SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

Juninho, Landon Donovan

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Don’t look now, but the New York Red Bulls are on a roll and looking like a team to be taken seriously as a title contender in 2013.

The Red Bulls pushed their current hot streak to five wins in six unbeaten matches, with the Los Angeles Galaxy playing the role of the latest victim. Led by Jamison Olave’s dominating performance in central defense, the Red Bulls contained Landon Donovan and Co. just three days after the Galaxy thrashed Philadelphia for four goals.

New York isn’t the only team skyrocketing up the SBI MLS Power Rankings. The Seattle Sounders extended their own unbeaten streak to six matches after trashing a short-handed FC Dallas side at CenturyLink Field. Seattle didn’t have their full complement of attacking weapons either, with Mauro Rosales and Obafemi Martins out of the starting lineup, but they still generated a stunning display, with Eddie Johnson rounding into form just in time to join the U.S. Men’s National Team.

D.C. United is still at the bottom of the rankings, but did finally stop the bleeding courtesy of a blown offside call in their draw vs. Sporting KC. Ben Olsen’s side could soon start facing competition for the bottom spot in the rankings from Chivas USA, a team in free-fall mode after suffering their fifth loss in six matches.

Here are the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 12)

1. (Last Week- 6) NEW YORK RED BULLS (7-4-3)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Columbus on Sunday.
LAST FIVE - W-T-W-W-W
OUTLOOK- The Red Bulls catapult into the top spot after pushing their current unbeaten run to six matches. Tim Cahill’s winner was the difference, but Jamison Olave’s dominating defense was key to the victory. Luis Robles played well too, continuing his Jekyll and Hyde goalkeeping run going.
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2. (1) FC DALLAS (7-2-3)

DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Seattle Sounders, 4-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-W-T-T-W
OUTLOOK- Asking rookie London Woodberry to try and deal with Eddie Johnson was a bridge too far, but also playing without David Ferreira and Andrew Jacobson made things difficult. That said, FC Dallas still scored goals and put chances on a stingy Seattle defense.
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3. (2) PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-7)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at D.C. United on Saturday.
LAST FIVET-W-T-T-W
OUTLOOK- Saw some bad look and good luck go their way vs. Vancouver. The red card on Mamadou Danso was highly questionable, but the referee also missed a handball call on Jose Valencia’s stunning equalizer. Caleb Porter won’t be happy with the defensive breakdowns, but yet another second-half rally shows us once again just how tough this Timbers team is.
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4. (3) MONTREAL IMPACT (6-2-2)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK- Tied Vancouver Whitecaps, 0-0, last Wednesday (Canadian Championship).
THIS WEEK- vs. Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-L-T-W-T
OUTLOOK- Some time off should help the Impact deal with some injuries, but the Union will present a tricky challenge.
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5. (10) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (4-3-3)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat FC Dallas, 4-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-W-W-T-W
OUTLOOK- No Mauro Rosales and lost Osvaldo Alonso early? No problem for these Sounders, who are flexing some pretty impressive depth these days. Shalrie Joseph provided quality off the bench vs. FC Dallas while Lamar Neagle continues to look like a steal of a re-acquisition.
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6. (4)  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-4-3)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK- Tied D.C. United, 1-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Houston Dynamo on Sunday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- T-W-L-W-L
OUTLOOK- Sporting KC welcomed back Matt Besler, and their defense did well with Ike Opara stepping in for Aurelien Collin, but the attack managed just one goal vs. a suspect D.C. United defense (two if you count the incorrectly disallowed goal). KC is a deep team but it will be interesting to see how they cope without Zusi while he is away on national team duty.
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7.(7) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (5-4-2)

LA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Philadelphia Union, 4-1, last Wednesday; lost to New York Red Bulls, 1-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- L-W-L-L-W
OUTLOOK- Struggled with the three-game road swing, but their win in Philadelphia certainly showed some positive signs of Landon Donovan’s return to form. They didn’t play well vs. the New York Red Bulls, but a return home should do them some good as they face a red-hot Sounders squad.
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8. (5)  HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-4-2)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK-  Lost to New England, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- L-L-W-W-T
OUTLOOK- Losing Jermaine Taylor to a shoulder injury was bad enough, but seeing Bobby Boswell sent off for a head butt had to have Dom Kinnear in fits. Now the Dynamo face rival Sporting KC without their two first-choice centerbacks, a position where Houston just doesn’t have much depth.
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9. (11) REAL SALT LAKE (6-5-2)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Chivas USA, 4-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-L-W-W-L
OUTLOOK- RSL is starting to heat up, with the romp over the Goats serving as their third win in four matches. Ned Grabavoy was the star vs. Chivas USA, while the defense didn’t miss a beat with youngster Carlos Salcedo playing alongside Nat Borchers in central defense. Putting together their good run without Alvaro Saborio speaks volumes of the depth they still have despite several off-season departures.
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10. (9)  PHILADELPHIA UNION (5-3-3)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Los Angeles Galaxy, 4-1, last Wednesday; beat Chicago, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at Montreal Impact on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-L-W-T-L
OUTLOOK- A tale of two defensive performances saw the Union ripped apart on Wednesday before posting a shutout on Saturday. Bakary Soumare played well in his run as a starter,  and he only helped boost his trade value, which should help a trade be made. Jack McInerney continues to find the net, but the Union need someone else to be a consistent threat. Kleberson earned his first two starts and showed some really good signs even if he isn’t quite 90-minutes fit yet.
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11. (9) COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-4)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied San Jose Earthquakes, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Chivas USA on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- T-W-W-T-L
OUTLOOK- A four-match unbeaten streak has the Rapids looking solid despite all the injuries they have endured. The slow return of injured players has Colorado’s depth improving, but some things, like attacking consistency, are still an issue for Oscar Pareja’s side. A very winnable match vs. struggling Chivas USA should help them push further up the playoff ladder.
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12. (13) COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-3)

CLB_Primary_COL

LAST WEEKBeat Toronto FC, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-L-L-W-L
OUTLOOK- It wasn’t exactly an attacking outburst, but the Crew will take their three points vs. TFC even though questions remain about the consistency of the defense. Yes, they were missing Jairo Arrieta to suspension, but facing a shaky TFC defense should have presented the Crew with more opportunities.
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13. (15) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (3-4-4)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Beat Houston Dynam0, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- W-T-L-T-W
OUTLOOK- The Revs are quietly putting together some good results, with just one loss in their past five matches. Juan Agudelo is showing good signs and if he can find his top form, the Revs could keep climbing up these standings. Centerback Jose Goncalves has been one of the best newcomers in MLS this season while Diego Fagundez continues to be a young talent U.S. fans wish were playing for an American youth national team.
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14. (12) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (3-4-4)

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK- Tied Montreal Impact, 0-0, last Wednesday (Canadian Championship); tied Portland Timbers, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- Bye Week.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- T-W-L-T-L
OUTLOOK- The Whitecaps will feel like they let two points get away. Yes, you can point to the missed handball on the Valencia goal, but the Whitecaps needed to put that match away up a man and they didn’t. The attack is showing some good signs though, and a week off should help the Whitecaps recharge as they look to make a run at the West playoff spots.
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15. (14) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (3-4-6)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK-   Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at FC Dallas on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- T-L-W-T-T
OUTLOOK- The Earthquakes escaped with another draw courtesy of a second-half goal, and Marvin Chavez’s free kick was worthy of deciding any match. That said, San Jose’s attack still isn’t clicking and their defense should face a stiff test from FC Dallas on Saturday.
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16. (17) CHICAGO FIRE (2-7-1)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to Philadelphia Union, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- L-L-L-W-L
OUTLOOK- Having been beaten in four of their past five, the Fire are losing close matches, but not playing all that badly. It is clear they are in dire need of one or two players to push them over the top, but when will those players arrive (if at all)? Bakary Soumare helped shut them out in consecutive weekends, which should help the Fire figure out whether he’s a player they want to bring in. While Soumare could definitely help, what the Fire continue to need is a goal-scoring forward.
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17. (16) CHIVAS USA (3-6-2)

CHV_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Lost to Real Salt Lake, 4-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- L-L-L-T-L
OUTLOOK- Sale or no sale, Chivas USA are terrible and things seem to be getting worse by the week. If his players aren’t playing for him anymore, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola could be on the chopping block much sooner than many would have expected.
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18. (18) TORONTO FC (1-6-4)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEKlost to Columbus Crew, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at New England Revolution on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- L-L-L-L-T
OUTLOOK- TFC added some players, but fell short yet again. Their attack continues to sputter, though the defense should be stronger after the team’s recent additions.  Time is running out fast in 2013, and Ryan Nelsen may have no choice but to accept this is a rebuilding season and act accordingly.
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19. (19) D.C. UNITED (1-8-2)

DCU_Primary_COL
LAST WEEK Tied Sporting Kansas City, 1-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday.
LAST FIVE MATCHES- T-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK- Snapped their losing streak, but only with the help of a terrible offside call that cost Sporting KC a goal. Bill Hamid turned in a strong showing, and may have gleaned some motivation from his recent inclusion in the U.S. Men’s National Team summer plans. Having a healthy Nick DeLeon can only help matters, but D.C. continues to struggle to generate goals consistently.
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What do you think of this week’s power rankings? Think anyone is rated too highly? See anyone being too low?

Share your thoughts below.

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24 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

  1. Onoda says:

    Okay, yes, we have played more games than everyone else but seeing us in first place of both conferences is a beautiful sight.

    Go Metro!

    • Inquisitive says:

      Ives or anyone,

      Onoda got me curious so I looked and RBNJ have 14 games played, many teams have played far fewer – Seattle and Montreal – for instance have only 10 played. That’s quite a differential. I’m curious as to why MLS has such discrepancies within seasons. As an RBNJ fan I know that the team has recently played a bunch of friendlies in July – so is that it? Pack games in early in Red Bull season to allow for room for money-making friendlies in the Summer?

      Also like Onoda I’m thrilled with RB play and ranking. But with so many more games played, I’d argue that someone like Montreal is in a much better position at this point in season:

      Montreal: 20 points from 10 games = 2 pts per game.
      New Jersey: 24 points from 14 games = 1.7 pts per game

      I know RB is on a hot streak so that should definitely factor into a Power Ranking but I’m just saying…..

      • dan says:

        b/c you get the lucky break of having a break in matches while ur players are off on international duty. the rest of us dont…

      • Travis says:

        Part of the reason Seattle has played so few is the MLS delayed at least 2 (maybe 3) of their games to help them in the CL, think LA is in a similar situation. Also Seattle has already had one pre-scheduled bye week. Can’t speak for other teams.

        • Gerald says:

          fair point on the rescheduled matches and Yes the RedBulls have not had a bye week yet

  2. Travis says:

    Neagle has been a very good player for the Sounders during this recent resurgence. His pace puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses and he seems to combine with EJ really well. Also has one of the better long range shots on the team. Very good re-acquisition by them.

    • 2tone says:

      Neagle’s USMNT stock is rising.

      He can play as a second striker, but more importantly his best position is wide left. And we all know the USMNT could use more wingers.

      I would not be surprised to see him called up for the Gold Cup if he continues to play the way he has been.

      He can use both feet, his crossing is good, he can take on players, his off the ball movement is excellent, he has quick feet and has good speed, he has a very good work rate, and he has plenty of strength on the ball.

  3. Tweaked says:

    Title contenders? HAHAHAHAHAAHA…plenty of time for the 2008 MLS Cup Participants to fold…like they always do.

  4. Big Chil says:

    Colorado is 4-4-4. At first, I thought the 5-game streaks were wrong, but I see that it’s the most recent game at left, the opposite of the way MLS does it on their site.

    And, yes, we’re looking forward to opening the floodgates v. Chivas. This Memorial Day weekend match is not only sold out, the Rapids have added bleachers for extra capacity, as they did for the USA v. Costa Rica game.

    At least I can say with full confidence that it WON’T snow this time!

    • Bob says:

      Good for you guys! I thought you would be one of the weaker teams in MLS this year, but you have been proving me wrong. I am especially scared of once you get all your players back from injury!

      • Big Chil says:

        Thanks! We had great news this week. Every single player except Diego Calderon is back in training. And, a new CB loanee, German Mera, arrived from Colombia today.

        Exciting times!

    • beto says:

      certainly exceeding expectations this year. keep it rolling Colorado!

  5. Dainja says:

    Juninho: PLEASE…everyone give me some space, as my impending tea bag on LD’s head starts in 3, 2, 1…

  6. Charles says:

    NY in first….Ives, lay off the heavy drugs. They have lost four, even Seattle with a bad start hasn’t lost that many.

    Henry get injured and that team doesn’t make the playoffs. If not I agree they can be dangerous, but not favorites. No way.

  7. NaranjaFanatic says:

    Once again, this list makes a lot more sense than the one on the mls website. I don’t care what anyone says, NYRB deserve to be in first more than anyone else at this point.

  8. divers suck says:

    If your basing this on recent form, I’d have to say:

    1) NYRB W-T-W-W-W
    1a) SSFC W-W-W-T-W

    *note* as mentioned earlier, the most recent results are left to right.

    • bryan says:

      Lets expand to from the last 5 results to 8 results shall we:

      2) NYRB W-T-W-W-W-W-L-W
      2a) SSFC W-W-W-T-W-T-L-L

  9. Josh says:

    Power rankings are all opinion so I don’t care to discuss opinions, I just have to comment on the Eddie Johnson/USMNT remark. This is the problem I see with how fans think of who should be on the team, it’s purely on a game-by-game basis. LD has one good game, everybody goes crazy saying he should instantly be back to starting for USMNT. He’s only tallied goals or assists in two games this year. Eddie Johnson has one good game against a short-staffed Dallas team and suddenly he’s a prize player again. Picking one game out of a lineup can give you a good argument for anybody. I’d rather we look for consistent guys to rely on rather than guys like EJ who have no workrate unless it involves a chance for him to look like the hero. Rant over

    • Travis says:

      EJs workrate for Seattle has actually been quite good this year and even though he hasn’t scored a ton of goals yet has been playing well the last month or so. I get what you are saying generally speaking but ultimately the US needs better goal scoring options and that is why we get so excited about in form strikers

  10. Chris2 says:

    Nice to be able to complain about NYRB being over-ranked rather than under-ranked. They’re better than they looked at the start of the season, but not #1 good.

    Significant to me is that Dax McCarty is not playing and the team has done well.

  11. Adam M. says:

    NYRB’s next two games are at home against Columbus and Vancouver, so they are set up to make quite a run before getting a few weeks off. Truth is we really won’t know where things stand until the schedule evens out by the end of June.

  12. Eric says:

    Someone needs to fix the Whitecaps last 5 matches.