Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 11)

Kenny Cooper 2 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                         Photo by ISIphotos.com

Just when you think you have a good read on Major League Soccer, you get a week like Week 11.

The Chicago Fire defeated Chivas USA, arguably the best team in MLS, on Thursday, then gets pummeled at home by FC Dallas, widely-regarded as one of the worst teams in MLS.

FC Dallas wasn't the only bottom-dweller to rise up this week. San Jose finally broke its own winless streak by knocking off a struggling Real Salt Lake team that hasn't looked the same since that blowout win over New England. The Columbus Crew escaped Seattle with a valuable point and is looking poised to start climbing up the standings.

Not everything was unpredictable this week. New York still can't win, Los Angeles still can't do anything but tie and the Houston Dynamo can't stop winning. Oh, and the referees were AWFUL again (yes, I know I wrote the ESPN feature about how people thing MLS refs are better this year, but after watching that embarrassment of a penalty called in the New England-DC match I'm officially on the "MLS refs are having a bad year" bandwagon).

Here is a rundown of this week's MLS Power Rankings:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 11)

1 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (7-2-3)


Last Week: Lost to Chicago Fire, 3-2, on Thursday.

This Week: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Blew a lead and lost some poise in dropping decision to Chicago, but given the way that game ended, and given Chicago's meltdown vs. FC Dallas, it's tough to remove the Goats from the top spot. Seattle will pose a tough test, especially with Jesse March suspended.

2 (2). Chicago Fire (5-1-6)


Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 3-2, on Thursday; Lost to FC Dallas, 3-0, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Houston Dynamo on Friday (9pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Comeback against Chivas USA was impressive, but losing to FC Dallas at home (even with some starters benched) is inexcusable.

3 (4). Houston Dynamo (5-2-3)


Last Week: Beat Toronto FC, 3-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Chicago Fire on Friday (9pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Dynamo keep on rolling and Stuart Holden is in a groove. With him and Davis sparking the attack, Houston is suddenly a complete team that doesn't seem to be missing Dwayne DeRosario all that much. A win on Friday and Houston could catapult into the top spot here.

4 (7). Colorado Rapids (4-2-4)


Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 3-2, on Saturday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday (10pm, FSC).

Outlook: Conor Casey cannot be stopped. Still not sure if the defense is championship caliber, but the Rapids attack is capable of being one of the best in the league.

5 (6). Seattle Sounders (4-2-5)

Seattle Sounders FC - JPEG      

Last Week: Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Chivas USA  on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Freddie Ljungberg will wear the goat horns for Seattle this week, but he will have a chance to redeem himself in big Western Conference showdown vs. Chivas USA.

6 (3). D.C. United (3-2-7)


Last Week: Lost to New England, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Thursday (7:30pm, ESPN2)

Outlook: Was absolutely robbed of a point by an awful penalty call at the end of the New England match. Luckily for D.C., it's favorite cure for the blahs is on the way, yes, the Red Bulls are up next on the schedule.

7 (5). Toronto FC (4-4-4)


Last Week: Lost to Houston Dynamo, 3-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday (4pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: TFC fans sing: "All we are sayyy-ing, is give us a forward who can score goals." Seriously though, losing to Houston is nothing to be embarrassed about, being being smacked around, 3-0, is alarming.

8 (8). Kansas City Wizards (4-4-4)


Last Week: Tied Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Columbus Crew  on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Wizards had a great chance to move up the East standings before blowing a late lead against LA. Now, KC is in danger of being passed up in the standings by the recovering Columbus Crew.

9 (10). New England Revolution (3-3-4)

NE Revs  

Last Week: Beat D.C. United, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Sunday (6pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Having Taylor Twellman back is huge for the Revs (and not because of his diving skills). Shalrie Joseph keeps scoring goals, but you have to wonder if Joseph's time at forward is over now. He's just too important in the midfield not to use there.

10 (11).  Columbus Crew (2-2-7)


Last Week: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Wednesday; Tied Seattle Sounders, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Kansas City on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Tying Seattle without Frankie Hejduk or Brian Carroll was impressive and makes me think Columbus is serious about climbing into this wide-open Eastern conference race.

11 (12). Los Angeles Galaxy (1-1-9)


Last Week: Tied Kansas City Wizards, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Toronto FC on Satuday (4pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Another late comeback, another tie. Rallying for a point despite being a man down moves up LA up a bit, but winning in Toronto without Landon Donovan would provide a major boost.

12 (9). Real Salt Lake (3-6-2)


Last Week: Lost to San Jose Earthquakes, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday (10pm, FSC)

Outlook: Has the worm turned in Salt Lake City? It's amazing how things have gone from extremely promising to volatile. RSL is looking to deal players and can't put together a quality performance because of the turmoil going on.

13 (14). FC Dallas (2-6-3)


Last Week: Beat Chicago Fire, 3-0, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura).

Outlook: Kudos to FC Dallas for putting a beatdown on the Fire at Toyota Park. That win won't matter much though if they lose to San Jose this week.

14 (13). New York Red Bulls (2-7-3)


Last Week: Lost to Colorado Rapids, 3-2, on Saturday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Thursday (7:30pm, ESPN2); at New England on Sunday (6pm, MSG).

Outlook: The Red Bulls/MetroStars haven't missed the playoffs since 2002. That six-year streak looks all but over as bad as certain key players are playing for the Red Bulls. They need to find a way to get results at RFK Stadium and Gillette Stadium, two places that have been horror shows for New York.

15 (15). San Jose Earthquakes (2-7-2)


Last Week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at FC Dallas on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura).

Outlook: Cornell Glen has that look of being a player who can not only help Ryan Johnson up top, but also provide some real speed in attack. Has he really grown up now? If so, the Earthquakes could wind up with a steal.


Here are some thoughts on this week's rankings:

Chivas USA over Chicago. I was all set to put Chicago back on top, but how can you move a team to No. 1 after a blowout loss to FC Dallas? I know the Fire had just capped a brutal schedule stretch, but Chivas USA probably should have gotten a point vs. Chicago and will have a chance to keep or lose that top spot after playing Seattle.

I definitely thought about ranking the Red Bulls last, but they did just smoke San Jose recently and Real Salt Lake looks like it would lose to a PDL team at the rate its going these days.

Has Conor Casey replaced Kenny Cooper as Mr. "Why hasn't he gotten a legitimate national team look"?

Cornell Glen signals his return to MLS with a goal. San Jose fans are happy the bleeding stopped, and now comes a match-up against FC Dallas the Earthquakes will desperately need to win to have any hope of climbing out of the West basement.


What do you think of this week's rankings? Think the Fire should have still moved up to No. 1 despite losing to FC Dallas? Stunned at how bad things are getting for Real Salt Lake? Think Columbus will wind up near the top of the rankings by July?

Share your thoughts below.

  • hank

    It’s a shame they don’t have relegation in MLS because those bottom three need to be in a lower league.


  • fguacrkbyeoru

    Twellman knew that wasnt a deserved call. He was laughing afterwards at how gullible the ref was.


  • socrates

    Jason (Ma?)-

    Did Guerrero want to play in Honduras over MLS? Hard to believe Rapids couldn’t have gotten some value from trading him to another MLS side, even if just a draft pick or mystery cash — still would be better for CO than just letting him walk. He was a pretty good player last year.


  • socrates

    Goat Fan-

    So, you are saying that Chivas USA signed Suarez as a favor to him to help him with his green card? Why would they do this, given limited cap space when they could just make him an assistant coach or consultant or something?


  • Mark

    Anyone who is surprised about Casey didn’t see much of him earlier in his career. If it wasn’t for a string of injuries, he’d be the heir of McHead rather than Ching. If he continues to play well, I think he has a very good shot of getting time with the Nats. He just has to prove he can stay healthy. Definitely an exciting prospect to have him back on the field with the Nats.


  • chente

    on chicago.. it was game 3 in one week’s time. conde and segares (probably the two best defenders in the league, much less on chicago) were both out, as was blanco… not to mention their 3rd best defender was got a red card.

    i think having to play 3 games in one week and missing 3 of your 4 starting defenders should count for something.

    i will say busch is not making the saves he should be making.

    also, brett: no way banner should be starting.


  • Jason

    Nope, not Jasonma, but I do keep track of most player movements, including the Rapids.

    Guerrero wanted playing time and wasn’t getting it at Colorado. I guess they could have gotten something for him, if he was actually willing to be traded, but I suspect he wants to help Honduras qualify for the WC and then finish his career in his native country.


  • Trent

    If I sucked as much at my job as these refs do I would get sued. I see no reason why refs shouldn’t get fined. If they can’t afford to pay the fine I say ten lashes(i’m joking). The ref for the Chivas/Chicago game is first in line along with whoever that idiot was who reffed that game in Columbus last year where New England got that horrific pk to ruin a great match. Then the ref from the DC/NE game.


  • jh

    Yep, Casey probably deserves a call-up ahead of Cooper, which means that Cooper will definitely be called up ahead of him.


  • Mentos

    Re: Trent.

    If you were to implement that, All the refs would quit (and rightfully so) and then who would ref the matches… volunteers who stink even worse, that’s who.

    The difference between their job and yours is that the country can always find people to flip burgers.


  • madmax

    Ljungberg doesn’t get the goat horns for me. Sigi does for letting Freddy, just back from two weeks off, take every dead ball kick. That’s poor coaching.

    Official needs to explain why he gave Crew so much time to setup defense on in-direct. It was in the minutes, very bizarre. It should have been easy, tell them where they need to be and than start tossing them out.


  • Anon

    Ives, you have Columbus way, way too low. They are definitely better than KC, NE, and TFC.

    They have not lost at home IN A YEAR. Since June 7, 2008. That’s pretty incredible.

    If you are just going to list the rankings based on points, why not just say that?

    Columbus has a game in hand on the teams in front of it and they have played more away games than them. When you list them that low, people just have to assume that you don’t watch the games and/or follow the scheduling.


  • Ives

    Anon (whoever you are), if you read the power rankings all season you would know that I don’t based them on the standings. That’s how they’ve fallen out this week, but not the norm.

    As for the Crew’s ranking, I agree that they will be higher by the end of the year but as of right now they’ve managed two wins out of 11. How high do you think they should be? The rankings aren’t about how good teams SHOULD be, it’s about what they’ve done this season and partly what they’ve done in recent weeks. The Crew is on the way up, but having them ahead of teams with twice as many wins as them wouldn’t be right at this point.


  • brett

    chente- and why not?? he’s been the spark to alot of our attack when he gets subbed in…

    however, starting may be a different role all together… but with blanco out we needed an attacking mind with some creativity in the middle…. Thorington was not the answer…. thats why i pushed mapp into the middle..

    thor has been playing dreadful this season.. that is why i pushed Pappa out right and put Banner out left…. Rolfe is more effective up top, hence why im starting him over Nyarko….

    i dont see any flaw in my logic, who would you start out wide??


  • Pete

    1. Let’s not forget, Casey, who did see MNT looks early in his career after the Olympics, has had some bad injuries. It has only been of late that he really has turned it on. I have always been a fan of Casey, very McBride like but let’s not go nuts yet. Hopefully he can stay healthy, play up top for the national team so guys like Edu, Donovan, and Altidore can run off him.

    2. As far as Cooper, he wanted to go to Europe and NOT ONE TEAM WANTED HIM. NOT EVEN ONE IN ALL OF EUROPE. I know we are not at camp with Bradley but obviously there is something missing for him to make it to the next level, whether that be the national team or Europe.

    3. And seriously, Clark? This guy has been given so many chances that shows that the US are hurting for midfielders and forwards. He struggles to connect simple passes and you can see how frustrated the players get around him when he is in there.

    4. As far as the rankings, I think you should put the bottom as this.

    13. Dallas

    14. Fayetteville United SC U-19 Boys Team

    15. San Jose

    16. New York

    5. GO USA!!!!!!


  • brett

    Pete – “As far as Cooper, he wanted to go to Europe and NOT ONE TEAM WANTED HIM. NOT EVEN ONE IN ALL OF EUROPE.”

    I suggest you do some more research… there were a number of teams interested in Cooper but the MLS and FCD rejected multiple offers in both last summer and this past winter’s TF window….


  • Pete


    Yes you are correct about teams interested in Cooper BUT those teams were division 2 teams in England and Holland and the league thought it would be a bad sell considering he still had a little reputation in the US, not to mention that he was a “premier” goal scorer in the league and would be sold to a lower division team. Would not look good for the league.


  • brett

    Pete – cant forget Rosenberg but then we could simply say “thats norway”…

    to be frank, i wouldnt have objected to some Championship PT with Cardiff… a successful season or two you may see him move to a bigger side or even help Cardiff push forward into the PL…

    and whats wrong with 2nd division for our players so long as its a competitive 2nd division?? the championship PT would be beneficial…

    i understand the league wants more $$ for a prime goal scorer like KC, but $3M was more then sufficient… sometimes i think the MLS over prices their players… yes its a good thing to see the confidence they have in them (or it may just be greed) but honestly, 3M transfer would be more then just for KC…. now he’s in a pickle… he’s not performing well with FCD (tho you could blame the team for that), but i guess he has Gold to look forward to…..


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