MLS Week 13 Power Rankings

I'm pleased to report that all this weekend's results made sense to me on one level or another. I can't say the same for the rankings that follow, which blend inexplicable hostility and fits of indulgent favoritism with some chemicals I found on the shelf.

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

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

1. (2) DC United (%)
They flip-flop with the Dynamo based solely on the fact that they won. Reports didn’t tell of a sterling performance, in spite of the score - and the team they beat (Colorado) doesn’t add to the equation. But a win is a win...

2. (1) Houston Dynamo (@)
...which is why DC tops Houston this week; worse, FC Dallas knocked ‘em around pretty good. This team needs to recover some sass after this weekend’s draw.

3. (5) FC Dallas (@)
Finally, Dallas is showing they can defend. The attack sputtered a bit while that came online, but they have options on the bench (Ramon Nunez; didn’t say it was a great option, but it’s a different look) and will improve more when guys like Kenny Cooper and Adrian Serioux heal. All in all, Morrow keeps bringing in players, so the ambition is very much there.

4. (3) New England Revolution (a good chunk of @)
If I could justify dropping these guys further, I would. I really, really would. Personally, I don’t think these guys are firing on half their cylinders.

5. (6) Kansas City Wizards (nada)
When giving up just one goal is cause for celebration, you know problems lurk. Still, they attack like demons - perhaps spazzy, half-blind demons, but demons all the same.

6. (7) Columbus Crew (a good chunk of @)
I can’t stop inching this team up the table - but so long as they’re winning, especially against Eastern Conference teams above them in the table, I don’t know why I would. I really like the statement of a win without Schelotto.

7. (4) Red Bull New York (a good chunk of @)
Even with defenders returning and one more acquired (Kevin Goldthwaite) they couldn’t keep out Columbus...let's underline that: Columbus. Moreover, they broke down even more. In fact, nothing went well for Red Bull, who haven’t won since June 6 and seemed to have forgotten how.

8. (8) Chivas USA (a good chunk of @)
My earlier over-enthusing over Chivas’ record leaves me a little gun-shy about rating them. Right now, I know two things about this team: they’re superb at home and they have a very special player in Maykel Galindo. I doubt that’s enough to carry them, but it’s probably good enough for the playoffs.

9. (9) Toronto FC (nada)
Sounds like they got lucky. But they’ve got some useful players and a good enough team to sit firmly on the bubble. They can go either way from here.

10. (10) Colorado Rapids (% + thank god - nada)
Does Fernando still have a job? More to the point, will he in one week? Two weeks? FC Rocky said it best with their lament over the Rapids inability to knock off a pitiful, flummoxed Chicago.

11. (11) Los Angeles Galaxy (idle)
Will the week off help? Not nearly as much as getting back Donovan. With Pavon coming and Beckham to follow, these guys look poised to make a move. A failure to do so...well...I think I’d just have to laugh.

12. (12) Real Salt Lake (idle)
Week 14 is your time to shine, little diamond.

13. (13) Chicago Fire (thank god - nada)
Turns out “Chicago” and “chaos” share more than just a couple letters. From what I read about their last performance, it was the worst of the season. This is a team in meltdown.

Now, the standings (official listings):

Eastern Conference
1. New England Revs: 22 pts. (6-3-4: 24 GF, 16 GA, +8; home, 3-1-2; away, 3-2-2)
2. Kansas City Wiz: 21 pts. (6-4-3: 24 GF, 19 GA, +5; home, 3-2-1; away, 3-2-2)
3. Red Bull New York: 21 pts. (6-4-3: 24 GF, 16 GA, +8; home, 4-1-1; away, 2-3-2)
4. DC United: 20 pts. (6-4-2: 22 GF, 17 GA, +5; home, 5-1-1; away, 1-3-1)
5. Columbus Crew: 18 pts. (4-4-6: 18 GF, 21 GA, -3; home, 3-1-4; away, 1-3-2)
6. Chicago Fire: 15 pts. (4-6-3: 12 GF, 19 GA, -7; home, 3-2-2; away, 1-3-1)
7. Toronto FC: 14 pts. (4-7-2: 15 GF, 22 GA, -7; home, 4-3-0; away, 0-4-2)

Western Conference
1. FC Dallas: 26 pts. (8-6-2: 19 GF, 21 GA, -2; home, 3-2-1; away, 5-4-1)
2. Houston Dynamo: 23 pts. (7-5-2: 16 GF, 10 GA, +6; home, 4-2-1; away, 3-3-1)
3. Chivas USA: 20 pts. (6-4-2: 17 GF, 12 GA; +5; home, 5-0-1; away, 1-4-1)
4. Colorado Rapids: 16 pts. (4-7-4: 14 GF, 21 GA, -7; home 2-2-3; away, 2-5-1)
5. Los Angeles Galaxy: 9 pts. (2-5-3: 13 GF, 16 GA, -3; home, 2-3-1; away, 0-2-2)
6. Real Salt Lake: 9 pts. (1-5-6: 11 GF, 19 GA, -8; home, 1-2-3; away, 0-3-3)

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