SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 28

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 28

Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 28

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                                                                  Photo by ISIphotos.com

Look what team has shown up and crashed the party for title contenders. None other than Chivas USA.

Last year’s Western Conference regular season champions struggled through most of this year with injuries and the departure of Brad Guzan, but suddenly things have started to come together for the Goats. Alecko Eskandarian is looking like the player who starred for D.C. United before injuries ravaged him and Sacha Kljestan is proving why many consider him one of the best midfielders in MLS and a worthy U.S. national team starter.

The Goats have won four of five and have gone from potential playoff team to playoff lock, which is saying something in an otherwise messy playoff race that has eight teams vying for three playoff spots.

While Chivas USA is on the rise, two teams on the decline are the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United. The Eastern Conference rivals have both hit the skids, with D.C.’s season looking downright awful after the club hoisted the U.S. Open Cup this summer. With Marcelo Gallardo out for the year and the squad looking lost, it could very well be an early vacation for D.C. for the first time since Ray Hudson was stalking the sidelines.

Here is how this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out:

MLS Power Rankings

1 (Last week-1). Columbus Crew (16-6-5)

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Last Week:  Beat Los Angeles, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Chicago on Sunday.

Last Five MLS Games: 4-0-1

Outlook: Columbus is on a 7-0-1 run and looking pretty unbeatable right now. With Guillermo Barros Schelotto back, the Crew will be looking to keep the run going into the playoffs.

2 (2). Houston Dynamo (11-5-10)

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Last Week: Tied UNAM Pumas, 4-4, last Tuesday (CONCACAF Champions League), Beat Colorado, 3-1, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. San Francisco FC on Tuesday (CONCACAF), vs. D.C. United on Sunday.

Last Five MLS Games: 3-0-2

Outlook: The champions are looking like a champion again and still have an outside chance of catching Columbus for the Supporter’s Shield.

3 (5). Chivas USA (11-10-6)

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Last Week:  Beat D.C. United, 3-0, last Saturday.

This Week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

aLast Five MLS Games: 4-1

Outlook: With Alecko Eskandarian looking like his old productive self again, and DeJair looking like an impact player, the Goats are suddenly looking like a worthy challenger to Houston in the West. We will see how for real Chivas USA is when it takes on a desperate San Jose team on Saturday.

4 (3). New England Revolution (12-8-7)

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Last Week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 2-2, on Saturday.

This Week: at Kansas City Wizards on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: The Revs showed great life in fighting back from two goals down against RSL, but the club’s inability to find consistently good form is troubling as we move closer to the post-season.

5 (4). Chicago Fire (12-9-6)

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Last Week: tied Kansas City, 1-1, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Chicago is moving along but the offense is an area of concern. Consider that the Fire has managed to score more than one goal in just one of its past eight games.

6 (6). Colorado Rapids (10-13-4)

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Last Week:  Lost to Houston, 3-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

aLast Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Rapids have a dream match-up, facing the Galaxy without Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Missing Conor Casey will hurt but Colorado will have no excuse for not taking three points.

7 (8). FC Dallas (8-9-10)

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Last Week: Beat D.C. United, 3-0, on Sunday

This Week: vs Toronto FC on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: The Hoops are on a four-match unbeaten streak and now face a gift of a match against a Toronto FC squad that will be ravaged by national-team call-ups.

8 (7). San Jose Earthquakes (7-10-9)

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Last Week: Tied FC Dallas, 1-1, last Thursday.

This Week: vs. Chivas USA on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: Earthquakes have to feel robbed after a dubious late penalty cost them a win against FC Dallas. Now comes a crucial match against a red-hot Chivas USA squad.

9 (10). Real Salt Lake (9-10-8)

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Last Week: Tied New England, 2-2, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Thursday

Last Five MLS Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: RSL could wind up sorely regretting the two-goal lead it gave away against New England, but now attention shifts to Rio Tinto Stadium, the club’s new home. Real Salt Lake sorely needs a win on Thursday to strengthen its playoff hopes, but the same goes for the Red Bulls.

10 (11). Kansas City Wizards (8-10-9)

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Last Week: Tied the Chicago Fire, 1-1, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. New England on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: The Wizards are in desperation mode and face a New England team that hasn’t looked that strong in recent weeks. Can the KC offense show up against a good team for once?

11 (14). Toronto FC (8-12-7)

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Last Week: Beat New York, 3-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at FC Dallas on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: TFC has shown some heart in recent weeks (beating the Red Bulls and tying Houston and Columbus), and the win in New York was vital, but winning at Pizza Hut Park minus half the team’s top starters may be too much to ask for.

12 (9). New York Red Bulls (9-10-8)

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Last Week: Lost to Toronto FC, 3-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Thursday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-4

Outlook: With Colorado and FC Dallas facing very winnable match-ups, and RSL poised to move past them with a win, the Red Bulls cannot afford to lose on Thursday in Utah. They are out of breaks.

13 (12). Los Angeles Galaxy (7-12-8)

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Last Week: Lost to Columbus, 1-0, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Colorado on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-3-1

Outlook: Another loss and another game on the schedule without Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Will players like Edson Buddle and Eddie Lewis step up and put up a fight against the Rapids?

14 (13). D.C. United (10-14-3)

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Last Week: Lost to Cruz Azul, 1-0, last Wednesday (CONCACAF), lost to Chivas USA, 3-0, last Saturday.

This Week: At Deportivo Saprissa on Thursday (CONCACAF), at Houston on Sunday.

Last Five MLS Games: 0-4-1

Outlook: The Death March is on now. Look for the Dynamo to put another nail in D.C.’s coffin on Saturday.

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Teams 3 through 5 were pretty interchangeable in my book, but the rest of the rankings ar

Share your thoughts on this weekend’s power rankings in the comments section below

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