Tag:MLS Power Rankings 2011
Posted on: April 16, 2011 10:45 am
Sorry guys, but I'm late and you're getting another short entry. These rankings do not reflect any games played in the last few days and the middle is so clustered that idle KC moved up three spots and New England is another loss away from a free fall despite being in second place in the East. Also, feel free to air your grivences of referee Baldomero Toledo's hackjob of the VAN-NE game last week below. On to the rankings...
1. [LW2] - Real Salt Lake
2.  - PHI Union
3.  - COL Rapids
4.  - LA Galaxy
5.  - NY Red Bulls
6.  - Sporting KC
7.  - HOU Dynamo
8.  - CHI Fire
9.  - VAN Whitecaps
10.  - NE Revolution
11.  - Toronto FC
12.  - SJ Earthquakes
13.  - SEA Sounders
14.  - FC Dallas
15.  - DC United
16.  - Columbus CREW
17.  - Chivas USA
18.  - POR Timbers
Posted on: April 6, 2011 8:25 am
I'm on time this week, as New England and Vancouver are playing tonight. It was largely a draw fest last week, as five games featured both teams getting a point, including the expansion Timbers. The top of the rankings seems largely set, and I'm really waiting for the bottom half to sort itself out. Teams like Seattle, Houston and Toronto are the hardest teams to rank right now. Seattle and Houston aren't getting wins and Toronto just made a blockbuster trade to send Dwyane De Rosario to NY. On to the rankings...
1. [LW 1] – Colorado Rapids (3W-0D-0L, 9 pts / 1st W; W vs. DC 4-1) – The defending champs haven’t yet seen great competition yet, but they’ve already blown out two teams at home by a combined score of 7-2.
2.  – Real Salt Lake (2-0-0, 6 pts, 3rd W / Idle) – RSL was idle last week and travels to NE this Saturday. Perhaps the way to beat the two Rocky Mountain teams is to play them away from the mountains?
3.  – LA Galaxy (2-1-1, 7 pts, 2nd W / W vs. PHI 1-0) – The Galaxy survived a 54’ red card by Chris Birchall to hold off the pesky Union 1-0. Defender Leonardo’s goal in the 29’ was headed in off a Beckham free kick, further cementing LA as the best set piece team in MLS.
4.  – NY Red Bulls (1-2-0, 5 pts, 3rd E / D vs. HOU 1-1) – Adding Dwyane De Rosario in an attacking midfield role just made the Eastern Conference’s best team even better. De Rosario assisted on NY opening goal coming on as a halftime sub, though a draw with Houston isn’t an ideal result at home.
5.  – Philadelphia Union (2-0-1, 6 pts, 1st E / L @ LA 0-1) – Hard luck loss at LA, but with a man advantage for almost 40 minutes, the Union were unable to create shots, let alone scoring chances. They have to figure out a consistent attack plan and they’ll be without young striker Jack McInerney, who was red carded in stoppage time.
6.  – Chicago Fire (1-0-1, 3 pts, 4th E / Idle) – I hope the idle Fire got plenty of rest, because they’re heading on a Pacific Northwest swing. Their next two games are at Seattle and Portland (Apr 14) and three days later, LA comes to Chicago.
7.  – NE Revolution (1-2-0, 5 pts, 2nd E / D vs. POR 1-1) – I’m pretty sure that Steve Nicol didn’t want to be the answer to the trivia question “Which team did Portland get their first point against?” Still some growing pains for the Revs I guess and they play two this week, at VAN tonight and vs. RSL Saturday.
8.  – Vancouver Whitecaps (1-1-1, 4 pts, 4th W / D vs. KC 3-3) – Another team playing two this week, they’ll have to recover from an emotional comeback against KC. And it would help if they don’t get behind 3-0 too often.
9.  – Sporting KC (1-1-1, 4 pts, 5th E / D @ VAN 3-3) – Why KC falling a spot to VAN while getting a road point? Because they lost a three goal lead to do it.
10.  – SJ Earthquakes (1-1-1, 4 pts, 5th W / D vs. SEA 2-2) – I think getting a point against Seattle anywhere is a good thing. Two home games coming up are against Toronto and Chivas and six points would certainly help separate them in the crowded West.
11.  – Houston Dynamo (0-2-1, 2 pts, 9th E / D @ NY 1-1) – I gave Houston a reprieve this week, since I think getting a point in NY is worth something. But this team needs to start getting some wins, because the team sitting in the bottom of the East usually isn’t 11th in my rankings.
12.  – Toronto FC (1-1-1, 4 pts, 6th E / D vs. CHV 1-1) – Still can’t figure out TFC and they just traded their best player three games into the season. Time will tell, but I think the BMO Boys could be in trouble.
13.  – DC United (1-0-2, 3 pts, 8th E / L @ COL 1-4) – Charlie Davies aside, perhaps DC is who we thought they were. Also, 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar has declared his intentions to play with Honduras for international soccer instead of the USA.
14.  – Columbus Crew (1-1-1, 4 pts, 7th E / W vs. DAL 2-0) – The rebuilding effort in Columbus yielded three points against Dallas. Andres Mendoza scored from the spot and Eddie Gavin sealed it in stoppage time for three points over 10-man Dallas.
15.  – Seattle Sounders (0-2-2, 2 pts, 6th W / D @ SJ 2-2) – Another team that I need to see win a game and soon. Seattle is too talented to only have two points through four games.
16.  – Chivas USA (0-1-2, 1 pt, 7th W / D @ TOR 1-1) – The Goats got out to an early start, with Alejandro Moreno scoring off a poor defensive clearance by TFC. But they couldn’t hold onto the lead or put one past an in-form Stefan Frei and had to settle for a road point.
17.  – Portland Timbers (0-1-2, 1 pt, 8th W / D @ NE 1-1) – They got their first point in MLS and out of the rankings basement, but they also got their first win in the MLS US Open Cup Qualifiers against Chivas USA.
18.  – FC Dallas (0-1-2, 1 pt, 9th W / L @ CREW 0-2) – Jackson Goncalves has himself to blame for FCD being in the basement. He was sent off after two yellow cards in two minutes in the first half and the Crew were able to pounce.
Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:10 pm
This was written about three days ago and I'm just getting around to it now. This doesn't include Friday night's MLS game which is good since I have no idea who played or what the result is. And everyone should watch/DVR the USA-Argentina game tonight to watch after/with all the March Madness (I'll have more on that later, saw the two games yesterday in Newark, NJ - East Regional in person. Ohio State-Kentucky was worth the price of admission alone.)
2. Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 pts / W vs. SJ 1-0) – Kyle Beckerman’s blast was able to give RSL all three points against a San Jose. In a sloppy game with few chances, I like that RSL can find a way to win, but I still have questions about their depth.
3. New York Red Bulls (1-0-0, 3 pts / W vs. SEA 1-0) – With the exception of Charlie Davis, I can’t think of a better start to the season than NY’s Juan Agudelo. The young striker showed great poise when he scored the game winner and may have erased some doubts as to whether he can replace Juan Pablo Angel.
4. LA Galaxy (1-0-0, 3 pts / W @ SEA 1-0, D vs. NE 1-1) – Yes, the Galaxy aren’t number one for the first time ever, but I only did the rankings for half the year in 2010. Juninho is providing all the scoring for this team at the moment, and Landon Donovan will be playing for USA tonight vs. Argentina.
5. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-0-0, 3 pts / W 4-2 vs. TOR) – Really impressive first win for the expansion side. They also get 17-year old phenom Omar Salgado on the roster as FIFA granted him a waiver to play due to some under-18 age restriction. They won’t get him until after he leaves the USA U-20 camp though.
6. Sporting Kansas City (1-0-0, 3 pts / W @ CHV 3-2) – Terrible name change aside, KC is still pretty good. They scored two timely goals in the first half and then cruised a little too much in the second at Chivas. Still, in a weak Eastern conference, they’re going to be hanging around the top three all year I think.
7. DC United (1-0-0, 3 pts / W vs. CREW 3-1) - Charlie Davies’ long awaited return to top level soccer began with a double, the first off a penalty and the second beating a keeper one-on-one. For a team that struggled mightily last season, I don’t think they could have had a better start.
8. Philadelphia Union (1-0-0, 3 pts /) W @ HOU 1-0 - Last year’s expansion side, the Zolos begin this year with a rarity from 2010, a road win. And I loved the way the Union won the game, scoring off a scramble from a corner and playing scrappy D. I don’t know if they’re a playoff team, but they certainly should be a thorn in a lot of teams sides this year.
9. New England Revs (0-1-0, 1 pt / 6E; D @ LA 1-1) – The Revs got off to a fast start as captain Shalrie Joseph scored in the opening minutes. A poor clearance led by rookie D AJ Soares led to LA’s goal but Matt Reis six saves helped secure a solid road point for Steve Nicol’s team in LA.
10. Chicago Fire (0-1-0, 1 pt / 5E; D @ DAL 1-1) – They get a point on the road, but I don’t like giving up an equalizer two minutes after the opening goal. Chicago might have wasted an early opportunity here as they dominated the offensive chances throughout the game with Dallas only having 10-men.
11. Dallas FC (0-1-0, 1 pt / 5W; D vs. CHI 1-1) – After Brek Shea’s red card in the 56’ minute Dallas are probably lucky to escape with a point at home. FCD’s Jair Benitez missed the game due to suspension stemming from an incident in a preseason game.
12. San Jose Quakes – (0-0-1, 0 pts / 7W; L vs. RSL 0-1) – I’m putting the Quakes at the top of the one-loss teams for the following reasons: They lost to a solid team in terrible weather and actually generated more chances and probably deserved a point. Remember, this was a playoff team last year that ousted New York.
13. Chivas USA (0-0-1, 0 pts / 6W; L vs. KC 2-3) – The Goats fell behind in the second minute and went down 2-0 right before the half. They did dominate the second half and I think they were also unlucky to not get a point here. Erase the early or late first half goal and Chivas didn’t do all that poorly in their opener.
14. Houston Dynamo (0-0-1, 0 pts / 7E; L vs. PHI 0-1) – Another side that fell behind early and didn’t recover. The difference between them and Chivas – Houston dropped three points at home to a team that won two games on the road in 2010. So much for the Dynamo taking advantage of a weaker Eastern Conference.
15. Portland Timbers (0-0-1, 0 pts / 8W; L @ COL 1-3) – I don’t want to start piling on the expansion Timbers, but giving up three goals in a half hour in your first match isn’t good. Kenny Cooper finding the net on a late free kick gave the Timbers a moral victory in the second half.
16. Columbus Crew (0-0-1, 0 pts / 9E; L @ DC 1-3) – Only a late Robbie Rogers penalty made the scoreline respectable, but make no mistake, I don’t think this Crew team will be all that great this year. Coach Robert Warzycha has basically started over and many faces from past (and successful) years are gone.
17. Toronto FC (0-0-1, 0 pts / 8E; L @ VAN 2-4) – TFC allowed Vancouver to shoot at will, as 10 of the 18 Whitecaps shots were on net. They responded early to level the score at one, but their second goal just a minute after Vancouver’s fourth was way too late. The BMO boys will need to sure up their defense, because if they can’t stop Portland and Chivas in their next two games, it will be a long season.
18. Seattle Sounders (0-0-2, 0 pts / 9W; L vs. LA 0-1, L @ NY 0-1) – We’ll it’s only two games in, but Seattle has a serious problem. They can’t finish. And what’s worse is that they had opportunities to beat LA in the opener. Kasey Keller won’t be able to rescue the Sounders every week and he saved a weak Thierry Henry penalty in the first ten minutes against New York.