Week 6: Power Rankings + Standings

I won’t lie: my week has been so thoroughly fucked up it makes a $20 whore look positively chaste (sorry, horrible analogy). But I’m soldiering on with power rankings and, later, I’ll compare those with everyone else’s to give an approximation of how observers see teams stacking up. I won’t even peek at those, however, till after I’ve written and posted what appears below.

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.

Here goes...and after the rankings, you’ll find a current listing of the standings for the permanent record.

1. (2) New England Revolution (@)
I’ll have something up elsewhere stating my belief that New England showed itself to be the first “good” team in the 2007 season. The logic here is pretty simple: they’re the only team doing fairly well on both sides of the ball and taking care of business both home and away. The question is whether they can keep it up - I mean, how often to forwards have the rebound fall perfectly?

2. (3) Houston Dynamo (idle)
As much as inching an idle team up the table seems a little silly, the other teams did it to themselves. I’m not sold on this bunch yet; having only one rock-star offensive game makes this a highly precarious #2 ranking.

3. (1) Red Bull New York (&)
It’s not losing to the Rapids so much as it’s, y’know, everything: the draw to RSL, the Open Cup thing, a key player (Claudio Reyna) who seems too fragile to last, etc. Clint Mathis says they’re slipping; the question is can they turn it around?

4. (6) Colorado Rapids (& + &)
During their two-game Week 6, Colorado showed two things: a kind of resilience and proof that they have not grown out of their penchant for erratic play. They do have the weapons, though, even if Dan Gargan isn’t one of them.

5. (5) Los Angeles Galaxy (@)
Call me crazy - and I’m sure Frank Yallop would - but I liked a lot of what I saw out of these guys against New England. I’d go so far as to say they’d beat - let’s do a quick count - seven, even eight teams in this league playing like that. Cannon is still a force and signs of life from Martino mean plenty for this group.

6. (4) Kansas City Wizards ($)
This isn’t bad as it looks. To begin, I still think this is a playoff team. And from the sounds of it, they outplayed Dallas. But they DID lose.

7. (8) FC Dallas ($)
Based on what I read and saw, Dario Sala hauled their butts through this one - then again, a ‘keeper like that counts for something. Nice to see Cooper score again, while Abe Thompson’s performance shows they have a little depth. Also noted: even the Kansas City paper had nice things to say about their defense. They do ride their luck a little, but they’re also looking good enough...to do what? Well...

8. (10) Columbus Crew (@)
The Crew may owe me the two hours of my life I spent watching this, but there’s no denying this team can defend. But - damn! - do they have a toothless attack, even with the new editions. Still, one-half competent puts them ahead of the teams below.

9. (9) DC United (idle)
Seems appropriate to let their ranking idle as they did. They looked better in Week 5, but have to show a bit more in coming games to get back into the Land of Playoff Contention.

10. (7) Chicago Fire (@)
The Fire gets hit with the Big Drop this week, not because they were Toronto’s first victims, but in the way they’ve lost over the past two weekends. Take away Chris Rolfe and they go from a one-man to a no-man offense. That’s bad enough, but it’s nothing next to the ever-fraying defensive displays; the way this team positively WILTS against counter-attacks renders them almost incapable of chasing a game.

11. (13) Toronto FC (@)
Well, that was fun. I think I wrote this before, but I could have sworn these teams swapped jerseys at the half. Still, I’ll note as everyone did the nice atmosphere on the day and all that. We’ll see tonight (well, and in the future) whether or not Toronto has figured out playing in MLS.

12. (12) Real Salt Lake (&)
As much as I’m hearing decent things about the changes introduced by new coach Jason Kreis (two forwards?? - gasp), these guys still don’t have a W to call their own. Till they get one....well, maybe I’m being more generous to them than I am to the guys below. Still, one doesn’t need the -8 goal differential to know TFC remains a struggling team.

13. (11) Chivas USA (@)
Is it Preki’s fault? Hell, I dunno. What I do know is, the (hungover, Sunday park club) mistakes that defense made would have been ruthlessly punished by any team other than Houston. And with their attack essentially drying up, these guys don’t have much going for them.

Moving on to the standings (official ones here):

Eastern Conference:
1. New England Revs: 14 pts. (4-1-2: 14 GF, 7 GA, +7; home, 2-0-0; away, 2-1-2)
2. Kansas City Wiz: 12 pts. (4-2-0: 11 GF, 6 GA, +5; home, 2-1-0; away, 2-1-0)
3. Red Bull New York: 11 pts. (3-1-2: 8 GF, 4 GA, +4; home, 2-1-0; away, 1-0-2)
4. Chicago Fire: 10 pts. (3-2-1: 7 GF, 8 GA, -1; home, 2-0-0; away, 1-1-1)
5. Columbus Crew: 7 pts. (1-1-4: 4 GF, 4 GA, 0; home, 1-0-3; 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. (1-4-0: 3 GF, 11 GA, -8; home, 1-1-0; away, 0-3-0)

Western Conference
1. Colorado Rapids: 11 pts. (3-2-2: 9 GF, 9 GA, 0; home 1-1-2; away, 2-1-0)
2. FC Dallas: 10 pts. (3-3-1: 9 GF, 10 GA, -1; home, 1-2-0; away, 1-1-1)
3. Chivas USA: 7 pts. (2-3-1: 9 GF, 7 GA; +2; home, 2-0-0; away, 0-3-1)
4. Houston Dynamo: 7 pts. (2-2-1: 4 GF, 3 GA, +1; home, 1-1-1; away, 1-1-0)
5. Los Angeles Galaxy: 4 pts. (1-2-1: 6 GF, 6 GA, 0; home, 1-2-0; away, 0-0-1)
6. Real Salt Lake: 3 pts. (0-3-3: 6 GF, 12 GA, -6; home, 0-1-3; away, 0-1-0)

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