Posted on: April 12, 2013 9:06 pm

2013 MLS Power Rankings / Team of the Week 6

Having some more formatting issues so that delayed me a day, but we have a epic, full double entry of Power Rankings and Team of the Week.

Quick tidbit on LA and Seattle and the CONCACAF CL. I watched all four legs and was especially impressed with both LA and Seattle in the second legs this week. Yes both teams were eliminated and the MLS failed make the finals, again, but it's not like the MLS is getting embarassed off the field. MLS is giving teams in the CCL extra time between matches and I think the quality of MLS is clearly improving. And while MLS would love to see that improvement translate to the CCL, MLS is still establishing itself on the international stage and CCL finals and championships will eventually happen.

Onto the rankings...

1. [LW 6] Sporting KC – (3W-1L-2D, 11pts, 2nd East / W vs. DC 1-0) – KC is unbeaten in four and have only lost one game all season. Graham Zusi and Claudio Bieler might get a lot of the credit for their attack, but the key has been the defense.

2. [3] MTL Impact – (4-1-0, 12pts, 1E / IDLE) – Had two weeks to cope with their first loss and easily their worst performance of 2013 against KC. Up next, a potential snowy game vs. Columbus. (MLS announced due to the weather this game will be played Sunday at 12pm.)

3. [4] Columbus CREW – (2-1-2, 8pts, 4E / D vs. PHI 1-1) – Probably don’t like settling for the draw or giving up such a soft opening goal but the Crew were the better side for most of the match.

4. [5] LA Galaxy – (2-0-2, 8pts, 3W / IDLE) – Another off week as MLS gave them extra rest for the CCL match vs. Monterrey. It didn’t help LA, who were eliminated in the semis but the Galaxy must turn their attention to a surging Dallas team.

5. [2] FC Dallas – (4-1-1, 13pts, 1W / D @ TFC 2-2) – What happened in the last 10 minutes in Toronto? They might lead the West right now, but those are two dropped points that might come back to haunt them come postseason time.

6. [1] HOU Dynamo – (3-2-0, 9pts, 3E / L @ POR 0-2) – Yikes that was bad. Ryan Johnson absolutely ran rampant through the backline. Got killed in possession (61-39%) and when they did have the ball they didn’t do much with it.

7. [7] Chivas USA – (3-1-1, 10pts, 2W / IDLE) – An off week was probably the last thing that the Goats wanted but none the less, an extra week to prepare for Colorado can’t hurt.

8. [10] VAN Whitecaps – (2-2-1, 7pts, 5W / D @ SJ 1-1) – So they equalized on the road against a 9-man Quakes team…this will forever be known in San Jose as ShoeGate.

9. [9] SJ Earthquakes – (2-2-2, 8pts, 4W / D vs. VAN 1-1) – How does SJ not know the equipment change rule? Guys, remember in AYSO/Youth/Rec soccer where the ref asks you to tap you shin guards and see the bottom of your cleats? When you change equipment it must be checked by a referee and during play, they’re a little busy so you have to wait until there is a stoppage. Like Vancouver scoring a goal.

10. [8] Real Salt Lake – (2-3-1, 7pts, 6W / L @ COL 0-1) – Another team that has run into the buzzsaw known as Clint Irwin, but Alvaro Saborio especially will be wondering how to score against Irwin who had several chances including a penalty saved by the Rapids keeper.

11. [14] Toronto FC – (1-2-2, 5pts, 6E / D vs. DAL 2-2) – While I do like the comeback, getting outplayed for 70-75 minutes usually means a zero points.

12. [13] PHI Union – (2-2-1, 7pts, 5E / D @ CREW 1-1) – Very solid game at Columbus, though their marking on the equalizer wasn’t great. Jack McInerney is very quietly on an absolute tear of goals and the Union are almost as quietly putting together a good early start to the season.

13. [17] POR Timbers – (1-1-3, 6pts, 7W / W vs. HOU 2-0) – Ryan Johnson’s double was tremendous but Darlington Nagbe was my last player out of my Team of the Week. Hopefully this game kick starts the Portland Timbers who finally put one in the win column.

14. [18] COL Rapids – (1-3-2, 5pts, 8W / W vs. RSL 1-0) – Clint Irwin continues to impress, yet somehow didn’t make MLS’ Top 5 Rookie Power Rankings or even garner an honorable mention, and he bailed out the Rapids again last weekend with a penalty save on Alvoro Saborio to make Atiba Harris’ 5th minute opener stand up.

15. [19] Chicago FIRE – (1-3-1, 4pts, 10E / W vs. NY 3-1) – Maicon Santos where have you been all season?

16. [12] DC United – (1-3-1, 4pts, 9E / L @ KC 0-1) – The offense is just not firing yet and part of the problem might be their lack of possession. They’ve been out possessed four times in five games and are near the bottom of the league in total shots and shots on goal.

17. [15] SEA Sounders – (0-3-1, 1pt, 9W / IDLE) – Games in the CONCACAF CL don’t count in these rankings, but now that Seattle has been eliminated after a hard fought draw against Santos Laguna, maybe now they can focus on the MLS regular season and getting out of the West basement.

18. [16] NE Revolution – (1-2-1, 4pts, 8E / IDLE) – From the bad news department, defender Kevin Alston was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia and has taken a leave of absence from the Revs. Well wishers can send an e-mail to GetWellKevinAlston@gmail.com or on Twitter using #GetWellKA.

19. [11] NY Red Bulls – (1-3-2, 5pts, 7E / L @ FIRE 1-3) – New York crashed and burned against the Fire in the final 10 minutes and seem all too reliant on Thierry Henry bailing them out off the bench. Defense is exposed way too easily; Jamison Olave might be scoring goals but he’s been a liability on the backline, including both of Maicon Santos’ goals in the closing stages.


MLS Team of the Week #6

Coach of the Week – Caleb Porter (POR Timbers) – Yes he got his first win as Timbers coach but he also did it against one of the best teams in the league, proving once again that any road game in the Pacific Northwest will not be enjoyable for MLS.

Captain’s Armband – Ryan Johnson (POR Timbers) – Last week his (distant) cousin Will Johnson grabbed a double, this week Ryan single handedly sealed the Timbers first win of 2013 with an absolutely brilliant run and finish down the left hand side.

GK Clint Irwin (COL Rapids) – I’m going to say it: If the MLS All-Star Game was tomorrow, Clint Irwin should be starting it.

FOR Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC) – Sporting likes to attack and create chances. Beiler just seems to finish all of them and in the clutch as well, he’s been outstanding the last two weeks.

FOR Jack McInerney (PHI Union) – It doesn’t amaze me that McInerney already has three goals this season in just his fourth start (fifth appearance). Dating back to 9/29/2012, McInerney has 7 goals in his last 11 games (9 starts, 2 subs).

MID Dan Paladini (Chicago FIRE) – Anyone in New York who thinks he fouled Luis Robles on the opener is crazy. Paladini gave the Fire a much needed boost right before halftime and his link ups with Santos proved the deciding factor late in the second half.

MID Chris Pontius (DC United) – Eventually Pontius is going to carry DC United on his back offensively. He was everywhere against KC but United just can’t generate any offense.

MID Eddie Gavin (Columbus CREW) – Completely awesome through ball/chip on the equalizing blast by Oduro and played a tremendous game in the midfield.

MID Andrew Jacobson (FC Dallas) – Very opportunistic finish to open the scoring against Toronto. Dallas did give up a 2-0 lead late, but I finally need to recognize Jacobson (and his midfield partner Jackson) on their tremendous efforts so far this season.

DEF Matt Belser (Sporting KC) – Another shutout for KC. Jimmy Neilsen might be getting bored at this point he has so few chances to actually stop a shot thanks to his backline.

DEF Amobi Okugo (PHI Union) – It seems that MLS is just full of young, two-way defenders and Okugo is becoming a force in the Union backline.

DEF Marvell Wynne (COL Rapids) – Hate to go 3-for-3 with the MLS guys, but in the absence of the suspended Drew Moor, Wynne has more than picked up the slack.

SUB FOR Maicon Santos (Chicago FIRE) – Something tells me your going to be seeing a lot more of this guy in the starting lineup with the rest of the Fire offense ice cold.

SUB F/M Soony Saad (Sporting KC) – It is a shame that this youngster can’t get on the field more, but he is dangerous. In just 7 minutes against DC, he provided the game winning assist to Bieler in the 89th minute.

SUB MID Justin Braun (Toronto FC) – A goal and an assist in 17 minutes to spark a comeback for the Reds? Count me in to having someone like that off the bench.

SUB DEF Andrew Jean-Baptiste (POR Timbers) – Forced into action midway through the first half due to injury, the second year man didn’t miss a beat as the Timbers completely shut down Houston.

Posted on: April 6, 2013 1:14 pm

2013 MLS Team of the Week #5

It's getting really hard to settle on a starting lineup for this entry every week. Usual 3-4-3 and subs (which by the way is loaded this week) and we had to leave of several midfielders as well. Could have gone with an entire second (or third) string midfield with Graham Zusi, Dax McCarthy, Andrew Jacobson, Tony Cascio, Brad Davis...

Anyway, on to the fifth MLS Team of the Week:

Coach of the Week – Peter Vermes (Sporting KC) – Someone finally figured out how to stop Montreal and Vermes was elected into the US Soccer Hall of Fame alongside former USMNT and NE Rev striker Joe Max Moore.

Captain’s Armband – MID Will Johnson (POR Timbers) – Helped the Timbers overcome a 0-2 deficit early in the second half with a double, the equalizer coming from the spot.

GK Raul Fernandez (FC Dallas) – The Revs didn’t have a lot of attacks against Dallas, but when they did Fernandez came up huge, especially in the second half as Dallas stole three points late.

FOR Mike Magee (LA Galaxy) – For a guy who doesn’t score a lot of goals, he sure scores a lot of goals. Add an MLS Player of the Month trophy to his cabinet as well.

FOR Conor Casey (PHI Union) – The big man scored a goal directly off a long throw in. True story, glad to see him back on the pitch, he’s one of my favorite strikers.

FOR Claudio Bieler (Sporting KC) – If this guy gets going, the rest of MLS is going to be in serious trouble and SKC already seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now.

MID Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC) – I don’t remember Benny having a game like that in New England…but I've probably just blocked his entire Revs career from my mind.

MID Carlos Alvarez (Chivas USA) – His deflected cross/shot turned into the opening own goal and was involved in the build up for the second goal as well. The story for the UConn rookie on SuperDraft day was he was being selected because of his Mexican-American heritage. Nonsense, this kid can play.

MID Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) – Tremendous finish from a designed play of a corner, youngster is quickly proving he can play week in and week out with the big boys.

DEF George John (FC Dallas) – The organized defense from FC Dallas kept the Revs attack at bay all game.

DEF Jermaine Taylor (HOU Dynamo) – This guy has been playing lights out for both Houston and Jamaica recently.

DEF Matt Belser (Sporting KC) – Sporting KC is on a bit of a shutout streak right now and shutouts are becoming commonplace in Sporting Park.

SUB Thierry Henry (NY Red Bulls) – It should be illegal to have him come off the bench, he could find the back of the next in his sleep. World. Class. Finisher.

SUB Jose Villareal (LA Galaxy) – This kid is going to be scoring goals for a very long time.

SUB Blas Perez (FC Dallas) – Perfectly placed header in the late stages and Dallas steals three points…not that I’m bitter or anything, I’m a huge fan of the Panamanian striker.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: April 6, 2013 1:03 pm

2013 MLS Power Ranknigs - Week 5

Three hours away from kickoff of Saturday's MLS games. I've done worse. Here's the Week 5 Power Rankings which do not reflect last nights KC-DC game.

1. [LW 3] HOU Dynamo – (3W-1L-0D, 9pts, 2nd East / W vs. SJ 2-0) – In my opinion, the most complete team front to back in the East. Most organized, possess the ball well and they finish. And this isn’t anything new, they’ve been doing this for years.

2. [5] FC Dallas – (4-1-0, 12pts, 1W / W @ NE 1-0) – FC Dallas went for the win against New England and it paid off, Blas Perez off the bench this time supplying the winner.

3. [1] MTL Impact – (4-1-0, 12 pts, 1E / L @ KC 0-2) – Can’t win them all although that didn’t look like the same Impact team from the first four weeks.

4. [4] Columbus CREW – (2-1-1, 7pts, 4E / IDLE) – What happens when the Crew have an off week? They pile into a van and go to Medieval Times. Seriously, go find Steve Sirk’s article on TheCrew.com, its fantasic, I’d link it but it won’t work.

5. [2] LA Galaxy – (2-0-2, 8 pts, 3W / D @ TFC 2-2) – Great comeback from LA in Toronto. The question is why were you losing in the first place.

6. [7] Sporting KC – (2-1-2, 8pts, 3E / W vs. MTL 2-0 – The defense has been great, Jimmy Neilsen in goal has been solid. If they start scoring goals…

7. [9] Chivas USA – (3-1-1, 10pts, 2W / W vs. VAN 2-1) – The Goats have to be taken seriously now. They play a fun brand of soccer and they’re enjoying themselves while they do it. Great combination.

8. [10] Real Salt Lake – (2-2-1, 7pts, 4W / W vs. SEA 2-1) – The Western Conf. is all about survival and RSL did just that against Seattle. Very well designed play off the short corner that led to Luis Gil's game winner too.

9. [6] SJ Earthquakes – (2-2-1, 7pts, 5W / L @ HOU 0-2) – When they don’t score goals they look very ordinary and they barely even bothered Tally Hall’s goal in Houston.

10. [8] VAN Whitecaps – (2-2-0, 6pts, 6W / L @ CHV 1-2) – So the own goal of Jun Davidson’s back was unlucky and yes, that was the difference in the game, but Vancouver didn’t play well enough to earn a point in my opinion.

11. [17] NY Red Bulls – (1-2-2, 5pts, 6E / W vs. PHI 2-1) – Thierry Henry makes this team go and you could tell the winner was coming well before Henry slotted it home.

12. [12] DC United – (1-2-1, 4pts, 8E / IDLE) – They’re another team that needs to find some offense and take pressure off their keeper.

13. [11] PHI Union – (2-2-0, 6pts, 5E / L @ NY 1-2) – Looked gassed in the second half but to be fair, subbing on a player like Henry is difficult to deal with normally, let alone a tired backline.

14. [15] Toronto FC – (1-2-1, 4pts, 7E / D vs. LA 2-2) – Shame they didn’t get all three points against LA, they would’ve deserved it.

15. [13] SEA Sounders – (0-3-1, 1pt, 9W / L @ RSL 1-2) – Michael Gspurning can stop ‘em all guys.

16. [14] NE Revolution – (1-2-1, 4pts, 9E / L vs. DAL 0-1) – Haven’t scored in three weeks and Jerry Bengston is being left out to dry as a lone striker. Jay Heaps has an off week to figure out how to get his attack out of this funk.

17. [16] POR Timbers – (0-1-3, 3pts, 7W / D @ COL 2-2) – Sloppy draw, penalties everywhere, Portland needs to stop settling for draws and start getting wins.

18. [18] COL Rapids – (0-3-2, 2pts, 8W / D vs. POR 2-2) – Had a great chance for their first three points of the year but again the defense wasn’t great and gave away a penalty for the equalizer.

19. [19] Chicago FIRE – (0-3-1, 1pt, 10E / IDLE) – A Sunday evening matchup with New York is probably not what the doctor ordered after a week of rest.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: March 30, 2013 11:09 am

MLS Power Rankings / Team of the Week 4

Okay, so a 44 hour work week has pushed back my usual entries and the USA/MEX recap (I've watched the game twice, once live, once on the DVR, I'm working on it...) but in the mean time, before you watch MLS all day, here's the Week 4 Rankings and TotW.

1. [LW1] MTL Impact – (4W-0L-0D, 12 pts, 1st East / W vs. NY 1-0)

2. [2] LA Galaxy – (2-0-1, 7 pts, 3W / W vs. COL 1-0)

3. [3] HOU Dynamo – (2-1-0, 6 pts, 3E / W vs. VAN 2-1)

4. [6] Columbus CREW – (2-1-1, 7 pts, 2E / W @ DC 2-1)

5. [8] FC Dallas (3-1-0, 9pts, 1W / W vs. RSL 2-0)

6. [9] SJ Earthquakes – (2-1-1, 7pts, 4W / W vs. SEA 1-0)

7. [7] Sporting KC – (1-1-2, 5 pts, 5E / D @ NE 0-0)

8. [4] VAN Whitecaps – (2-1-0, 6 pts, 5W / L @ HOU 1-2)

9. [13] Chivas USA – (2-1-1, 7 pts, 2W / W @ FIRE 4-1)

10. [5] Real Salt Lake – (1-2-1, 4 pts, 6W / L @ DAL)

11. [10] PHI Union – (2-1-0, 6 pts, 4E / Idle)

12. [10] DC United – (1-2-1, 4 pts, 6E / L vs. CREW 1-2)

13. [11] SEA Sounders – (0-2-1, 1 pt, 9W / L @ SJ 0-1)

14. [15] NE Revolution – (1-1-1, 4 pts, 7E / D vs. KC 0-0)

15. [14] Toronto FC – (1-2-0, 3 pts, 8E / Idle)

16. [16] POR Timbers – (0-1-2, 2 pts, 7W / Idle)

17. [17] NY Red Bulls – (0-2-2, 2 pts, 9E / L @ MTL 0-1)

18. [18] COL Rapids – (0-3-1, 1 pt, 8W / L @ LA 0-1)

19. [19] Chicago FIRE – (0-3-1, 1 pt, 10E / L vs. CHV 1-4)


Captain’s Armband – MID Ben Speas (Columbus CREW) – Call me sentimental, but in just his fourth start, Speas scores his first MLS goal, which was dedicated to his former UNC and Crew teammate Kirk Urso, who died last year of a heart defect.

Coach of the Week – Robert Warzycha (Columbus CREW) – I’ve given up trying to figure out the Crew. They’re consistently good yet everyone forgets about them in the preseason and they just ended an 18-game unbeaten streak for DC United at RFK.

GK Andy Gruenebaum (Columbus Crew) – Until yesterday, I didn’t think it was possible to out Bill Hamid, Bill Hamid (while playing against Bill Hamid no less!). But Gruenebaum did just that with several spectacular saves, including a point blank save to deny Dwayne De Rosario an equalizer late in the second half.

Honorable Mentions (GK) – Bill Hamid (DC United), Troy Perkins (MTL Impact), Clint Irwin (COL Rapids)

FOR Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA) – I don’t know if Agudelo can keep this form heading into June, but if he does, he should find himself in the USMNT camp for the June qualifiers.

FOR Macro Di Vaio (MTL Impact) – The Impact don’t need many chances to score goals, especially if Di Vaio is on the end of them.

FOR Chris Wondolowski (SJ Earthquakes) – He scores goals. Impressive goals. That usually win games.

MID Edgar Mejia (Chivas USA) – Two moments of brilliance for the opening goal and an assist on Chivas’ second

MID Patrice Bernier (MTL Impact) – I’m just thinking out loud, but a Bernier/Arnaud center midfield pairing in the MLS All-Star game seems like a pretty good idea right now.

MID Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas) – His usual dangerous self on the left hand side, it’s almost easy to forget that Brek Shea used to roam that side of the field for FC Dallas.

DEF Joaquin Velazquez (Chivas USA) – Velazquez had the eventual game winner as Chivas put a second half hurting on the Chicago Fire but he wouldn’t have even been playing if his red card from last week wasn’t (properly) overturned by MLS.

DEF Aurelien Collin (Sporting KC) –I have to give credit for that 0-0 draw in New England, and with the windy day at New England, Collin’s overall defensive efforts, especially in the air were a reason why Sporting KC left Gillette Stadium with a solid road point.

DEF Kevin Alston (NE Revolution) – On the other side, Alston took a beating for 90 minutes (5 fouls suffered for a defender is ridiculously high) trying to mark CJ Sapong and get upfield in the Revs attack. Helped the Revs get a point in lousy home conditions for their home opener.

Posted on: March 22, 2013 6:47 pm

MLS Power Rankings / Team of the Week 3

So, after a busy few days absorbing tons of USMNT coverage for their WCQ against Costa Rica tonight, I’m finally ready to post my usual MLS entries in one super entry today before I post a lineup/preview of USAvCRC later. Since there wasn’t a whole lot of winning going on during Rivalry Week, there really wasn’t a whole lot of change in the power rankings except there is a new consensus number one team north of the border…

1. [LW3] – MTL Impact

2. [1] – LA Galaxy

3. [2] – HOU Dynamo

4. [4] – VAN Whitecaps

5. [5] – Real Salt Lake

6. [6] – Columbus CREW

7. [7] – Sporting KC

8. [11] – FC Dallas

9. [9] – SJ Earthquakes

10. [10] – DC United

11. [8] – SEA Sounders

12. [14] – PHI Union

13. [15] – Chivas USA

14. [12] – Toronto FC

15. [13] – NE Revolution

16. [16] – POR Timbers

17. [17] – NY Red Bulls

18. [18] – COL Rapids

19. [19] – Chicago FIRE


As for the third Team of the Week…

Coach of the Week – Jose Luis “Chelis” Sanchez Sola (Chivas USA) – Anytime you survive down 1-0 with 10 men (especially on a red card that was later rescinded) and pull out a draw against your rivals, that’s coach of the week material. I love inventing rules for this segment. Not only did his halftime adjustment’s keep Chivas in the game, it gave them the opportunity to snatch a late winner.

Captain’s Armband – GK Bill Hamid (DC United) – With respect to Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire, Bill Hamid should be the USA’s next young gun keeper. He’s been on fire the first three weeks of the season. Even EA Sports and FIFA 13 have noticed because he made the video game’s Ultimate Team of the Week.

FOR Marco Di Vaio (MTL Impact)

FOR Jack McInerney (PHI Union)

FOR Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)

MID David Ferriera (FC Dallas)

MID Eddie Johnson (SEA Sounders) – He plays mid for the USA, ok?

MID Davy Arnaud (MTL Impact)

MID Eric Avila (Chivas USA)

DEF Justin Morrow (SJ Earthquakes)

DEF Avery John (FC Dallas)

DEF Austin Berry (CHI Fire)

SUB FOR Jack McBean (LA Galaxy)

SUB FOR Carlos Alvarez (Chivas USA)

SUB GK Clint Irwin (COL Rapids)

Posted on: March 14, 2013 11:43 am

MLS 2013 Power Rankings – Week 2

<p>Wanted to see the results of the second legs of the CONCACAF Champions League before I posted this, just so I could add comments for the three MLS participants who were idle last weekend (LA, Seattle, Houston). Those games do not affect the rankings (in fact the CCL teams did not move in the rankings this week) but there were three pretty entertaining games over the last two nights with LA and Seattle moving on and Houston falling victim at Santos Laguna, where all MLS teams seem to die in the CCL. An all MLS final is still possible if Seattle and LA both defeat their Mexican counterparts.<br /><br />Also, if you're looking to get into MLS, you picked a great weekend to start. NBC Sports is airing several games on NBC and NBCSN and have been promoting Rivalry Week on their various other shows. Saturday games include NY - DC (NBC, 1230pm), SKC - CHI (300pm, NBCSN) and SEA - POR (800pm, NBCSN) as well as PHI - NE, MTL - TFC, RSL - COL, LA - CHV and DAL - HOU (Sunday, ESPN2, 100pm).  </p>

<p>Onto the rankings…</p>

<p><strong>1. [LW 1] LA Galaxy – (1W-0L-0D, 3pts, 2nd West / Idle) – </strong>A dominant preformance against Costa Rican club Herediano at the Home Depot Center, including a goal from US U20 Jose Villareal. A semifinal against Mexican giants Monterrey is going to be must watch.</p>

<p><strong>2. [2] HOU Dynamo – (1-0-0, 3 pts, 5E / Idle) – </strong>That was not a good effort against Santos Laguna, with mistakes about killing the Dynamo in the first half. Perhaps they'll take their anger out against Dallas this weekend.</p>

<p><strong>3. [7] MTL Impact – (2-0-0, 6pts, 1E / W @ POR 2-1) – </strong>A few more road trips like that and we're not going to be talking about the Impact being a pesky expansion team, we're going to be talking about a deep playoff run.</p>

<p><strong>4. [6] VAN Whitecaps – (2-0-0, 6pts, 1W / W vs. CREW 2-1) – </strong>They started out quickly last season and sputtered out in the middle of the year. So far that injury to Jay DeMerit isn't affecting them.</p>

<p><strong>5. [3] Real Salt Lake – (1-1-0, 3pts, 4W / L @ DC 0-1) – </strong>Played well in a loss to DC, put you'd expect the offense to be a little more consistent.</p>

<p><strong>6. [4] Columbus CREW – (1-1-0, 3pts, 2E / L @ VAN 1-2) – </strong>I still think the Crew are the sleepers in MLS this year, they're too consistent and no one will complain about a road loss at Vancouver.</p>

<p><strong>7. [5] Sporting KC – (1-1-0, 3pts, 3E / L @ TFC 1-2) – </strong>To be fair to SKC, someone had to lose to Toronto eventually, but no one thought it would be a contending team. It looks like Graham Zusi and the SKC offense will have to carry this team unless Jimmy Neilsen is going to bail them out a lot.</p>

<p><strong>8. [8] SEA Sounders – (0-1-0, 0pts, 9W / Idle) – </strong>Got a nice win against 10-man Tigres in the CCL and play defending champs and MLS nemesis Santos Laguna next round in early April. This week, rivalry game against the Timbers.</p>

<p><strong>9. [10] SJ Earthquakes – (1-1-0, 3pts, 5W / W vs. NY 2-1) – </strong>Probably woud be ranked higher, but considering NY gifted them a win we'll temper our excitement until Adam Jahn plays another game. </p>

<p><strong>10. [11] DC United – (1-1-0, 3pts, 8E / W vs. RSL 1-0) – </strong>Survived their first two games without Dwayne De Rosario and got a nice win against RSL. Expect De Rosario to be linking up more with Lionard Pajoy up top.</p>

<p><strong>11. [9] FC Dallas – (1-1-0, 3pts, 6W / L @ CHV 1-3) – </strong>David Ferreira might be back, but the problem for Dallas right now is replacing Brek Shea and figuring out what's wrong with that defense and maybe a strike partner for Kenny Cooper.</p>

<p><strong>12. [15] Toronto FC – (1-1-0, 3pts, 6E / W vs. KC 2-1) – </strong>Another week, another rookie coach getting his first win, perhaps TFC's front office knew what they were doing when the tabbed QPR's Nelsen while he was still playing.</p>

<p><strong>13. [16] NE Revolution – (1-0-0, 3pts, 7E / W @ FIRE 1-0) – </strong>The midfield of Toja, Nguyen, Cisse and Rowe dominated the second half when Jay Heaps subbed in Rowe. That's the midfield the Revs thought they had with Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph last season. And Matt Reis is adding his name to a long list of American keepers playing well into their late 30's and 40's.</p>

<p><strong>14. [17] PHI Union – (1-1-0, 3pts, 4E / W @ COL 2-1) – </strong>That's the Union team I'm used to seeing. Organized in the back, scrappy when they need to be and playmakers McInerney, Le Toux and Mike Farfan creating chances.</p>

<p><strong>15. [18] Chivas USA – (1-1-0, 3pts, 3W / W vs. DAL 3-1) – </strong>That was impressive, too bad hardly anyone saw the game. Juan Agudelo could be staging a comeback at Chivas, and with the USMNT not scoring all that much...</p>

<p><strong>16. [12] POR Timbers – (0-1-1, 1pt, 7W / L vs. MTL 1-2) – </strong>They're playing such great attacking soccer, all they need are some goals. When they come, they're coming in bunches and they'll shoot up the standings and the power rankings.</p>

<p><strong>17. [13] NY Red Bulls – (0-1-1, 1pt, 9E / L @ SJ 1-2) – </strong>Roy Miller not only handed San Jose a win (literally, his handball led to the PK), but this can only be described as a Donovan McNabb moment when he said his encroachment on the PK was intentional.</a> By the way, Mike Petke, you should bench that guy.</p>

<p><strong>18. [14] COL Rapids – (0-2-0, 0pts, 8W / L vs. PHI 2-1) – </strong>It's a slow start for Colorado but they have several key injuries including Edson Buddle who should inject some life into the Rapids stagnant attack.</p>

<p><strong>19. [19] Chicago FIRE – (0-2-0, 0pts, 10E / L vs. NE 0-1) – </strong>When your coach (Frank Yallop) subs off your DP striker (Sherjill MacDonald) because he "needed more"</a> from him, that's not good. By the way, two games in and the Fire have yet to score a goal.</p>

Category: Soccer
Posted on: March 14, 2013 10:50 am

MLS Team of the Week #2

What is this? A 4-3-3? Does anyone even use this formation?

Coach of the Week - Marco Schallibaum (MTL Impact) – Promoted from last week’s assistants bench, any coach who wins back-to-back games in the Cascada division should be praised.

Assistant’s Bench – Jay Heaps (NE Revolution), Frank Yallop (SJ Earthquakes), Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC) ­– The first two managers made key substitutions (found on our subs bench) that claimed all three points for their respective teams. The third, former QPR defender Nelsen won his debut against a very good SKC team.

Captain’s Armband –
GK Matt Reis (NE Revolution) –
How his [first half save] wasn’t nominated for MLS Save of the Week is a travesty but this should stop any talk of a keeper controversy with Bobby Shuttlesworth.

FOR Robert Earnshaw (Toronto FC) – A first half brace would normally give Earnshaw a shot at the Captain’s Armband, but I’m an insufferable homer.

FOR Jerry Bengston (NE Revolution) – His header being [the lone goal ]was the product of a long night of frustrating a Chicago backline.

FOR Kenny Miller (VAN Whitecaps) – This Whitecaps team looks scary good right now and Miller is a big part of that. His teammate in the midfield below is another reason.

MID Daigo Kobayashi (VAN Whitecaps) – A brilliant long distance strike to open the game against Portland and led the ‘Caps attack for most of the game.

MID Patrice Bernier (MTL Impact) – Game winning assist but should get more credit for shutting down Portland’s Diego Valeri (part of TotW #1).

MID Kalifa Cisse (NE Revolution) – Tried to avoid going Revs heavy, but the newcomer to the Revs midfield along with Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja (and later sub Kelyn Rowe) finally have brought the creativity in the midfield that has been missing in recent years.

DEF Andrew Farrell (NE Revolution) – Last week MLS was raving about Seattle rookie DeAndre Yedlin, this week they should be raving about the number one SuperDraft pick. His speed and technical skill are very apparent, and when he learns to control himself and make better decisions he will be a force.

DEF Hassoun Camara (MTL Impact) –[ Goal of the Week ]and clubhouse leader for Goal of the Year and was another key part in shutting down the potent Timbers attack.

DEF Amobi Okugo (PHI Union) – Another young defender getting on the score sheet and having an all around great day.

DEF Darren O’Day (Toronto FC) – When your head coach is a former defender in the EPL giving you praise after a win, that’s TotW material.

SUB Adam Jahn (SJ Earthquakes) – Easily could have been in the first team, but I like to give credit to the subs. His equalizer against NY was first class and his header in the final minutes drew the game winning penalty.

SUB Kelyn Rowe (NE Revolution) – Had an immediate impact coming in for rookie Donnie Smith in the second half. Played an integral part of the winning goal, not just with his precision assist to Jerry Bengston on the back post, but winning the clearance off a Revs corner.

SUB Antoine Hoppenot (PHI Union) – Game winning assist on Jack McInerney’s after coming on with 20 minutes left for Sebastian Le Toux.

Category: Soccer
Posted on: March 9, 2013 3:13 pm

MLS Power Rankings - Week 1

Okay, so here's the quick version. The MLS Power Rankings are back. I don't do preseason polls because then I'd have probably ranked Chicago in the top 10 instead of where they are after one week, the basement. These rankings reflect the week to week success of teams in MLS but is not strictly based on wins and losses. My idle NE Revs have been handicapped based on last season, everyone else's ranked on 2013 preformance alone. 

Full entries will have a little more analysis but when I'm pressed for time, you pretty much just get the rankings like this. Besides putting the postseason projected Fire on the bottom, I don't think anything here is all that suprising but feel free to comment about your team below.
1. LA Galaxy – W 4-0 vs. FIRE / 1W-0L-0D, 3pts, 1st West

2. HOU Dynamo – W 2-0 vs. DC / 1-0-0, 3 pts, 2E

3. Real Salt Lake – W 2-0 @ SJ / 1-0-0, 3pts, 2W

4. Columbus CREW – W 3-0 @ CHV / 1-0-0, 3pts, 1E

5. Sporting KC – W 3-1 @ PHI / 1-0-0, 3pts, 3E

6. VAN Whitecaps – W 1-0 vs. TFC / 1-0-0, 3pts, 4W

7. MTL Impact – W 1-0 @ SEA / 1-0-0, 3pts, 4E

8. SEA Sounders – L 0-1 vs. MTL / 0-1-0, 0 pts, 6W

9. FC Dallas – W 1-0 vs. COL / 1-0-0, 3pts, 3W

10. SJ Earthquakes – L 0-2 vs. RSL / 0-1-0, 0pts, 8W

11. DC United – L 0-2 @ HOU / 0-1-0, 0pts, 9E

12. POR Timbers – D 3-3 vs. NY / 0-0-1, 1pt, 5W

13. NY Red Bulls – D 3-3 @ POR / 0-0-1, 1pt, 6E

14. COL Rapids – L 0-1 @ DAL / 0-1-0, 0pts, 7W

15. Toronto FC – L 0-1 @ VAN / 0-1-0, 0pts, 8E

16. NE Revolution – Idle / 0-0-0, 0pts, 7E

17. PHI Union – L 1-3 vs. KC / 0-1-0, 0pts, 9E

18. Chivas USA – L 0-3 vs. CREW / 0-1-0, 0pts, 9W

19. CHI Fire – L 0-4 @ LA / 0-1-0, 0pts, 10E

Category: Soccer
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com