SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

SBI MLS Power Rankings

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

NERevsCelebrate (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The New England Revolution were not considered much of a threat in the MLS Eastern Conference as recently as a month ago, but a strong run sparked by a steal of a trade, and the emergence of a young star, have the Revs looking very much like a serious contender.

New England’s 5-0 mauling of the Los Angeles Galaxy pushed Jay Heaps’ squad into the Top 10 of the SBI MLS Power Rankings for the first time this season and their surge has been led by the recent outstanding form of Diego Fagundez.

The young Uruguayan has put together a stretch of virtuoso efforts, which coupled with New England’s tough defense and the arrival of Juan Agudelo, has the Revs thinking playoffs.

Another team making a steady climb into the Top 10 is the Colorado Rapids. Their 2-2 draw vs. West leaders FC Dallas pushed the Rapids’ unbeaten streak to six, the second-longest active streak in the league.

Two teams that have tumbled out of the top half of the Power Rankings for now are MLS Cup finalists Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy have lost four of their past six while the Dynamo have fallen into a four-match winless rut.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 14:

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)

1. MONTREAL IMPACT (8-2-2)

Logo Impact MLS

LAST WEEK– Beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– W-W-W-L-T
OUTLOOK– Three wins in a row and the Impact are really looking strong, even showing quality on the road, which used to be their Achilles heel.
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2. FC DALLAS (8-2-4)

DAL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Tied Colorado Rapids, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-W-L-W-T
OUTLOOK– Not looking quite as invincible in recent weeks, but have battled through some injuries to remain on top of the West. A week off will do them some good before a stretch of tough matches against Houston, Portland and Sporting KC.
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3. PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-1-7)

TimbersLogo

LAST WEEK– Bye
THIS WEEK– at Chicago Fire
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-T-T
OUTLOOK- The Timbers probably didn’t want a week off, but then again with so many players on international duty the schedule-makers did them a big favor. Their 11-match unbeaten streak will be tested by a rejuvenated Chicago Fire side benefiting from the acquisitions of Bakary Soumare and Mike Magee.
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4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (5-4-3)

SEA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Beat Chivas USA, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-L-W-W-W
OUTLOOK– Nothing like a visit to Chivas USA to help erase the memories of their drubbing vs. the LA Galaxy. With Eddie Johnson on national team duty and Obafemi Martins suspended (for now), Sigi Schmid will need Lamar Neagle to step up against a surging Vancouver side playing really well at the moment.
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5. REAL SALT LAKE (7-5-3)

RSL_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-L-W
OUTLOOK– Javier Morales is starting to turn it on, and Robbie Findley is starting to heat up, which bodes well for an RSL attack coping without Alvaro Saborio. They face a struggling Los Angeles Galaxy side, but it should be noted these teams always put on memorable matches when they face each other.
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6. NEW YORK RED BULLS (7-5-4)

NY_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Lost to Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE – L-T-W-T-W
OUTLOOK– Followed up a slugging draw vs. Columbus with a flat showing vs. the Whitecaps. You have to wonder if their extended three-week break isn’t coming at a perfect time for a team that had loaded up on matches through the season’s first three months.
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7. COLORADO RAPIDS (5-4-5)

RapidsLogo

LAST WEEK– Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-W-T-W-W
OUTLOOK– Oscar Pareja has to like the way his team is playing, but won’t mind the bye as he draws closer to having a close to full-strength side. Jaime Castrillon is close to returning, and Shane O’Neill will be back from the Toulon Tournament after the break.
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8. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-4-4)

NE_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Beat Los Angeles Galaxy, 5-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– vs. D.C. United on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-W-W-T-L
OUTLOOK– The Revs are rolling and three straight wins have turned around the vibe in New England, with the Revs poised to climb into the Top Five with a win against hapless D.C. United. Diego Fagundez is on fire, but Jose Goncalves has really been a key to the team’s surprising season.
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9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-5-4)

SportingKClogo

LAST WEEK– Lost to Montreal Impact, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-T-T-W-L
OUTLOOK– Even with a man advantage Sporting couldn’t put away the Impact at home. Peter Vermes has to be a little worried about his team’s inconsistency, with only one win in five matches. He might also want to have a word with Claudio Bieler about his antics. Some good news is Teal Bunbury’s looming return to action.
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10. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (6-5-2)

LA_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Lost to New England Revolution, 5-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– L-W-L-W-L
OUTLOOK– You can put some blame on international call-ups, and travel, but ultimately there’s really no excuse for as bad a performance as they delivered in getting pummeled by New England.
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11. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (4-4-4)

WhitecapsLogo

LAST WEEK– Beat New York Red Bulls, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-L-T
OUTLOOK– With Kenny Miller back in the fold, and the midfield playing well, Vancouver look like a solid team and with just one loss in five, the Whitecaps can make a major statement with a win in Seattle on Saturday.
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12. PHILADELPHIA UNION (5-5-4)

UNI_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Columbus Crew on Wednesday.
LAST FIVE– T-L-W-L-W
OUTLOOK– Jack McInerney keeps on scoring goals, but the fact that he keeps having to bail them out raises some questions about the rest of the attack. They face a Columbus Crew team tonight they need to beat if they want to maintain hold on their current Top Five spot in the East.
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13. HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-4-4)

HOU_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-T-L-L-W
OUTLOOK– The Dynamo are sliding and with several key starters away on national team duty a bye comes at a perfect time for Dom Kinnear’s men. Houston has made a habit of being a second-half of the season team, but their recent four-match winless skid is still a bit surprising considering how well they were playing for before that slump.
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14. COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-5)

CLB_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Tied Houston Dynamo, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.
LAST FIVE– T-T-W-L-L
OUTLOOK– Did well to earn a point vs. Houston, and pushed their unbeaten streak to three matches, but with Jairo Arrieta on national team duty and Eddie Gaven lost for the season to a torn ACL, Robert Warzycha will have a tough task getting his attack going. He will need Federico Higuain to step it up.
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15. CHICAGO FIRE (3-7-2)

CHI_primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Beat D.C. United, 2-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday
LAST FIVE– W-T-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Things are starting to look up for the Fire, with Mike Magee scoring goals in each of his first two official matches and Bakary Soumare looking every bit like the rock in the back they were hoping to land when they traded for him. A stiff test awaits from a Portland side that just might be vulnerable to do all the international call-ups missing from their starting lineup.
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16. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (3-6-6)

SJ_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Lost to Real Salt Lake, 3-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-L-T-L-W
OUTLOOK– Remember when San Jose simply couldn’t lose a year ago? All that luck that went their way in 2012 has disappeared in 2013. They simply aren’t playing well and have just one point from four matches. Going from Supporters Shield to missing the playoffs is looking very much like a strong possibility.
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17. TORONTO FC (1-7-5)

TOR_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Tied Philadelphia Union, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Toronto FC’s penchant for blowing late leads is reaching mind-numbing proportions. Shedding players like John Bostock and Hogan Ephraim show that maybe, just maybe, their approach to building their roster was a bit too thrown together. Reality has set in now that this is going to be another disappointing season. What Ryan Nelsen has to do though is ensure there is some serious rebuilding and improvement taking place.
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18. CHIVAS USA (3-8-2)

CHV_Primary_COL

LAST WEEK– Lost to Seattle Sounders, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Getting rid of head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola made Chivas USA a prime candidate for a full-blown meltdown. The week off should help the new staff get acclimated, but a bye week won’t change the fact the roster simply isn’t good enough to compete.
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19. D.C. UNITED (1-10-2)

DCU_Primary_COL
LAST WEEK– Lost to Chicago Fire, 2-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– at New England Revolution on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– L-L-T-L-L
OUTLOOK– Things just keep getting worse and worse for D.C., and it seems like only a matter of time before Ben Olsen gets fired. It’s tough to see D.C. turning things around at this point and it may be time to start playing the team’s young players with an eye toward 2014.
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What do you think of this week’s power rankings? Think anyone is rated too highly? See anyone being too low?

Share your thoughts below.

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