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There were some big winners and big losers in this week's MLS Power Rankings, but nothing changed at the top.
Chivas USA did suffer its first defeat of the season last Wednesday, to Toronto FC, but the Goats quickly rebounded with a shutout victory over FC Dallas to re-establish itself as the class of the West and the top team in the SBI MLS Power Rankings.
Things in the East are a little more unstable. Previously unbeaten New England was not only beaten, but battered and butchered by a rampant Real Salt Lake side. Toronto FC, wallowing near the bottom of the rankings last week, pulled off consecutive wins vs. Chivas USA and Kansas City and catapulted into first place in the East.
Here is how this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out after Week 6:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 6)
1 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (5-1-1)
Last Week: Lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Wednesday; beat FC Dallas, 2-0, on Saturday.
This Week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).
Outlook: Never a good turf team, Chivas USA struggled to adapt its possession game to BMO Field and fell to an inspired TFC performance. The Goats rebounded by handily disposing of an FC Dallas squad forced to play a man down.
2 (4). Seattle Sounders (4-2)
Last Week: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 2-0, on Saturday.
This Week: at Chicago Fire on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick).
Outlook: With Kasey Keller back in goal and Steve Zakuani in the lineup, the Sounders went back to looking like the powerhouse they were early in the season. Granted, San Jose wasn't the toughest opponent, but a real stiff test awaits on Saturday with a trip to face the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park.
3 (2). Chicago Fire (2-0-4)
Last Week: Tied Columbus, 2-2, on Saturday.
This Week: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick)
Outlook: Showed great poise to fight back from two goals down, but once-stingy defense continues to be vulnerable. The back-line will need to play much better if the Fire will beat Seattle on Saturday. Will Chris Rolfe remain a sub all year?
4 (6). Real Salt Lake (3-2)
Last Week: Beat New England Revolution, 6-0, on Saturday.
This Week: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick).
Outlook: RSL's dynamic attack simply overwhelmed New England on Saturday. There were set piece goals as well as goals in the run of play. Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales made a strong case for being the best central midfield tandem in the league and Clint Mathis is enjoying a nice renaissance.
5 (8). D.C. United (2-1-3)
Last Week: Beat FC Dallas, 2-0, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); Beat New York Red Bulls, 3-2, on Sunday.
This Week: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)
Outlook: No Jaime Moreno, no Christian Gomez, no problem. D.C. never stopped pressing against the Red Bulls and its offense still found chances without its two most established playmakers. The defense showed vulnerability, but you can't really complain about a road victory.
6 (3). New England Revolution (2-1-2)
Last Week: Lost to Real Salt Lake, 6-0, on Saturday.
This Week: vs. Houston Dynamo on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)
Outlook: We know the Revs were missing several key players, including Matt Reis, Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Chris Albright and Gabriel Badilla, but that still doesn't excuse the shellacking they suffered vs. RSL. The normally reliable central midfield was thoroughly outplayed by Real Salt Lake while the back-line suffered on set pieces as well as in open play. Now New England faces a struggling Houston attack that will be coming off a bye.
7 (14). Toronto FC (3-2-2)
Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 1-0, on Wednesday; Beat Kansas City, 1-0, on Sunday.
This Week: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick)
Outlook:John Carver's resignation came as a surprise, but Toronto FC's play under interim head coach Chris Cummins has been stellar. The once-fault back-line is suddenly limiting chances while the midfield is starting to play up to its potential. Throw in Danny Dichio's sudden boost in form and Toronto finds itself in first place with a home date vs. Columbus to come.
8 (5). Kansas City Wizards (3-3-1)
Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Wednesday; lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Sunday.
This Week: Bye week
Outlook: First, the Wizards failed to score more than a PK goal despite being a man up for 88 minutes vs. the Red Bulls, then they failed to score a goal against Toronto FC. The bye week should give head coach Curt Onalfo some time to try and fix the suddenly fault attack.
9 (7). Colorado Rapids (2-2-2)
Last Week: Tied Los Angeles, 1-1, on Saturday.
This Week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday (9:30pm, Direct Kick)
Outlook: Showed good creativity in scoring lone goal vs. LA, but scoring one goal against the Galaxy's suspect defense isn't good enough. At least not at home. An even tougher test awaits in arch-rival Real Salt Lake.
10 (10). Houston Dynamo (1-2-2)
Last Week: Bye
This Week: at New England Revolution on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)
Outlook: The Dynamo scored a win before the bye and will now travel East to take on a wounded Revs team coming off an embarrassing defeat. Can the Houston attack start creating some chances in bunches? And is the defense really ready to start posting shutouts like last year's D?
11 (12). Columbus Crew (0-2-4)
Last Week: Tied Chicago Fire, 2-2, on Saturday.
This Week: at Toronto FC on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick).
Outlook: The Crew just can't catch a break. A suspect red card issued to Gino Padula opened the door for the Chicago Fire to battle back from two goals down. As tough as that result was to take, it can't be ignored that Columbus is playing much better than it was earlier in the season. Beating a suddenly-hot Toronto FC squad at BMO Field will be a tall order.
12 (9). New York Red Bulls (1-4-2)
Last Week: Lost to Kansas City, 1-0, on Thursday; lost to D.C. United, 3-2, on Sunday.
This Week: at San Jose on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup), at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).
Outlook: A crushing late loss to D.C. United has to shake the Red Bulls' confidence as they head to a West Coast swing. A more favorable schedule lies ahead but the team's defensive woes are very real. A match against Los Angeles could serve as a perfect opportunity to rebound, but the Galaxy needs three points just as desperately as New York does.
13 (13). FC Dallas (1-4-1)
Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 2-0, on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); Lost to Chivas USA, 2-0, on Saturday.
This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday (7:30pm, Fox Soccer Channel)
Outlook: Dallas created some chances vs. Chivas USA, but just couldn't beat Zach Thornton (yes, being a man down didn't help). The defense remains shaky and the offense needs to start holding the ball a bit more to try and limit the pressure the back-line faces. Another road trip won't make things any easier for an FCD team whose attack has underperformed all year.
14 (15). Los Angeles Galaxy (0-1-4)
Last Week: Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, on Saturday.
This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)
Outlook: A point on the road vs. Colorado is nothing to sneeze at, but the Galaxy's offense remains anemic. The return of Edson Buddle should help, as should a visit from the Red Bulls on Saturday. If Bruce Arena's men can't take points from New York, then the season is pretty much a wrap.
15 (11). San Jose Earthquakes (1-3-2)
Last Week: Lost to Seattle Sounders, 2-0, on Saturday.
This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Wednesday (U.S. Open Cup); vs. Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)
Outlook: When your offense can't create chances, and your defense can't stop people, you are doomed. Losing Ryan Cochrane, along with still missing injured defender Jason Hernandez, has the Earthquakes defense looking extremely weak. There isn't much reason to believe San Jose will turn things around vs. Chivas USA.
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