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SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 12)

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The usual suspects are making their way up the Major League Soccer standings.

The defending MLS Cup Champions Columbus Crew and perennial East power New England Revolution are starting to rack up the results, making the Eastern Conference the brutal group it was expected to be when the season began.

While the East is deeper, the West boasts the current top two teams in the league. Chivas keeps on winning while the Houston Dynamo is playing like the best team in the league. Houston deserves even more credit for the recent run considering Ricardo Clark and Brian Ching haven't been a part of it lately.

Here is how this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings shook out (I will post this week's schedule and Team Outlooks later this afternoon so check back in for that):

SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 12)

1 (Last week- 1). Chivas USA (8-2-3)


Last Week: Beat Seattle Sounders, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday (8:30pm, ESPN2); at Columbus Crew on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: Beating Seattle without Jesse Marsch was impressive, but things only get tougher this week. Much tougher. Can the Goats stop the red-hot Dynamo AND the rejuvenated Columbus Crew?

2 (3). Houston Dynamo (6-2-3)


Last Week: Beat Chicago Fire, 1-0, on Friday.

This Week: vs. Chivas USA on Wednesday (8:30pm, ESPN2); at FC Dallas on Saturday (8:30pm, FSC)

Outlook: No Clark or Ching? No problem. Kei Kamara stepped up, as did Geoff Cameron, who is playing like an All-Star.

3 (2). Chicago Fire (5-2-6)


Last Week: Lost to Houston Dynamo, 1-0, on Friday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Played well vs. Houston but just couldn't finish chances. Chicago might be looking forward to a trip to D.C. considering how poorly the Fire has played at home this year.

4 (4). Colorado Rapids (4-2-4)


Last Week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: Bye week

Outlook: A week off comes at a perfect time as the Rapids prepare to play without MLS scoring leader Conor Casey.

5 (6). D.C. United (3-2-7)


Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 2-0, on Thursday.

This Week: vs. Chicago Fire on Saturday (7:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno are looking like the league's most dangerous Super Subs, a strategy Tom Soehn may want to stick with against Chicago.

6 (10).  Columbus Crew (3-2-7)


Last Week: Beat Kansas City, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Chivas USA on Sunday (3pm, Telefutura)

Outlook: Guillermo Barros Schelotto has jumped into the MVP race feet first and is the key to the Crew's revival, not that anybody should be surprised. He will look to unlock a stingy Chivas USA defense.

7 (5). Seattle Sounders (4-3-5)

Seattle Sounders FC - JPEG      

Last Week: Los to Chivas USA, 1-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Sounders offense is floundering, but the cure for a struggling offense is on the way in the form of San Jose's defense.

8 (9). New England Revolution (4-3-4)

NE Revs  

Last Week: Beat New York Red Bulls, 4-0, on Sunday.

This Week: at Kansas City Wizards on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: With Twellman back to his goal-scoring ways, the Revs look poised to make a run, with the struggling Wizards next on the docket.

9 (11). Los Angeles Galaxy (2-1-9)


Last Week: Beat Toronto FC, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. Real Salt Lake on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Who would have thought that the Galaxy would finally record a victory with Landon Donovan on national team duty. LA has a chance to start a run against a faltering RSL team that is awful on the road.

10 (8). Kansas City Wizards (4-5-4)


Last Week: Lost to Columbus Crew, 2-0, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New England Revolution on Saturday (8:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: The erratic offense is one thing, but when KC's normally solid defense makes mistakes the Wizards cannot win. Jimmy Conrad and Co. better get it together because Taylor Twellman is up next and he looks hungry for goals.

11 (7). Toronto FC (4-5-4)


Last Week: Lost to Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, on Saturday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday (8pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Losing at home to the Galaxy is one thing, but if TFC loses to the collapsing Red Bulls on Saturday we might have to start wondering whether the honeymoon is over for interim head coach Chris Cummings.

12 (12). Real Salt Lake (3-6-3)


Last Week: Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, on Saturday.

This Week: at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick).

Outlook: Surrendering a last-minute equalizer was awful for RSL team trying to recapture its early-season form. Now Real Salt Lake must travel to California to face an LA team riding the momentum of a road victory.

13 (13). FC Dallas (2-6-4)


Last Week: Tied San Jose Earthquakes, 2-2, on Sunday.

This Week: vs. Houston Dynamo on Saturday (8:30pm, FSC)

Outlook: Offense is starting to get going, but the defense still has major question marks. Could face a fatigued Dynamo team that plays on Wednesday. Don't be surprised if FCD pulls off the upset considering the last meeting between these teams finished 1-0 in Houston a month ago.

14 (15). San Jose Earthquakes (2-7-3)


Last Week: Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, on Sunday.

This Week: at Seattle Sounders on Saturday (10:30pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: The Earthquakes offense steps up and puts the team in position to win, then the defense lets the club down yet again. San Jose fans could be in for a long weekend against a Seattle team desperate for three points and playing at home in front of a great crowd.

15 (14). New York Red Bulls (2-9-3)


Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 2-0, on Thursday; Lost to New England, 4-0, on Sunday.

This Week: at Toronto FC on Saturday (8pm, Direct Kick)

Outlook: Although this year's version is a better team, the 2009 Red Bulls season is starting to resemble the nightmarish 1999 MetroStars season.


Here are some thoughts on this week's rankings:

Houston is locked in and should be considered an MLS Cup favorite. Yes, Chivas USA still boasts the best record in MLS, but the Dynamo is playing the best soccer in the league. Not having Ricardo Clark for the next month will hurt, but Richard Mulrooney has slid right into central midfield as Houston shows

Taylor Twellman's return has helped rejuvenate a Revs season that was in danger of slipping out of control. With Twellman and Ralston back in the mix, and rookies Darrius Barnes and Kevin Alston continuing to develop, New England looks poised to move right back to its usual place near the top of the East standings.

Colorado has enjoyed a surprisingly strong season, but the Rapids will struggle to keep it going now that Conor Casey is headed to the Confederations Cup in South Africa. Can Omar Cummings step it up? He will have to in order to keep the Rapids in a playoff spot.

I'm officially changing my tune on the LA Galaxy. No, they're not a league power, or even a real Western Conference power, but they are a fiesty team that gets the most out of their aging roster. Winning in Toronto without Landon Donovan was impressive and right now I have to say that LA has done well to tread water while they wait for David Beckham to return (assuming he does). I'm still not ready to say I see them in the playoffs, but I wouldn't anything past Bruce Arena's bunch at this point.

While I'm giving LA more credit than I used to, I still have to drop Toronto quite a bit for losing at home to a Landon-less Galaxy team. That's a thoroughly shocking result, Amado Guevara or no Amado Guevara.

The New York Red Bulls are toast. Seven points behind the pack in the East and boasting nine losses, it will be impossible for the Red Bulls to crawl out of the cellar. Juan Carlos Osorio wasn't in trouble a month ago, or even two weeks ago, but now he's clearly on shaky ground and in danger of losing his job. Red Bulls management was ready to back Osorio through a rough patch, but that patch has turned into a full-blown disaster.


What do you think of this week's rankings? Think any teams are ranked too high? Not ranked high enough?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Adam,
    “latino losers” ??? have some tact. i know ur trying to make a point, but that came off a bit racist…

    hilarious “letter” !!!

  2. Dear Eastern Conference,

    You should have buried us when you had the chance. We’ve have a host of injuries, but now find ourselves tied for 3rd with games in hand, and only 3 points behind DC and 5 behind Chicago.

    If we can stay this close or closer until we get healthy, we will drink your collective milkshakes.


    Columbus and New England.

  3. Wow what a change of mood in NE. How about Heaps absolutely making Nick Zimmerman look like a fool on the 2nd goal, and a perfectly placed finish from Ralston on that one.

    When the Revs can get Ralston, Joseph, and Twellman on the field at the same time they are transformed from a sad side to a team that might actually score a goal or two.

    Nice to see TT back and scoring goals, but huge props to Ralston and Joseph for carrying a team that would possibly be the worst in MLS without their heroics.

    When a team is losing all the time, a few bright flashes from players don’t get anyone excited. But those same flashes on a team that at least wins sometimes are cuase for much more optimism. Thus guys like Alston, Barnes, Knighton, etc. might make NE fans think positive, but the play of Hall, Kandji, etc. is of little consolation in NY.

  4. I have to agree with some of the assessment of Osorio. Managers have to put players in position to succeed–if they don’t know what their role is, it’s hard to do that. They have been snake-bit somewhat by late transfers and the paperwork of Pacheco and the Celades, but those are excuses almost any MLS team could make. Now, no Red Bulls should be in consideration for international/tournament play in June/July–pick a lineup and stick with it for a month, please.

  5. It’s tough to pick on Seattle when they have looked so good in several games. I think the key is that they have had so little time together, they are going to have inconsistent patches throughout the season. The difference in Seattle to most other teams in the league, to me, is they have numerous players who can cause headaches in the offensive end, which once the playoffs roll around will be huge. They need to bring in more defensive help, and get better depth, but I find myself more entertained and excited by their possibilities than my beloved FCD. I think in a two game series, they offer the most difficult group of attackers to try and figure out how to contain.

  6. Is it just me or does anyone have any interest besides the U.S. MNT qualifying and Confederations Cup?

    I have been completely worthless all day. With a long day yesterday of traveling home, I’ve had to spend all day today catching up on blogs and news sites on the game Saturday night.

    I know I am in a U.S. MNT box, but is anyone else in here with me?

  7. The Sounders have no creativity….their playmakers are either lazy (montero) or just “take the player on” (lundberg) type of guys…..thus they are an above average team at best. There isn’t much mystery to their attack…pretty straightforward and easy to figure out.

    DC United plays the prettiest soccer in the MLS…lots of creativity but they can’t finish and give up bad goals…a really, really bad combo for a team that has title hopes.

  8. Laugh all you want at the Galaxy but they are only two wins away from 2nd place. Once the Chivas collapses and LA keeps winning…

    Go LA!

  9. Soccer is a team game just look at Columbus. They only have like 6-7 starters each game and they havn’t lost in 8 matches. I can also see the wheels starting to turn for KC. They have just been getting unlucky. When the luck goes away, look for Chicago and Toronto to start losing games left and right

  10. Soccer is a team game. When the team plays poorly, most of the individual talent looks bad. Now I’m not going to argue that RBNY is one of the most talented sides in MLS–far from it. As a team, they’ve got some significant limitations (few distributors, only one real finisher, no speed in central defense). That said….

    …A coach that is always tinkering, always changing roles and schemes and systems, that adapts to the other team (rather than looking for a system that fits his players best)….that kind of coach creates hesitant, slow, unsure players. Look at Jeremy Hall. I watched Hall and Rodney Wallace play at U.Md. Hands-down, EVERYONE felt that Hall was the better, more polished player, the guy who would contribute more in year one. And those arguing Wallace was more than a project, no-one was saying his time would come as an outside mid. But now, as good as Hall as looked for most of his time with RBNY, it’s Wallace who is looking like the stud player, who gets mentioned as an outside contender for ROTY. That’s not about drafting better. That’s about Wallace has been put in a situation where he can succeed (started out with a simple role, no changes, put in situations where he could enjoy success that builds confidence and initiative on the field). Don’t get me wrong–Hall is a fine player. But right now, Wallace is a better player than Hall–and that was not true on draft day (or in college).

    The East is brutal this year and it may be that RBNY is too far behind to catch up. But you do not need to turn over your team in order to be competitive. For RBNY to be competitive, you need to have the following things:
    –Angel, Kandji and Conway need to stay healthy.
    –You need a coach who stops the tinkering and scheme shifting. Put the young guys like Kandji or Mbuta or Richards or Hall in a set role, KISS, and then roll a ball out there. Suddenly your team will look faster, more confident, more aggressive. All of that comes from letting players react rather than forcing them to think and overkilling with coaching details.
    –Put players in roles that fit their skills. Kandji should not play outside mid. Pair him with Angel. Stop bouncing Hall around. He’s an outside back or outside mid–PERIOD. Because your central defenders are slow and slower, play a back 4 (starting Petke as one of those central guys), and then go with a 4-man midfield (and ditch the 4-5-1 which means Angel never sees the ball and your team doesn’t win if Angel has no role in things except being a decoy).

    Last year, when JCO simplified things…put guys in the same positions and kept them there, put the same formation out on the field and stayed with it, made the game simple for some of the less sophisticated players (just told Dane Richards to run at players, take them on), your team got a decent streak going at just the right time and made the finals. Doesn’t mean RBNY was the 2nd best team in MLS but it does show that when this collection of talent is not overcoached and you don’t get bad breaks (say, an injury to Angel), you can play with anyone. So the idea that you need to break up this team or engage in a bunch of mid-season trades–what a mistake. I do think it’s clear that for JCO to be successful, he needs a bunch of players like Wilman Conde–guys who can play 3-6 positions. And he doesn’t have that. So he keeps forcing round pegs into square holes–that’s the sign of a bad coach. You work with the talent you have, not pretend that you actually have something else on your roster.

  11. BrianK: DC United would be happy to take Angel. Of course, you would have to take Emilion in exchange. DP Player for DP Player.

    I’m good with the Rankings. It’s amazing how Houston and Colubus are starting to jump up the rankings. And look how the Sounders are dropping.

  12. Shemp in the Red Bulls front office? Then the team’s destruction would be immediate and final. I can’t think of anyone who hates the Red Bulls more passionately than Shemp “tan in a can” Messy.

  13. Um folks, Shep is an agent. I’m not sure putting him in charge of RedBull is legal, much less wise. Funny how as the season has progressed we have fewer and fewer Sounders fans crowing about their team.

  14. the red bull players are just not that good. even with a switch in coaching staff, the team will still suck. unless angel starts playing well again, and kandji stays uninjured, the team acquires a playmaker, a central defender, a left winger that can cross, and a couple outside backs, it’s going to be a long long season.

    i’m just looking forward to red bull arena and the big changes for next year.

  15. It seems all but certain that the redcoat is coming back to L.A., haven’t you seen his interview with Kyle Martino, Ives? He’s totally “committed” to the Galaxy.

    It’ll be interesting to see if he destroys the team’s chemistry or stabilizes the midfield.

  16. Casey’s callup was probably a blessing in disguise for teh Rapids. We assumed he would be called up for the Gold Cup, but I’m guess BB doesn’t use any MLS players in both competitions. Had he been gone for the Gold Cup he would have been gone longer, and we’ll probably also lose Omar Cummings to the Jamaica Gold Cup team. Now we lose Casey for 2-3 games, and Cummings for 3-4 games instead of losing them both for the same 3-4 games.

    BTW, the Rapids are at 4th having played 7 of their first 11 on the road. We now have 9 of our next 12 at home, we only travel to DC, Chicago, and Seattle between now and September.

  17. If New York’s Academy is so good maybe they should sign their starting XI to a game contract and see how they do. Couldn’t be much worse anyway.

    As for my Wizards, our lack of true star power and a schedule that gives us squads on a run of good form will bury us before we reach the All-Star match.
    Just played a resurgent Columbus, play a Twellman led Revs twice, the Dynamo, and LA with Beckham & Landon.

    Can’t wait till Cristman is ready to play. We just need something to mix things up.

  18. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that no one has thought of the most brilliant idea RBNY could have yet (since firing Bruce Arena, that is). IF RBNY sacks Juan Carlos Oh-sorry-oh, there is only one manager that could immediately turn things around, GREATLY increase our fan base, AND provide endless entertainment all at the same time. Yes, my friends. I am talking about IT. Sven Goran Erikson is CLEARLY the man for the job.

    Think about it. He’s a) unemployed, b) has a better pedigree than most anyone else at managing stinkers of teams c) he’s strikingly good looking (for a Swede)d) He is the host of THE MOST POPULAR FOOTBALL CALL-IN SHOW ON THE PLANET. If he were selected as the new manager for RBNY, it would raise awareness of our little league to a GLOBAL level. Isn’t this something that Red Bull (the corporate overlords) can’t afford to overlook? How many viewers does S1TV have? 5 million? 10? ONE HUNDRED BILLION???

    If RBNY actually do get rid of JCO, the choice is clear, it must be SVEN. Bring SVEN TO NY, Red Bull. Be Champions.

  19. Hey JGIB,

    The US is going to get smoked in SA soon. Is it OK to chalk that up to a tough schedule? When are we going to take the next step? 2010 is right around the corner is everybody ready for another early exit?

  20. Erik stover is a good guy but after this stadium is complete we better find someone with a soccer mind, to run the red bulls and give erik some other job.

    As for osorio, he is definetly gone

    Agoos, probably gone

    Our hope for a decent season, almost certainly gone

    I say we get Shep to take Agoos’ job

    Give Richie williams the coaching job at least until the end of the season (depending on how he does)

    We can get that british guy who does commentary for the red bulls some times to be the replacement for shep as a commentator.

    Than we need to just swallow peitra contract and let him go, cut the dead weight that is everywhere, and than set out to build a SOCCER TEAM, not a track squad but a team that can think and operate tactically.

    We should look for a new goalie

    A centerback that can be paired with goldy

    A left winger preferably castillo

    Sign some academy players

    Get another forward

    And the big one, we need to really see if angel wants to be here, if he doesn’t i see no point in keeping him around rite now he is just a moral crusher.

  21. I am somewhat surprised Kreis is hanging on to his job. Every game, the same thing is happening. As Kreis explains, RSL has a “mental lapse,” which allows the opposing team to score. Happened in the Colorado game this week, and the Galaxy game a couple of weeks ago. The team needs a motivator, and some serious help quick. I think it is funny Big Dave thinks RSL will pick up in time to claim a playoff spot, but you have to wonder with the strength of Chivas and Houston in the West, combined with LA not losing in a while, is enough to have already blown that prediction out of the water.

  22. The Sounders in the last nine games have been scoring at .85 goals per game est. Since Sigi hasn’t figured out how to handle his Freddies, there is a good mathematical chance that their wins at the end of season will be a single digit.

  23. I cannot believe what a disaster this Red Bull organization is. What an absolute disgrace. It is on life support.

    JCO is a charlatan. Not only will he be fired,…but he will have a very hard time finding another job in the US (see Octavio Zambrano). Wearing a suit and tie on the sideline and prancing around with a notebook does not a coach/manager make.

    The laugh is,…who going to fire Osorio? Eric “Bob the Builder” Stover? Would he know a soccer ball if he fell over one? Jeff Agoos? Oy! Just get Rich Williams in there, cut Pietrivallo, Rojas, Celades,….trade Angel to a team that can create chances for him (DCU) and play young American kids. End of story.

  24. Shep in front office? he is a player agent! if being a commentator is not a conflict of interest, surely a sporting director position is!

  25. The Rapids catch a break with a bye this coming weekend. Yes it will hurt to not have Casey in two weeks for the home match with DCU, but I imagine he will be back by the following weekend after USMNT fails to make the Semis. Depending on how the Rapids do against DC without him, and how much he plays in SA, I think Gary Smith will plug him right in even if he is a little jet lagged.

  26. It’s a shame a few of those games – that were very very close – didn’t go Red Bulls way. If that had happened, Osorio would have at least another year to build something (and NY can ill-afford another shake up).

    That said, if it’s not time to jettison the staff, it’s at least very very very close to it.

    Osorio and Agoos – gone. Both have made monumentally bad decisions.

    Too many line-up “tweeks” from Osorio (You can have a good boat, but if you point it in the wrong direction it still sucks)

    Too many awful acquisitions approved of or discovered by Agoos (a $200,000 bench warmer in Pietravallo springs to mind, as just one)

    Richie WIllaims – IN as coach.
    Shep Messing – IN as Sporting Director (gotta love Shep)

    This would shake the team up without making it a complete overhaul.

  27. its funny that people actually think agoos has ANYTHING to do with this team right now. how could he possibly have a hand in finding all of these players who don’t speak english? he is clearly JCO’s bitch and when JCO told agoos to look into his rolodex and make some calls agoos found rojas, cichero, peitravallo, and the rest of the latino losers….im the first one to bash agoos but lets be honest here, he has nothing to do with the composition of this team other than college scouting…and based on who is on the team you can tell JCO doesn’t think too highly of agoos’ ability to ID talent….

  28. Based on current form RSL should be in 14th place. What other team can say they have lost to both San Jose and New York?

  29. Did anyone eles read steve davis’s artical on ESPN “Treading Water” I thought it was a terrible assesment of the US player pool not getting better what so ever and if anything getting worse

  30. Seven is totally accurate for the SSFC. Just a middle of the road team, though due to injuries and Cards, but dammit quit earning the Card and focus on scoring.


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