- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 11, 2011
- 1 Comments
- 2011 MLS Power Rankings, 2011 MLS Season, 2011 MLS Season Review, Features, MLS Power Rankings
I had every intention of doing this revisit sooner but things happen as you know. Today, we’ll finally wrap up this positional rankings revisit with a look at the forwards.
A lot of the rankings for this group have changed of the course of the season but some of them were pretty close to being right from the start.
1. Seattle Sounders FC – The Sounders dominated the league in scoring this year with 56 goals. Sure some came from the midfield and defense but the likes of Fredy Montero and others like Mike Fucito were huge this season. This team was always a threat to score from anywhere on the field and even if you take out that beating 6-2 beating of Columbus, they would still lead the league in goals. (Preseason Rank: 5)
2. LA Galaxy – I wasn’t too far off about the Galaxy and their attack. I thought if Juan Pablo Angel would step up that they’d be fine, instead it was them shipping off JPA for Robbie Keane that did the trick. Landon Donovan also had a strong year and believe it or not so did Chad Barrett. (Preseason Rank: 3)
3. Sporting Kansas City – Easily one of the top attacking teams in the league. I had them pegged completely wrong at the start of the season. Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, CJ Sapong and Omar Bravo were huge for them all year long. It will be interesting to see where this team goes in 2012. (Preseason Rank: 11)
4. New York Red Bulls – I nearly had them at the top of my list like I did back at the start of the year. I just felt the three above them were a tad more consistent over the long haul. Still, Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers were great when they were both healthy this season. (Preseason Rank: 1)
5. DC United – I don’t think they would be this high had Dwayne De Rosario not come over in the middle of the year. But with him they are certainly a top-level offense in this league. We saw though without him and Chris Pontius late in the year that they struggled, that’s how important they were to this group. Oh yeah and Charlie Davies had a decent year for them as well. (Preseason Rank: 12)
6. Philadelphia Union – When it was Carlos Ruiz early in the year or Sebastien Le Toux late in the year, this group was much improved from 2011. I think if they can get a little more out of Danny Mwanga next year that this will be an even tougher team to handle. (Preseason Rank: 7)
7. Real Salt Lake – Injuries hurt this club over the course of the season but once Alvaro Saborio got going late in the season it was fun to watch. Fabian Espindola was also good for this this season. I think adding some depth over the winter will help this bunch out a whole lot going into 2012. (Preseason Rank: 2)
8. Columbus Crew – I do feel a little odd placing them this high but I have to give some credit to Andres Mendoza for stepping up as a DP this year and getting double-digit goals. I still think this group has a ways to go before they are in the top class of this league but in 2011, it wasn’t too bad.
9. Houston Dynamo – Just about where I had them from the start. Good but not great. I really view numbers 8-13 to be on the same level really. You could make the case to move Houston higher but for the most part this seems about right. Decent production out of Brian Ching and company. (Preseason Rank: 10)
10. Colorado Rapids – The injury to Conor Casey really, really hurt this club. He and Omar Cummings were so good together that replacing that production was tough. They still managed to score a fair amount this season but I kind of see this group on the decline as it is. (Preseason Rank: 4)
11. Chicago Fire – Another good but not great squad. They came on stronger late in the season once some good pieces were added to the midfield. I think if they go out and get a big time scorer in the winter that they will be extremely tough to deal with in 2012. (Preseason Rank: 16)
12. San Jose Earthquakes – Outside of Chris Wondolowski, this team really doesn’t scare a lot of people. They get this high of a ranking mostly because of Wondo. This group has to improve as a whole in 2012 for them to be a playoff team again. (Preseason Rank: 9)
13. Toronto FC – Not a lot of goals early in the year but after all the trades and players got settled into this system they began to find the back of the net. Danny Koevermans could be one of the best DP signings the league has ever had in terms of production. A full preseason with this club and I expect big things for this team in 2012. (Preseason Rank: 18)
14. FC Dallas – Biggest drop off of any forward group, mostly because their goals didn’t come from here. Milton Rodriguez wasn’t the answer, neither truly was Maicon Santos. When Schellas Hyndman had to go with a defender (Jackson) as their main striker you knew things were bad. Yet, some how Ruben Luna was scoring like gang busters in the Reserve league, makes you wonder. (Preseason Rank: 6)
15. Portland Timbers – Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza never really got on the same page. Darlington Nagbe wasn’t used as a true striker either. This team was good on set pieces but that was about it. They have to improve this bunch if they want to see the post season in 2012. (Preseason Rank: 8 )
16. Vancouver Whitecaps – This one feels lower than it should be due to Eric Hassli and Camilo’s play this season. Both combined for a good chunk of this club’s goals. Outside of that they really didn’t score a ton of goals this season. Hence the bottom of the barrel spot in the standings.(Preseason Rank: 17)
17. Chivas USA – Not a huge shocker to see them here. Outside of getting Juan Pablo Angel they really did nothing to improve their offense in 2011. Alejandro Moreno had a decent year for them before Copa America kicked off. Justin Braun looked decent at times too. (Preseason Rank: 15)
18. New England Revolution – Here is one club that I felt that had pretty much nothing from their forward group in 2011. I had them pegged right at the start of the season by saying the pressure would be on them. In the end they just didn’t get the job done this season. (Preseason Rank: 17)