Does anybody want to be considered the top team in MLS in April?
Houston and D.C. United started the season fighting for those honors, but they now have a single win between them after six combined games. Kansas City looked poised to hold on to the top spot before going winless on a two-game home stand.
Which brings us to the Chicago Fire, which has played two mediocre road games but earned four points from those matches. Good teams win even when they struggle and the Fire did just that, beating San Jose on an emotional day in Oakland.
The Fire jumped into the top spot in the SBI MLS Power Rankings this week and will have a chance to put a stranglehold on the No. 1 spot when it plays host to Kansas City on Sunday.
The bottom of the rankings have changed a bit, with the Los Angeles Galaxy plummeting yet again after another awful defensive performance. Here’s a question: If Ty Harden wanted to do charity work why didn’t he just stay with the Galaxy?
Here is how the SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out this week:
SBI MLS Power Rankings
1. (Last week- 4) Chicago Fire (2-0-1)
Four points from two road games and big win over Revs give Fire top spot.
2. (5) New England Revolution (2-2)
Outplayed Colorado but couldn’t find the net. Win against Wizards moves them up.
3. (1) Kansas City Wizards (2-1-1)
Winless week at home raises questions about their offense.
4. (9) Colorado Rapids (2-1)
Rapids showed they can win a close match on the road, but just one shot on goal?
5. (7) FC Dallas (1-0-2)
The Hoops defense finally didn’t collapse late as that potent attack made things more comfortable.
6. (2) Chivas USA (1-1-1)
Brad Guzan’s blunder costs them a road point in crazy game that saw two Goats ejected.
7. (11) Columbus Crew (2-1)
Crew will be happy to take the victory in Saturday’s shootout, but that defense has issues that need to be addressed.
8. (12) Real Salt Lake (1-1-1)
I’m afraid to say it but after three straight home wins against them, Real Salt Lake owns D.C. United.
9. (3) D.C. United (1-2)
Champions Cup hangover or not, D.C. was downright embarrassed by Real Salt Lake.
10. (8) Houston Dynamo (0-1-2)
Shutout was sorely needed but the offense had a horrible week.
11. (6) New York Red Bulls (1-1)
Attack was lost without Juan Pablo Angel, but the make-shift defense is what cost the Red Bulls.
12. (13) Toronto FC (1-2)
Nice debut for Amado Guevara as Toronto prepares to go home for the first time this season.
13. (10) Los Angeles Galaxy (1-2)
How bad was Celestine Babayaro if he couldn’t make this defense?
14. (14) San Jose Earthquakes (0-2)
Much better performance in game two but the finishing is terrible and Frank Yallop needs to add some attacking players pronto.
Since there are always questions when it comes to rankings I will try to address a few of them:
New England stays ahead of Colorado despite losing to the Rapids because A) NE beat KC, which beat Colorado, which beat NE. With that being a wash, I went with who I felt has looked the best this season, and B) I think the Revs outplayed Colorado despite losing. That said, Colorado jumping up to No. 4 is still a big jump.
Columbus beat Chivas USA but still sits behind the Goats. Well, if you saw Saturday’s game you know it wasn’t your typical game. Two red cards and a horrendous blunder by Brad Guzan helped the Crew post its second home victory. Columbus deserves credit for the win, which is why I jumped them four points in the standings, but memories of that ugly performance against the Red Bulls still resonate.
Why does D.C. plummet? Did you see the RSL game? Seriously though, D.C. has looked shaky in MLS play, a win against a short-handed Toronto FC notwithstanding. Marcelo Gallardo
is struggling hasn’t exactly dominated (that better?) and D.C. is feeling the absence of Ben Olsen. Until they can put together a strong showing against a good team they will sit low in the standings.
Share your thoughts on this week’s MLS Power Rankings in the Comments section below.