- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 19, 2008
- 2 Comments
- MLS Power Rankings, Week 21
Two-third of the way through the season and things are still a complete mess in Major League Soccer. This may be the closest season we have seen in a long time, if ever. Mainly because of parity and because from week to week we just never know what will exactly happen like we think we do (I’m speaking for myself and probably every other pundit).
As much change as there could have been this weekend we didn’t shift around too many clubs. One did manage it’s way to the top thanks to a stumble by the previous top dog (New England). The Revs held that top spot for a while here so it is weird to see them elsewhere again. It almost feels like April again when you think about how things are going here.
Okay, its not that crazy but its pretty damn close.
1. Houston Dynamo (29 pts., up 2) – Top dog indeed. Sure they gave up some goals (3) to RSL at home over the weekend but in my mind they are returning to that championship form with each game. Plus I feel more confident in their offense’s ability to come from behind when needed now, they did it twice against RSL.
2. New England Revolution (33 pts., down 1) – Its almost a benefit of the doubt here for New England. I still have trouble believing that scoreline against San Jose but I know it would have been vastly different had Shalrie Joesph been on the field and not suspended. They should be fine defensively once Michael Parkhurst returns and if this Gabriel Badilla deal finishes up here.
3. Columbus Crew (34 pts., up 1) – Again they showed to me that they are the toughest team to close on in the league this season. Down a goal to Dallas, they battled back thanks to the play of Schelotto and Moreno. With Pat Noonan in the fold and Robbie Rogers back from the Olympics this club will be tough to beat again. Oh yeah, their other Olympian (Emmanuel Ekpo) is still in China with his country, once he returns I expect even more out of this club.
4. Chicago Fire (32 pts. down 2) – I don’t know what it is but Toyota Park is just not the fortress that it should be with the Fire. Its a great place but the Fire continue to stumble there from time to time. Why is that? I did like what I saw out of Brian McBride though, that is a deal that will prove to be big in the end.
5. Real Salt Lake (27 pts., same) – They stay the same because they went on the road in one of the toughest stadiums (Robertson Stadium in Houston) and got three goals. Tough part was those three goals weren’t enough to win. They look great at times but they tend to lose themselves at the wrong moments, and that’s what scares me about them.
6. DC United (28 pts., up 2) – Nice gritty win on the road by DC. But this up and down crap can’t continue. At 9-9-1 they look great one game and terrible the next. I know I gave Colorado and sometimes KC crap for being inconsistent but DC is right up there with them in that boat. I did however like new keeper Louis Crayton in goal. I take it Zach Wells is out of the picture for now thanks to Crayton’s clean sheet on the road.
7. FC Dallas (25 pts., down 1) – Tough break not to at least come away with a draw against Columbus. The two new additions seemed to work out alright, I want to give them a bit more time before I really put my stamp on them. Plus I need to see more of Kenny Cooper and Jeff Cunningham together, at least Cunningham got the monkey off his back (finally) and scored his 100th. I do think this team has improved so much from a month ago. Going into this final ten games it couldn’t have come at a better time.
8. New York Red Bulls (28 pts., up 3) – Big movers this week were the Red Bulls. Can you believe its the first time they’ve posted back-to-back wins this season? Good time to do it. I guess Juan Carlos Osorio can feel okay for now about his job situation there in the Big Apple.
9. Chivas USA (23 pts., down 2) – Gritty and unlucky at this point. Too many injuries though are just killing this club and my MLS Cup prediction (some of you have pointed out that I had Chivas and New England in the final). Some people will have this club lower and I totally understand. I still feel like this club is better than what we are seeing.
10. San Jose Earthquakes (21 pts., up 3) – Another big mover. You make a lot of moves and before long they should pay off. Right now things are certainly paying off for this club. Seven goals in their last two. And with that I’d like to welcome them in to the playoff race. Yeah, they are definitely in the discussion now.
11. Kansas City Wizards (25 pts., down 1) – Couldn’t figure things out on the road. Then again they haven’t won on the road since April so it wasn’t a huge shock even though I thought they’d pull it off. I’m not going to lie, even with how close things are in the league their playoff hopes don’t look great at this point.
12. Toronto FC (25 pts., down 3) – Big movers on the wrong side this week. Their midfield looked lost and their offense had no juice. With Maurice Edu gone I wonder just exactly how this club will be in the defense because he certainly made them a better defensive club.
13. LA Galaxy (24 pts., down 1) – Another week, another coach. Can Bruce Arena turn things around in a hurry? I think the short answer is no. At least he has control over this club in the GM sense of things. That is good because at least Arena knows how the MLS works, unlike Alexi Lalas and any other yahoo that has ran that club for the last few years.
14. Colorado Rapids (24 pts., same) – Nice win, but it was about freakin’ time you did something positive at home. Too bad no one was there to see it. Also, nice to see Conor Casey score a couple. Just too bad it is too little too late here.