- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 26, 2008
- 6 Comments
- MLS Power Rankings, Week 22
A lot can change in one week. You can go from sitting on top of the world to forth or fifth place. It doesn’t take much to change you place in line, just ask any Olympian. It’s no different in the world of soccer, especially in a parity driven MLS.
We’ve gotten 21 games in the books for these clubs and with nine to go things are as tight as I’ve ever seen them. You could easily go from 13th place in the league to a playoff spot all in one game with the way things are going.
So how did week 22 change things for some MLS clubs? What we do know is things are packed in the top and at the bottom. Everything else inbetween is an utter mess.
1. Columbus Crew (37 pts., up 2) – Two game winning streak thanks to the boot of Guillermo Barros Schelotto puts this club on top. We know GBS is an MVP candidate but give a lot of credit to players around him for finishing what he sets up. Two years ago that wouldn’t have happened with this team. I will say they still need to do some convicing on the road but right now at home they are playing as well as anyone can this year.
2. New England Revolution (37 pts., same) – I almost put the Revs back on top but I want to see exactly how they will respond this upcoming week with another two game swing. They have to play a CONCACAF Champions League qualifier tonight, and then play LA on Saturday. Could be a long week or it could be another solid New England week. At least we know Taylor Twellman is back up and running here.
3. Houston Dynamo (32 pts., down 2) – Their ten game run ended just like that in New York. While I am not too worried about that, I am beginning to worry about their defense. A lot is being said about the year Eddie Robinson is having…or not having really. I am one to agree. Still I can’t overlook that 4-0 beating they gave Chivas last Wednesday.
4. Chicago Fire (35 pts., same) – I wanted to move them up, I did. But just a 1-0 win over a weak Galaxy club didn’t convince me enough when the teams above them were getting results. But the biggest bright spot was John Thorrington’s goal. Still the best defense in the league right now though and that is a good thing at this time of the year to have.
5. DC United (31 pts., up 1) – Two shutouts in three games for new keeper Louis Crayton. Why didn’t they make that move sooner? Anyways, DC is on track to have a wild year, currently at 10-10-1 they could easily end up in weird 15-14-1 range on the year and still be in playoff contention. As good as they looked at home against Colorado, they have to turn it up a notch on the road from here out.
6. New York Red Bulls (31 pts., up 2) – Cannot even ignore the run this club is on right now. Juan Pablo Angel is in fine form and some of these new additions are making Juan Carlos Osorio actually look good here. Hell he may even keep his job after all this year. Can they last though with this streak? I’m still not sure but I am eager to find out.
7. FC Dallas (26 pts., same) – Out of their eight draws, I believe at least five if not six of them were basically points given away on last minute goals when they had the lead. That will come back and haunt them before its all said and done. Still picking up points on the road was positive but clearly disappointing that it wasn’t the full three.
8. Real Salt Lake (27 pts., down 3) – Where did the mojo go for this club? Certainly we can’t point the blame on that long two and half week break they had a couple weeks back? No. It has to be because they are the worst road side in the league today. Maybe even one of the worst I’ve ever seen. There was a reason why I wasn’t too high on them from the start.
9. San Jose Earthquakes (22 pts., up 1) – A draw on the road isn’t a bad thing but before long they have to get wins if they really believe they are in the playoff race here. Wins get you in and draws make you worry. Still you can’t deny a six game unbeaten run for an expansion club.
10. Toronto FC (26 pts., up 2) – This club really came alive with Amado Guevara back in the line up. The question now goes to whether or not Carlos Ruiz will join him in Toronto. They have to start picking up wins again at home here. Hard to believe that they haven’t won there since the middle of June.
11. Chivas USA (24 pts., down 2) – Can we really blame the injuries for the two games this week? Wednesday’s game I think so. Saturday’s on the other hand was more to do with lack of finishing. They had their chances but again failed to do anything with them.
12. Kansas City Wizards (26 pts., down 1) – Some folks out there are already calling for a rebuilding of this club. Yet no one is calling for Curt Onaflo’s head here? I guess give him his due. I totally get why they are calling for a rebuild here though, their leading scorer is a defender. A defender should never lead the club in scoring, ever. This club is very lucky to have Jimmy Conrad though, without him they are pathetic.
13. LA Galaxy (24 pts., same) – Started decently for The Bruce at home in his debut, ended up poorly though. He learned quickly what his club looked like without Donovan, Beckham and Lewis. Put those three in and I think they will be fine. Tough part is they don’t have many winable games left and are expected to lose them for a couple more games due to callups.
14. Colorado Rapids (24 pts., same) – I think its about time this club started unloading some talent to prepare for next year. For the love of all things good in this world please trade Pablo Mastroeni. He’s got nothing left to do for this club. And why is Christian Gomez on the bench? No wonder their season is in the tank.