Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Two

Two weeks into the MLS season and there is only one team with two victories. The Kansas City Wizards have jumped ahead of the pack early on, but the first two weeks of the MLS season have already shown us that parity throughout the league will keep things close.

Juan Carlos Osorio made his Red Bulls debut a successful one as his squad posted a victory and shutout against Columbus. The Red Bulls looked pretty good for a team that still needs three or four players and is missing starters Jozy Altidore, Dane Richards and Hunter Freeman.

And while it happened way back on Thursday, you can’t forget David Beckham scoring his first MLS goal in the Galaxy’s 2-0 win against San Jose. Beckham and Landon Donovan played well together and the LA defense posted a shutout a week after an embarrassing performance against Colorado.

San Jose made its debut and looked every bit like an expansion team as its offense struggled and defense faltered. The pieces are there for the defense to eventually find its way, but that attack desperately needs more players.

The Earthquakes sit at the bottom of this week’s MLS Power Rankings, with the Galaxy moving up. Here are week two’s MLS Power Rankings:

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. (Last week- 2) Kansas City Wizards (2-0)


Wizards stay perfect with 3-2 win but defense shows some chinks in the armor. Curt Onalfo has a great dilemma in trying to choose between Ivan Trujillo and Scott Sealy to start next to Claudio Lopez.

2. (5) Chivas USA (1-0-1)


The Goats are still struggling to find the form that made them the best in the West last season, but they’re still the class of the West so far. Newcomers looked good as attack shows some depth.

3. (4) D.C. United (1-1)


Now that is the offense we were expecting, but can D.C. do it against a respectable defense?

4. (8) Chicago Fire (1-0-1)


Tomasz Frankowski looks like the real deal and Barrett is waking up, but how long can defense get by without Wilman Conde?

5. (1) New England Revolution (1-1)


So much for having depth. Now the Revs must play Kansas City without Twellman, Ralston and Larentowicz.

6. (11) New York Red Bulls (1-0)


Defense was stellar (save for Jeff Parke’s red card) and the attack created chances without Jozy Altidore and Dane Richards. Not a bad debut for Juan Carlos Osorio.

7. (9) FC Dallas (0-0-2)


Pescadito who? The offense is really clicking with Cooper, Alvarez and Toja working well. Now, if only that defense could get it together.

8. (3) Houston Dynamo (0-1-1)


There are fewer worse scenarios than having Pat Onstad and Eddie Robinson go down with injuries. Ton Caig made some good saves late, but Houston will struggle if Onstad misses considerable time. The same goes for a Robinson injury.

9. (7)  Colorado Rapids (1-1)


Set-piece defending cost the Rapids early but the consolation was that Colorado fought back from two goals down on the road, even if they did surrender the game-winner in the 87th minute.

10. (14) Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1)


The attack showed what it can do when its stars play well, but the shutout doesn’t mean the Galaxy’s defensive issues have been solved. That said, Sean Franklin looked good and should stay in the starting lineup.

11. (6) Columbus Crew (1-1)


Schelotto looked off against the Red Bulls, reminding us that without him the Crew completely lacks creativity. Also, how bad are things when Ezra Hendrickson gets significant minutes as a forward?

12. (10) Real Salt Lake (0-1-1)


Losing to an arch-rival is bad enough, losing on two goals by players you let go is painful. I’ll keep saying it, the RSL defense added plenty of parts but I’m not sure it will come together.

13. (13) Toronto FC (0-2)


Playing a man down at RFK Stadium is never a good thing but TFC was already down 2-0 before Kevin Harmes’ sending off.

14. (12) San Jose Earthquakes (0-1)


We knew the attack was going to be weak, but the defense left something to be desired in the Earthquakes debut.

What did you think of the action in week two? Share your thoughts on last week’s action and on the SBI MLS Power Rankings below.

  • HerthyaBerwyn

    Conde played 90 mins, and scored off a corner kick, in Chicagos 3-0 reserve win over NE on Friday. We will see how this goes against the Aftershocks next Saturday. Will he be a productive part of the team? OR, will he piut and sit? Ant new Marmol news?


  • RBNY

    LAG played against SJ. Why do you rank them higher than Columbus?

    I think oponents should be taken into consideration.


  • Matt

    Ives, you need the new RBNY logo. No more fire bolts coming out of the bulls’ butts this season. :-))


  • Ives

    Matt, that’s the logo MLS sent in its 2008 logo CD. I’ll see about getting the bolt-less version.

    And RBNY, Columbus beat Toronto, meaning LA and Columbus both have wins against bad teams, so I’m not sure how I’m not taking opponents into consideration. I think LA is a tad better than Columbus right now, though not by much. That’s my opinion.


  • RedLine55

    The Fire also haven’t had CJ Brown, yet still haven’t given up a (real) goal… Conde can keep sittin’ for all I care.


  • aristotle

    Not that the ratings mean that much, especially at this point in the season, but how on earth would D.C. United be ranked 3rd?

    Are you using last year as a starting point?

    Finally being able to score for the first time in 3 games against a team that may be the worst in the league at this point, is hardly worthy of ranking them 3rd. A good comparison would be Columbus. They lost a game 2-0 just like D.C.. In their other game they beat Toronto by multiple goals, again, just like D.C. United. Yet somehow Columbus is 11th?

    I realize you are probably going by how the teams played, as well as their results, but this still seems like a stretch.


  • aristotle


    You said this to RBNY:

    “Columbus beat Toronto, meaning LA and Columbus both have wins against bad teams, so I’m not sure how I’m not taking opponents into consideration.”

    Uh…., D.C. United, as I just said, beat Toronto also. So that would be how you are not taking opponents into consideration. Now that I think about it, what about Colorado? They played K.C. just like D.C. did, except they didn’t lose by multiple goals and were not shut out. Their other game they played really well and beat a team decisively that you admit is better than four other teams in the league. Your not showing much respect for Colorado.


  • Spencer

    Yeah Colorado does deserve some love. They lost by one away at the #1 ranked KC. Yet its like they got killed like the Revs who kept their place.


  • Ives

    Aristotle, the rankings at the start of the season factor in as well as the results so far. Ultimately, the rankings are subjective so if you don’t agree with them then that’s your call.

    As for trying to compare DC, Columbus and Colorado, I happen to think D.C. is considerably better than both Columbus and Colorado. And trying to use goal differential in losses to compare teams (Colorado only lost by a goal while DC lost to KC by two so therefore Colorado must be better) is pointless.

    DC entered the season ranked No. 1, and have a blowout win and a loss to the No. 1 team in the ranking. I’m not sure how I’m wrong for having them third. As for Columbus and Colorado, both still need to show me that they’re legit by having a good result against a good team. I know, DC hasn’t done this either, but that’s where the initial rankings factor in. I rate D.C. much higher than either of those teams and my mind hasn’t really been changed after two weeks of play.


  • aristotle


    I know the ratings are subjective and don’t mean that much, as I stated in my first post. However, since we are doing them you’ve got to expect that we’ll at least pick your brain to see what your reasoning is. As I also stated in my first post, I figured you might be taking into account the final standings from last year, just wanted to know. Certainly makes a lot more sense given that fact.


  • Tim Crawford

    How bout the fact that home teams are undefeated at 10-0-3 and the goal differentital is astronomical? How can we really say any team is better than another? Maybe since some teams did draw at home/on the road, that’s negative/bonus points?


  • Scott A

    Thanks Ives, I love sports rankings. A tip though: I think it would be helpful if you displayed the ratings from the week before as a reminder.


  • Phillip

    Real Salt Lake is my sleeper team in the West, Ives.

    They will make the playoffs.


  • Aquaman

    This has nothing to do with the rankings, but more about FC Dallas’ Kenny Cooper. I’m wondering how long it’s going to take before he gets called into national team camps again? He got called up a while ago, then hurt his knee. He can’t be any worse than the rest of the strikers being called in and should be worth another look since he seems to have recovered from his injury pretty well.


  • sublicon

    Can we just expel Kevin Harmse from the league already? Hasn’t he long demonstrated that he doesn’t know how to act on the field?


  • paul Lorinczi

    So, does Kenny Cooper look like he is going to be a target forward of the future?

    It was too bad he broke his leg last year. If he does well this year, I think we are looking at Brian McBride’s replacement.


  • Ives

    Good call Scott, I will include last week’s rankings shortly.

    And Aristotle, I hear you. It isn’t based on last year but on what the teams look like heading into this year. I mean there is an element of last year’s performance factoring in but at the start of the year I looked at each team and what they added and what they lost and gave them each a ranking based on what I thought they had coming into the year. That first ranking will be a baseline for the weekly rankings for the first month or so but by May things should be flushed out.


  • brett

    honestly, im surprised at the depth in the back line of chicago… after dropping 3 defenders in the off season i was skeptical in our depth, followed by the whole Conde issue truely had me curious…

    but the current 4 Segares, Soumare, Gutierrez and Prideaux have been pretty solid in both games (only allowing in an own goal).. but with CJ and Robinson injured and soon to be coming in we have some quality depth… im hoping Conde plays well this season, but without him we arent hurt too bad…

    ill agree with the rankings… hopefully Chicago can keep up the pressure…


  • Nathan

    While I like Kenny Cooper, if all this love is based on his two goals, it’s mis-placed. Those goals were more like own goals by the now-notorious Boswell/Caig tandem. Props to Cooper for being able to steer his lob on target, but any other keeper would have caught that floater with no problem. The second should have been saved. Period. I do like his mobility mixed with his size, though.


  • Jeffrey

    Without Twellman, Ralston and Larentowicz how in the world could you rank New England fifth? I don’t understand how your Power Rankings work. Maybe they are 5th for the season but they are not going to be good until those guys come back. Those teams ranked lower would be favored over them.


  • brett

    Jeffrey- i consider the power ratings to be like the rankings in NCAA basketball… where even if a team loses key players, it comes down to performance… and a loss would not knock them down too far… seriously the 4-0 loss to chicago caused a 4 rank drop (from 1 to 5)…. and assuming they lose again, they’ll probably drop further…


  • Aquaman

    It’s not just those two goals. He was sixth in the MLS in goals scored two years ago. I believe he also scored a goal for the national team vs. Denmark a few years back. He was doing pretty well for himself before he got hurt. The two goals yesterday just show that he’s healed pretty well from the injury, especially since he showed some speed for such a big guy.


  • Dominghosa

    If that San Jose goal was allowed, that match vs. the Galaxy may have been very different. But you have to give credit to L.A. for shutting down the Quakes the rest of the way and for Donovan and G-Balls stepping up at the home opener.

    What’s up with Columbus? Even if Schelotto was off his game, they have Gaven and Rogers, right? Why aren’t they putting their stamps on the matches more? Anyone have a clue?

    I will say that the attacking play has been exciting these first two weeks.


  • Kosh71

    Hi Ives,

    No beef with your ranking. But did you see Preki and Jason Kries try to outmanuver and one-up each other this weekend? It was sweet – Jason would make a move and CUSA would be under pressure then Preki would counter and the momentum would shift the other way. I really enjoyed that match. I think RSL is a decent side, they just need to get it together, but they look much improved from the Elinger versions.


  • Hincha Tim

    “Traditionally”, power rankings work this way: the power ranking is how good the team is at this moment. This is based on several factors:

    1) Who they currently have available on their roster.

    2) How the team is playing (are they hot, are they in a slump?)

    More or less its a measure of how strong a team is at the very moment (a snapshot), not necessarily how they will be in 4-5 weeks or over the season as a whole.

    Therefore, injuries play a key factor in estimating a power ranking as does the team’s overall form. Obviously, its harder to estimate these things early in the season where teams’ form is still a work in progress.

    A good example is Columbus. It sounds like they are having trouble getting it together. Even though they might eventually be a team to be reckoned with in a few weeks, right now the way they are playing, they probably are not a very strong team, so their relatively low power ranking reflects that.


  • Richard Terry

    I out to slap you silly! How DARE you put Colorado near the bottom of your silly rankings! We thrash LA Galaxy at home 4-nil and then we barely lose on the road to Kansas City. You then punish us for 9th out of 14??! what rubbish!!!



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