SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

Major League Soccer

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 22

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                                                                             Photo by ISIphotos.com

The SBI MLS Power Rankings are back.

Okay, so maybe you didn’t miss the SBI MLS Power Rankings, but at least a few of you noticed their absence in recent weeks. I’ll blame the Olympics and my recent trip to Guatemala on their brief absence.

They’re back, and they look a bit different than the last time you saw them.

For one, New England isn’t on top (for now). Also, San Jose isn’t at the bottom. The Earthquakes are moving up with a bullet thanks to their infusion of talent and they just might be ready to push into a playoff spot with time to spare.

The Columbus Crew is the new top dog, with it’s recent 3-0 mauling of Real Salt Lake the latest evidence that this is no fluke. Columbus is for real.

Now, without further delay, here are this week’s SBI MLS Power Rankings:

SBI MLS Power Rankings

1. Columbus Crew (11-6-4)

2008_016_2

Last Week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 3-0, last Saturday.

This Week: at FC Dallas on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 3-1-1

Outlook: The Crew stand tied with the Revs, but get the edge here for better recent results.

2. New England Revolution (11-6-4)

2008_022

Last Week: Beat D.C. United, 2-1, last Wednesday, tied Toronto FC, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Revs have looked flat at times in recent weeks but having Matt Reis, Michael Parkhurst and Shalrie Joseph in the lineup together for the first time in weeks should help New England regain form.

3. Chicago Fire (10-6-5)

2008_013_2

Last Week: Beat LA Galaxy, 1-0, last Thursday.

This Week: at Houston Dynamo on Sunday.

Last Five MLS Games: 3-1-1

Outlook: The Fire has slowly regained that early-season form and look like a good bet to make a case for the No. 1 seed in the East before all is said and done.

4. New York Red Bulls (8-6-7)

Red_bulls_logo

Last Week: Beat Houston, 3-0, on Sunday

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 3-0-2

Outlook: Unbeaten in five and winners of three straight, new-look Red Bulls are hitting their stride, but tough road matches against D.C. and Chicago await.

5. Houston Dynamo (8-5-8)

2008_019_2 

Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 4-0, on Wednesday, lost to the New York Red Bulls, 3-0, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Chicago Fire on Sunday.

Last Five MLS Games: 4-1

Outlook: Dynamo was red hot before loss to the Red Bulls, a defeat due at least in part to fatigue.

6. D.C. United (10-10-1)

2008_017

Last Week: Lost to New England, 2-1, on Wednesdy, beat Colorado, 3-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 3-2

Outlook: D.C. has a chance to create some breathing room in the standings with a win against the Red Bulls.

7. Real Salt Lake (7-8-6)

2008_024

Last Week: Lost to Columbus, 3-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Colorado Rapids on Friday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Not many excuses for being dismantled by Columbus. Home game against Rapids could stem the tide, but more road tests await.

8. FC Dallas (6-7-8)

2008_018

Last Week: tied Kansas City, 1-1, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-1-2

Outlook: Hoops face Columbus just two weeks after dropping 2-1 decision at Crew Stadium. Can the newcomers hit their stride in time to help FC Dallas keep its playoff spot?

9. Kansas City Wizards (6-7-8)

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Last Week: Tied FC Dallas, 1-1, last Saturday.

This Week: at San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-2-2

Outlook: A must-win for the Wizards, who currently sit five points out of a playoff spot, a total that could move up to six points with a loss. Getting a point, let alone a win, won’t be easy against the surging Earthquakes.

10. Toronto FC (7-9-5)

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Last Week: Tied New England, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Chivas USA on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 1-3-1

Outlook: Can newcomers Carlos Ruiz and Johann Smith spark the attack? TFC will need it in what amounts to a must-win.

11. San Jose Earthquakes (5-9-7)

2008_025_2

Last Week: Tied Chivas USA, 0-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Kansas City Wizards on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-0-3

Outlook: A win and FC Dallas loss pulls San Jose within a point of the final playoff spot. Earthquakes stumbled a bit against Chivas USA, but home date against struggling Wizards is just what the doctor ordered.

12. Colorado Rapids (7-11-3)

2008_015_3

Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 3-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Friday.

Last Five MLS Games: 2-2-1

Outlook: Gary Smith era not off to the best start. That can change Friday, where a win can pull them into a tie for second in the West. A loss could drop them as many as four points out of a playoff spot.

13. Chivas USA (6-9-6)

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Last Week: Lost to Houston, 4-0, last Wednesday; tied San Jose, 0-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Toronto FC on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 0-3-2

Outlook: Injuries are crushing the Goats, who will need a win vs. TFC to avoid dropping to last place in the West.

14. Los Angeles Galaxy (6-9-6)

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Last Week: Lost to Chicago, 1-0, last Thursday.

This Week: at New England Revolution on Saturday.

Last Five MLS Games: 0-3-2

Outlook: LA hasn’t won in more than two months and finding a win on the road against the Revs will be very difficult. Yes, LA is just two points out of a playoff spot, but with a tough sked remaining, and Landon Donovan and David Beckham likely to miss matches due to call-ups, Bruce Arena’s may want to start thinking about 2009, if he hasn’t already.

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What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.

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