May 30, 2011

MLS Power Rankings: Week 10

1. LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Last Week: 1
Result: W 1-0 @ NE
Last Five: T-W-W-W-W

Unbeaten in their last five, and on a four-match winning streak, the Galaxy are finally hitting the stride that proves that they are a serious contender for defending the Supporters' Shield and win their third MLS Cup. The looming question will be how the Galaxy will cope with the absence of captain, Landon Donovan in the coming month.


2. FC DALLAS

Last Week: 2
Result: T 2-2 @ HOU
Last Five: W-W-T-W-T

This past weekend's Texas Derby match-up was arguably one of the most thrilling intrastate rivalry matches I've seen between the Hoops and Orange Crush. A draw in Houston for FC Dallas is hardly anything to be upset about, though conceding at the last minute might make that draw feel like two points lost. Still, the Hoops should take advantage of the Gold Cup when few players leave the roster to join their countries.


3. PHILADELPHIA UNION

Last Week: 12
Result: W 6-2 @ TOR
Last Five: L-T-L-W-W

Prior to the Union's away matchup against Toronto FC, seeing the Union leave BMO with a win would hardly be a surprise. I doubt one person would expect the Union to deteriorate Toronto's decrepit backline in such manner. Perhaps Ruiz out is an indirect advantage for the Zolos. Also, New York is no longer the class of the Eastern Conference, and I'm beginning to question whether they can defend the Eastern Conference regular season title.

4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Last Week: 8
Result: W 2-1 @ RSL
Last Five: T-T-W-L-W

It was either the weather or the atmosphere at Qwest Field that acclimated the Sounders FC to the confines of Rio Tinto Stadium. Either way, it was a cagey effort, but luck was on their side in an impressive road victory in one of the hardest venues on the continent to play in and earn points.

5. REAL SALT LAKE

Last Week: 3
Result: L 1-2 vs. SEA
Last Five: L-W-T-T-L

This is really a case of a great team with shot confidence. Unfortunately, the price that had to be paid was the club forfeiting its two-year unbeaten streak at the fortress, Rio Tinto. The next few matches will test the grit.

6. D.C. UNITED

Last Week: 7
Result: W 3-2 @ POR
Last Five: L-W-T-T-W

D.C. United is certainly not the best MLS team at the moment, but keep an eye out in two years or so. Until then, the Black-and-Red have become one of the most entertaining teams to watch in MLS. Their victory at Jeld-Wen, snapping Portland's five match home winning streak, and the grit they exhibited following a slew of controversial penalty kicks shows unbelievable resiliency from this young squad.

7. NEW YORK RED BULLS

Last Week: 5
Result: T 1-1 @ VAN
Last Five: T-L-T-T-T

This is too quintessential of the Red Bulls. In spite of having a venomous squad, both on the pitch and on the bench, they're simply not getting the job done. Endless draws in winnable games, especially against Vancouver and Colorado are making people second guess whether or not the Eastern Conference is theirs for the taking. It will be engrossing to see how capable Mendes and Keel (especially Keel) are at filling the void left by Ream and Marquez once the dynamic duo are off at the Gold Cup.

8. CHIVAS USA

Last Week: 9
Result: T 3-3 @ CLB
Last Five: W-L-W-L-T

The debate is open. Who saved Chivas USA from repeating last year's mediocrity? Robin Fraser and whatever he said prior to their away match at Red Bull Arena, or Braun's hat trick against the Red Bulls? Either way, Goats fans have to feel the best about this side since their Western Conference dominance from 2007-08.

9. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Last Week: 6
Result: L 2-3 vs. DCU
Last Five: T-L-T-T-T

Now that we know that Portland can be defeated at Jeld-Wen, there are two things to ponder: How will the Timbers do on the road, and what will the Timbers do on penalty kicks. I don't see Cooper taking them for awhile.

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10. COLUMBUS CREW

Last Week: 10
Result: T 3-3 vs. CHV
Last Five: W-T-L-L-T

Given the fact that this is supposedly a "rebuilding year"for the Crew, Waryzcha and company have done a good job keeping the Flying Canaries in playoff contention. Mendoza thankfully has been given the Crew an undefeated run at Crew Stadium in the campaign.


11. COLORADO RAPIDS

Last Week: 4
Result: T 1-1 vs. SKC
Last Five: W-T-L-L-T

The absence of Cummings, the partial play of Casey, and...perhaps in some aspect the void of Moor makes it seem like this run of play by the Rapids was expected, and consequently makes their MLS Cup run more fluky by the day.

12. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Last Week: 13
Result: T 1-1 @ CHI
Last Five: L-T-W-W-T

Ehhhh... Sure, they have been on a four match unbeaten streak, but their wins came at home against weak teams, and their draws were on the road against the weakest MLS teams.

14. CHICAGO FIRE

Last Week: 16
Result: T 2-2 vs. SJ
Last Five: T-T-T-L-T

Thanks to weak MLS teams falling at home, Chicago gets tentative allevation from the cellar of the Power Rankings. Note the word "tentative". I'm convinced the Fire will be the 2009 New York Red Bulls or 2010 D.C. United of 2011.

15. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Last Week: 18
Result: T 1-1 @ COL
Last Five: L-T-W-L-L

The Wizards (yes, I've decided to nickname Sporting KC as the Wizards) have been ignited with some confidence after wiping the floor with New England in Open Cup play. It reflects in their draw at DSG Park against their cross Plains opponents, oh, and the defending MLS Cup champs. This team might be back in the playoff race with their upcoming home stand this summer.

16. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Last Week: 17
Result: T 1-1 vs. NY
Last Five: L-T-T-L-T

Still winless since their opening match vs. Toronto, their Canadian Championship second leg being abandon might have been a discouragement. Still, that's no excuse to fail to execute with the talent given. Maybe it just needs time.

17. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Last Week: 14
Result: L 0-1 vs. LA
Last Five: L-T-W-L-L

One may argue that since the Revolution played the Galaxy and lost by just a goal, they're way too low on this list. However, the case for the Revs has been that they lose their games by that margin at home, and get destroyed on the road. Such as their Open Cup qualifier at Sporting.

18. TORONTO FC

Last Week: 15
Result: L 2-6 vs. PHI
Last Five: W-L-T-T-L

How many reasons can you list in your angry letter to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment? This is horrifyingly abysmal from a neutral prospective. Not only did TFC concede six at home. But in their five years of failed post-season attempts, an expansion franchise in its second year is already leading the Eastern Conference and was responsible for drubbing the Reds in their once menacing atmosphere.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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