- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 29, 2008
- 6 Comments
One month down here in this 2008 MLS campaign. As we talked about yesterday the eastern conference is clearly outclassing the western conference on and maybe even off the field. The power rankings this week are really no different.
The one thing that remains consistent here is that no club is clearly stepping up and consistently the best club in the league each week. The top spot has been a revolving door so far and it almost seems like a kiss of death to be labeled the best squad in the league. New England couldn’t handle it, KC has dropped the ball twice with it, and Chicago had trouble with it.
Now it seems like there is time for a new club to move to the top but the thing is I honestly don’t see them as the best team in Major League Soccer. But in the end you have to give credit where it is due and put the best playing team at the top.
After the top five or so is a clear drop in class between these clubs. Its almost a pick-a-name-out-of-a-hat kind of draw here with some of these clubs. Its like who’s the best of the worst and what not here. But that is early season soccer for ya.
1. Columbus Crew (12 pts., up 4) – I honestly debated on whether or not I would put the Crew at the top spot this week. In the end I felt like it was a must after watching them against the Dynamo on Saturday. They have really impressed me this season. The thing is the three home wins are nice but I am really wanting to see more of this club on the road. Unfortunately I don’t think we will get to see them tested on the road for a couple weeks (they are home this week against KC and on the road the following in San Jose).
2. New England Revolution (10 pts., same) – The reason why I had trouble putting Columbus up top was due to this club. Clearly hurting with injuries but it hasn’t totally slowed this club down. Talent-wise I would really rate them above the Crew but overall play so far this season the Crew have to get the nod above New England because of those two losses. I think that nasty loss to Chicago will easily out weigh the Crew’s loss to New York.
3. Chicago Fire (10 pts., up 1) – Moving right along here and honestly they are still in a dangerous position in the east. Tied with New England and KC but we could see them drop down soon with their upcoming schedule (at New England, at DC and home to Houston). This side is clearly better at home so I am curious to see how they fair on the road.
4. FC Dallas (8 pts., down 1) – There was a reason why I didn’t rate this as the best club last week. It wasn’t that I thought they would lose to New England but it was because I knew how easily this team could slip up if their offense didn’t show up. This defense is much improved and are actually giving this club a shot in each game but their offense cannot go cold like they did against the Revs in too many games. In other words, the defense still won’t be able to hold off good offenses without their own offense carrying the load themselves.
5. Toronto FC (10 pts., up 3) – Movers and shakers are the Reds. It wasn’t just the fact that KC’s offense failed to go across the boarder in to Canada, but Toronto’s defense looked much improved and Greg Sutton for once looked like a solid starter in goal. Oh yeah and Amado Guevara is quickly becoming a hero in Toronto.
6. Kansas City Wizards (10 pts., down 5) – There was reason why I debated about putting this club in the lead position last week. Its not their defense that worries me the most (its still very overrated) but their offense is really nowhere to be seen as of late. The last four games a total of two goals. That won’t get it done in a jumbled eastern conference.
7. New York Red Bulls (7 pts., up 2) – Honestly, I don’t feel great about putting the Red Bulls at seven but the thing is the crap below them doesn’t make sense this high either. But if they win in Toronto this Thursday I will feel a hell of a lot better about this club. Until then I am left scratching my head.
8. DC United (6 pts., up 4) – Look who decided to wake up here this season. I think had it even been a New England or a Chicago this club still would have won big this past weekend. The thing I am wondering is if they will continue this or if it was just a revenge result against RSL. I suppose we will wait and see but if the RSL game was any indication of things to come we could very well see this club climb the charts here in May.
9. LA Galaxy (6 pts., up 4) – Another big mover but its mostly due to the feet of Landon Donovan. Another big shocker was the play of Alan Gordan. He got a pair in the win over Chivas. I don’t know which was more surprising, the win or the two goals. Still, they may be one of the better of the worst here right now. That isn’t saying a whole lot either.
10. Chivas USA (4 pts., down 4) – Sasha Kljestan is continuing an MVP-type of season but the Chivas defense has left the building here. Last three games the Goats have given up 11 goals. That won’t cut it and it won’t help Brad Guzan get transfered overseas.
11. Colorado Rapids (6 pts., down 4) – Think Rapids fans are sitting on their hands right now when it comes to Fernando Clavijo? Yeah, let’s put it this way, the offense isn’t showing up and the defense has been too shaky as of late. Big chance to redeem themselves this weekend when they host DC. Another loss and they will quickly become of the worst of the worst in the league. Guess that hot start seems like ages ago already.
12. Houston Dynamo (3 pts., down 1) – I had problems placing this club any lower than this because unlike the two below them, they have the talent to get over what is shaking them now. They may not be playing their best soccer right now but their worst isn’t the worst.
13. Real Salt Lake (4 pts., down 3) – The big win over DC looks like nothing now that they go on the road to the same team and get blown out themselves. I think they can still bounce back but again I will say I want to see them do it on the road and not just at home.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (3 pts., down 1) – Back down to the bottom. Sure they have a win and Houston doesn’t but there is a difference in play here. Houston puts chances on goal where as San Jose doesn’t even seem to create chances on goal. The Colorado win was very nice and a big boost but it didn’t last long at all. Just as Toronto was a year ago, this club’s offense goes as Ronnie O’Brien does. That isn’t something to bank on too much here.