June 27, 2011

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 16


Given the fact that there were so many expected results, there was not much change in the Power Rankings, other than the fact the Galaxy were removed as the Power Ranking leaders, thanks to Dallas overwhelmingly dominant performance over Portland. The week included Aron Winter, Toronto FC head coach, (yet again) claiming that his team came out timid. It saw D.C. United get a bitter taste of their medicine. All of which was complimented by Salt Lake regaining their confidence and their form, drama mounting in New York and Levesque carving his name in the Emerald City hearts.




1. FC DALLAS

Last Week: 2
Result: W 4-0 vs. POR
Last Five: T-W-L-W-W

And to think early on in the Power Rankings, I had the Hoops listed as poised to do what New York did in 2009. Right now, I just hope their form continues into the Champions League at the end of July. If they flex their muscle like they did in their thrashing of the Timbers, they might win their Champions League, given they qualify for Group Stage.



2. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Last Week: 3
Result: W 2-1 vs. NE; W 4-2 vs. NY
Last Five: W-T-T-W-W

After this weekend, highlighted by the marquee "scuba" celebration by fan-favorite Roger Levesque, the Emerald City Supporters will likely want a statue of the guy erected in front of CenturyLink Field when he retires. Rosales may soon follow.


3. LOS ANGELES GALAXY

Last Week: 1
Result: T 1-1 @ SJ
Last Five: W-T-T-W-T

Being a netminder may not be the top of Mike Magee's priorities, but he sure does a better job guarding between the two pipes than Greg Sutton.


4. REAL SALT LAKE

Last Week: 4
Result: W 3-1 vs. TOR
Last Five: L-T-T-T-W

Given the, well lack of strength, Toronto FC has, they were the ideal opponent RSL needed. We finally saw a Salt Lake team play the best they've played since the end of the CONCACAF Champions League, and invigorate themselves with something that's been long missing: confidence. Especially in Saborio.



5. PHILADELPHIA UNION

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

Thus far this season, I've never seen so much of a team effort in winning a match. Three goals from the Union as they rallied to take a 2-1 lead, see that led relinquish, before nabbing the match winning goal. Each goal was scored and assisted by someone different. In MLS, the only way to be a powerhouse team is to be a team with no superstars, but a collective group of hardworking teammates that have a special chemistry. And well, the Union showed it off well and prevented things from going south. Thanks to it they have a clear lead in the East and possibly may be looking towards the Shield by summer's end.


6. COLUMBUS CREW

Last Week: 9
Result: W 4-1 vs. COL
Last Five: T-W-L-W-W

The Crew took the most of the opportunities following Conor Casey's deserved ejection Sunday evening. Riding a wave of confidence from last week, the Crew are quietly sliding themselves into a postseason position in the Eastern Conference, and giving doubters a reality check that this rebuilding Crew team is still a postseason contendor. 



7. SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Last Week: 11
Result: W 2-1 vs. VAN
Last Five: T-T-W-W-W

Unbeaten in their last five, and hot off a three match winning streak, Sporting K.C. finds themselves leveled with D.C. United for fifth in the Eastern Conference. Given the fact that Houston has two matches at hand over Sporting, both the Wizards and the Black and Red look destined to fight it off in a sludgy battle for the final wildcard berth in the playoffs.

8. D.C. UNITED

Last Week: 8
Result: T 2-2 vs. HOU
Last Five: W-T-L-T-T

To tentatively derail the speedy anti-Charlie Davies flop bandwagon, Davies scored his first goal in the run of play since United's 2-1 victory over Seattle. However, karma struck the Black-and-Red. United got a sour taste of their own medicine in their mouth as Brian Ching followed Davies flopping tactics and drew a penalty. Yep, it allowed for the draw, and made United fans feel robbed of two points. Only after they robbed two points in draws against Salt Lake and L.A. Galaxy.


9. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

Last Week: 7
Result: T 1-1 vs. LA
Last Five: T-W-W-L-T

Fresh on a five-match unbeaten streak, the ‘Quakes were stopped cold in the confines of Liverstrong Sporting Park, thanks to an early first half header via C.J. Sapong. Curious to see how they rebound from this setback.



10. NEW YORK RED BULLS

Last Week: 5
Result: L 2-4 @ SEA; T 1-1 @ CHI
Last Five: T-W-T-L-T

My oh my, where do I begin? Should I rant about Greg Sutton's almost hilarious gaffe against Roger Levesque, or do I make jeers at Steven Keel and Carlos Mendes for their absent-minded work in the back line? The frustration in the Big Apple only further mounted once it was revealed that Rafa Marquez would be sidelined for two weeks following an injury in the Gold Cup final. To put it in the best sense, we'll quote what Joel Lindpere said: "It's not fun anymore".



11. CHICAGO FIRE

Last Week: 12
Result: T 1-1 vs. NY
Last Five: T-T-W-T-T

The arrival of Frank Klopas has resulted in the Fire being undefeated in all five matches he's served as the caretaker head coach. However, four matches have ended in ties. At this rate, the Fire looked poised to end 2011 with 20 or so draws. Alas, making Power Rankings entirely too irritating. I think I'll just reserve them a spot around 11 or 12 for the rest of the season should such a scenario prove to be the case.


12. HOUSTON DYNAMO

Last Week: 15
Result: T 2-2 @ DCU
Last Five: T-L-W-L-T

United fans are in rage about Ching's flop, and righteously deserve to be. However, it's a case of some bad karma thanks to Davies. It will be interesting to see how MLS will react: continue their notion of churning out fines, or have a few mustered reports claiming it is all part of the game.

13. COLORADO RAPIDS

Last Week: 10
Result: L 1-4 @ CLB
Last Five: T-T-W-L-L

Last night had to have been a huge emotional roller coaster for Conor Casey. First, nabbing a quick away goal that could have potentially sparked a turn around for the Rapids. Such a possibility dissolved as Casey's bottom part of his boot sunk into Columbus keeper, William Hesmer's, forehead. The whole MLS Cup fluke thing is an afterthought at this point. As Champions League nears, the Rapids are in for a nightmare of a schedule which may just doom them in both continental and league play.


14. CHIVAS USA

Last Week: 13
Result: L 2-3 @ PHI
Last Five: W-L-T-L-L

The Goats have sunken in form a bit after their Braun-led spark a few months back. Really, it's not a lack of confidence nor skill, but just some hapless incidents and just not having the defensive side of things situated. Which proved to be the primary case against the face lifted Union.

15. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC

Last Week: 14
Result: L 1-2 @ SKC
Last Five: T-L-T-W-L

While their loss sunk the 'Caps to bottom of the West and to the second worst overall record, their agony of defeat has been nothing to the caliber of their Canadian counterparts and fellow Pacific Northwest expansion side. Also, their form is not as bad as the Revs.

16. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

Last Week: 17
Result: L 1-2 @ SEA
Last Five: L-L-L-T-L

In spite of losing four of their last five, the Revs did not lose as dreadfully as fellow franchises, Toronto and Portland. Their loss was highlighted by a quick start goal by Nyassi, only to conclude with an immediate rally of Rave Green. Plus, they only ended up losing by a goal against a strong Sounders side. Unlike Toronto who got curb-stomped (yet again) or Portland who were outright demolished.

17. TORONTO FC

Last Week: 18
Result: L 1-3 @ RSL
Last Five: L-T-T-L-L

Alright, so, how many times have you heard Aron Winter seem confused when he says his team came out "scared". Here's one story. Oh, and another. More? Here. Or here. Or here. And yes, here. All on different occasions, but one common theme. Toronto losing, and a timid lineup entering the pitch and a perplexed coach. No fret TFC supporters, it takes awhile to install Dutch system!


18. PORTLAND TIMBERS

Last Week: 16
Result: L 0-4 @ FCD
Last Five: L-L-L-T-L

Any postivies? None, according to Timbers head coach, John Spencer, following their outright abysmal loss to FC Dallas. Timbers cannot simply gain points solely at home and expect to make the playoffs. 


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Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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