August 07, 2011

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 21

Photo via Flickr user Goose #19. Used with the CC BY-ND 2.0 License


The twenty-first week of the 2011 Major League Soccer season saw the league heavyweights, except New York (if you still consider them a “heavyweight”) return back to their normal status. Along with a return to normalcy, we got a glimpse of some very, very young talent and their professional potentially. Ahem, Luis Gill and Diego Fagundez. And finally, following a wild draw in the nation’s capital, Toronto FC just never meant to win soccer matches. We also are beginning to see the start of what will be a wild race for the wild card berths in the playoffs. Good move, MLS. You did well expanding the playoffs. And I earnestly mean that.



1. LOS ANGELES GALAXY


Last Week: 1
Result: L 0-3 @ POR, W 3-1 vs. FCD
Last Five: W-W-W-L-W

As the race for the Supporters’ Shield heats up, the league-leading Galaxy not only exhibited a winning mentality over a top-heavy Dallas side, but they exhibited an ability that was missing in 2010: the ability to earn any amount of points when playing a man down. As for the Timbers match? Well, in the meantime, I’ll give Los Angeles the benefit of the doubt and claim it was a fluky result for now.

2. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC


Last Week: 2
Result: L 1-3 @ HOU
Last Five: T-W-W-L-W

Even if it was at the fault of the reserves, that puncturing 7-0 loss to Manchester United sucked a lot of confidence out of the upstart Sounders, who might have the reverse fortunes of 2010 seep into 2011. Perhaps a victory in the second leg of Champions League preliminaries might help kick things back into gear as they endure a demanding schedule this month.

3. REAL SALT LAKE


Last Week: 5
Result: W 3-0 v. NY
Last Five: W-W-L-L-W

Huge night for newcomer Luis Gil, and it looked like the old Real Salt Lake we haven’t seen since their wild run in the Champions League. If they got hot right now, there’s a realistic chance they can find their way back into the Supporters’ Shield race. And why stop there? MLS Cup ambitions might follow suit.


4. FC DALLAS


Last Week: 3
Result: L 1-3 @ LA
Last Five: T-W-T-W-L

Right now, except for Seattle, there is no other team that is a realistic posistion of grabbing the first ever Treble in MLS history. This treble, obviously would consist of the Shield, MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup. However, following Marvin Chavez’s inevitable GOTW nominee blast, the Hoops hit a tack, as the league leading Galaxy rallied and took a six point advantage over the Hoops in the Supporters’ Shield race. With Champions League group stages and U.S. Open Cup semis a couple weeks off, there is still a bit of time to recapture league points.

5. COLUMBUS CREW


Last Week: 4
Result: L 0-2 @ COL
Last Five: T-L-W-W-L

A team riding heavily on confidence gets a bit of breather thanks to their Eastern counterparts results. The unexpected, but longtime Eastern Conference leaders find themselves likely having the top seed out East, but a stark chance of winning MLS Cup hardware as Colorado showed them this past week.

6. COLORADO RAPIDS


Last Week: T-9
Result: W 2-0 vs. CLB
Last Five: L-W-T-W-W

After watching some highlights between Colorado and Columbus, it obviously reminded me of their MLS Cup playoff clash last fall. And with Drew Moor look revitalized, and Cummings looking as ferocious as ever, perhaps Colorado might repeat 2010 in terms of a hot streak at the end, further demoralizing the MLS Cup through blog posts by angry hardcore fans.

7. PHILADELPHIA UNION


Last Week: 6
Result: L 1-2 vs. COL
Last Five: T-W-W-L-T

Colorado nabbed two fast goals on the, usually reliable, Philly backline. Their response went as expected, but continous failed opportunities caused Roger Torres’ lone goal to be too little, too late. Perhaps the release of Ruiz is why this Philadelphia side needs if they want to regain the Eastern Conference lead.

8. HOUSTON DYNAMO


Last Week: T-9
Result: T 1-1 @ PHI
Last Five: L-W-T-W-T

Their well deserved victory at home against Seattle shows the classic MLS side, or the side that marketeers want, a team that simply wins at home. If you mixed their home form with D.C. United’s away form, you have a deadly team jockeying for the Shield.

T-9. CHIVAS USA


Last Week: 11
Result: W 3-2 @ NE
Last Five: T-T-W-L-W

Weathering off a late surge by the Revolution, the likes of Robin Fraser with management and Nick Labrocca on the pitch are shimmering. With it, the Goats look poised to be a wildcard team that could turn some heads in the playoffs. Wouldn’t quite call them an MLS Cup contender, but they’re certainly in a legitimate stance to qualify!

T-9. D.C. UNITED


Last Week: 8
Result: T 3-3 vs. TOR
Last Five: W-T-L-W-T

Never as a result like this been so deceiving since Real Salt Lake and New England drew 3-3. Playing a man down, with a goalie (Steve Cronin) who never played a single minute of the season, along with absences of several key players, well...such a relief to be playing Toronto. Oh, I forgot. D.C. for whatever reason, can only win matches away from RFK, and hat trick hero, De Rosario was the team’s missing link.

T-9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY


Last Week: 7
Result: L 1-2 vs. SEA
Last Five: T-T-W-T-L

Kansas City got a taste of their own medicine while watching their points slip away against a Sounders side that looked vulnerable as of late. With the win/draw form of D.C. and Houston and the pathetically hopeless form of New York, a wild race for third place out East is assembling as we speak.


12. PORTLAND TIMBERS


Last Week: T-15
Result: W 3-0 vs. LA, T 1-1 @ SJ
Last Five: W-L-T-W-T

This recent form of Portland has been hands down their best since the opening days of renovated Jeld-Wen Field. Fluky, maybe? But nevertheless, a commanding 3-0 home victory against MLS’ tops, Los Angeles Galaxy, and then capturing a point against the feeble Earthquakes. And just like that, some playoff hopes are flickering again.

13. NEW YORK RED BULLS


Last Week: 12
Result: L 0-3 @ RSL
Last Five: L-T-L-T-L

This is scary to think, but after waiting months on end, New York’s subpar play has finally allowed D.C., Houston and Kansas City to all muscle their way into New York’s third place spot out East. Also, I suppose the goalkeeping situation is still problematic in New York. As we noticed, Condoul came on for Rost later on. Thanks to the Gold Cup, Ream’s confidence has been drained.

14. TORONTO FC


Last Week: T-15
Result: T 3-3 @ DC
Last Five: W-L-L-T-T

My, oh my, Toronto FC. It is as if you and winning were never meant to be. Lets list out every advantage Toronto had to beat D.C. United. First, TFC played with a man advantage for 84 minutes of the match. Next, the Reds had a goal that really should not have counted. Their third? Well, they capitalized quite well on scoring on the inexperienced (to MLS) Steve Cronin. However, led by Andy Iro, who had a rough evening, the Reds found a way to squander two points in what should have been an easy three. Nothing comes easy for Toronto FC. Also, if anyone cares to know, following the result, Toronto FC was mathematically out of contention of winning the Shield.

15. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION


Last Week: 13
Result: L 2-3 vs. CHV
Last Five: L-W-T-T-L

An array of MLS youngsters have left their mark this weekend, and New England’s super prospect, Diego Fagundez managed to get the consolation goal. From an ignorant standpoint, it’s pretty comical to watch the little guy slither and weave his way over rhino-looking defenders, but, hardly the point. Thanks to him, Revs fans have something to smile about for the future of this club, and that one day, they’ll return to their glory years.

16. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES


Last Week: 14
Result: T 1-1 vs. POR
Last Five: T-T-L-L-T

The postseason window is closing fast on the ‘Quakes, and it seems as if no one is in any hurry to try to jump out of the window. Okay, maybe Alan Gordon, who has been quite a workhorse for the club. The thing is, it just seems as if San Jose simply cannot find anyone to garner three points in games they should win, but simply cannot.


17. CHICAGO FIRE


Last Week: 17
Result: Play @ VAN tonight 7:30 p.m. ET
Last Five: T-T-T-L-L

Okay. Fair enough. Chicago has yet to play their fixture against Vancouver, but lets be real: regardless of the outcome of this match, Chicago and Vancouver will still end up occupying either 17th or 18th spot in the Power Rankings.

18. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC


Last Week: 18
Result: Play vs. CHI tonight 7:30 p.m. ET
Last Five: L-L-L-T-L

Please see the description above. Replace “Chicago” with “Vancouver” and vise versa.

About the Author

Tyler Walter

Author & Editor

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