Week 7: Power Rankings & Standings

As usual, last week’s ranking appears in parentheses immediately after this week’s ranking. So 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. Later today, I’ll compare what I’ve got below with everyone else’s rankings by combining them in a formula that, 1) may or may not be totally bogus, and, 2) could very well be nothing more than a rehash of ESPN’s results and methodology. Still, I won’t even peek anyone else’s picks till after I’ve written and posted mine.

A current shot of the standings appear at the bottom and, having reviewed Week 6’s rankings, I can honestly say I don’t know what the hell I was thinking on a few of them. With regard to this week’s rankings, I’ll be honest: after the first two, 3-5 felt basically interchangeable and I have no freakin’ clue what to order the bottom half of the table - very plausible reasons exist for dumping the lot of them below the #11 spot; for the record, however, I’m pretty comfortable with my #6.

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

1. (3) Red Bull New York ($)
Though far from perfect lately, scoring four goals against the typically tough Crew - not to mention scoring them steadily throughout the game - speaks well of a team. People tell me Angel is online; I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled there.

2. (1) New England Revolution (@)
Call this the echo to the raspberry Steve Nicol spat out when asked to judge his team’s performance against the Dynamo. Here’s the deal: the Revs have played badly more often than well; a handy symbol for the extent to which they’re riding their luck came in the win over LA, when Taylor Twellman’s header pinged off the crossbar directly into his run; that happens once in every 100 instances.

3. (7) FC Dallas (@)
If it were possible to convince myself Dallas was better than New England, the latter would have slipped further. They climb high as they did because two wins are two wins - even if they came against one team miles-off form (the Fire) and another outright bad one (RSL).

4. (4) Colorado Rapids (&)
Uninspiring as a home draw may be, I read good things about Colorado’s performance. And KC is tough enough to make a draw sound good.

5. (6) Kansas City Wizards (&)
Um, what I said above, but switch the “home” to “away.” Also, it’s good to see Eddie Johnson’s name in the mix.

6. (9) DC United ($)
Slowly, it’s starting to happen...even if they rely on the ref’s generosity to seal the deal. Say what you will, but DC did what neither Houston nor Chicago could - they beat Toronto at home.

7. (10) Chicago Fire (@ - 1/2 hour anyway)
I won’t pretend that three straight losses don’t matter, but at least they’re scoring. But they also had Dallas on their heels for the final thirty; moreover, if Thiago bangs that header a couple inches to the right, that changes the conversation about both Chicago and FC Dallas.

8. (5) Los Angeles Galaxy (&)
If it weren’t for the incredible crap turned in by the rest of the field, I’d ding the Galaxy harder for drawing the lowly Goats. As everyone noted, Landon scored - so what do these guys do when there is no Landon?

9. (2) Houston Dynamo ($ + @)
It took the undistilled bitterness at the Dynamo’s part in their awful, awful game against the Revs to justify this 7-place drop. As with Dallas, albeit staring into a cracked mirror, two losses are two losses. And I don’t know if these guys are ever going to score again. It wasn’t till I actually sat down to think about it that I realized Houston has scored in ONLY two of their seven games this season. To be clear, that really, really sucks.

10. (11) Toronto FC ($)
The loss to DC should drag these guys back down to earth. But TFC is also becoming worth a look - and not just for a laugh. This weekend’s game on the road against the Crew positively screams “statement.”

11. (13) Chivas USA (&)
If it weren’t for Maykel Galindo, these cats would be RSL-bad. Recent acquisitions (Paolo Nagamura; Shavar Thomas) should make them more solid, so I expect them to climb a bit. Not a minute too soon, though.

12. (8) Columbus Crew ($)
The offense sucks bad enough; add in the already proved capacity for defensive collapses (Red Bull and the draw against New England) and you’re looking at a top-to-bottom bad team.

13. (12) Real Salt Lake (@)
They suck. It’s not much more complicated than that.

Moving on to the standings (official ones here):

Eastern Conference:
1. New England Revs: 17 pts. (5-1-2: 15 GF, 7 GA, +8; home, 2-0-0; away, 3-1-2)
2. Red Bull New York: 14 pts. (4-1-2: 8 GF, 4 GA, +8; home, 3-1-0; away, 1-0-2)
3. Kansas City Wiz: 13 pts. (4-2-1: 12 GF, 7 GA, +5; home, 2-1-0; away, 2-1-1)
4. Chicago Fire: 10 pts. (3-3-1: 8 GF, 10 GA, -2; home, 2-1-0; away, 1-1-1)
5. DC United: 7 pts. (2-3-1: 8 GF, 10 GA, -2; home, 1-1-1; away, 1-2-0)
6. Columbus Crew: 7 pts. (1-2-4: 4 GF, 8 GA, -4; home, 1-0-3; away, 0-2-1)
7. Toronto FC: 6 pts. (2-5-0: 5 GF, 13 GA, -8; home, 2-2-0; away, 0-3-0)

Western Conference
1. FC Dallas: 16 pts. (5-3-1: 13 GF, 12 GA, +1; home, 2-2-0; away, 3-1-1)
2. Colorado Rapids: 12 pts. (3-2-3: 10 GF, 10 GA, 0; home 1-1-3; away, 2-1-0)
3. Chivas USA: 8 pts. (2-3-2: 10 GF, 8 GA; +2; home, 2-0-1; away, 0-3-1)
4. Houston Dynamo: 7 pts. (2-4-1: 4 GF, 5 GA, -1; home, 1-2-1; away, 1-2-0)
5. Los Angeles Galaxy: 5 pts. (1-2-2: 7 GF, 7 GA, 0; home, 1-2-0; away, 0-0-2)
6. Real Salt Lake: 4 pts. (0-3-4: 7 GF, 14 GA, -7; home, 0-1-3; away, 0-2-1)


D said...

You are way too generous to DC right now. If we can get points off of Houston, and New York, I might start to believe, but not Chivas and TFC. Though the 1-1 draw against New England (where for the most part we outplayed them all over) may be the most convincing performance we've had.

The Manly Ferry said...

You want interesting? I'm compiling the round-up of where the collective punditry places all 13 MLS teams (to be posted in a few minutes); DC places a rock-solid six across eight different outlets.

What can we say? People see signs of life.

D said...

Hasn't anyone seen the Wrath of Khan? There were signs of life on Seti Alpha VI, but it wasn't exactly inspiring what was found there.

"Botany Bay?"

The Manly Ferry said...

Khan! KHANN!!

Still the best one of those dang movies...

pate said...

d and jeff,
my scariness ratings also have DC in at 6. (Not that I'd place a whole lot of faith in those numbers until they're a bit more polished.)

and, yes, the Wrath of Kahn is awesome!