- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 9, 2008
- 4 Comments
- MLS Power Rankings, Week 24
Finally, after 24 weeks of play we are finally seeing some groups take form in Major League Soccer. In the past, by mid-summer you would typically see a group that was out in front ahead of everyone, a middle pack and a couple of a few teams that were total crap.
For a while we didn’t have that this season with all the parity – but now we do. A lead pack, a middle pack, and a bunch of total crap.
But this doesn’t mean we don’t have some streaking teams but in good and bad streaks. Those teams are trying to make a dent in these packs of clubs. I honestly believe that they will break up a couple packs before the season is out. But until then, we at least know where to keep an eye out at.
1. Columbus Crew (43 pts., same) – Totally dominated an injury-plaqued New England side on Saturday. But give Sigi Schmid the credit here, even with his club missing a couple key players of their own he didn’t have his club back down a bit in a game that they could have easily won 6-0 or 7-0. Guillermo Barros Schelotto continues to show how great of a player he is. I think by now the MVP trophy is his to lose.
2. Houston Dynamo (38 pts., same) – Like the Crew, totally took care of business at home against Kansas City. No real doubt that this club is hitting their peak right now. But the real tests are coming up with the CCL games at the end of this month. Can the Dynamo play two games a week and without missing a beat?
3. Chicago Fire (38 pts., up 1) – Some say the game against New York was even, but I disagree. I thought Chicago handled the Red Bulls at home quite nicely. Can they catch the Crew right now is the biggest question though in my mind for that Supporter’s Shield trophy. Only five points back but this time of year five points aren’t as easy to make up.
4. New England Revolution (38 pts., down 1) – Definitely banged up here. The Revs were missing Steve Ralston, Kenny Mansally, Adam Cristman (out for the season) and Gabriel Badilla against the Crew. Still, you can’t point the blame on the loss of players, it was just a poor showing by the Revs in Columbus. Top to bottom. I think they will respond, and thankfully for them their schedule is a lot lighter than it has been.
5. DC United (32 pts., same) – Here’s where that second pack of teams starts with DC. Good enough to be in the playoffs but not good enough to be in the Supporter’s Shield mix. I don’t see them in that mix either this year. After winning the US Open Cup they did just as expected and nearly laid an egg out in San Jose.
6. San Jose Earthquakes (28 pts., up 2) – Some will have this club above DC and deservingly so based on Saturday’s result. I have them just outside of DC because they are still outside of that playoff picture for right now. But let’s not forget how they’ve gone from last place to where they are today. Its been two months since their last loss. They’ve made believers out of everyone.
7. New York Red Bulls (32 pts., down 1) – Still can’t win on the road make me real cautious about this club going down the stretch. Thankfully for them they have plenty of home games left. But once they get into the playoffs they have to find a way to win on the road or they will be looking at another first round exit.
8. Chivas USA (30 pts., up 2) – Alive from the dead right now is this club. They’ve broken out of that bottom crap group and into the middle group. Good time to do it too. With a lighter schedule and players getting healthy again you could see this club make a move up the ladder here. I see them passing Real Salt Lake soon in the standings, just like they did on here.
9. Real Salt Lake (31 pts., down 2) – Just about 22 minutes from a real positive result on the road on Saturday. Just couldn’t do it though. Honestly, their playoff chances are on the decline with Chivas and San Jose on the incline here. With more road games than home games left, I would be getting awfully nervous if I were a RSL fan.
10. FC Dallas (26 pts., down 1) – Let’s start that bottom crap right here. Winless in four straight, the Hoops have fallen out of the playoff chase and have looked terrible in the process. Judging by the empty seats, no one in Dallas seems to care anyways. Also, how does one guy (Andre Rocha) go from a possible Newcomer of the Year candidate to in the doghouse? I blinked and missed him move from one to the other.
11. Colorado Rapids (27 pts., up 3) – I guess they didn’t mail it in yet here. I don’t look for them to make a serious jump up into that middle group though. When you leave your best player on the bench (Christian Gomez) you won’t win too many games in a playoff hunt.
12. LA Galaxy (26 pts., up 1) – The results are slowly coming. But that winless streak continues and is up to 11 here. They play another team with little hope for the playoffs this week. After two straight draws I would think that anything less than a win would smell the end of the year for Bruce Arena’s bunch.
13. Toronto FC (26 pts., down 2) – You know even had they been able to reschedule the game or have their nine players back from World Cup qualifiers I still think Chivas would have beaten this club. They just aren’t any good. Maybe they have begun a new trend here, peak real early in the year and do nothing after the All-Star break.
14. Kansas City Wizards (26 pts., down 2) – Oh wait, this club perfected that right? I liked their trades last week but they were in the wrong areas of the field. Midfield is their concern believe it or not and to a degree so is their defense. Think we can put Chance Myers up on that list of worst top draft picks ever yet? He is getting close to it.