLAS (5-1-1)


DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Los Angels Galaxy, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Everything is going right for Dallas (well, except for that bottle-throwing fan). The attack could be a little sharper, but the organized defense is putting the team in good positions to get results every week. The face a struggling Vancouver side next and the offense should be able to find chances.

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2. (2)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-1-2)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK- Bye Week.

THIS WEEK- at New York Red Bulls on Wednesday; at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- A good week of rest should help them as they prepare for a daunting road trip that will see them zig-zag the country. The Red Bulls are no pushover at home while the Galaxy will be eager to get back to winning ways after losing to FC Dallas.

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3. (1)  LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-1-2)

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LAST WEEK- Lost to Monterrey, 1-0, last Wednesday (CONCACAF); lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Nearly came close to earning a road point with several starters resting, but once again the Galaxy fell asleep late and gave up a goal. Omar Gonzalez was the culprit again, losing his mark on George John on the winning goal. Landon Donovan is still shaking the rust off while rookie Greg Cochrane provided a bright spot in the loss. Saturday’s match vs. Sporting KC will offer a good test to see just where the champs are right now.

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4. (6)  HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2)

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LAST WEEK- Beat Chicago Fire last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- at Toronto FC on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Brad Davis was at it again on Saturday, working his magic and helping the Dynamo set a new MLS record for longest home unbeaten streak in all competitions. Winning without Oscar Boniek Garcia was no easy task, but Andrew Driver stepped up admirably to show he is a quality addition. If the Dynamo are going to keep climbing up the standings they will need to show they can win on the road, and TFC will offer a good challenge.

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5. (3) MONTREAL IMPACT (4-1-1)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK-  Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- Bye Week

OUTLOOK- Marco DiVaio has the look of a 20-goal scorer, but the rest of the Montreal attack needs to be able to offer their offense some more versatility. Defensively, they held up relatively well despite being without a starting centerback for yet another match (this time Matteo Ferrari). The week off should help the Impact get healthy and regain the form that got them off to a four-match winning streak to start the season.

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6. (7) PORTLAND TIMBERS (2-1-3)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK- Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- The Timbers are really starting to get a feel for the possession-style system Caleb Porter has implemented, and with their defense coming together, Portland has the makings of a real force. Futty Danso did very well to come off the bench and give the Timbers a solid presence in central defense, where he could wind up holding onto the job alongside Mikael Silvestre, who has rounded into good form after his disastrous debut.

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7. (4) CHIVAS USA (3-2-1)

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LAST WEEK- Lost to Colorado Rapids, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Goats looked flat, and played arguably their worst game of the season (even their season-opening loss to Columbus featured more encouraging soccer). Getting Juan Agudelo back to full health is a key to Chivas USA returning to their best, and their visit to Utah should provide a stiff test for a Chivas USA defense that has been playing surprisingly well.

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8. (9) COLUMBUS CREW (2-1-3)

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LAST WEEK- Tied Montreal Impact, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Chicago Fire on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Credit the Crew for really going after Montreal at Stade Saputo, and generating chances, but a lack of finishing (save for Dom Oduro’s left-footed beauty) cost them the chance for a road victory. Federico Higuain is still a bit hampered but the Crew will need him at his best when they go on the road to take on a Chicago team that showed good signs in their past few matches.

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9. (10) REAL SALT LAKE (2-3-2)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Chivas USA on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Olmes Garcia raised eyebrows with his beautiful goal, but aside from that the RSL attack was relatively disappointing. They held the possession edge against Vancouver, but still managed just four shots on goal. They should be able to find more chances against Chivas USA, but they need to convert them at a higher rate than they have been.

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10. (11)  PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-2-2)

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LAST WEEK- Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at D.C. United on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- The Union thoroughly outplayed Toronto FC, but ran into a hot goalkeeper in Joe Bendik, who kept them from securing their third win of the season. Kleberson showed some positive signs during his cameo appearance, which will make for some interesting decisions for John Hackworth when Kleberson is fully fit and Michael Farfan is back to 100 percent.

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11. (8) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-3-2)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Portland Timbers, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- The Earthquakes looked terrible against Portland, and the way they were dominated in possession makes you wonder if the problems go beyond the injuries they have dealt with. One issue Frank Yallop has to address is the team’s lack of wing depth. The loss of Simon Dawkins, and continued injury absence of Marvin Chavez are clearly limiting the team’s attack. With Chavez and Steven Beitashour set to return, the Earthquakes attack should receive a big boost.

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12. (14) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-3-2)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK- Beat Chivas USA, 1-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another good week for the patchwork collection of youngsters and back-ups who have thrived in the absence of so many injured regulars. Deshorn Brown continues to show why the Rapids made him such a high first-round draft pick, while goalkeeper Clint Irwin turned in another outstanding performance. Saturday’s match vs. Seattle will offer the Rapids a good test because the Sounders will be desperate and their attack seems poised for a breakout.

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13. (12) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-2-2)

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at FC Dallas on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Whitecaps produced more chances than RSL, but still needed a fluky penalty to get on the board. It will be interesting to see how Darren Mattocks responds to being benched. The young Jamaican forward hasn’t had the breakout second season some were expecting from him, but it is still early.

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14. (16) NEW YORK RED BULLS (2-3-2)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat D.C. United, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday; vs. New England Revolution on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- With Thierry Henry back in the fold the Red Bulls attack showed some real life, and the defense turned in a steady effort, albeit against a D.C. side that offered little in the way of attacking threat. Mike Petke’s decision to start Roy Miller was a calculated risk that worked out, but starting him against Sporting KC would be a much riskier proposition.

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15. (13) TORONTO FC (1-2-3)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Philadelphia Union, 1-1, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- Another disappointing display on the road for TFC, but Joe Bendik’s heroics efforts were definitely a big bright spot for a team that just couldn’t do much against a Philadelphia team they had to feel good about beating heading into that match. Robert Earnshaw continues to look like one of the signings of the season, but Toronto’s midfield needs more consistency if Toronto is going to get over the hump.

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16. (15) CHICAGO FIRE (1-4-1)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Houston Dynamo, 2-1, last Sunday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Fire may have lost to the Dynamo, but their overall performance had to be encouraging to Frank Klopas. Chicago really tested Houston and created chances against their stingy home defense. That is a very positive sign for a team with an attack that came into the season with question marks. Arne Friedrich’s absence continues to be a major obstacle, but the Fire defense has started to play better lately in his absence.

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

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Seattle Sounders, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- The Revs were outplayed in Seattle, but should great determination to earn a point, with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth stepping up on several occasions with some big saves. The return of Saer Sene is a major morale boost, but the Revs need him to get fully fit in a hurry so they can field the Sene-Jerry Bengtson forward tandem, which could be a handful for opposing defenses once they get going.

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18. (17) D.C. UNITED (1-4-1)

DCU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to New York Red Bulls, 2-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- vs. Philadelphia Union on Sunday.

OUTLOOK- Another forgettable performance from the D.C. attack has to have Ben Olsen scratching his head as he tries to figure out just where their offense has gone. At what point does Olsen give up the Lionard Pajoy experiment?

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19. (18) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-3-2)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Tied Santos Laguna, 1-1 on Tuesday (CONCACAF); tied New England Revolution, 0-0, last Saturday.

THIS WEEK- at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

OUTLOOK- No, we don’t think the Sounders are the very worst team in MLS, but when you are the only team in the league without a win, and you just dropped points at home to the other team in contention for the last spot in the rankings, you wind up here. The Sounders need Eddie Johnson back, but they also need Steve Zakuani to snap out of his recent funk. Actually, Zakuani is far from alone in needing to snap out of a funk.

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38 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Seven

  1. divers suck says:

    This Seattle fan wholeheartedly agrees with this ranking…If it could go lower, I’d also agree with it! Awful team and barely watchable!

    • bandwagon says:

      Seattle sports fans showing their true colors.

      • Mig says:

        I think it’s fair for a fan to say that their team is horrible and barely watchable. That doesn’t make him less of a supporter.

        Btw, although I’m not a Sounders fan, I happen to disagree that Seattle is that bad. Well, at the moment they are but I see them improving throughout the season.

        • Bo says:

          Weren’t the Galaxy this low last season? I’m not a Seattle fan, but I’m not writing them off yet.

        • dan says:

          I think it’s a good thing when you say your team deserves to be in last and goes against them. You should demand more from your team!

      • Gnarls says:

        More like a Seattle fan showing some honest, reflexive criticism of a team punching way, way below its weight.

  2. Anthony says:

    These power rankings are useless until after the third quarter of the season. It is interesting to see that many MLS clubs are still trying to “find form” 8 weeks into the season. It is going to be an interesting summer.

    • Devin Brown says:

      The Dynamo typically don’t “find form” until after the all-star break, so I don’t see anything wrong with the idea that teams are still feeling things out 8 weeks in. That being said, the Dynamo are off to their best start in… maybe ever?

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        When the Dynamo will have to dig deep is when the callups and then CCL again start hitting. Some players will get called for qualis, some Gold Cup. Then we’ll have to juggle fall CCL games again.

        [The quali issue is also something of general applicability, some teams may have more called than others.]

        We’re getting some forward production but to beat LA and the best we either need a healthy Cummings or something new, and that does not mean Carr recovers. Carr played last final and we lost 3-1.

        • G.Bean says:

          It’s a bit concerning that Weaver is seeing the pitch and Cummings is not even dressing.

          • Hogatroge says:

            Weaver gets an undeserved bad rap. Yeah, he’s slow and he’s skied some shots this season, but he pretty much pulled the Dynamo through the group stage of the CCL singlehandedly, and–when he’s on–has some excellent vision in the box.

            That said, I would like to see a summer forward signed to push both Ching and Weaver lower on the totem pole.

            • G.Bean says:

              Ching is above Weaver for me. When Ching comes on as a sub, he really changes the game for the better, even if its him putting his foot on the ball, or holding up the play. He’s slower then molasses, but he knows where to be.
              I like Weaver, but he hasn’t ever done well for the first team in MLS. He needs to finish his chances when he gets them, and he’d be much more valuable.

              My point though originally was that I had perhaps unrealistic hopes for Cummings, but am a bit skeptical that it’s taken so long to get match fit. Cummings and Ashe had similar surgeries I thought.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              Weaver has a well-deserved reputation based on not having scored a MLS goal since May 2011. He went 0-fer 2012, has gone 0-fer 2013, and before that had nothing after an intial burst of goals in 2011. He has scored some goals in reserves, group play of CCL, and USOC, but that’s the effectiveness of a marginal player.

              My complaint is Weaver and Ching are redundant players of the same type as Bruin who can do little more than add depth. Weaver doesn’t score in MLS, Ching is down to 5 goals a year spot playing, and both these guys were out of contract last offseason. Self-inflicted issue and we both know Kinnear wants to play known veterans over new acquisitions and draft picks.

              My added concern is they are both probably CBA guaranteed which means we either need to work a trade or cut another player not guaranteed — risking depth — to clear room for a forward we maybe should have shopped for in the winter. Put differently, we are stuck with them unless we can work a trade, and I can’t believe Ching gets traded, or that any sensible team trades for Weaver. So we’re stuck in some ways.

        • Hogatroge says:

          Well, we won (and dominated) the part of the final Carr played in 1-0.

          That said, I agree he’s not the answer. He’s just an injury liability and as such can’t be relied upon as a major piece. Plus, he’s not exactly young.

          I’d expect at least 1 quality addition this summer, though I’m pleased with how Driver and Brunner have panned out so far.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            A forward who scores 5 goals a season is not an answer to much of anything. It’s not like he suddenly got incredibly better than with Chicago. That a forward that mediocre going out turned the game is indicative of how thin our forwards are.

            My basic concern with the Dynamo is it is not a team like the old ones capable of 5 goals and destroying someone. It is well organized and more defensive, and routinely makes playoffs, but IMO lacks the all-around offensive ooomph to win the final. That would require pairing Bruin with someone fast and healthy. I just don’t buy the current setup will beat Donovan and Keane, and after two years of banging our heads on the last wall we better not perseverate for one more season with just trying to squeak by. The midfield has really improved but it’s dependent on Bruin, there’s just not much else.

            I don’t see how Brunner has panned out, he played one game. He’s cover for Taylor this summer at which point we’ll see what we got.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Then skip them?

    • dan says:

      They are always worthless, the only ranking that matter are the league table…

    • Seriously? says:

      What exactly do you use power rankings for, that makes them “useless” now, but useful later? In any sport, they’re just one writer’s views on how well teams are playing at that time, whose form is improving, whose is dipping, etc. They’re not meant as predictors of final standings, just food for thought and debate.

      Also, aren’t there always teams that are struggling, at any point in any season in any league, so couldn’t it be said that there are always teams that are trying to “find form”? I’m curious what you mean by pointing this out, as when stated as general comment about teams in a league, it seems about as interesting as mentioning what religion the Pope believes in.

  3. Darwin says:

    As a Dallas fan, I am happy to see the team at the top. I was beginning to think that 2010 was a fluke. I know the season is early, but it sure is a nice view at the moment.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      When I saw Houston-Dallas last year I told my friend that Dallas was getting their chances up the wings on us but weren’t even close to having a striker to finish them. And then we got a couple goals and it was over. Cooper etc. were just what Dallas needed.

    • Raymon says:

      It’s all those Advocare products Darwin. ;-)

    • downintexas says:

      If Dallas gets their forwards going and if they can get MLS to get other teams to stop hack-a-David. They will bday all set

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      FWIW, John’s goal was in “injury time” even though it was the 87′.

  4. Charles says:

    Don’t bother adding comments for number 19. There is not much to discuss with the Sounders. Biggest paychecks and not much else so far.

    Go Sounders.

  5. Gnarls says:

    LA need to start winning games. Draws and losses (CCL and Dallas) are all we’ve seen since early March. I’m sort of wondering is #3 is too high.

  6. Chris2 says:

    @Gnarls: “I’m sort of wondering is #3 too high.” So spoiled. Wait until you’re wondering whether #14 is too high.

  7. soccerhorn says:

    When Dallas scored their goal, Galaxy had the following players on the field: Tommy Meyer, Greg Cochrane, and someone named Rafael Garcia. Oh, AND they were down to ten men. So while yes, the Galaxy haven’t played too well the last week or two, and are looking very thin right now, let’s not get all googly-eyed about FC Dallas just yet.

    • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

      They also had key players in the lineup too. Lets not diminish FC Dallas’ results due to scheduling/injury. If you have watches them play this year you know FC Dallas is a good team.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think Houston showed they are vulnerable on defense, but then we got out-played for the first 60+ and then out-coached at the end, when Kinnear backed off with a tie and then gave up a winner, when I think momentum favored our third if we kept pressing instead of bunkering.

        But I think they are for real and a playoff team.

  8. ThaDeuce says:

    As a d.c. Fan this week? Meh, about right. Sorry for all the griping in past weeks.

  9. Jose Espinoza says:

    BENCH PAJOY NOW!!!! i swear he lives offsides #waste

    • Cavan says:

      Well said for the 10,000th time. What good is a forward who doesn’t shoot and when he shoots from inside the 6, he misses the frame? I don’t care how much “hold up play” he does. If he can’t finish and he kills attacks by always being offside, what good is he?

  10. ed - houston says:

    I actually like these rankings over mlssoccer.com

  11. Josh says:

    Is anybody else getting worried from a USMNT standpoint about Omar Gonzalez consistently being in this role of giving up bad mistakes despite doing well for most of the game? It’s very similar to the mental breakdown he had against Honduras and seems to be more common than not for him.