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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week Nine


Call the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer’s Road Warriors. It is one thing to win games on the road, which isn’t exactly easy in MLS, but winning in dominating fashion the way Chicago has been winning is something altogether different.

Chicago’s 5-1 dismantling of the Red Bulls on Sunday upped the Fire’s road winning streak to three games, with Chicago outscoring New England, D.C. and the Red Bulls by a combined score of 10-1.

While the Fire asserted its position as top team in the East, the Los Angeles Galaxy laid claim to being the best in the West. The 3-1 win against Kansas City was the Galaxy’s first against an Eastern Conference opponent this season.

Here is how this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out:

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. (2) Chicago Fire (6-2-1)


Third blowout road win vs. East opposition leaves Fire atop the standings.

2. (4) New England Revolution (6-3-1)


Defense deliver stellar performance against vaunted Crew attack.

3. (Last week- 1) Columbus Crew (6-2-1)


From winning streak to two-game winless streak, just like that.

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


TFC will need to show it can win on the road to be taken seriously as a title contender.

5. (9) Los Angeles Galaxy (4-3-2)


Galaxy’s attack is rolling while the defense has improved enough to stop mediocre offenses like Kansas City’s.

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


No intensity combined with shambolic defending equals a 5-1 loss to a supposed arch-rival.

7. (11) Chivas USA (3-4-2)


Jorge Flores has goals in two straight wins and just might be leading a serious Chivas USA turnaround.

8. (6)  Colorado Rapids (4-5)


Uncharacteristically poor showing at home keeps Rapids from first place in the West.

9. (10) FC Dallas (3-3-3)


Posting a win was vital, but the true tests for the Hoops and their new coach (whoever he may be) still awaits.

10. (7) Kansas City Wizards (3-4-2)


Giving up goals to the Galaxy is no crime, but not being able to produce more than a goal against that defense just shows that the Wizards offense has serious problems.

11. (8) Houston Dynamo (2-3-4)


How do you go from beating the Fire to losing to San Jose? Houston is still missing that championship swagger (and a second reliable forward).

12. (13) D.C. United (3-7)


Will the sorely-needed win against Toronto FC turn things around for Tom Soehn’s boys? A brutal schedule will provide the test.

13. (14) San Jose Earthquakes (2-5-1)


San Jose proves that it can generate offense, now the Earthquakes need to do that on a consistent basis.

14. (12) Real Salt Lake (2-5-2)


RSL drops to 0-5 on the road, having been outscored 12-3. Not sure that can be blamed on the league’s referees.


Share your own thought on the rankings below.


  1. Plus those who think the Galaxy will perform with Beckham and Donovan are in for a ruud awakening. Almost every play goes through those one of those guys, so once they’re out the midfield will lose its cohesion, guidance and ability to keep possession.

    Its good for LA that Ruiz is coming back, but he’ll need service. After having watched Buddle for a few seasons, I know all too well that the guy will hit for a hat trick or two in a season, but will be quiet and mediocre the rest of the time.

    Still, I think the squad will make it to the post-season — and that’s saying more than how far I see the Red Bulls going (and I’m a NY fan!).

  2. I guess the Red Bulls are about right at #6 considering all of the teams behind them are have serious problems. That doesn’t say much about the level of competition in the league thus far though.

    Still, I believe if you look forward, Houston and DC United have too much talent on their rosters to be ranked 11 and 12. If Houston acquires a reliable striker (and they have an unused DP slot), I see them climbing the rankings in a hurry. DC is a confusing story because they have all the pieces but can’t get them to fit together. At some point, the quality of their players will snap back and those pieces will fit together.

    In light of those two probably coming up the rankings and the Red Bulls being short on quality starting players (we all know where) plus lacking depth, I think the Bulls are going to keep sliding down these rankings until they make some substantial player acquisitions to change their course.

    The Crew have done well thus far, but Alejandro Moreno has definitely played above his ability in getting at least a point a game (goal or assist) since the beginning of the season. In the last couple of games, he hasn’t gotten any points so maybe he’s “reverting to the mean.” Still the Crew have got every piece to do well, other than forward — which they can get with their DP slot. If they get a top quality forward, everyone should look out. On the other hand, they don’t have depth at the wings or a credible back-up for Schelotto — so as soon as they hit a wave of injuries, the wheels are coming off the bus.

    In my eyes, New England and Chicago are fully credible at 1 and 2 because they DO have the depth to continue to do well even with international call-ups. NE has gotten this far with little to no contribution from Twellman and Chicago has 3 defenders (Conde, Robinson and Brown) who have had little playing time, Marmol who hasn’t seen the field yet, and Nyarko (who most everyone thought would go first in the draft) still coming up.

    Chivas USA is ranked too high considering how leaky their defense is and Colorado and FCD are underperforming a bit.

  3. Columbus definitely had the better of play against the Revs with some stand out performances by MLS veterans Hendrickson, Moreno, and Heyduk. They were undoubtedly the better side. Richard Heron’s officiating should be credited for New England’s win. Heron invented hand signals, called Moreno offside in the final third as Schellotto dribbled at midfield, and awarded a soft PK in the 89th minute. Hesmer saved the PK, but Dube converted the rebound by taking 2 steps into the box before the kick. Of course, hawk-eyed Heron missed that call.

  4. I like the picture. It looks like Blanco hit him behind the head. At this hour it’s really funny. Come on Revs and Chivas USA!

  5. I think RBNY has talent and probably deserves their spot. But, they were handily outplayed in LA and would have lost 2/3, 1/3 would tie.

    Anyway, the Galaxy will have a difficult spell without Becks and Donovan, but they have developed a core of Buddle, Gordon, Ruiz, McDonald, Franklin, X and Klein that can compete without the big two. It will be very telling to watch the next two games. We should really be able to evaluate the core.

  6. In my opinion, Houston is the worst team in MLS right now. If you look at their two wins, they were flukes. If Bouna doesn’t miss that ball that Ching put away into an empty net, Houston comes away with a draw off a PK. The Chicago game, just look at DeRo’s goal. Houston are lucky to have two wins since they should have none. All the other teams have earned at least one win this season.

  7. TFC is going to be tested over the next week or so. Tomorrow we play Montreal for the canadian cup (concacaaf cl qualification) and saturday we play LA.

    There may be finally an injury to our first team (Marshall) and Robert got a red (still not sure what for) in the last game. Thats not to mention some of our call ups. Should be interesting to see if our reserves can step up, as well as these next couple of weeks will also be a testament of whether Carver is ready and capable of steering TFC to the playoffs with his tactics.

  8. Ives, the Red Bulls in 6th and DC United in 12th? Each with 3 wins? I think any team with 3 wins in the East beats any team with 3 or less wins in the West. I think the Red Bulls are a little high and DC United a little low.

  9. RE: Fire

    Posted by: Modibo | May 26, 2008 at 01:43 PM: “We’ll see how they deal with international call ups, injuries, and so forth over the long run.”

    Hey Modibo – I see you’re on Ives blog as well… see you on the Red Card later lol.

    As for international callups, I’ve got to say that the Fire stand pretty pat. Even with a flurry of callups, there is plenty of depth at F & D that those positions shouldn’t be an issue and if Thorrington stays healthy and assuming either Diego and/or Marmol may be able to switch into a Midfield role during that span, the main issues should be communication and game flow.

  10. i dont see intl’ callups being a factor… whether we can keep up this momentum and whether injuries stay at bay are the big questions….

    but currently the fire are hot, and hopefully they’ll continue it till the end of the season

  11. I was skeptical about Chicago’s high position a few weeks ago, but now it’s tough not to concede that they’re the real deal, for now at least. We’ll see how they deal with international call ups, injuries, and so forth over the long run.

  12. What a great league. It is not out of the question to expect the 2 last place teams to beat the 2 1st place teams especially at home. Should make for a great race with no guaranteed wins. Go MLS

  13. Yes, we got smoked 5-1 on Sunday, but we got smoked by the best team in the league and we still have a winning record. We also just beat LA in LA last week, so anyone saying the Red Bulls should be ranked lower is full of crap. We should be number five but I won’t argue because we got the crap beaten out of us.

  14. New England’s “vaunted defense”? I s’pose if “assault and battery with intent to cause bodily harm to Robbie Rogers” is “vaunted” then yes…

  15. Ives, you never show Chicago any respect! no team deserves to be ranked even second behind the Fire, they should at least all be ranked tied for 13th, if they have to be mentioned at all.

    ha ha ha

  16. At first I thought I was hallucinating when I saw RBNY at #6. But then I loked at who was below them, and I have to defer to your ranking. Doesn’t say much for the rest of the league, does it?

    Too bad all the international fixtures are coming up, because it will definitely slow the oncoming Galaxy juggernaut!

  17. A deserved last place ranking for RSL. They have steadily regressed this season from playing some entertaining, if not winning, soccer to almost unwatchable junior high kick and run crap. Kreis’ tactical decisions are unfathamable, and the wheels are coming off.


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