Tag:Team of the Week 2013
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: 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 9, 2013 1:12 pm

MLS Team of the Week #1

So were trying to get out the first batch of power rankings, but before that we're unveiling a new MLS Team of the Week entry, that will run normally midweek (Tuesday or Wednesday) with the Power Rankings. I know what your saying, that I can't even finish three months of power rankings, I can't even get the first week of entries out on time, how can I possible put out a team of the week as well. We're working on that.

So here's the short version on how this works: 11 players will be selected each week, usually in a 3-4-3 formation (that's 3 defenders, 4 midfielders and 3 forwards and 1 goalkeeper for you non-soccer formation savvy readers). One player will be selected to wear the captain's armband as the Player of the Week and there will also be a Coach of the Week (and honorable mention assistants) and (if we can find them) three substitues to round out the team. Honorable mentions to keepers might be thrown in there as well. So here goes.

Coach of the Week: Caleb Porter (POR Timbers) - [Mike Petke isn't going to like this], after all I'm giving the nod to Porter who rallied the Timbers in his coaching debut from a 3-1 halftime deficit.
Assistant’s Bench – Marco Schallibaum (MTL Impact) – A win at Seattle for a team that had only 9 points on the road all last season. Very impressive debut for the veteran Swiss coach.

Captain’s Armband – FOR Mike Magee (LA Galaxy) – The first member of Hat Trick Town FC 2013 and the defending MLS Champions are still rolling. And Landon Donovan isn’t even back from vacation yet.

GK Bill Hamid (DC United) – I don’t care that DC lost 2-0 to Houston. Hamid was the only person standing in the way of a more lopsided scoreline, including a PK save on Brad Davis in the first half.

FOR Federico Higuain (Columbus CREW) - The 2012 MLS Newcomer of the Year shows no signs of slowing down in 2013.

FOR Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake) - Two goals to start the season against San Jose might just remind the Western Conference that RSL is still really good.

MID Deigo Valeri (POR Timbers) - [Just watch this.] Equalizing on your debut at JELD-WEN in that fashion? Ridiculous.

MID Davy Arnaud (MON Impact) - Veteran player organized the Impact defense and provided the game winning assist to Montreal's shock victory at Seattle.

MID Ricardo Clark (HOU Dynamo) - With more preformances like that, Clark could find his way back into the USMNT rotation.

MID Graham Zusi (Sporting KC) - And it's preformances like that which remind US fans why Zusi is so dangerous at any level.

DEF Gershon Koffie (VAN Whitecaps) - Ok, so Koffie is a defensive midfielder, but a game winning goal and a shutout allows me to bend the rules of my own team of the week.

DEF DeAndre Yedlin (SEA Sounders) - MLs is raving about what this young man can do, the 19 year old homegrown player who ironically played for Caleb Porter at Akron...if youre into Cascadia Cup rivalries (and you should be.)

DEF Jamison Olave (NY Red Bulls) - Own goal aside, this guy had a tremendous game on both sides of the field including NY's third goal. Was he ball watching on the second goal? Probably, but the Red Bulls formation fell apart too often in the second half, leaving him stranded in the center.

SUB DEF Brad Rusin (VAN Whitecaps) - Playing over 80 minutes for the injured Jay DeMerit helping the Caps get a shutout.

SUB FOR Joao Plata (Real Salt Lake) - Provided a great spart off the bench and immeadiately impacted the scoreline, assisting on Saborio's first goal.

Category: Soccer
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