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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Seven


As if the Eastern Conference wasn’t already strong enough, Juan Pablo Angel and Taylor Twellman finally opened their goal-scoring accounts to give yet another boost to the stronger of the two MLS conferences.

Yes, the domination of West by East continued last weekend, with East teams going 3-0, all on the road, against the West. The standings don’t lie. The two teams with the best records in the West, Colorado and FC Dallas, would both be in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Wow.

The two hottest teams in MLS kept up their winning ways as Columbus and Chicago both posted impressive victories. Perhaps the most surprising team of the early season, aside from league leaders Columbus, is the Red Bulls, who managed another impressive road result to stay within striking distance of the East Leaders.

One team beginning to lose major ground in the stacked East is D.C. United, which sits in last place in the East, a full four points behind sixth place Kansas City. Talk about a team that needs to turn things around ASAP.

Here is how this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings shake out.

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. (Last week- 1) Columbus Crew (6-1)


Crew showed they can come from behind on the road. What can’t this team do? We’ll see if it can win outside the United States when it travels to Toronto.

2. (2) Chicago Fire (5-1-1)


Team defense has been amazing, but now the offense is starting to wake up too.

3. (6) New York Red Bulls (3-1-2)


Juan Pablo Angel scores his first of the season as the defense continues to play extremely well.

4. (3) Toronto FC (3-2-1)


Will week off help kickstart the offense?

5. (4) New England Revolution (4-3-1)


With Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston back, look for the Revs to make a charge at the top two.

6. (7) Kansas City Wizards (3-3-1)


Will the week off help a Wizards team that has struggled offensively in recent weeks? The bigger question is whether Kansas City’s rookies are ready to step up their game.

7. (5) FC Dallas (2-2-3)


Struggling offense scores first goal in three games, but the defense is to blame for the RSL loss.

8. (8)  Colorado Rapids (3-4)


Unfortunate not to leave Houston with a point.

9. (11) Real Salt Lake (2-3-2)


Kyle Beckerman is enjoying an all-star caliber season early on, leaving us to keep wondering what Colorado was thinking when it traded him.

10. (14) Houston Dynamo (1-2-4)


A win, FINALLY. It might have been very lucky, but Houston was due some luck.

11. (9) Los Angeles Galaxy (2-3-2)


Newsflash: After Beckham and Donovan, the Galaxy doesn’t have much in the attack. Who knew?

12. (12) Chivas USA (1-4-2)


No Claudio Suarez and no Jonathan Bornstein equals no chances for Goats to slow down New England.

13. (10) D.C. United (2-5)


Another awful display has D.C. officials ready to make even more major roster moves in the next transfer window.

14. (13) San Jose Earthquakes (1-4-1)


A two-goal game is promising, but watching the veteran defense shredded for three goals certainly was not.


Share your own thought on the rankings below.


  1. Anybody else getting the sense that if you want to make a run at the MLS Cup this year the best place to finsh is 5th in the East?

  2. Gabe, are you that dense? You do realize that the season didn’t start last Saturday right? The Red Bulls have a way better record than the Gals, that’s why they’re rated higher. They were missing their starting central midfield and still went into Home Depot and won. It’s not even a question why they’re ranked much higher than LA.

    Here’s a question. Who does LA have an impressive win over? San Jose? The red Bulls beat Columbus, the only team to do so. In other words Red Bulls>Galaxy. Deal with it.

  3. I don’t know, I don’t see how LA can be that far behind NY. They looked pretty even most of the game on saturday, and I would even say the Galaxy dominated large portions of the game. Yes NY won, but barely. I really don’t think the gap in class between the teams is very small. If they played 10 times I would say LA wins 3, NY wins 4, and they tie 3. I don’t see how you can rank them 8 spots apart, but I guess that says something about the parity in the league…

  4. It’s good to see Chicago finally getting the respect it deserves. They really are underestimated by many MLS supporters and the media.

  5. Ives, you say the Gals don’t have an attack. They scored a goal against a team that had previously only conceded 4 right? And they did it while NY was playing some serious bunker ball. A more appropriate comment would have been in regards to the defense.

  6. wow, reading some of the attendance comments is kinda funny…

    we had the f*cking metrostars while u guys got a supporters shield and open cup win…

    “we have a larger area to draw from”

    wtf? way to be ignorant – doesn’t that also mean that all the other BIGGER AND MORE FAMOUS TEAMS IN THE WORLDS MOST POPULAR CITY get most of the draw????? i think that us, along with LA have the biggest eurosnobs in the league — the snobs come out to see becks now though so its mainly us i think…

    rankings look good, keep up the good work!

  7. Let’s start another baseless rumor:

    Now that Reading is relegated, Bobby Convey to DC United.

    I heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who heard it from an English guy. Gotta be true.

    Eat it monkleys.

  8. I find it funny that people are complaining about bad weather on a saturday or a sunday. It shouldn’t make any difference whatsoever, the only difference should be if it’s bad weather on weekdays; lucky for TFC we still nearly sell out on Thursady night games with freezing weather and horizontal rain. I’m just saying that weekends are simply never “miss-able”.

  9. Red Bulls at #3 Ives?? I don’t see it. That should be New England for sure. That said, the Red Bulls have had a great roadtrip picking up 4 points and have made up for tying the Revs at home and losing those 2 points. Huge win for them against LA, but doesn’t move them up to 3rd, not in the tables and not in momentum.

  10. I’ll have to agree with Ives on this one. It may not be pretty how it got done, but their record is the record in the league–and at this point, Cow-town has it. they still are finding ways to pull out the wins, and will retain the pole position until anyone can take them out of it. Can’t wait until the trip to Firehouse East (Columbus)… might actually be a fair fight this year.

  11. as a fire supporter, i think ives got the 1-2 slots right. even though the fire has some nice stats backing up an argument for them taking the 1 slot, you have to go with colombus’ winning streak, highest points and 1st place record.

    i like the list; one change i’d contemplate is flip flopping la and houston. as of today, i’d say la has had the better season…although houston is probably the better team, so it works either way for me.

  12. JCO can certainly teach defnese. Does that mean after what is sure to be an absurd run-up to the Bulls-Fire gamein two weeks we’re cruising for a nil-nil?

    On the attendance front, don’t forget about the economy, I’ve heard some moaning from baseball people too.

  13. I am so happy with RBNY so far.. I saw this because I was not confidant at the start of the season. Injuries, no new impact signings, etc…

    But what I found surprising was that we have given up 5 goals. Only Chicago have given up less! We let in so many last year and things didn’t look brighter for this year, but somehow our defense is putting the stop on teams. Much much much credit to Conway, who I think has been outstanding, but all the guys should get credit.

    With Dane and Angel back, we will be dangerous on the offensive again. If we can hold strong in the back, I think we’ll surprise ourselves.

  14. Ives-“I think it was convenient of Todd to point out the Red Bulls’ worst attendance of the season so far (9,053 vs. San Jose), which was on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”

    are you trying to tell us that Redbull fans are fair-weather fans?? 😀

  15. It was, I guess I should rephrase the question. If the eastern conference finals took place today? Who would you pick?

    As I see it a head to head battle would fall for the Fire. Records aside (If the two keep winning, this argument will become less of a factor) I think Chicago has an edge over the Crew as well balanced team. I point to goals for and goals against.

    Check out this awesome table Ives!





    Winners= Fire

    One could argue that in the Fire’s situation that one more goal for, is the difference between a win and a draw (See Fire v. RSL) but remember Soumare’s own goal. That draw was a bad break.

    Finally this hopefully will be my last comment. I need to stop procrastinating and study for my final tonight.

    Have fun guys. And Ives, reading your blog is almost an addiction for me.

  16. No need to call people names Frank. I am simply pointing out that NY does not draw big crowds for the largest city in the country. Don’t know why that is but hopefully it changes.

    I know Giants stadium sucks. I have been there before, but I would still think that NY should be able to sell 20,000 tickets per game. DC comes close to pulling it off every time and they play in RFK.

    Ives, I have no problems with your comment. It is the truth. As an MLS fan, I wish every stadium was sold out and we would argue about the quality on the team not crowd.

  17. Bill, I thought your question was about who should be at the top of the rankings now, not who will be there at the end? If you ask me, I would put my money on New England being there at the end.

    Chicago is having a great season, but right now Columbus has the slight edge. That could change this weekend, but right now Columbus is No. 1.

  18. Who’s hating stupid? I didn’t deny we don’t draw at Giant Stadium. But you can’t compare a team who’s been in a SSS to a team in a crappy football stadium.

    The stadium will be open next year, the concrete is already being poured. So you’re weak attempt at implying it won’t be built stinks. Swiiiiing and a miss!

  19. Listen folks, the statement about the Crew selling tickets was just an observation, not meant to be some attack on the team. The stats are there for all to see. I would also love to know what that statement has to do with the Red Bulls. I don’t work for, root for or play for the Red Bulls so the whole “what about the Red Bulls” retort any time I say anything critical about another team is pretty tired at this point.

    As for the Red Bulls, the club is clearly not devoting resources to marketing and ticket sales. I have heard from multiple sources that the club is looking ahead to the opening of the new stadium in 2009.

    That said, I think it was convenient of Todd to point out the Red Bulls’ worst attendance of the season so far (9,053 vs. San Jose), which was on a rainy Sunday afternoon. There was never going to be a good crowd for that game, much like there was never going to be a good crowd for the Crew’s win against Chivas USA, which was played on a cold and rainy Saturday night and drew a crowd of 6,733 (the smallest in MLS this season by 2,000).

    My comment about the Crew wasn’t meant as a shot, but rather a concern about how a team that is playing so well and playing attractive soccer still can’t draw. I get that some defensive Crew fans want to point to the Red Bulls having a “larger audience to draw from” but you must remember there are far more sports teams and other things to compete against for the Red Bulls than there are for the Crew in Columbus.

  20. I’ll see you at Red Bull Park on it’s opening day. When will that be??? May 2028????

    Frank…don’t hate because you know others are right. It is a fact. Nobody goes to Crew or Red Bull games. Sorry.

  21. The Red Bulls had a decent 17,500 on opening night. They traditionally don’t draw well during the opening part of the season. Attendance will increase as the season progresses and if the team continues winning…I’m predicting about 15-17,000 for this weekend’s game vs. KC.

    Keep in mind…No one likes to go to Giants Stadium…it’s inconvenient to get to and has no atmosphere even when there are 20-30,000 in attendance. There will be a huge spike in attendance when Red Bull Park opens next season.

  22. This post ranks the teams on how they are currently playing, not on what the future holds. I think your arguements for Chicago should be based on what has already happened. If any team starts the season winning 5 out of 6, they should be on the top of the rankings…unless someone wins 6 out of 6.

  23. When Red Bull Park opens up then come talk to us about attendance. Your crap team plays in a SSS and still draw crap. I don’t care what #’s they report, your stadium is always half empty.

  24. All I’m saying is that the race for the top spot is harder to call then the Democratic nomination was rolling into super tuesday. On one hand you got a five game win streak, on the other a well organized defense that runs DEEP (Chicago’s got three defenders that could start on every team in the league (Robinson, Brown, Conde)). If these results hold through to the eastern conference finals, who would you bet on Chicago or Columbus (I know this is a early question, but this is a blog, so speculate).

    I’ll take Chicago. what about you guys?

  25. Aquinaga, the game in two weeks will be a good one. To bad you’ll be facing the best D in the League. The road win for the Fire will be tough but do you honestly believe RBNY can get more then a draw? Besides the win against the Crew all you guys have to show is a tie against TFC. LA Gals are second rate when their not scoring. Angel and Altidore will have their hands full with Chi-towns back line!

    enough smack talking, with a good showing this weekend, you guys might have enough momentum to hurt the fire. That is if you can stop our counter.


  26. Bill, come on now. Five in a row and best record in the league. Are you seriously trying to use WHEN they scored–in a win–to somehow manipulate Chicago to the top?

    It’s only one blogger’s power ranking, and the numbers don’t lie. I’m not even a Columbus fan and I found your statement a bit on the ridiculous side (if well said).

  27. For being undermanned all season, very impressive place for RBNY to be at this point, attendance issues aside.

    Bill, we won’t have to wait until July 5th. That game will not enter into the equation once RB beats Chicago in 2 weeks, and given we’ve already beaten the Crew 😉

  28. Not just Ives…but does anyone else care to explain why a team in NY has less people in the stands on certain weekends?

  29. as of now there is no reason to assume that CLB should drop to the Fire… both get quality road wins this past week… until one of the teams slip one week we may not see a dip in ranking until the two meet up…

  30. Perfect comment Todd. I was going to ask Ives why he doesn’t get on the Red Bulls for their awful attendance too. I am pretty sure that the Red Bulls have more people to draw from, and they have more “attractive” players to watch.

    Ives, care to defend your team?

  31. Todd, does the truth hurt?

    What do the Red Bulls have to do with the Crew? Nothing, so why bring them up?

    Your Crew gets the No. 1 ranking but you take offense to what you consider ding that is actually a pretty fair statement? Get a grip.

  32. I still don’t understand how DC United isn’t last. Compared to San Jose, DC is loaded with talent that is under performing. San Jose has half the talent and is at least moving in a better direction. DC United is awful.

    Columbus, Chicago are definitely top the top. There’s probably a gap between those two teams and New York, Toronto, and New England. That gap can probably be filled in with consistency and putting in the hard work, which Columbus and Chicago appear to be doing.

  33. Did you ding your hometeam for their stellar performance selling tickets at the last home game? RBNY 9,053. That same weekend, the Crew sold 15,271.

    Last time I checked 15,271 > 9,053.

  34. I guess we’ll have to wait until July 5th to decide this debate.

    Defense wins championships…

    07/05/08- Fire 1 – Crew 0

  35. I will admit that I am a contributor to the decline in Columbus attendance. But it’s because I’ve recently moved to North Carolina for a new job, and not because I wouldn’t’ve renewed my tickets if we were staying in Columbus.

    As it is, I’ve still managed to make it to 4 games, and plan on at least 2 more at Crew Stadium, and we’ll see if I can’t get to a road game here and there. GO CREW!

  36. And DCU, the regular season counts for actually qualifying for the playoffs, which is something D.C. United won’t do unless some major changes start taking place.

  37. Agreed on Toronto being a touch high. I moved the Red Bulls up because their results deserve a higher place. I considered moving the Revs ahead of Toronto but three losses is three losses. New England will make the move up soon enough if Ralston and Twellman stay healthy.

    As for the Chicago-Columbus debate, Columbus has the best record in the league and is riding a five-game winning streak. I realize Chicago has a great record, and defensive record, but road wins are tough, regardless of whether they are an expansion team or not, so why would I drop the Crew this week. I would also argue that the Crew looked much better against San Jose than Chicago did if we’re going to make comparisons.

    Columbus and Chicago are neck and neck, but the Crew gets the nod for now.

  38. Colorado, best of the West with FCD, drops one to then-winless Houston but still is ranked (for the week) ahead of a RSL team beating Dallas? A very solid power ranking but I’d flipflop the Rapids and Real.

  39. How is Toronto better than us when we have a better record, got a draw in their place and beat Columbus?!

    Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, Ives. Canadians have no souls. They can’t get too upset about it.

  40. Ives, I really think you need to give Chicago the nod this week. Yes, I know Columbus has won five in a row, and came from behind this weekend. But remember this was against San Jose, and the Crew didn’t score until after the 70th minute. Chicago on the other hand, has won three in a row, with two of these being on the road. They also have only conceded three goals (2 by opponents), and are plus 10 in differential! The crew have scored one more goal than the Fire, so the offenses are pretty even. But the crew have let in 9 goals, thats just over one goal a game. While Chicago is on pace to only allow a goal every two plus games. What helped you make the decision?


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