SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 17

RSLCelebrates (Getty)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

Real Salt Lake is on a full-blown roll, having won four of their past five matches to climb into first place in the MLS Western Conference.

RSL’s 2-0 win vs. the Seattle Sounders helped them join the Portland Timbers atop the West and also helped them climb up to the No. 2 spot in the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings.

The Timbers maintain their hold on the top spot after routing the Colorado Rapids to push their unbeaten streak to 15 matches, tied for the fourth longest unbeaten streak in MLS history.

D.C. United has climbed out of the basement after their win vs. the San Jose Earthquakes. The victory was the first for D.C. in 13 matches, and it was enough to help Ben Olsen’s squad move past free-falling Chivas USA, which suffered their seventh straight loss in a 1-0 setback vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 17:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 17)

1. (Last Week- 1) PORTLAND TIMBERS (7-1-9)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK- Beat Colorado Rapids, 3-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at FC Dallas on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup).
LAST FIVE- W-T-W-T-W
OUTLOOK- The Timbers pushed their unbeaten streak to 15 MLS matches, and 17 in all competitions, with a thorough beating of the Rapids. Rodney Wallace didn’t miss a beat upon his return from international duty, slotting three assists in the win. A very tough mid-week test awaits though as Portland looks to take a step closer to a trophy with a win at FC Dallas.
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2. (4) REAL SALT LAKE (9-5-3)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- beat Seattle Sounders, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Carolina Railhawks on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal); at Toronto FC on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- W-W-W-T-W
OUTLOOK- Kyle Beckerman turned in a strong effort to lead RSL’s victory over Seattle, the most impressive win of the team’s recent run. Young centerback Carlos Salcedo turned in another strong outing, and has quietly established himself as one of the more impressive teenagers in MLS this season. As well as RSL have played in MLS play, they have struggled at times in the U.S. Open Cup, so look for Jason Kreis to stress a complete performance against Carolina on Wednesday.
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3. (2) MONTREAL IMPACT (9-3-2)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK-Bye
THIS WEEK- vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
LAST FIVE IN MLS- W-L-W-W-W
OUTLOOK- The Impact were off last week, but remain ahead of the pack in the East with multiple games in hand. They will look to avoid a slip-up coming off a bye week, which happened the last time the Impact had a week off.
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4. (3) FC DALLAS (8-3-5)

DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK-tied Sporting Kansas City, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Portland Timbers on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal); at Philadelphia on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- T-L-T-W-L
OUTLOOK- One win in five qualifies as a slump, but FCD has to feel good about rallying back to salvage a point against a tough Sporting KC side. Things don’t get much easier though, not with another meeting with red-hot Portland, and a road trip to take on a surging Philadelphia side. Having Walker Zimmerman score a big goal is good news though, as he looks more and more like a viable option in the team’s centerback rotation, which is needed given how often George John and Matt Hedges take knocks.
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5. (5) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (6-5-3)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK-lost to Real Salt Lake, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- Bye
LAST FIVE- L-W-W-L-W
OUTLOOK- A flat outing vs. RSL is worrisome, and Sigi Schmid didn’t mince words about how some of his top players failed to deliver. A bye week should help the Sounders, particularly if it gets injured star Osvaldo Alonso back on the field. The Sounders have missed him against the league’s top teams.
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6. (7) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-5-5)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK-tied FC Dallas, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- T-L-T-T-W
OUTLOOK- The C.J. Sapong red card was a tough blow, but Sporting KC still had no excuse for surrendering two late goals the way they did. A return home with a full-strength squad will be a big help, especially against a vulnerable-looking Columbus Crew side.
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7. (9) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (6-5-4)

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK-Bye
THIS WEEK- at D.C. United on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- W-W-L-W-T
OUTLOOK- A week off probably wasn’t what Martin Rennie wanted as his team were riding good run of results, but the rest should help them ahead of a cross-country trip to take on a beatable D.C. United side.
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8. (11) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-5-4)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- beat New York Red Bulls, 3-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. FC Dallas on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- W-W-T-L-W
OUTLOOK- The trio of Conor Casey, Jack McInerney and Sebastien LeToux looked good together in the win vs. the Red Bulls and should stay intact for the immediate future. The Union defense turned in another solid showing, with fullbacks Sheanon Williams and Ray Gaddis doing well to contain the Red Bulls on the wings. Stopping FC Dallas will be tougher though.
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9. (6) NEW YORK RED BULLS (7-6-4)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to Philadelphia Union, 3-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Houston on Sunday.
LAST FIVE - L-L-T-W-T
OUTLOOK- Looked flat in their loss vs. the Union, even before losing Lloyd Sam to a red card. The Red Bulls obviously missed Tim Cahill and Jamison Olave, and the Lloyd Sam red card in the first half didn’t help matters, but some players just didn’t step up when given the chance. A return home and a match vs. struggling Houston could help the Red Bulls turn things around.

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10. (10)LOS ANGELES GALAXY (7-6-3)

LA_Primary_COL
LAST WEEK- beat Chivas USA, 1-0 last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- W-T-L-L-W
OUTLOOK- Robbie Rogers played his best game since joining the Galaxy in the win vs. Chivas USA, but the Galaxy struggled to break down the bunkered Chivas USA defense. Gyasi Zardes is starting to get comfortable in the Galaxy lineup, and could be poised for a run at the Rookie of the Year award.
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11. (8) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-5-5)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- Bye
THIS WEEK- at D.C. United on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal); at Chivas USA on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-T-W-W-W
OUTLOOK- The Revs enjoyed a week off, but now face a week that could be a special one. They will be favored despite being on the road vs. D.C. in their Open Cup quarterfinal, then travel to the West Coast as Juan Agudelo faces Chivas USA for the first time since being traded away. A pair of wins and suddenly the Revs are riding into summer with a chance to do some special things.
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12. (13) CHICAGO FIRE (5-7-3)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK-beat Columbus Crew, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Orlando City on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals).
LAST FIVE- W-W-T-W-T
OUTLOOK- The slow and steady climb up the East standings and Power Rankings continues as Mike Magee keeps on racking up the goals. Keep an eye on Dilly Duka, who could be primed for a strong run after scoring a gratifying goal against his former team, the Columbus Crew.
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13. (12) COLORADO RAPIDS (5-7-5)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK- lost to Portland Timbers, 3-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- at Montreal on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-L-L-T-W
OUTLOOK-  Winless in four, the Rapids have suddenly hit the skids and now they face a daunting task in beating Montreal at Stade Saputo, where the Impact have yet to lose and have only dropped points once.
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14. (14) COLUMBUS CREW (5-6-5)

CLB_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to Chicago Fire, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-W-L-T-T
OUTLOOK- Their trip to Sporting Park is a vital one, as a loss could leave the Crew falling as far as eighth in the East.
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15. (15) HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-5-5)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- tied Toronto FC, 0-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- at New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
LAST FIVE- T-L-T-T-L
OUTLOOK- Mired in a six-game winless streak, the Dynamo have to be feeling the heat, as a loss to the Red Bulls could see them lose their grip on a top five spot in the East.
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16. (16) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-7-6)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to D.C. United, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-W-L-L-T
OUTLOOK- A disappointing loss to D.C. United has to have the Earthquakes concerned about a season on the verge of slipping out of control. Yes, they are only four points out of a playoff spot, but most of the teams they are chasing have games in hand and we simply haven’t seen much from San Jose lately to suggest they are poised for a true turnaround.
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17. (17) TORONTO FC (2-7-6)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- tied Houston Dynamo, 0-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- T-W-T-L-L
OUTLOOK- It wasn’t a win, but TFC will be happy to escape Houston with a point, and all of a sudden Ryan Nelsen’s squad is unbeaten in three. It’s modest, but given some of the nightmare results the team has had, it can be considered small progress.
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18. (19) D.C. UNITED (1-11-3)

DCU_Primary_COL
LAST WEEK- beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK- vs. New England Revolution on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal); vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- W-L-T-L-L
OUTLOOK- Snapped their 11-match winless slide, which should provide a confidence boost heading into their all-important U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal vs. New England. It is their best (and only) chance for a trophy this year so you would imagine Ben Olsen will field his strongest possible lineup on Wednesday.
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19. (18) CHIVAS USA (3-10-2)

CHV_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK- lost to Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK- vs. New England Revolution on Saturday.
LAST FIVE- L-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK- Tried a very defensive approach to earn a result against the Galaxy, but even that wasn’t enough to avoid continuing their seven-match losing slide. The Goats also transferred midfielder Eric Avila to Chivas de Guadalajara, which means that rather than receiving summer reinforcements from south of the border, the Goats are actually losing players to their parent club.
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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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43 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 17

  1. dan says:

    I really don’t get how these silly power rankings work? Is it based on current form or is it based on the season?

    There is no way half the teams there deserve to be where they are given their season and there is absolutely no way the Sounders deserve to be that high after losing to RSL.

    • Gnarls says:

      Current form, but it seems Ives takes potential into account too. Take NE for example. Won three in a row, but ranked 11th. He probably doesn’t rate the team highly based on the roster. In contrast, Vancouver has 4 points from a possible 9 and they’re ranked 6th. It makes sense when you consider the potential power of the team coupled with recent results.

      • John Andress says:

        Allow me to correct you. Vancouver has gained 10 of the last available 15 points with a road win at NYRB, a road loss to Seattle, a home draw against Portland and home wins against New England and Chivas. They have also recently beaten LA in Vancouver and held Montreal scoreless in Montreal before losing the Canadian Championship on away goals with a home draw. Vancouver not only shows potential but is racking up points despite serious injury woes in the centre of their defense and they have at least one game in hand on most of their divisional rivals. They undoubtedly deserve the ranking they have been assigned in this report.

      • Georges Drouin says:

        Not only 3 in a row for NE but they dropped from 8th to 11th on a bye week. If SBI want to rank in the MLS Power Rankings of Foot sites, they need to get the job done – better i.e.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      They “work” by you clicking “reply” and commenting on them. They are just there for conversation and/or fighting over.

      But since Ives lists the five most recent results, I think it’s a safe assumtion that it’s wieghted toward recent form. Therefore, Seattle, which has 9 points out of the last 15, still rates ahead of KC, with 6 out of the last 15, and has the better season record. So what would justify moving them below KC? Likewise, Seattle has been stronger lately than Dallas, but still trails in the season standings.

      Seems all reasonable to me.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      One game does not constitute “current form” so if anything’s silly Dan, it’s suggesting Seattle should plummet in the rankings based on a road loss against a team currently tied for first in the West.

      There’s “absolutely no way”? Seattle should be ahead of KC, winless in four, or Vancouver, who they just beat a few weeks ago, or New York, with one win in their past four? You could argue for Philly but in my opinion Seattle is still deserving of being ranked higher. LA? They have one win in four and that came vs. Chivas USA. New England? They have been stronger lately, but are coming off a loss and have as many wins as losses this season.

      Shall I go on?

      In some cases, there can be arguments made in favor of some teams, but your “Absolutely no way” schtick is a stretch.

  2. Steve says:

    Is anyone else bothered by Win-Loss-Draw over Win-Draw-Loss formatting? Win-Loss-Draw makes no sense to me based upon the way results are perceived and the way points are allotted.

    • Dinho says:

      No. Just you.

    • Gnarls says:

      Yes, it causes confusion.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Win-Loss-Draw is the standard accepted format in American sports forever. If you’ve ever looked at sports standings in this country for the past 2-3 decades it wouldn’t be all that confusing.

      • Gnarls says:

        Ives, within the context of a solely American league being discussed by a solely American audience, the W-L-D convention isn’t confusing. It gets confusing when the context is expanded to include global football or international commentators discussing MLS.

        Another “for example”: The home team being listed first during broadcasts. That is something that’s been broadly adopted by MLS, yet the American convention is to list the home team second. Seems inconsistent.

    • Charles says:

      Only really smart people can understand both !

      We use Fahrenheit instead of Celcius.
      Miles instead of Kilometers too.

  3. Creige says:

    I can only hope Chivas USA’s decision to rid itself of talented players means they are in the process of selling the club.

  4. Charles says:

    MLS Rocks.

    Three of the top four in the list didn’t make the playoffs last year.

    Almost half way through the season…..12 points seperates 16 teams.

  5. Pingunça says:

    sounders fan here.. -and even I believe we should be in the bottom half

    5th?

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      I just laid out why they’re still fifth to Dan. They’re 3-2 in their past five and the losses were to RSL and LA on the road. Hardly losses to bad teams.

    • Charles says:

      Been a Sounder’s fan for a while.

      Frustration has set in, because we are not one of the big boys…again.
      Best GK, best def mid, Evans, Johnson, with Martins up top, and great backups and…..
      Losses to LA and SLC, with zero goals scored…sounds like the playoffs.

      At some point many will start to think they don’t deserve 5 because Sigi is coaching.

      • Gnarls says:

        It’s Sigi.

      • dansimp says:

        ‘best defensive mid’ That is true comedy. By any and all statistical look, not to mention head to head, Beckerman is better than Alonso. Alonso is a top notch DMid, but Beckerman is the best DMid in MLS.

    • Nick says:

      Don’t listen to Ives, Pingunça. You’re right, your team absolutely deserves to be in the bottom half, if not disbanded or moved to OKC.

      • Pingunça says:

        I wouldn’t go that far Timber lvr.. but SSFC do need a better CAM than Evans… way better. We’re like the Red Bulls of the Western Conference

  6. SanFran415 says:

    If it’s current form how is this possible?

    Fire 3-0-2 – 12th place
    Galaxy 2-2-1 10th place

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      It’s not JUST current form. Current form is a factor, but not the ONLY factor. You really think any power ranking anywhere is going ignore the Fire’s 5-7-3 overall record? If you want something that doesn’t factor in current form then just look at the season standings. if you want something that purely counts the past month, I can’t really help you there. There’s a reason nobody I know does recent form-only rankings. If you’re curious about current form, that’s part of the season for me including the results in each team’s past five matches. It offers a snapshot, but again, these rankings have never been and will never be based solely or mostly on current form.

      • RPH says:

        And yet, people never seem to be able to stop taking them personally. I never cease to be amazed what a hornet’s nest gets stirred up every week when you post these.

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          I don’t expect everyone to agree with the rankings, but it does make me laugh when people try come up with reasons why my own process should yield different rankings when I’ve stated over and over and over the factors that go into the rankings.

          • Josh says:

            Perhaps you should come up with single week rankings to appease these folks. Maybe just take the “Team of the Week” contenders and put all 19 teams on the list might be the only way

      • SanFran415 says:

        The Fire are a different team since the acquisition of Mike Magee and Soumare. I believe they are undefeated since that trade.

        So their record wouldn’t actually be representative of the team itself, but of a different team. With their current players they’re obviously much better than that record.

        That’s an important distinction don’t you think?

        • Ives Galarcep says:

          They’re a different team, and the results they’re yielding now are resulting in a climb up the standings. Still doesn’t mean the first 10-12 games will be ignored. Not going to happen.

  7. shawn richardson says:

    The Impact didn’t have a bye week, they defeated Houston 2-0 on Wednesday.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Shawn, the last power rankings came AFTER that game. They had a bye last weekend.

  8. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’m going to complain that your accurate depiction of the Dynamo’s current vein of stinkage only makes it feel worse.

    My impression from the last game was we are too predictable, positional, and slow to switch sides. We still managed chances and either team could have won it, but there’s not even speed and interchange. And on days when the offense really doesn’t get going I think our defense is pretty mediocre.

    And Kinnear’s strange strategies continue, this week he subbed in Cummings as a center mid and then brought on Moffat (a center mid) late. The net effect was all we did was lump it for 20 minutes because there was no central midfield connection…..and then Moffat was pointless at the end because we were doing nothing but lumping it.

    When he has a full team clicking he’s a good system coach, but when he plays a team like the Galaxy, or is undermanned, and has to change tactics, his subbing issues and tactical inflexibility show through.

    • Jose from the Bay says:

      Agree. Center Midfield is very weak. I love RICO and he can still handle defensive midfield. I love Moffat but he just does not control the game in front of RICO. I think Dom is looking for an answer. Camargo is not working out. He tried Creavalle there Saturday and he looked lost. He tried Brad Davis in the center once, did not work out.

      We need Holden or DeRo back!

  9. Travis says:

    Power rankings are hilarious, Ives (and other sites) have published these for years across multiple sports yet people still dont get the concept. One loss doesnt mean you should plummet and one win doesnt mean you should skyrocket.

  10. Travis says:

    What are peoples honest thoughts on what happens to Chivas? Do they fold or possibly relocate? I simply cant see them being in LA next year without at the very least a serious re-branding.

  11. Andy says:

    You’re missing DC United’s other win. They’re not that pathetic.

  12. Since 82 says:

    Love the form of the mighty PTFC right now! Ives … I’m the President of American Outlaws Portland. We are hosting a party the night before the Gold Cup in PDX. Heard you are headed out and wanted to extend an invite. Feel free to message me.