Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12


The Los Angeles Galaxy can’t be stopped.

Well, at least that goes for an offense that has rattled off 14 goals in its past five league matches. Edson Buddle’s hat-trick provided a boost for an offense that has been rolling despite not having Landon Donovan.

Winners of four of their last five, the Galaxy has a firm hold on the West lead and look like they have solved the defensive problems that plagued the squad earlier in the season. What remains to be seen is whether Los Angeles can beat the top teams in the East (the Galaxy don’t have a win against a team with a winning record, and just one win against East competition).

The Galaxy check in at No. 3 in the new SBI MLS Power Rankings. Here is how the rest of the rankings shook out:

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. (2) New England Revolution (8-3-2)


Win in Houston cements the Revs’ status as the league’s top team and Matt Reis as the early front-runner for MVP.

2. (Last week- 1) Chicago Fire (6-4-1)


Second straight loss was also the Fire’s first road loss after perfect 4-0 start..

3. (3) Los Angeles Galaxy (6-4-2)


Offense scores at least three goals for fourth time in five games. As impressive as that is, the Galaxy are about to face toughest stretch of games to date in coming weeks.

4. (5) Toronto FC (6-4-2)


TFC returns to winning ways at home (league-best 5-0-2 at BMO Field), with Rohan Ricketts providing two goals.

5. (8) Columbus Crew (7-4-1)


Snapped its four-match winless streak with a comprehensive shellacking of the struggling Wizards on the road.

6. (9) D.C. United (5-7-1)


With Luciano Emilio looking like an MVP again, D.C. is poised to start putting heat on the East leaders.

7. (4) Houston Dynamo (4-4-5)


Outplayed by the Revs at home, Houston still doesn’t quite have that championship form and you wonder who the Dynamo will bring in to bolster the squad.

8. (12) FC Dallas (4-5-4)


Win vs. Chicago was very impressive as Kenny Cooper continues his all-star caliber season.

9. (13) Real Salt Lake (4-5-3)


Win against Chivas USA was team’s first road win of the season. With San Jose and KC on the upcoming schedule, RSL will have a chance to make a push in the standings.

10. (6) New York Red Bulls (4-4-3)


They may sport a .500 record but the Red Bulls are a sinking ship that looks poised to hit rock-bottom if reinforcements don’t show up ASAP.

11. (7) Chivas USA (4-6-2)


Played well against Real Salt Lake, but losing to RSL at home is still inexcusable and second straight shutout loss is worrisome.

12. (10) Colorado Rapids (5-7)


Rapids lose second straight to fall further down the West standings. Their inconsistency is mind-numbing.

13. (11) Kansas City Wizards (3-5-3)


What happened to the Wizards? A terribly long road trip was a good excuse, but losing 3-0 at home to Columbus leaves us wondering whether KC is just that bad.

14. (14) San Jose Earthquakes (3-7-1)


Just when you think San Jose might put something together after an impressive win, they turn around and deliver another stinker. How’s this for a stat: The Earthquakes are 0-3 and have been outscored 8-1 in matches after victories.


What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.

  • Matt

    Pretty generous to the Red Bulls there. Any word on the reinforcements Osorio keeps talking about? They are like the train that never arrives. What are he and Agoos waiting for? I know you’ve been caught up with the Euros and other stuff, but I’d like to know what the hell is going on with this club.


  • Skinn

    “The Los Angeles Galaxy can’t be stopped [by sub .500 opponents],” and you rank them 3?


  • JSquaredNY

    I heard on Univision that Houston is targeting Jared Borghetti, any truth to that Ives? I think that having Ching and Borghetti up top would be a definite boost for the Dynamo.


  • SayervilleFC

    KC at No. 12? That preseason pick ain’t lookin’ too good is it, Ives?

    I keed, I keed. This league is tough to predict week-to-week, let alone in preseason. I actually commend you for going out on a limb.

    NE is definitely the class of the league right now and it’s scary to think they are doing it sans Twellman and after losing Noonan and WC veteran Avery John.

    I have no qualms with LA at No. 3. They are an explosive – and entertaining team – and when all their pieces (Landon) are together, they are gonna be tough to beat.

    Having said that, the key to LA is Fletch… no, wait. The key to LA is Sean Franklin. He makes their D so much better and with their offense, their D doesn’t have to be great, just solid. Franklin should be Rookie of the Year.


  • wjmooner

    RSL beat Chivas in LA and has gone 3-1-1 over their last five games. Granted, that was against the lower half of the league, but that’s the point, they are beating the teams ahead of them in your power rankings. Seriously, Ives, RSL is at least five spots too low. There is just no explanation for them being ranked below anyone from the Red Bulls down.

    And I’ll echo the comments of Matt. There is no way that the Red Bulls horrific form deserves the 8th spot.


  • wjmooner

    Correcting myself, RSL is 3-2-1 over their last six. Point remains that they have showed better form than several of the teams ranked above them.


  • Haig

    NY is playing the second worst soccer in the league, and has been for six weeks.


  • Brant

    I’m trying to figure out how “Eds-le” turned into a goal machine? Where was that form in 2005 when he was still sporting the Black & Gold?

    I agree that RSL might be too low. Chivas might be too high. And Toronto and Columbus probably ought to flip places – the Crew is 1-0-1 against Toronto so far this year, and a better overall record.

    Ives – a question about your rankings. Do you take any US Open or other competition events into account when ranking the teams? I know these are your ‘votes’ in the ESPN poll, too, so I don’t know if you have to rule out other competitions because of that, or if you’d rule them out anyway, or if you did include them.


  • djking2

    Oh man LA’s last three victories came against KC, SJ & Col. I only wish we had more games scheduled with them.


  • Ives

    Fair enough guys. I do agree that I had the Red Bulls too high initially, but I don’t agree with some of the over-the-top proclamations about their form. Yes, they have lost three of four but all three losses came against teams in the midst of hot streaks. The Chicago and DC losses were bad, no doubt, but I don’t think they were terrible against Chivas USA or Houston.

    As for Real Salt Lake, I moved them up based on the recent results but have no confidence in them as a team. They are 3-2-1 in the past six but look at the teams they played during that stretch. The rankings factor in record and form, but a winning record alone doesn’t mean a team is on great form. Sometimes a fortunate stretch of schedule is all a team needs to suddenly look good (just as a very tough stretch can make a team look worse than it is).

    And no, that KC prediction isn’t looking good right now and I really don’t know what’s going wrong there. At least Toronto FC is sticking up to its end of the bargain.


  • Dave

    Good work Ives. I really agree with your rankings up and down the board.

    Let’s be honest about NE. They’re a solid team, but are they number 1 without Matt Reis this year? The guy is having a spectacular season. I think DC will be pushing to the top if they can string together a few more victories. If they can get it together, it’s going to be tough for any team to match. It’s nice to see Beckham and LA look good in league play for all the international attention the team garners.


  • wjmooner

    Ives, you the man! That’s about where I’d have RSL also now that you’ve moved them up. I agree with your comments too, they really only looked great against San Jose, but hey, beating the bad teams means they might just be a mediocre team instead of a bad one.


  • Steve T.

    The Galaxy are a house of cards, but there sure are fun to watch. I love watching for the Cronin Comedy show.


  • m@

    I have to agree with Dave, NE is solid but their results depend solely on one player — Reis — rather than on team performance. They do have some good players (and strikers), but Reis is the difference maker that makes the team more than mediocre.

    I assume you didn’t watch the NE-Hou game, Ives. NE certainly outscored Hou, but they definitely didn’t outplay them. Credit goes again to Reis. If Reis and the Hou backup keeper (Caig) had switched teams, Houston’s on field dominance and Reis’ skill would have led to a 4-1 result for the home team.

    Having said that, I can’t disagree with your rankings, just some of your conclusions.


  • beckster

    Finally, DC has taken its rightful place above the Red Bulls who have been totally overrated on this blog all year.


  • mig22

    LA is playing HARD. I’m no Beckham fanboy. I respect the guy’s career and his talent though. What he has brought to the ‘house of cards’ is grit. They may not be elegant in defense but man, they contest for 50-50 balls like they mean it. I need to check their disciplinary record because it seems like they should have more yellow cards. It’s similar personnel to last year but I feel the combination of the coach’s and Beckham’s attitude has made them…just tougher.



  • northzax

    the big question, of course, is what is the over/under for the Galaxy@DCU game a week from sunday?


  • kpugs

    Mig, they are also permitted 3 DP’s while using one DP slot. They will never in my mind be a good team, because they needed to be able to circumvent league rules (with league permission) to get to where they are. It’s a joke.

    The only thing I will say about L.A. in a positive light is that given how awful their defense and keeper are, their record is impressive.

    However, the simple fact that the league had to step in and give them preferential treatment just so they weren’t the worst team on the planet makes them a pathetic caricature of a winning team, and just highlights everything that is wrong with this league. Go ahead, be proud of your team…if you want to be proud of a team allowed to cheat legally, that’s your prerogative.


  • DigzTFC

    No offense but LA at #3 makes zero sense…zero. TFC beat them last week and then LA beats the worst team in the league and now they are ready for a championship run? WOW. Columbus are better than them, in fact almost every team in the east is better than them


  • Brims

    So kpugs, because the league allowed LA to circumvent the rules mig should drop his team? That seems a bit harsh — clearly the rules have been bent, but the fan base isn’t responsible for that. They can be as proud of their team as they like.

    And no I’m not an LA fan — Columbus.


  • Brims

    I say clearly rules were broken, but I’m not exactly sure what rules LA has broken. Don’t know the league rules well enough (because overall I don’t care what the rules are). So if anyone could fill that in with FACTS — and not a diatribe regarding LA — about what rules were broken for them I’d be appreciative.


  • sal

    Good job not dropping the Fire in the rankings. You too understand that the Dallas loss was pretty insignificant with shitty weather (118 F on the field) and the Fire literally missing 5-6 starters.

    I agree with the rest of your rankings as well.

    *thumbs up*


  • northzax

    the rules that were ‘broken’ were simple. Every team has one “Beckham Rule” DP slot. that counts as $400,000 against the salary cap. four individual contracts were grandfathered in for 2007. two of those players (Freddy Adu and EJ) have left the league. the remaining two, Donovan and Ruiz, are now on the same team after trades. And yes, they extended the rule, not to keep Donovan in LA specifically, but to keep Donovan (the most marketable US born player around right now) in MLS. This was a rule to benefit the league and Donovan, not just LA. Just as McBride will end up in Chicago, Donovan wants to be in LA. no other team would pay him $900k a yeaer, frankly, since the ones that might already have DPs. NYRB already has two, so they’re out. the Revs don’t pay, so they’re out. Chicago already had its DP, that leaves, at the end of last season, two realistic suitors for a DP level Donovan, DCU and Houston. (yes, he might like San Jose, but not THAT team, not this year) Who else is going to pony up the money right now? Colorado? KC? Columbus?

    so you can have the best offensive player in the US go to either the team that won the league last season or the one that won the regular season. or, more likely, leave the league in search of more money than the $375 he would realistically have been paid.


  • mig22

    kpugs: not really my team. But I’m not going to change how I view their play based on how f’d up the MLS organization is. I agree with you, it IS.

    But they are playing hard. 🙂



  • kco

    Move the Wizards to the 15th spot and insert Seattle at 13th and those rankings would be accurate.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    I don’t have a problem with LA ahead of the Crew and TFC, as they have at least shown the ability to win on the road.


  • kd81

    Toronto is too high…Id put them at about 6th ,they are just plain awful on the road


  • aristotle

    Alright, after the beating I took at the beginning of the season from a lot of people about K.C. it’s time to gloat, say “in your face”, “I told you so”, and all kinds of stuff like that.

    If anyone recalls I couldn’t understand why so many people, including Ives, were so high on K.C. How good people were saying they were simply didn’t match up with the lineup on paper. I compared their starting lineup with that of San Jose and said I couldn’t see much difference in quality in the starting lineups. (I did, however, defer to K.C. on offense and depth.)

    The response I got was that I was crazy. I even had a couple of people who said they didn’t really know much but even they thought I was crazy.

    Well, a third of the way through the season and we have K.C. and San Jose within two points of each other. This really shouldn’t be a surprise. Adding Claudio Lopez does not a team make. Ives’ and everyone else’s assumption that K.C. were good was all based on players with virtually no experience and known mediocre players playing good. Why assume that? If you’re going to assume that, why not assume it for San Jose?

    While I’m gloating I also said I thought Toronto was going to be better than NYRB, I said this because so many people were trashing Toronto. To be fair, I can’t take too much credit on this one because Toronto did add players while NYRB and the genius that is JCO chose to say that the same team that was crap before was now good. Presumably due to his great coaching. Instead he has just made Arena seem unjustly fired.

    Hope this doesn’t sound too obnoxious! I’m just having fun and grabbing some credit while I can. Next week I make another Argentina 3 U.S. 0 prediction!


  • mig22

    Aristotle: Gotta take those opportunities to gloat….it’s too much fun. And then there are those other times. 😉


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