FC Dallas just keeps on rolling and now they have reached the top of the charts after handing the Los Angeles Galaxy their first loss of the season.
Things are certainly breaking FC Dallas’ way on the schedule. The Galaxy rested several starters after their CONCACAF Champions League disappointment, and FC Dallas’ stingy defense made things difficult for Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy.
The second hottest team in MLS just might be the Portland Timbers, who posted their second straight shutout win at home to climb even further up the West standings. Will Johnson’s free kick goal (his third goal in three matches) was a masterpiece and he is looking like a Best XI candidate.
On the other side of the power rankings, we have a new team at the bottom. The Seattle Sounders outplayed New England last weekend, but once again poor finishing did them in and they fell even further back of the pack in the West, with every team in the conference sporting two wins while the Sounders still search for their first win of the season.
Here are the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week Seven)
1. (Last week- 5) FC DALLAS (5-1-1)
LAST WEEK– Beat Los Angels Galaxy, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Everything is going right for Dallas (well, except for that bottle-throwing fan). The attack could be a little sharper, but the organized defense is putting the team in good positions to get results every week. The face a struggling Vancouver side next and the offense should be able to find chances.
2. (2) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-1-2)
LAST WEEK– Bye Week.
THIS WEEK– at New York Red Bulls on Wednesday; at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– A good week of rest should help them as they prepare for a daunting road trip that will see them zig-zag the country. The Red Bulls are no pushover at home while the Galaxy will be eager to get back to winning ways after losing to FC Dallas.
3. (1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-1-2)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Monterrey, 1-0, last Wednesday (CONCACAF); lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Nearly came close to earning a road point with several starters resting, but once again the Galaxy fell asleep late and gave up a goal. Omar Gonzalez was the culprit again, losing his mark on George John on the winning goal. Landon Donovan is still shaking the rust off while rookie Greg Cochrane provided a bright spot in the loss. Saturday’s match vs. Sporting KC will offer a good test to see just where the champs are right now.
4. (6) HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-2)
LAST WEEK– Beat Chicago Fire last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– at Toronto FC on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Brad Davis was at it again on Saturday, working his magic and helping the Dynamo set a new MLS record for longest home unbeaten streak in all competitions. Winning without Oscar Boniek Garcia was no easy task, but Andrew Driver stepped up admirably to show he is a quality addition. If the Dynamo are going to keep climbing up the standings they will need to show they can win on the road, and TFC will offer a good challenge.
LAST WEEK– Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye Week
OUTLOOK– Marco DiVaio has the look of a 20-goal scorer, but the rest of the Montreal attack needs to be able to offer their offense some more versatility. Defensively, they held up relatively well despite being without a starting centerback for yet another match (this time Matteo Ferrari). The week off should help the Impact get healthy and regain the form that got them off to a four-match winning streak to start the season.
6. (7) PORTLAND TIMBERS (2-1-3)
LAST WEEK– Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.
OUTLOOK– The Timbers are really starting to get a feel for the possession-style system Caleb Porter has implemented, and with their defense coming together, Portland has the makings of a real force. Futty Danso did very well to come off the bench and give the Timbers a solid presence in central defense, where he could wind up holding onto the job alongside Mikael Silvestre, who has rounded into good form after his disastrous debut.
7. (4) CHIVAS USA (3-2-1)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Colorado Rapids, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– The Goats looked flat, and played arguably their worst game of the season (even their season-opening loss to Columbus featured more encouraging soccer). Getting Juan Agudelo back to full health is a key to Chivas USA returning to their best, and their visit to Utah should provide a stiff test for a Chivas USA defense that has been playing surprisingly well.
8. (9) COLUMBUS CREW (2-1-3)
LAST WEEK– Tied Montreal Impact, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Chicago Fire on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Credit the Crew for really going after Montreal at Stade Saputo, and generating chances, but a lack of finishing (save for Dom Oduro’s left-footed beauty) cost them the chance for a road victory. Federico Higuain is still a bit hampered but the Crew will need him at his best when they go on the road to take on a Chicago team that showed good signs in their past few matches.
9. (10) REAL SALT LAKE (2-3-2)
LAST WEEK– Tied Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Chivas USA on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Olmes Garcia raised eyebrows with his beautiful goal, but aside from that the RSL attack was relatively disappointing. They held the possession edge against Vancouver, but still managed just four shots on goal. They should be able to find more chances against Chivas USA, but they need to convert them at a higher rate than they have been.
LAST WEEK– Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at D.C. United on Sunday.
OUTLOOK– The Union thoroughly outplayed Toronto FC, but ran into a hot goalkeeper in Joe Bendik, who kept them from securing their third win of the season. Kleberson showed some positive signs during his cameo appearance, which will make for some interesting decisions for John Hackworth when Kleberson is fully fit and Michael Farfan is back to 100 percent.
11. (8) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (2-3-2)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Portland Timbers, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Portland Timbers on Sunday.
OUTLOOK– The Earthquakes looked terrible against Portland, and the way they were dominated in possession makes you wonder if the problems go beyond the injuries they have dealt with. One issue Frank Yallop has to address is the team’s lack of wing depth. The loss of Simon Dawkins, and continued injury absence of Marvin Chavez are clearly limiting the team’s attack. With Chavez and Steven Beitashour set to return, the Earthquakes attack should receive a big boost.
12. (14) COLORADO RAPIDS (2-3-2)
LAST WEEK– Beat Chivas USA, 1-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Another good week for the patchwork collection of youngsters and back-ups who have thrived in the absence of so many injured regulars. Deshorn Brown continues to show why the Rapids made him such a high first-round draft pick, while goalkeeper Clint Irwin turned in another outstanding performance. Saturday’s match vs. Seattle will offer the Rapids a good test because the Sounders will be desperate and their attack seems poised for a breakout.
13. (12) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-2-2)
LAST WEEK– Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at FC Dallas on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– The Whitecaps produced more chances than RSL, but still needed a fluky penalty to get on the board. It will be interesting to see how Darren Mattocks responds to being benched. The young Jamaican forward hasn’t had the breakout second season some were expecting from him, but it is still early.
14. (16) NEW YORK RED BULLS (2-3-2)
LAST WEEK– Beat D.C. United, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday; vs. New England Revolution on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– With Thierry Henry back in the fold the Red Bulls attack showed some real life, and the defense turned in a steady effort, albeit against a D.C. side that offered little in the way of attacking threat. Mike Petke’s decision to start Roy Miller was a calculated risk that worked out, but starting him against Sporting KC would be a much riskier proposition.
15. (13) TORONTO FC (1-2-3)
LAST WEEK– Tied Philadelphia Union, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– Another disappointing display on the road for TFC, but Joe Bendik’s heroics efforts were definitely a big bright spot for a team that just couldn’t do much against a Philadelphia team they had to feel good about beating heading into that match. Robert Earnshaw continues to look like one of the signings of the season, but Toronto’s midfield needs more consistency if Toronto is going to get over the hump.
16. (15) CHICAGO FIRE (1-4-1)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Houston Dynamo, 2-1, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– The Fire may have lost to the Dynamo, but their overall performance had to be encouraging to Frank Klopas. Chicago really tested Houston and created chances against their stingy home defense. That is a very positive sign for a team with an attack that came into the season with question marks. Arne Friedrich’s absence continues to be a major obstacle, but the Fire defense has started to play better lately in his absence.
17. (19) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-2-2)
LAST WEEK– Tied Seattle Sounders, 0-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– The Revs were outplayed in Seattle, but should great determination to earn a point, with goalkeeper Bobby Shuttlesworth stepping up on several occasions with some big saves. The return of Saer Sene is a major morale boost, but the Revs need him to get fully fit in a hurry so they can field the Sene-Jerry Bengtson forward tandem, which could be a handful for opposing defenses once they get going.
LAST WEEK– Lost to New York Red Bulls, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Philadelphia Union on Sunday.
OUTLOOK– Another forgettable performance from the D.C. attack has to have Ben Olsen scratching his head as he tries to figure out just where their offense has gone. At what point does Olsen give up the Lionard Pajoy experiment?
19. (18) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-3-2)
LAST WEEK– Tied Santos Laguna, 1-1 on Tuesday (CONCACAF); tied New England Revolution, 0-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
OUTLOOK– No, we don’t think the Sounders are the very worst team in MLS, but when you are the only team in the league without a win, and you just dropped points at home to the other team in contention for the last spot in the rankings, you wind up here. The Sounders need Eddie Johnson back, but they also need Steve Zakuani to snap out of his recent funk. Actually, Zakuani is far from alone in needing to snap out of a funk.