Week 5: Power Rankings & Standings

If nothing else, all yesterday’s blabbing (wrap and talking points) frees me up to focus on the power rankings and standings here. As usual, last week’s ranking appears in parentheses immediately after this week’s ranking. So’s as to not misrepresent my judgment as entirely first-hand, the following key shows the distance of my observations: “@” means I watched a given team’s most recent performance in its entirety; “$” means I caught it through Quick Kicks, which provides extended highlights; “&” means I watched only the rump highlights available through MLSnet.com.

1. (1) Red Bull New York (&)
The 3-3 draw with RSL acknowledged, I’m “checking” to future results. Between the reportedly dubious goals, Clint Mathis playing well, and the general shape of things, Red Bull still seems solid. Here’s something I just caught: RBNY remains undefeated - and, now, they’re alone.

2. (3) New England Revolution (@ + @)
The Revs looked pretty damn sharp against Chicago, as well as the fact that Twellman didn’t even score and they did it without Joseph - well, that’s all the excuse I need to peg New England pretty high.

3. (8) Houston Dynamo (@)
It’s not so much that Houston’s “skill players” - DeRosario and Davis, in particular - finally woke up as the completeness of this weekend’s win that makes the Dynamo this week’s big climber; they shut down the Rapids and just straight-up beat them - and that trumps what I saw as a little help from the officials (and, yeah, I’m still holding out for a fine/suspension for Eddie Robinson; and, without question, Ryan Cochrane should have received a yellow).

4. (7) Kansas City Wizards (@ - for the most part)
Leading the league has to count for something, right? But, obviously, I’m still not sold on the Wizards; the quality of their opposition has a lot to do with this. They’ll move up when they beat the guys above them (and, perhaps, a few below).

5. (5) Los Angeles Galaxy (bye)
Of all the picks in this space, I think this placement for an idle Galaxy side is the most generous. It has more to do with what the active teams below them did this week.

6. (4) Colorado Rapids (@)
They have good weapons, but only if they link up. And, as someone mentioned, their defensive depth, or lack thereof, showed on Saturday night. I think the Rapids are settling closer to their natural state: a good, solid team, but not world-beaters.

7. (2) Chicago Fire (@)
I’ll own up: I’m hostile to Chicago; so, so boring. But Sunday exposed the limitations in their attack; they don’t create space that well and rely too much on slop and breaks for scoring. My guess is they’re better than I’m placing them, but that’s mostly because they’re hard to beat.

8. (10) FC Dallas (bye)
Another bye team that benefited from others’ frailties: I’m bumped them on the belief they’ll come back better from their lay-off. But there are five spots below to accommodate them if they slip.

9. (11) DC United (@ + nuthin’)
As much as they improved their lot this weekend, too much of what I’m reading makes me dubious on a DC “recovery.” They place under Dallas, though, because I think the Texas team would beat them.

10. (6) Columbus Crew (@ - for the most part)
Am I being hard on my “second team”? Probably. But their problems with scoring don’t look likely to improve significantly. Till it does, I’ll be keeping them on the outside of the playoff picture*.

11. (9) Chivas USA (nuthin’)
Two straight losses almost compel me to dump these guys deep into bowels of this thing. I think there’s more to learn from Chivas’ losses than their wins (over Toronto and RSL? Woo-hoo.) This week’s game against Columbus should tell us a bit more.

12. (13) Real Salt Lake (&)
If it weren’t for the fight they showed against Red Bull, I’d leave these guys stuck on the bottom. Seriously, if the Portland Timbers stick around the Open Cup this year, I’m praying for a visit by RSL. A point behind LA with two games in hand? More goals conceded than Toronto FC? Shit.

13. (12) Toronto FC (bye)
OK, seriously. These guys suck. I wish ‘em the best, but, yeah, they’re going to have a hell season.

Now, the standings...here's the official version if you want to check me.

Eastern Conference:
1. Kansas City Wiz: 12 pts. (4-1-0: 10 GF, 4 GA, +6; home, 2-0-0; away, 2-1-0)
2. New England Revs: 11 pts. (3-1-2: 11 GF, 5 GA, +6; home, 2-0-0; away, 1-1-2)
3. Red Bull New York: 11 pts. (3-0-2: 8 GF, 3 GA, +5; home, 2-0-0; away, 1-0-2)
4. Chicago Fire: 10 pts. (3-1-1: 6 GF, 5 GA, +1; home, 2-0-0; away, 1-1-1)
5. Columbus Crew: 6 pts. (1-1-3: 3 GF, 3 GA, 0; home, 1-0-2; away, 0-1-1)
6. DC United: 4 pts. (1-3-1: 6 GF, 9 GA, -3; home, 1-1-1; away, 0-2-0)
7. Toronto FC: 0 pts. (0-4-0: 0 GF, 10 GA, -10; home, 0-1-0; away, 0-3-0)

Western Conference
1. Houston Dynamo: 7 pts. (2-2-1: 4 GF, 3 GA, +1; home, 1-1-1; away, 1-1-0)
2. Colorado Rapids: 7 pts. (2-2-1: 7 GF, 8 GA, -1; home 1-1-1; away, 1-1-0)
3. FC Dallas: 7 pts. (2-3-1: 7 GF, 9 GA, -2; home, 1-2-0; away, 1-1-1)
4. Chivas USA: 6 pts. (2-3-0: 8 GF, 6 GA; +2; home, 2-0-0; away, 0-3-0)
5. Los Angeles Galaxy: 4 pts. (1-1-1: 4 GF, 3 GA, +1; home, 1-1-0; away, 0-0-1)
6. Real Salt Lake: 2 pts. (0-2-3: 5 GF, 11 GA, -6; home, 0-1-3; away, 0-1-0)


D said...

you have every right to be skeptical of the DC "recovery" However, if we come out of May with two more wins, then I think there'll be evidence for that storyline.

The Manly Ferry said...

Geez. When someone else types it, the scare quotes around the word "recovery" looks so, so condescending. Don't think I'll do that for the next entry.

I'm where you are, though: it's a necessary first step; time to see where it goes from here. Sucks that your bunch has another week off.