What a weekend.
MLS fans were treated to goals galore and some pretty tightly-contested matches this weekend. From Chicago and New England scoring second-half game-winners to Columbus holding on for its own 1-0 victory, there was plenty of drama in the last weekend in April.
There were blowouts too, including the highly-entertaining romp by Los Angeles against Chivas USA. You also had D.C. United exacting revenge against Real Salt Lake by posting a 4-1 victory just two weeks after being pummeled, 4-0, by the same team.
The most impressive aspect of the weekend may have been how the Eastern Conference dominated the West. East teams swept the intra-conference battles 5-0, outscoring their West counterparts 12-2 in the process. For those keeping track at home, the East now boasts an 11-3-2 edge against the West this year.
That domination is reflected in the latest SBI MLS Power Rankings, where East teams occupy seven of the top eight spots. Only FC Dallas was able to crack the top eight.
Here are this week’s MLS Power Rankings:
SBI MLS Power Rankings
1. (Last week- 3) Columbus Crew (4-1)
Led by Wil Hesmer’s heroics in goal, the Crew registered a third straight win to remain unbeaten at home this year.
2. (6) Toronto FC (3-2)
Amado Guevara’s brace and another stellar performance by the TFC defense has fans in Toronto going crazy.
3. ( 4) Chicago Fire (3-1-1)
John Thorrington scores two to help Chicago post another win and to stake his claim to the right wing role.
4. (5) New England Revolution (3-2-1)
Despite being severely shorthanded, the Revs went on the road and handed FC Dallas its first loss.
5. (2) FC Dallas (2-1-2)
Hoops should have been able to handle a short-handed Revs squad but their offense failed to show up.
6. (1) Kansas City Wizards (3-2-1)
Defensive miscues were costly, but the sputtering offense ultimately cost the Wizards vs. Toronto.
7. (7) New York Red Bulls (2-1-1)
Posting a win without Juan Pablo Angel is an accomplishment, stopping Toronto’s winning streak on Thursday would be a bigger one.
8. (14) D.C. United (2-3)
Look who finally decided to wake up? D.C. flexed its muscle and could be poised to climb the standings.
9. (12) Los Angeles Galaxy (2-2-1)
Landon Donovan is playing out of his mind right now, but the real stunner in the 5-2 blowout of Chivas USA was the performance by much-maligned forward Alan Gordon.
10. (8) Colorado Rapids (2-3)
Should have come away with a point in Chicago, but shaky defense surrendered a late game-winner.
11. (9) Real Salt Lake (1-3-1)
What a difference a week makes. RSL had no answers for D.C., but Los Angeles should provide an easier test.
12. (10) Chivas USA (1-3-1)
The Chivas USA defense is officially a mess. When Alan Gordon drops a brace and assist on you, it’s time to re-evaluate things.
13. (13) San Jose Earthquakes (1-3)
Peguero Jean-Philippe showed some signs, but San Jose showed that as goes Ronnie O’Brien, so goes the Earthquakes offense.
14. (11) Houston Dynamo (0-2-3)
The bad news is the defending champions still haven’t won a game. The good news is that they play in the woeful Western Conference.
I’m sure LA and Colorado fans will argue that their teams deserve to be ahead of D.C. I don’t see it, not after seeing D.C. dismantle Real Salt Lake. Yes, the Galaxy crushed Chivas USA, but that defense is still extremely shaky. I suppose you could flip-flop D.C. and L.A., I just chose not to.
Columbus deserves the top spot, there’s little debate there, but I’m sure some Fire fans will argue about not being ranked second. In my opinion, Toronto has played the best soccer in the league the past two weeks and it’s pretty clear to anybody that this isn’t the same TFC team that started the season.
Houston fans, I readily admit that there’s no way the Dynamo is the worst team in MLS. That said, the results are what they are and until the Dynamo wins games (or a game) I can’t really justify keeping them ahead of anybody.
That’s all for now. Share your thoughts on the weekend and the rankings in the comments section below.