- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 27, 2008
- 2 Comments
Happy Tuesday to you all here, I hope everyone enjoyed a nice Memorial Day here in the US. I know I enjoyed my day off from work, and as you can see I took the day off from here as well. Not a whole lot was missed yesterday anyway so it was a perfect chance to sit back and take in a great American holiday. I hope you all were able to do the same.
Now let’s get back down to business here. Week number nine is in the books and week 10, yes week 10 is kicking off tomorrow evening here in Dallas. But before that happens we gotta put a cap on week number nine. A week that saw the eastern conference tighten up at the top, the western conference finally take a stand, and one that saw DC finally wake up a bit here.
I think the thing that sticks out the most to me is how the western conference is tightening up just as much as the east. Those clubs may not have the points in the overall standings like the east but they are beginning to make things real interesting here.
But again the east remains the top dog as far as in the power rankings here. But again, some western clubs are slowly figuring out a way near the top.
1. Chicago Fire (19 pts., up 1) – Back up on top is the Fire this week. Pretty easy call considering the beating they put on New York in Giants Stadium on Sunday. It wasn’t just the offense that was impressive, the defense continues to confuse people and we are starting to see more of Wilman Conde in the line-up, which should (and it has) make things even tougher for other clubs to score on the Fire here.
2. New England Revolution (19 pts., up 1) – Again, New England is in a nice position. They are getting healthy and are really becoming dangerous again. I still believe if they had been healthy all along here this season we would have had them at the top of the rankings for the majority of this first third of the season. So yes, I am still very high on this club. The consistency is starting to pick up in a good way and the late goal in Columbus was a big boost for this club.
3. Columbus Crew (19 pts., down 2) – Yes, the Crew have tripped up here. Two straight games without a win. Things in MLS can change that quickly with as much parity as there is. I thought they should have been able to hold on for a draw against New England and if they had they probably wouldn’t have fallen this far but you have to begin to wonder if the best of this club is behind them here this season or if this is just a minor bump in the road.
4. Toronto FC (14 pts., same) – A win at home and a close loss on the road in one week to the same club isn’t too much to change my mind about them. Defensively Saturday wasn’t their best effort in a while but I’m still convinced that this club is one big time striker away from a push up the table here. I think they are sitting in a nice spot for now. As long as they don’t continue to drop easy points on the road they will be fine. Winning on the road will convince more people that they are for real this season.
5. LA Galaxy (14 pts., up 4) – Okay, so from about this point to maybe the 11th or 12th spot is a crap-shoot here. I bumped LA up this high for a couple reasons. Lately they are showing this killer never-stop-scoring attitude against anyone. And with each win like the one against KC the defense of the Galaxy continues to pick up moral victories as well. Their scoring attitude is something else though, as role players are starting to mix in with Beckham and Donovan. Just wait until Carlos Ruiz gets healthy here. He was suppose to be the scoring fix too.
6. New York Red Bulls (12 pts., same) – While I wanted to bump this club down for the extremely poor play on Sunday, I couldn’t come to a conclusion on who exactly to bump this club with. Listen, the poor play on Sunday is a bit of what I’ve been talking about all along here with this club. They are missing way too many elements on offense and more importantly defense. Luckily for Juan Carlos Osorio, losing 5-1 won’t get him fired like it did Steve Morrow last week.
7. FC Dallas (12 pts., up 3) – A very big time moral victory for this club. Thus comes the bump by me. I think nothing raises the moral of a club like winning on a goal in extra time. I don’t know what it is about FC Dallas playing Real Salt Lake but somehow there is always a late game-winner scored by one of the clubs, usually FCD. This club still has a lot of growing pains to go through here. I don’t see them really moving up too much further than this for the time being.
8. Chivas USA (11 pts., up 4) – Something is starting to really catch my eye again about this club. They hit a rut for a month or so due to a slew of injuries but lately they have been really coming around to the fact that they are able to deal with what they have and win with it. Plus the whole Jorge Flores story continues to get better with each game and goal that the kid scores.
9. Colorado Rapids (12 pts., down 4) – For weeks I’ve been saying I can’t figure this club out and that trend continues. The Rapids just doesn’t know how to consistently put together a stretch of games. Win one, lose one. Win one, lose won. I guess that means the next one they will win here. But their latest poor performance at home is keeping them out of the top spot in the west. Then again a 4-5 club shouldn’t be leading a conference. I’m sure some people will continue to have them rated too high like I did a week ago.
10. Houston Dynamo (10 pts., down 2) – The loss to San Jose reminded me more of the club that couldn’t win in the first six weeks. I think its a bit of not having that killer mentality that they’ve had in recent years. But more importantly they desperately need a big-time scorer on this club to take some pressure off Ching and De Rosario.
11. Kansas City Wizards (11 pts., down 4) – This isn’t the same club that lead the pack a month ago here. The offense couldn’t produce anything for a full 90 against a defense that would gladly give up goals in as many bunches as their offense puts on the board. We knew their defense wasn’t good enough to beat the Galaxy but I really expected their offense to be a little more creative in this one. Thankfully their long road trip is almost over. They have another week off to figure things out yet again.
12. DC United (9 pts., up 2) – They showed some heart for once on Saturday. I had a feeling things would go their way after they got the PK to tie the game. Thankfully for Unite they won’t have to deal with Danny Dichio anymore this season. He was an absolute pest in the past week with three goals. The win could be just what Tom Soehn’s boys need but the upcoming schedule will dictate just how much this club has woken up here.
13. San Jose Earthquakes (7 pts., up 1) – They may be last in the standings but winning a home game in primetime usually will get you a bump if you play well enough. San Jose played well enough to get the slight bump this week. We are starting to see just exactly how San Jose is going to bring the offense to the table here with young guys like Ryan Johnson and Kia Kamara. If they do it on a consistent basis they could continue to rise here.
14. Real Salt Lake (8 pts., down 3) – This club has the talent to be good here but they just have no idea how to play on the road. For a brief moment on Saturday they had the lead and it looked like things were about to change. But the road is still too unkind to this club and they fall back down to familiar territory here. What’s hurting more on the road this season, the 0-5 record or the getting outscored 12-3? Neither look good.