2012 MLS Power Rankings: Preseason

2012 MLS Power Rankings: Preseason

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 8, 2012
  • 2012 MLS Power Rankings, 2012 MLS Season, Features

Our first Power Rankings of the new year are finally here. I tried to hold off on releasing these until the positional rankings were out and after the preseason games were over with.

I’m doing these a little different this year, or at least starting out I am. While I am doing the usual 1-19 list, I have broken the teams up in to four tiers. In a way I am taking a page out of my pals over at SBNation in doing it this way. I just felt that – especially starting out – that teams in the middle of the pack were so closely ranked in my mind that I needed to put them into groups/tiers to make things a little clearer. I think the top two tiers and the bottom tier is very clear but everything in the middle is not. You could make a case for any club 7-16 to be higher or lower than where they are.

So here they are, feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Team Rank Record (W-L-T) Comments
Top Tier (teams seen to be head and shoulders above the rest)
1 0-0-0 0 pts. I always believe the champion deserves to start out on top. So far the Galaxy have given us no reason not to place them at the top. The only question will be who can step up in Omar Gonzalez’s place this season.
2 0-0-0 0 pts. This team is still the same group that won a MLS Cup a couple seasons ago. While they had no big additions they also had no major losses. That is key as the chemistry of this club will be one of the bigger things that keeps them near the top this season.
3 0-0-0 0 pts. Sigi Schmid has a tall order going into the new season, getting over the hump in the playoffs. First up however is getting by Santos Laguna in the Champions League. A win in that series would be huge for them and the league.
Second Tier (teams expected to reach the post season but not quite on the level of the top teams)
4 0-0-0 0 pts. Sporting looks to be the class of the East this year. Adding guys like Bobby Convey certainly help the bottom line. The offense didn’t click much in the preseason but once they get going they’ll be fine.
5 0-0-0 0 pts. Getting George John back certainly helps their defense, which may be deeper than any other club in the league. Depth in the midfield is the question but as long as everyone is healthy this group will be very strong this season.
6 0-0-0 0 pts. I felt like an idiot when I left Houston out of my predictions during my appearance on the SI Podcast. Needless to say I do believe they’ll still be a contender in the East again this season. Big questions surrounding their offense though as they didn’t seem to do much this preseason.
Third Tier (middle of the road in the league, teams could go either go in the playoffs or miss it entirely)
7 0-0-0 0 pts. New coach, and a new formation this offseason. Can the Omar Cummings and company carry the club until Conor Casey returns is a big key to start the season.
8 0-0-0 0 pts. Their first 11 is still as talented as any club in the league but depth is still a major issue with this side. Oh and let’s not even get started on their goalkeeper situation.
9 0-0-0 0 pts. I’m very high on this Toronto team going into the season. I think the fact that this is mostly the same team that finished strong last season that makes me feel this group has a good shot at doing well in the East.
10 0-0-0 0 pts. The Crew have some issues up top but if Milovan Mirosevic can click with Eddie Gaven, Dilly Duka and Emilio RenterĂ­a, this group could be very interesting to watch.
11 0-0-0 0 pts. Probably one of the bigger sleeper teams in the league. If the offense can have a good spark with Dominic Oduro and Marco Pappa again, Frank Klopas could easily find himself in the post season.
12 0-0-0 0 pts. I think they are my sleeper team out of the West this season. If Kris Boyd can score the goals and the defense improves, they will certainly make some noise in their sophomore campaign.
13 0-0-0 0 pts. They have a ton of offense but the biggest question will be whether or not their defense can hold up over the long haul.
14 0-0-0 0 pts. This one feels low after the success of last year but the two big losses in the offseason (Mondragon and Le Toux) hurt their bottom line. I think this is still a quality team if everyone is on the same page up top.
15 0-0-0 0 pts. Having the league MVP and be this low seems odd but there are a ton of questions surrounding Ben Olsen’s side going into the season. Biggest question will be if Hamdi Salihi and Dwayne De Rosario can quickly get on the same page.
16 0-0-0 0 pts. The Quakes added some talent this winter to their offense and if Ike Opara can make it through the full season they will be much better than this ranking. Still, saying all of that, I don’t think they have enough depth to get through a crowded West.
Bottom Tier (could be a long year for these teams)
17 0-0-0 0 pts. I do think the Revs are better than they were last year but with so many questions going into the new season they landed here for me. Jay Heaps has done very well this winter getting his roster ready but I still worry about who will score the goals again.
18 0-0-0 0 pts. Boy it was a rough preseason for Robin Fraser and the Goats. Playing in the deeper conference, Fraser has his work cut out for him in his second season.
19 0-0-0 0 pts. While I am a fan what Jesse Marsch is doing in Montreal, one thing is clear, this will still be an expansion team. Which means there will be growing pains in their first season.