MLS Week 11 Power Rankings (the last one posted)

Let it be established that each “Major League Soccer (MLS) Week” shall begin at 12 a.m. each Thursday till the end of the 2007 season...or maybe not. Damn those scheduling interns. The real problem is last night’s game, in which Columbus snuck a win over Kansas City (I told you the Crew would cause problems for some good teams; just didn't think it would match this week's); seeing as I can’t wash that one out of my mind, I’m just going to incorporate it below.

As always, last week’s ranking appears in parentheses immediately after this week’s ranking. So as to not misrepresent my judgment as entirely first-hand, here’s a key for my viewing: “@” 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

For the record, I like my top three; or, rather, I think I can justify my thinking on those. #4 - 6 is a bit of a mash-up - and it’s possible #6 may blow up in my face within 12 hours. I like #7. #8-11 are, essentially, inter-changeable. The bottom two, however, are solid.

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

1. (2) DC United (didn’t see it, didn’t hear it...)
No, I haven’t seen these guys play in weeks. The thing is, DC is about the only team in the league doing well on both sides of the ball.

2. (3) Kansas City Wizards ($ + 1/2 of @)
Five MLS teams have allowed more goals than KC; trouble is, those teams suck (except, arguably, Dallas - but their defense sucks). If the goals dry up - as they did last night - the slipshod defense hurts this team.

3. (5) Chivas USA (%)
Chivas has earned the same number of points as DC - even if a weaker Western Conference has something to do with that - and the same argument for their ranking applies. Count tonight a “statement game” - or a cliché. While they can’t actually take over top spot in the West, a win would say just as much.

4. (1) Red Bull New York ($)
This team’s defensive problems are serious and don’t appear to be going away any time soon. I regret last week’s ranking error.

5. (4) New England Revolution (@)
Nice as it was to see Adam Cristman score two (though his leering come-hither to Pat Noonan must be blacked out to keep the skin from crawling) - hell, nice as it was to see Noonan look like himself - the Revs has issues. The luck that carried them through a few games nearly dried up last week; was the last drop sprinkled on Cristman’s first goal?

6. (6) Houston Dynamo (idle)
Some weeks you don’t have to do anything to hold steady. But, as with Chivas, tonight is statement time. Anyone else see a nice little rivalry blossoming between those two teams?

7. (9) Toronto FC ($)
Re-enacted The Burning Bed over a weary FC Dallas* and they look a safe bet to avoid the whole “worst team in history” tag. It’s time to see if they can make their hard-knock game work on the road. (*Such horrible analogies come to me all day, every day and, I assure you, the original edit was worse. My internal censor took a half-day.)

8. (7) FC Dallas (1/2 hour of @ + %)
Let’s see...they BARELY beat the league’s accidental comedy troupe and then got mauled by Canadians. Canadians! (kidding...I’m just warming up for tonight.) Were it not for the fact they play consistent .500 ball, they’d drop further.

9. (10) Columbus Crew (@ + 1/2 of @)
I stand firmly in the column that assumes this team is better than their record. Again, with the odds of the Crew picking up four points against their past two opponents, I really, REALLY wish I had a sports book nearby.

10. (12) Los Angeles Galaxy (@)
LA hasn’t given teams or fans cause to respect them this season. Yeah, they beat RSL...rah, rah. The best thing you can say about them is they’re trying to improve.

11. (8) Colorado Rapids (%)
These cats haven’t won since May. And, unlike LA, I’m not seeing them doing anything to improve. To make matters worse, Dallas’s on-off pattern augurs a win for the Colorado side this weekend.

12. (11) Chicago Fire (didn’t see it, didn’t hear it...)
Reduced to the quality of a college team by injuries and call-ups, why believe a new coach can turn things around. It took some math to realize just how bad things are in Chicago: they’ve taken 4 POINTS from their last 8 games. For the record, that’s RSL bad - literally. RSL has equaled Chicago for points over the past 8 games.

13. (13) Real Salt Lake (1/2 hour of @ + @)
Setting the standard for sucking in 2007 and building on a proud tradition.

Moving on to the standings (painstakingly recreated by Franklin Mint engravers from the current official ones):

Eastern Conference
1. Red Bull New York: 21 pts. (6-3-3: 24 GF, 15 GA, +9; home, 4-1-1; away, 2-2-2)
2. Kansas City Wiz: 20 pts. (6-3-2: 23 GF, 17 GA, +6; home, 3-1-0; away, 3-2-2)
3. New England Revs: 19 pts. (5-2-4: 21 GF, 14 GA, +7; home, 2-1-2; away, 3-1-2)
4. DC United: 17 pts. (5-3-2: 17 GF, 14 GA, +3; home, 4-1-1; away, 1-2-1)
5. Chicago Fire: 14 pts. (4-6-2: 12 GF, 19 GA, -7; home, 3-2-1; away, 1-3-1)
6. Toronto FC: 13 pts. (4-6-1: 14 GF, 18 GA, -4; home, 4-3-0; away, 0-3-1)
7. Columbus Crew: 12 pts. (2-4-6: 14 GF, 19 GA, -5; home, 2-1-4; away, 0-3-2)

Western Conference
1. FC Dallas: 22 pts. (7-6-1: 18 GF, 21 GA, -3; home, 3-2-0; away, 4-4-1)
2. Chivas USA: 17 pts. (5-3-2: 15 GF, 8 GA; +7; home, 4-0-1; away, 1-3-1)
3. Houston Dynamo: 16 pts. (5-5-1: 11 GF, 10 GA, +1; home, 3-2-1; away, 2-3-0)
4. Colorado Rapids: 15 pts. (4-5-3: 13 GF, 16 GA, -3; home 2-1-3; away, 2-4-0)
5. Los Angeles Galaxy: 9 pts. (2-4-3: 11 GF, 13 GA, -2; home, 2-2-1; away, 0-2-2)
6. Real Salt Lake: 6 pts. (0-5-6: 9 GF, 18 GA, -9; home, 0-2-3; away, 0-3-3)

No comments: