And then there was one.
FC Dallas is the lone remaining unbeaten team in Major League Soccer as we look past week four of the 2008 season. Chicago was knocked from the unbeaten ranks by Kansas City, which regained the top spot in the newest power rankings after traveling to Toyota Park and posting a shutout.
The action at the bottom of the power rankings was just as interesting. San Jose posted a stunning win against Colorado while Toronto FC made it two straight with its 1-0 against Real Salt Lake.
Here is how the SBI MLS Power Rankings shake out after Week 4:
SBI MLS Power Rankings
1. (Last week- 3) Kansas City Wizards (3-1-1)
Road win at Chicago boosts KC back to top spot.
2. (5) FC Dallas (2-0-2)
League’s only unbeaten team, Hoops took care of short-handed Chivas USA squad with ease.
3. (7) Columbus Crew (3-1)
The Crew offense moved well and created plenty of chances, but it was the work of the defense against D.C. United that is cause for the most optimism.
4. ( 1) Chicago Fire (2-1-1)
Such a flat performance at home begs the question of whether the Fire has enough in the attack to win when Cuauhtemoc Blanco isn’t the one scoring?
5. (2) New England Revolution (2-2-1)
Outplayed but still escaped with a point despite playing a man down for almost a half.
6. (12) Toronto FC (2-2)
Won second straight, but the second half against Real Salt Lake wasn’t exactly quality soccer.
7. (11) New York Red Bulls (1-1-1)
Tie feels disappointing, but the Red Bulls completely stifled the potent New England attack and created multiple chances. Not bad considering the team had a hobbled Juan Pablo Angel play just a half.
9. (4) Colorado Rapids (2-2)
Just when you thought the Rapids were for real they go and deliver a stinker like the one against San Jose on Saturday.
10. (8) Real Salt Lake (1-2-1)
Loss to Toronto was tough but RSL can come away knowing it dominated the second half. Now if only they could find an equalizer.
10. (6) Chivas USA (1-2-1)
Goats had 13 corner kicks but still couldn’t find the net, you wonder if they can win without Sacha Kljestan.
11. (10) Houston Dynamo (0-1-3)
Two blown leads has the Dynamo still looking for its first win.
12. (13) Los Angeles Galaxy (1-2-1)
Coming from behind twice to equalize against Houston should help boost morale, but giving up multiple goals yet again keeps L.A. from celebrating too much.
13. (14) San Jose Earthquakes (1-2)
Ronnie O’Brien shows why San Jose traded so much to get him. He is still capable of taking over a game.
14. (9) D.C. United (1-3)
Having the offense struggle can be chalked up to lack of familiarity, but the terrible play of the defense in recent weeks is inexcusable.
Some explanations (because there are always going to be issues with the rankings).
First, teams which have played well but not gotten results do get some consideration in their rankings even when their records aren’t the best. Take Real Salt Lake, which outplayed Chicago and tied and outplayed (or at least played evenly with) Toronto and lost. RSL moves up a bit despite losing because teams ahead of them lost AND played poorly.
If there’s a team that is probably higher than they should be, it’s RSL, but Colorado losing to San Jose had to result in a penalty and I think RSL has played well enough in recent weeks to merit the ranking. Okay folks, I dropped RSL in the rankings. Some good arguments were made and as I started originally, I was aware that I was probably ranking them too high. I have made the adjustment.
The Red Bulls move up despite the draw against New England because they actually outplayed the Revs when the teams were at equal strength and they essentially shut down a Revs attack that has thrashed the likes of Kansas City and Houston in weeks past. (And let me be clear, the Red Bulls held the Revolution to ZERO shots on goal in the first half when both teams were at full strength, so the Red Bulls defense containing the Revs attack wasn’t simply about the red card.)
So why D.C. United in last place? Well, I don’t honestly think D.C. is the worst team in the league, but their form in the past two weeks has been atrocious. I’m confident that Tom Soehn will turn things around, just as he did last season, but for right now D.C. in last place shouldn’t be considered a big stretch.
So why not Houston in last place? Well, the Dynamo hasn’t lost since the season opener and has just as many points as D.C. in the same number of matches. The Dynamo has also managed three straight draws despite missing the likes of Pat Onstad, Stuart Holden and recently suspended Eddie Robinson, among others.
That’s all for now. Share your thoughts on the rankings below.