- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 15, 2008
- 2 Comments
Another crazy week in the MLS leaves us all wondering who exactly is the best club right now in the MLS. I think it is really fair to say that there isn’t a clear number one right now and that the top club will probably continue to change week in and week out until someone breaks away from the pack.
But for argument sake, we have to pick a top club, followed by 13 others. Now what may strike some is that a club that beat one in a recent week is ranked below them and so forth. I will go ahead and say it, these rankings are not based on a week’s performance but on a composit of the season as a whole.
1. Chicago Fire (7 pts., up 3) – Just as I was a week ago with the Wizards, I don’t see the Fire lasting all that long here at the top spot. Why? Sure they dominated a good New England club in week two at home but the other two results on the road to clubs that more than likely will not make the playoffs (San Jose and Salt Lake) were not nearly as impressive. They have the classic style of play to the level of the other club syndrome right now. Still, three points on the road is three points on the road.
2. New England Revolution (6 pts., up 3) – It looks like this club is a mirror of last season. Win one, lose one. Win one, lose one. I won’t look too much into the loss to the Rapids. When you have that many chances compaired to the other side (17-4 in shots), it’s merely just a matter of no luck for a day. I’m still very curious to see how this club will be once Twellman and Raltson are healthy. One has to imagine they will be extremely hard to beat.
3. Chivas USA (4 pts., down 1) – One crazy game, with loads of goals and a couple bad cards I honestly don’t think this club can be dropped too far here. But the Columbus game does raise a question about their defensive depth and if Sasha Kljestan can stay mentally strong for the full season here. That kind of tackle shouldn’t come from a budding star like Kljestan. Plus, Guzan had one of his worst games in his career, one can only hope that it will be his last.
4. Kansas City Wizards (7 pts., down 3) – The end of the four-game home streak with a loss and a draw. Now the Wizards are going on a two month road trip. After the first two weeks I raised questions on their defense (which I still do) but now my concern is shifting forward with their attack. Two home games in one week and only one goal on a PK. Not exactly the offense that had people going nuts after the first two weeks.
5. Colorado Rapids (6 pts., up 1) – Why are the Rapids below the Revs? I’m still not totally sold on this club like some people may be. But I think with each game they are saving Fernando Clavijo’s job status and they continue to have one of the best young midfields in the league. The one concern I am still having is surrounding their attack. They need that go-to striker.
6. FC Dallas (5 pts., up 2) – I doubt anyone in Dallas is worried over the attack and how this team closes a game now. Arturo Alvarez paired with Kenny Cooper is a duo that is making everyone in the MetroPlex say “Carlos who?” But I wouldn’t get too worked up over the win just yet. Sure it was nice and the two goals were exactly how they should attack clubs. I think what still worries me about this club is their defense (shocker I know) and their abilities on the wings. We may see them out-score clubs and give up a few on the way to win games here this season.
7. DC United (3 pts., down 4) – Losing 4-0 at Salt Lake means this club has a lot of work to do. CONCACAF Champions Cup hangover may be in full force now. I may have needed to drop them a bit lower than this though but I still think this club has the parts to turn it around quicker than any other club.
8. Columbus Crew (6 pts., up 2) – Nice win by the Crew and just like in Colorado, each win saves Sigi’s job. I’m curious though how they will fair on the road though because they like RSL and a couple other clubs look very nice at home but very weak on the road. In other words, if they want to be with the top clubs and considered to be one they have to win on the road. A win in DC will easily convince me.
9. Real Salt Lake (4 pts., up 2) – A very nice win over DC at home and a game like that shows us exactly how good this club can be. Their midfield looks remarkably better and Dema Kovalenko looks to be the best pick up they got in the offseason. Still, they are another club that has to show people on the road that they are worthy of being in the top club discussion. Right now I am not convinced that they deserve to be any higher than say 7 or 8 right now. So that is why I think this ranking suits them best for the time being.
10. Houston Dynamo (2 pts., down 1) – Getting Ricardo Clark back in the line up definitely helped out but this club isn’t doing itself any favors in the league. The attack looked stale and all we got from Kinnear was the schedule sucked.
11. New York Red Bulls (3 pts., down 3) – Totally not hooked on this club here. After seeing their defense on the field I can say that this club won’t make the playoffs with their current lineup. This is not the Osorio defense that I expected to see. Once they get their offense on full strength they will be fine but their defense will cause them more problems than anything else. Looks like we will have to wait until the summer until Osorio can bring anyone in to beef up that defense. Who knows if by then how they will be in the standings.
12. Toronto FC (3 pts., up one) – Nice pickups have lead to three points in the standings. Plus getting three goals could mean that their offense is waking up for good here. However it was against the Galaxy who’s defense isn’t anything to brag about. I think the Amado Guevara addition will pay off but I don’t know if it will mean a pay off in terms of reaching the playoffs just yet. That defense has a lot of work to do.
13. LA Galaxy (3 pts., down 1) – Landon Donovan sure has come to play. David Beckham shows up here and there. But as for the rest of the Galaxy, I wonder what to really think of them right now. Would they be any better with Carlos Ruiz? Probably but it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t beat anyone with him. I cannot find one defensive player on their roster that I like right now. Plus I’m still not sold on Steve Cronin as a full time starter here but its the best of what they’ve got to work with for the time being.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (0 pts., same) – Nice to see the Quakes back in San Jose but I hated the venue for the game. Plus the game with the Fire was kind of boring. I know I was tough on rookie Shea Salinas for his bad miss in front of net but rookie or not you have to hit the target from four yards out. I am just wondering when this club will score this season here. It will come though, it will come.