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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 7

Cooper (Getty Images)

Real Salt Lake's return to league play was not a successful one, but the team's loss to the Portland Timbers wasn't enough to knock the club from the top spot in SBI's MLS Power Rankings. Two teams are ready to pounce for the No. 1 spot, though.

On Salt Lake's heels are the high-flying New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy, who could each make a strong case for the top spot with a win in their highly anticipated matchup this weekend.

Portland, with its win over RSL, is up to No. 9. The highest riser of the week, though, is Chivas USA, which dominated New England to climb four spots to No. 11. Continuing to fall is San Jose, which dropped its third straight match and did not look very sharp in doing so.

Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):


1. (Last week – 1) REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-0)


Last week: Lost to Portland, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Chivas USA, 4 p.m., Saturday, Telefutura.

Outlook: The last remaining unbeaten team is no more, but was it really unexpected to see RSL come out so flat considering its CONCACAF Champions League hangover? Credit Portland for taking it to the regional runners up, but RSL also had some of its key components sitting out for the match, too. The Robin Fraser Cup this weekend at Rio Tinto should be more telling of where RSL stands psychologically.

2. (3) NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-2)


Last week: Beat Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Los Angeles, 11 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes.

Outlook: Luke Rodgers struck again and Dwayne De Rosario played arguably his best game as a Red Bull in the team's third consecutive shut out. Teemu Tainio had to exit at halftime against SKC with an injury, though, and if he has to miss any time, that'd set New York back a little ways. Regardless, this weekend's NY-LA battle is the game of the week.

3. (2) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (4-2-3)


Last week: Lost to FC Dallas, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: vs. New York, 11 p.m., Saturday, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes.

Outlook: The Galaxy was a bit unfortunate this past week considering Mother Nature and the nature of Brek Shea's game-winning goal/cross, but there's no time to dwell on all that as the red-hot Red Bulls invade the Home Depot Center. 



Last week: Beat San Jose, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Portland, 10:30 p.m., Friday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: Despite being down a man against the Earthquakes for almost 50 minutes, the Union out-possessed its opponent and persevered through a Sebastien Le Toux penalty kick (his first goal of the season). The club will be without Jordan Harvey, who was the recipient of the red card against San Jose, as it tries to do something no other club has been able to do — win in Portland.

5. (5) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (3-2-3)


Last week: Beat Toronto FC, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday; at Columbus, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: No Steve Zakuani. No Mauro Rosales. No O'Brian White. No problem. Brad Evans, Alvaro Fernandez and Nate Jaqua stepped up to lift the Sounders to an uplifting home victory against Toronto. While the Sounders are feeling good, two Eastern Conference road tests await this week.

6. (7) HOUSTON DYNAMO (3-1-3)


Last week: Beat D.C. United, 4-1, on Friday.

This week: vs. Colorado, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; at Toronto, 7 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Striker Will Bruin became just the fourth rookie in league history to net a hat trick while helping the Dynamo extended its unbeaten streak to six games. With two matches this week, newcomers Koke and JeVaughn Watson should see more minutes as they try to add more of a punch to an already potent squad.

7. (8) COLUMBUS CREW (3-1-3)


Last week: Beat Vancouver, 2-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Seattle, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Emilio Renteria is starting to step up for the Crew, with three goals in his last two games. While Chad Marshall & Co. conceded a goal at home for the first time all season, they'll try to start off a new shutout streak at Crew Stadium when the Sounders come to town.

8. (6) COLORADO RAPIDS (3-3-1)


Last week: Tied Chicago, 1-1 on Saturday.

This week: at Houston, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; at New England, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Rapids probably should've expected better at home against the Fire, but without Marvell Wynne and Conor Casey they settled for a point. Sanna Nyassi filled in admirably on the right for the suspended Brian Mullan, and Andre Akpan scored a nice equalizer for his first MLS goal.

9. (12) PORTLAND TIMBERS (3-3-1)


Last week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Philadelphia, 10:30 p.m., Friday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: Make that three impressive performances in three home games for the Timbers. Portland silenced RSL, the league's last unbeaten team, and got another goal from Kenny Cooper to account for its offense. Khalif Alhassan looks to be the real deal on the left, and the Diego Chara-Jack Jewsbury combination worked in central midfield.

10. (10) FC DALLAS (3-3-1)


Last week: Beat Los Angeles, 2-1, on Sunday.

This week: at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Whether he was trying to shoot or not, Shea came up big for FCD in helping his side secure three precious home points against a tough opponent. Even more encouraging for Dallas is that Designated Player Fabian Castillo looked to shoulder more of the attacking load in the absence of David Ferreira.

11. (15) CHIVAS USA (2-2-3)


Last week: Beat New England, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Real Salt Lake, 4 p.m., Saturday, Telefutura.

Outlook: Chivas has found its rhythm. The Goats dominated the Revolution in all facets of their match and put forth an offensive display that let their fans ask, "Benny who?" Marcos Mondaini's goal was special, and Nick LaBrocca continues to play well in the center for Fraser, who will prepare his current team to face his former one this weekend.



Last week: Lost to Chivas USA, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Revs return home after a lackluster peformance that came on the heels of perhaps the team's best attacking performance of the season. If not for Bobby Shuttleworth in goal, the Chivas result could have been even worse. A rebound performance at home against Colorado is quite necessary.

13. (14) CHICAGO FIRE (1-3-3)


Last week: Tied Colorado, 1-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Vancouver, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Fire did well to go into Colorado and come away with a point playing without Logan Pause, and Marco Pappa's goal was well-taken; however, Chicago let the home team off the hook by conceding the equalizer and lost defender Josip Mikulic to an injury.

14. (11) D.C. UNITED (2-4-1)


Last week: Lost to Houston, 4-1, on Friday.

This week: vs. Seattle, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: All of that early-season optimism is slowly trickling away. After yielding four goals for a second consecutive game, it's clear that D.C. has some issues in the back. Making matters worse, DP Branko Boskovic coudl be lost for the season with a reported torn ACL after the team initially said that his MRI came back negative. United needs to tighten things up in the back and get more going forward from Charlie Davies to get back to its winning ways.

15. (16) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-4-1)


Last week: Lost to New York, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: Idle.

Outlook: SKC had a number of chances to pull even with the Red Bulls and did well to respond after Rodgers' opening goal as opposed to letting the floodgates open. For what it's worth, Saturday marked the first time all season that SKC lost while having 11 men on the field for the duration of the game. Jimmy Nielsen continues to play well in goal, making a number of tough saves and stuffing Rafa Marquez' penalty attempt.

16. (13) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (1-4-2)


Last week: Lost to Philadelphia, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: Idle.

Outlook: The Earthquakes will have a U.S. Open Cup qualifier and some down time to stew over a missed opportunity in Philadelphia. While the loss overshadows any redeeming qualities, Steven Lenhart was active up top and Anthony Ampaipitakwong more then held his own on after being given a start on the left.

17. (17) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (1-4-3)


Last week: Lost to Columbus, 2-1, on Saturday.

This week: at Chicago, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Omar Salgado's first-career MLS goal is certainly a nice silver lining, but the fact remains that the Whitecaps haven't won since opening day and are sorely missing Jay DeMerit in the back. It won't get any easier as the Caps try to balance the Canadian championship semifinals while focusing on a league game at Toyota Park.

18. (18) TORONTO FC (1-3-4)


Last week: Lost to Seattle, 3-0, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Houston, 7 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Reds continued to find little success at Qwest Field and were overwhelmed by an inspired Seattle side. After taking control of its Canadian championship semifinal in the first leg, most regulars should be rested and ready for a home test against the Dynamo.


  1. Love the Power Rankings !

    -Seattle has 1/2 of the team different from last year, plus injuries this year

    -Losses are 1-0 to NY and LA

    -And they beat Philly.

    Philly deserves to be up there, but Seattle should be in 4th.

    Plus, Dallas at 10th ?

    (SBI-Seattle tied Philly. Philly beat NY, NY beat Seattle.)

  2. oh you must have missed the open net Calif shanked on and the own goal Coundoul almost put in that was destined for Keon Daniels foot if he didn’t touch the ball. I also saw the Red Bulls play hot potato with the ball in the center of the pitch only to have no legitimate offense come out of it.

  3. I’m gonna say that the only disagreements I have with the rankings are that the Fire should be above the Revs (no higher), and that DC should be one lower–Sporting just put in a better performance in their loss to NY than DC did in their loss to Houston.

  4. Sounderfan83, so by your logic head to head score doesn’t matter? Philly has a better record than LA, so than Shouldn’t it go 2.RB 3.Philly 4.LA?

    I realize these Power Ranking are completely meaningless, but it just seems inconsistant to me.

  5. Red Bull completely dominated Philly and Philly made one shot on a Tim Ream giveaway, aside from that game Red Bulls have outscored their opponents 10-2, LA have lost twice already. Red Bull is the better overall team so far, we’ll see how they do in LA though.

  6. I’d presume La is above Philly because they beat Philly 1-0 in LA. Philly beat Red Bull 1-0 in Philly, but Red Bull is still above them? I’m not sure I get these power rankings.

  7. Because most sports in America lack draws. Being late to mainstream means W-L-D format works better for casual readers.

  8. One player leaves the field of play which states will be carded for a yellow. Refs have no guidance on a player mounting the goal. Yellow? Why?

  9. When I was playing goalie, if some striker had done that I would have pushed him down. That is a joke that he didn’t get booked for it

  10. Rapids are in the middle of a streak of bad luck/injuries/suspension. We have a three game road trip up versus a rejuvenated Dynamo, New England, and DC rematch.

    I predict 4 points from these matches.

    The squad should be getting back to full strength over the next two weeks, with Folan, Casey, Amarikwa, and Wynne likely returning.

    By the time Toronto visits on 5/22, the Rapids should be ready to re-jumpstart their campaign with a blowout at home.

  11. Very few teams in MLS are consistent enough to take winning at home for granted. What Portland has been able to do should be commended. Given Portland’s expansion status, I find their wins to be more impressive.

    Also, this discussion about the size of the field is strange to me. Portland’s approach at home (from what I’ve seen) has been to attack rather aggressively. I’m not sure how a narrow pitch gives them an attacking advantage. If they were packing it in, then the narrow pitch argument might carry some weight.

    Just acknowledge that Portland has done very well at home so far.

  12. Name another top level field that size and I will retract the claim. I might meet the standard, doesn’t mean that’s it conducive to pretty, flowing football. If you pinch the ability of teams to attack the flanks, it makes it easier for the team used to playing on the smaller size field to overload the middle. Same with the turf, there is a reason it’s illegal in England.

  13. RSL is overrated until either sabo finds his form or kreis finally benches him for paulo jr. alvarez and sabo up top together on saturday were a horrible combo.

    having to make 2 midfield subs at half was devastating. horrible starting line up decision by kreis. 2 defensive mids (beckerman & alexandre)? really?

  14. Please get your facts right. Jeld -Wen field does meet international standards at 110 x 70 yards. Yet another great thing about football, range of pitch sizes.

  15. “but RSL also had some of its key components sitting out for the match”

    “7 RSL players from the CCL game played the whole match. 9 RSL players from the CCL game played at least 45 minutes.” – Chris Rifer, And that does not include Beckerman, who would’ve played but didn’t.

    While it was not RSL’s top 11, it wasn’t exactly a weak team. And while that game wasn’t necessarily beautiful football it was a very entertaining game to watch to boot.

    Still, Timbers are improving. Got some tests coming up though.

  16. Not to sound like a Eurosnob or anything, but what’s with using their W-L-D record instead of just using how many points they have? Foxsoccer ranks them by points. Just looks cleaner and it’s what everyone is used to. No one says, “oh manchester united improved to 20-13-2” or whatever their record is. Just saying, i think it would look cleaner just listing their points.

  17. RSl fan here, and either we are way over-rated at this spot in the season, or the other teams arent doing so well. We need some offensive output other than set pieces and offside non-call goals. Where are you ghosts of Findley and Yura?

  18. see below. (hey SBI, rather than have a formal “caption contest” in its own posting, can there be a separate comment column under every picture so that every picture can be a caption contest?)

  19. After being told “its the only way to know for sure”, Kenny Cooper grimaces in pain and hangs on for dear life as a teammate prepares to give a full on, “ultimate close up view” rectal colon cancer screening exam.

  20. The turf plays amazing. I watched games last year and have played on turf for years. I hardly even notice on the new field. The only times I notice it making a difference is when the ball comes down with some crazy spin. And I have only seen that once so far.

    The bounces seem proper and the ball doesn’t roll out of bounds all the time. Even when wet.

  21. How doesn’t Cooper get a yellow for climbing on the crossbar yet Tchani gets a 2nd yellow for celebrating with fans?

  22. Portland needs to get some real grass and widen the field.. The lack of width is very evident, makes is so Portland can eventually have a defensive advantage by packing the middle when they become a better team… I am surprised the MLS allowed them to come into the league with a field that isn’t standard dimensions..

  23. SSFC does have an important 2 games away this week.. setting the plate for Portland at Qwest..

    can’t wait.

  24. Anyone else notice the size of Landon’s forehead when he’s soaking wet? I think he should just do like Michael Bradley and shave the whole thing off. Do his endorsement deals depend on him having hair?


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