WVH Power Rankings: Closing The Gap

WVH Power Rankings: Closing The Gap

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 12, 2008
  • MLS Power Rankings, Week 20

Boy things sure are getting tight in the MLS standings. In a year full of parity, some clubs could be staring at no playoffs then to only win a single game and then jump five or six spots up the standings in a given week. We keep seeing that time and time again with how close things are right now in the league.

Right now we have a solid top four or five clubs, followed by a middle pack that is more confusing to watch each week, and then a bottom pack that is actually inching closer to that middle pack (more on all of that in a bit).

Week 20 was a short one but definitely a dominate one by the eastern conference. All four games went to an eastern side. The west continues to struggle but then again they only had two clubs going this past weekend.

Let’s see how it did in the rankings here.

1. New England Revolution (33 pts., same) – A loss but honestly, it would have been vastly different had Shalrie Joseph not been red carded. I firmly believe the Revs would have finished off the Fire 1-0 but sometimes things just don’t happen that way. I will give this club the benefit of the doubt for the time being, but another slip and we could see some questions being raised. But in all reality I think they will be fine.

2. Chicago Fire (32 pts., same) – Some will put the Fire on top of the Revs after this week, but I am not one of them. Why you may ask after they’ve dominated the Revs all year? Simple, I want to see these two play a game with no involvement by the official (two games with two big red cards against New England), both sides fully fit and both sides free of international callups. I still think in the end I would give the edge to New England. However, the gap is definitely closer than it has been in a LONG time here this season. And it should only get better with Brian McBride on board in a few weeks.

3. Houston Dynamo (26 pts., same) – No change from me with Houston. They didn’t play this past weekend but you can bet they are ready to redeem themselves after their SuperLiga stumble to New England. Come on they were due to finally lose a game to the Revs in a final. Hell of a game though.

4. Columbus Crew (31 pts., same) – No play this past weekend, no change from me. Once their Olympians return from China I think this club will pick things back up. I like the addition of Pat Noonan though, he should really provide a spark for this club down the stretch, not to mention he has the experience in the playoffs that this club needs.

5. Real Salt lake (27 pts., same) – Are they seriously going to take Clint Mathis back? I guess so, that will either be really wise or just another waste of money out of this club. What’s weird is these guys haven’t played in a while and I think they are starting to dip into that “out of sight, out of mind” area.

6. FC Dallas (25 pts., up 1) – Hey nothing like benefiting from another clubs fall here, while NOT playing this past weekend. Honestly there was no one else to move up but the Hoops. They did make headlines this past week by taking on the always problematic Jeff Cunningham. Luckily for them it could only be just a two-month rental.

7. Chivas USA (22 pts., up 2) – Oh to lose and still rise in the rankings. I know some Wizards fans won’t like this but Chivas gave them a real run for it without a majority of their best players. That isn’t good for KC but it is great for Chivas and their head coach Preki. I think if they had at least Sasha Kljestan out there on Saturday it would have been a different result to the Wizards. Health is still a major concern for this club but if they can get their act together here soon they will make some noise in the forgiving west.

8. DC United (25 pts., down 2) – What’s more surprising right now, the fact that DC is almost as inconsistent as Colorado or the fact that they have the same amount of losses as San Jose (9)? Yeah, rack your brains around that one. At 8-9-1, I really am beginning to wonder which club will show up next out of this bunch. That defense has some major issues right now too, but not too many people are quick to talk about it.

9. Toronto FC (25 pts., up 1) – Maybe a lucky win on the road to Colorado but at this point I’m pretty sure anyone with this club will tell you that they will take it. Greg Sutton and that Toronto defense came up big a few times and what a goal from Chad Barrett. I guess a move wasn’t so bad for him after all. They still need some work done but right now its all fair game with them and about six other clubs for those wildcard spots.

10. Kansas City Wizards (25 pts., down 1) – Don’t get me wrong, they are playing much better these days (2-1-2 in last five). Still, I cannot get behind that defense and again they proved to me why I can’t against Chivas. They were lucky to win that game in the end because the Goats put on some serious pressure late. Had it not been for Kevin Hartman, KC could have seen some points slip away from them.

11. New York Red Bulls (25 pts., up 3) – Juan Pablo Angel may have saved Juan Carlos Osorio’s job with that two-goal effort against DC on Sunday. Still question if their defense can hold it up for the final 11 games. They could see some momentum as Toronto comes into town this weekend.

12. LA Galaxy (23 pts., down 1) – Can Cobi Jones turn this club around and back into that form we saw earlier in the year? From a media standpoint I hope he does because it will create a lot of good buzz for the league and it will make for some interesting playoff scenarios.

13. San Jose Earthquakes (18 pts., down 1) – Sorry Quake fans, you got the bump this week. Don’t worry if you all play anything like you have in recent weeks you will easily continue your climb back up and more importantly into the playoff picture.

14. Colorado Rapids (21 pts., same) – Most losses in the league, on pace to get even more before it is all said and done. I don’t think they’ve mailed it in just yet but boy they sure look close to it with no movement this summer and no buzz surrounding them. Hell, even the fans have noticed because they aren’t coming to games anymore…which is a total bummer if you ask me.