WVH Power Rankings: Week 3

WVH Power Rankings: Week 3

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 7, 2009
  • 22 Comments
  • 2009 Week 3, MLS Power Rankings

Another week to put in the books here. As usual for this time of year, a lot of changes in the rankings. Columbus fell hard in this one as the two Rocky Mountain clubs rode their way up a good bit.

A lot of you will probably question my decision at the top with Chicago and Seattle. That’s fine, I feel Seattle is only a tiny bit behind the Fire so far, despite the two club’s records. Apparently I’m not the only one out there with that opinion either from what I’ve been told already.

Disagree with the rankings? Agree with them? Feel free to pipe in your comments below.

Team Rank (Last Week) Record (W-L-T) Comments
1 (2) 2-0-1 7 pts. As far as dept goes, this club is really showing how deep they can go already this season. And it isn’t even an injury or international call-up thing. Going down a man at home and still pulling away with a result is always impressive.
2 (3) 3-0-0 9pts. Yeah, this club may just be that good. This could be the best offense that Sigi Schmid has ever put together. And for a club with three shutouts this year in the season you have to wonder how much longer they can handle the pressure of holding clubs from scoring here.
3 (4) 3-0-0 9pts. This club just keep plugging away with a cast of unknowns. I feel better and better about calling this a darkhorse each time I see them play.
4 (5) 2-0-1 7 pts. Hey, what do you know Steve Nicol’s bunch is undefeated despite not having a quality attack so far this year. Can they keep it up may be a question but the way Nicol fills in holes in his roster is still better than most in this league.
5 (9) 2-1-0 6 pts. I was a little nervous about putting the Rapids this high but if Conor Casey continues to lead this bunch then it may be worth it. Only thing is they need to find a replacement for Mehdi Ballouchy in the middile. I think it’s safe to say he isn’t getting any better here.
6 (13) 1-1-0 3 pts. Okay, we do know this about RSL, they are good if not great at home. What we don’t know is if they can actually put it together on the road. I think until I see them consistently put it together on the road I won’t rate them too much higher than this.
7 (1) 0-2-2 2 pts. Not the best start by any defending champion. To their defense though they lost in places they struggled at a year ago and three of four matches were on the road out west. Not a great start but certainly nothing to go too crazy about just yet.
8 (6) 1-1-1 4 pts. Still showing signs of improvement but still struggling to find the back of the net. I thought Pablo Vitti looked better against Seattle than some of their other strikers. Lucky for them they have two straight with Dallas coming up.
9 (11) 1-0-2 5 pt. Undefeated? Yes. Playing great in the process? Not exactly. They’ve gotten lucky so far in their results. Defensively they are getting a bit better though. I still want a consistent effort for 90 minutes before I rate them higher. We’re getting there though.
10 (8) 0-2-1 1 pts. Will Ade Akinbiyi really be any better for the Houston offense? Here’s to wishing they had sucked it up and paid the money for a good striker in the offseason.
11 (14) 1-2-0 3 pts. It looks like they found their offensive a bit here. Good thing too because I still don’t think they are scaring anyone with their defense. Sure they got the shutout but San Jose’s pathetic attack was more of the cause of that.
12 (7) 1-2-0 3 pts. How can you go from scoring three goals in 15 minutes to only getting one shot on goal? Seriously how? The effort just wasn’t there and if it keeps up this won’t be a contender at all.
13 (10) 0-1-1 1 pts. I honestly think that was one of the worst defensive performances against Colorado that I’ve ever seen in 14 years of watching this league. Now the question will be is Gregg Berhalter goin to be enough to help this defense out?
14 (12) 0-2-1 1 pts. This club looks a lot like the club we saw a year ago. And my friends that is not a good sign.Their new additions better make their impacts quickly or this could get out of hand before summer hits.
15 (15) 0-3-0 0 pts. Speaking of getting out of hand, this club continues to spin in the wrong direction. Sad part is the blame isn’t all going to GM Michael Hitchcock for the player signings this year like before, a lot of them will go to Schellas Hyndman. I think he is finding out the pro game is mighty different from the college game.
  • mitch

    too bad i'm a die-hard dallas fan…i hate seeing them at the bottom, but you speak the truth…i was upset to see hyndman's substitutions against new england…did he let a 6 year old tell him what to do?, because i think i'd have done much better…we could (and should) have walked out of there with at least a point…even though they lost, i think it was their best game yet, both offensively and defensively.

  • Ricardo

    As a DC fan, I know I'm biased, but…<br />
    <br />
    How can you call DC's results at LA lucky? They had 3-points in the bag, but for an errant PK-call and a fluky injury. Extremely unlucky, I'd say. <br />
    <br />
    And I'd also argue that they deserved better for their efforts against Chicago. A poor decision by a backup keeper split the points there, but they were better than even in run of play against your #1.<br />
    <br />
    Houston was their poorest effort, and perhaps they were lucky to take 3 points instead of 1 there.<br />
    <br />
    DC's been playing down 5 starters and have shown surprising depth. I agree that they are inconsistent and need to show up for the full 90 minutes. But lucky? I don't get that. If anything, bad luck has them at 5 instead of 7 points.

  • SDM

    Good call on Ballouchy…..I think it's safe to call him a bust now. Looking forward to the Chivas-Seattle game in a couple of weeks to see how they really stack up.

  • WVHooligan

    Ricardo, take your biased opinions out for a second and really think about DC so far this year. Wouldn't you feel they are a little lucky to be where they are at right now? They are the one undefeated team left that no one is truly worried about playing yet.

  • Cannon Girl

    You could lose your Quakes Fan Club card talkin' like that Drewby and you know how proud of it you are- LOL! 🙂

  • mitch

    too bad i’m a die-hard dallas fan…i hate seeing them at the bottom, but you speak the truth…i was upset to see hyndman’s substitutions against new england…did he let a 6 year old tell him what to do?, because i think i’d have done much better…we could (and should) have walked out of there with at least a point…even though they lost, i think it was their best game yet, both offensively and defensively.

  • soundersfan

    as a sounders fan circa USL-1, I would like to see them get scored on first, and then come back for a win or even a draw on the road. They have scored in the first 25 minutes of every game so far and they need some variety and someone to challenge them so they come from behind. So far their offensive power hasn't been put under any pressure. Their defense has been picking up yellows like they are going out of style, a couple more games and we'll start having suspensions.

  • TCompton

    WVHooligan,<br />
    <br />
    I think you're missing Ricardo's point. No one is disagreeing that DC is playing inconsistent and they certainly don't look threatening.<br />
    <br />
    Yet, they're still undefeated given the following (unlucky) conditions:<br />
    <br />
    Injuries to key players:<br />
    <br />
    1. Louis Crayton (2008: 1,080 in 12 games) missed the first two games after recovering from shoulder surgery and missing part of pre-season. In those two games, Josh Wicks gave up 3 goals. The first was caused by the &quot;Hand of Lucifer,&quot; the second from bad defending, the third from Wicks making a bad decision. In Crayton's first game back, he got a shutout.<br />
    <br />
    2. Fred (2008: 1,690 minutes in 23 games) – Missed the first two games due to hamstring injury and only saw limited time in Houston match.<br />
    <br />
    3. Santino Quaranta (2008: 1,963 in 27 games) – Missed the first three games due to hamstring injury.<br />
    <br />
    4. Devon McTavish (2008: 2,223 in 26 games) – Injured in first game against Galaxy, and missed following two games. While in game, United did not allow a goal.<br />
    <br />
    Playing down a man:<br />
    <br />
    Week 1: Both Devin McTavish and Greg Janicki left the field of play after a head collision. During their absence, Los Angeles was unjustly rewarded a penalty kick (as the Galaxy were free to attack with a 2 man advantage).<br />
    <br />
    Week 3: Jaime Moreno received a red card in the 71 Minute. United played a man down for the remainder of the game, yet maintained their 1-0 lead.<br />
    <br />
    *****************************************<br />
    <br />
    The argument isn't that they are a threatening team. It's that they're hanging in there without key players. It's no different than evaluating Chicago's draw with United differently because they were missing two key defenders due to National Team call-ups. <br />
    <br />
    Personally, I think you hold United to a higher standard than several of the other teams because of their history (and that's fine because it's a sign of respect), but you can't also discount their accomplishments because of it. They may not be the same team that won the Supporters Shield in 06 and 07, but they're certainly playing well enough to be in the top half of the rankings given that they're earning points despite their numerous misfortunes and setbacks.

  • Ricardo

    As a DC fan, I know I’m biased, but…

    How can you call DC’s results at LA lucky? They had 3-points in the bag, but for an errant PK-call and a fluky injury. Extremely unlucky, I’d say.

    And I’d also argue that they deserved better for their efforts against Chicago. A poor decision by a backup keeper split the points there, but they were better than even in run of play against your #1.

    Houston was their poorest effort, and perhaps they were lucky to take 3 points instead of 1 there.

    DC’s been playing down 5 starters and have shown surprising depth. I agree that they are inconsistent and need to show up for the full 90 minutes. But lucky? I don’t get that. If anything, bad luck has them at 5 instead of 7 points.

    • Ricardo, take your biased opinions out for a second and really think about DC so far this year. Wouldn’t you feel they are a little lucky to be where they are at right now? They are the one undefeated team left that no one is truly worried about playing yet.

  • Ricardo

    I don't think DC is lucky so much as surprising. I'm not saying they should top your list or anything, but anyone who is expecting last year's debacle should re-evaluate.<br />
    <br />
    The off-season rebuild is showing signs of success. The reserves – draft picks and MLS newcomers – are stepping up much better than anyone expected. Last year I would have panicked seeing Jaime suspended. This year I'm not concerned. We have legitimate options off a very solid bench. That's unusual for MLS, new for DC, and an advantage as the season progresses.<br />
    <br />
    As you've said, DC isn't consistent for 90 minutes (nerve-wracking as a fan). They don't have any flashy new 9's 10' or 11's to grab headlines. But they have played some pretty and some gritty soccer to earn their points. I just wouldn't call it luck, given all that.<br />
    <br />
    We'll see how they do against RSL. It's not a good venue for DC, and many fans are secretly hoping they can just contain the damage… I'm predicting an upset, of course. :)<br />
    <br />
    Yeah, I know. Remove bias = fail.

  • SDM

    Good call on Ballouchy…..I think it’s safe to call him a bust now. Looking forward to the Chivas-Seattle game in a couple of weeks to see how they really stack up.

  • Cannon Girl

    You could lose your Quakes Fan Club card talkin’ like that Drewby and you know how proud of it you are- LOL! 🙂

  • CarlosT

    Just to be clear, the Sounders, with their three victories so far, are less impressive than the Fire because they haven't given up any goals, so they haven't had to come from behind, and they haven't had anyone get sent off, so they haven't had to get a result playing a man down. So, maybe we should have let TFC draw level, have Hurtado slap the ref, then if we had won that game, then we could be number one?

  • soundersfan

    as a sounders fan circa USL-1, I would like to see them get scored on first, and then come back for a win or even a draw on the road. They have scored in the first 25 minutes of every game so far and they need some variety and someone to challenge them so they come from behind. So far their offensive power hasn’t been put under any pressure. Their defense has been picking up yellows like they are going out of style, a couple more games and we’ll start having suspensions.

  • TCompton

    WVHooligan,

    I think you’re missing Ricardo’s point. No one is disagreeing that DC is playing inconsistent and they certainly don’t look threatening.

    Yet, they’re still undefeated given the following (unlucky) conditions:

    Injuries to key players:

    1. Louis Crayton (2008: 1,080 in 12 games) missed the first two games after recovering from shoulder surgery and missing part of pre-season. In those two games, Josh Wicks gave up 3 goals. The first was caused by the “Hand of Lucifer,” the second from bad defending, the third from Wicks making a bad decision. In Crayton’s first game back, he got a shutout.

    2. Fred (2008: 1,690 minutes in 23 games) – Missed the first two games due to hamstring injury and only saw limited time in Houston match.

    3. Santino Quaranta (2008: 1,963 in 27 games) – Missed the first three games due to hamstring injury.

    4. Devon McTavish (2008: 2,223 in 26 games) – Injured in first game against Galaxy, and missed following two games. While in game, United did not allow a goal.

    Playing down a man:

    Week 1: Both Devin McTavish and Greg Janicki left the field of play after a head collision. During their absence, Los Angeles was unjustly rewarded a penalty kick (as the Galaxy were free to attack with a 2 man advantage).

    Week 3: Jaime Moreno received a red card in the 71 Minute. United played a man down for the remainder of the game, yet maintained their 1-0 lead.

    *****************************************

    The argument isn’t that they are a threatening team. It’s that they’re hanging in there without key players. It’s no different than evaluating Chicago’s draw with United differently because they were missing two key defenders due to National Team call-ups.

    Personally, I think you hold United to a higher standard than several of the other teams because of their history (and that’s fine because it’s a sign of respect), but you can’t also discount their accomplishments because of it. They may not be the same team that won the Supporters Shield in 06 and 07, but they’re certainly playing well enough to be in the top half of the rankings given that they’re earning points despite their numerous misfortunes and setbacks.

  • Ricardo

    I don’t think DC is lucky so much as surprising. I’m not saying they should top your list or anything, but anyone who is expecting last year’s debacle should re-evaluate.

    The off-season rebuild is showing signs of success. The reserves – draft picks and MLS newcomers – are stepping up much better than anyone expected. Last year I would have panicked seeing Jaime suspended. This year I’m not concerned. We have legitimate options off a very solid bench. That’s unusual for MLS, new for DC, and an advantage as the season progresses.

    As you’ve said, DC isn’t consistent for 90 minutes (nerve-wracking as a fan). They don’t have any flashy new 9’s 10′ or 11’s to grab headlines. But they have played some pretty and some gritty soccer to earn their points. I just wouldn’t call it luck, given all that.

    We’ll see how they do against RSL. It’s not a good venue for DC, and many fans are secretly hoping they can just contain the damage… I’m predicting an upset, of course. 🙂

    Yeah, I know. Remove bias = fail.

  • CarlosT

    Just to be clear, the Sounders, with their three victories so far, are less impressive than the Fire because they haven’t given up any goals, so they haven’t had to come from behind, and they haven’t had anyone get sent off, so they haven’t had to get a result playing a man down. So, maybe we should have let TFC draw level, have Hurtado slap the ref, then if we had won that game, then we could be number one?

  • Kevin

    Another biased DC fan coming in! Look out!<br />
    I think Ricardo's latest post touched on something a lot of people overlook: we have a TON of depth. Any team in this league that can afford to sit even an AGING Jaime Moreno or Christian Gomez every other week obviously has some good backups. And these backups are all very young, very talented, and developing, American guys, who should be here a while. This team is combining age (Ben Olsen, Jaime, Christian) with youth (I still consider Tino youth; McTavish, Janicki, etc). Then there are the guys like Emilio and Fred who have been around a few years, but are still pretty young. <br />
    I don't want to sound like a baby, whining because United was robbed of your 8th place spot here (INJUSTICE!!!!!), but I do agree that, especially with key players coming back, we should be graded with the same leeway as the Fire. <br />
    <br />
    Although if what TCompton says is true, and you hold United in a higher regard than other teams, I can only say thank you =)

  • Kevin

    Another biased DC fan coming in! Look out!
    I think Ricardo’s latest post touched on something a lot of people overlook: we have a TON of depth. Any team in this league that can afford to sit even an AGING Jaime Moreno or Christian Gomez every other week obviously has some good backups. And these backups are all very young, very talented, and developing, American guys, who should be here a while. This team is combining age (Ben Olsen, Jaime, Christian) with youth (I still consider Tino youth; McTavish, Janicki, etc). Then there are the guys like Emilio and Fred who have been around a few years, but are still pretty young.
    I don’t want to sound like a baby, whining because United was robbed of your 8th place spot here (INJUSTICE!!!!!), but I do agree that, especially with key players coming back, we should be graded with the same leeway as the Fire.

    Although if what TCompton says is true, and you hold United in a higher regard than other teams, I can only say thank you =)

  • Kevin

    Lol @ CarlosT.

  • Kevin

    Lol @ CarlosT.