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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 11


Photo by Nick Turchiaro/

As two of the league's top teams continue to drop points, two eager teams have pounced to climb their way up the SBI MLS Power Rankings ladder.

The Philadelphia Union and FC Dallas have replaced Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls in the Nos. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, after picking up big victories over the past week.

Another big jumper was D.C. United, which did something no MLS team had done in league play — win in Portland. D.C. is back in the Top 10 after its showing at Jeld-Wen Field.

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


1. (Last week – 1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (8-2-5, 29 points)


Last week: Beat Houston, 1-0 on Wednesday; Beat New England, 1-0, on Saturday.

This week: vs. D.C. United, 11 p.m, Friday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: The Galaxy loses its two Donovans — Landon and Ricketts — to the Gold Cup, but the club is hitting its stride defensively regardless. Perhaps more importantly, Miguel Lopez is starting to make an impact, and David Beckham continues to provide pinpoint service. The club has already showed that it can win without Donovan or Ricketts this season, and it will be on Beckham & Co. to maintain that level of play in their absences.

2. (6) PHILADELPHIA UNION (6-3-2, 20 points)


Last week: Beat Toronto FC, 6-2, on Saturday.

This week: at Colorado, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: What a difference a couple of weeks make. After having one of the league's most anemic attacks, statistically, through its first nine games, Philadelphia now boasts one of the league's most prolific offenses after its six-goal showing at Toronto. Without Carlos Ruiz in the lineup, Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux thrived in their attacking roles, while Justin Mapp was excellent as well in the rout. A test in altitude against a more physical defense should be more telling of where Philly's attack really stands.

3. (5) FC DALLAS (6-3-4, 22 points)


Last week: Beat Seattle, 1-0, on Wednesday; Tied Houston, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: vs. New England, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Kevin Hartman's shutout streak is over, but the team's unbeaten streak is alive at nine. The Red Stripes are one of the hottest teams in the league, though they probably felt like they should've taken all three points at Robertson Stadium instead of settling for the draw. The way the team has responded in the absence of David Ferreira has Schellas Hyndman's name back on the radar for Coach of the Year — on the early shortlist, anyhow.

4. (2) REAL SALT LAKE (5-2-2, 17 points)


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

This week: vs. Vancouver, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: RSL looks to start a new Rio Tinto streak after suffering a let down at the hands of the Sounders. The offense has still yet to click without Javier Morales in the lineup, as substitute Nelson Gonzalez got RSL on the board with a late consolation goal against Seattle. The club will hope to contain Eric Hassli and the Whitecaps without Jamison Olave, who received a straight red card on Saturday.

5. (3) NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-2-6, 18 points)


Last week: Tied Colorado, 2-2, on Wednesday; Tied Vancouver, 1-1, on Saturday.

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

Outlook: The Red Bulls didn't win in the month of May (0-1-4) and now face the most daunting month of its season with Tim Ream, Juan Agudelo, Dwayne De Rosario, Rafael Marquez and Dane Richards gone for the Gold Cup. Much will hinge on the fitness of Thierry Henry, who missed the Vancouver draw with a knee injury. As long as Luke Rodgers continues to score goals at his rate, New York should be able to tread water.

6. (7) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (5-4-5, 20 points)


Last week: Lost to FC Dallas, 1-0, on Wednesday; Beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, on Saturday.

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

Outlook: The Sounders cracked the Rio Tinto code by winning in Utah Saturday night on the strength of more goals from unexpected sources. Patrick Ianni and Lamar Neagle picked up the slack against RSL, with DP Fredy Montero reduced to a reserve role. While Montero was active off the bench, he'll be looked to shoulder the load at Toyota Park this weekend.

7. (4) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-4-2, 17 points)


Last week: Lost to D.C. United, 3-2, on Sunday.

This week: at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: It will be interesting to see how the Timbers react to their first home loss as they take to the road, where they're just 0-3-2 thus far. Jack Jewsbury continues to make his case as one of the top offseason acquisitions, as the captain has three goals and four assists and might have claimed penalty duties after replacing Kenny Cooper during Portland's third-time's-a-charm PK scenario against D.C.

8. (8) COLORADO RAPIDS (4-3-6, 18 points)


Last week: Tied New York, 2-2 on Wednesday; Tied Sporting Kansas City, 1-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Philadelphia, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: That's five consecutive draws for the Rapids, who are 1-3-6 in their last 10 matches. The champs continue to have problems putting teams away, and it won't get any easier over the weekend, with scorching-hot Philadelphia coming to town.

9. (T-9) HOUSTON DYNAMO (3-4-6, 15 points)


Last week: Lost to Los Angeles, 1-0, on Wednesday; Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: at San Jose, 10 p.m., Saturday, Galavision.

Outlook: The Dynamo followed up a six-game unbeaten streak with a six-game winless one, although Houston must have had a good feeling after Saturday's come-from-behind draw with a man down against rival Dallas. Brad Davis continues to display his All-Star form, but the team's attack is a bit shorthanded after Koke's abrupt departure this week.

T-10. (T-13) D.C. UNITED (4-4-3, 15 points)


Last week: Beat Portland, 3-2, on Sunday.

This week: At Los Angeles, 11 p.m., Friday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: United's young guns are growing up quite quickly. Perry Kitchen, Ethan White and Blake Brettschneider each played big roles in stunning Portland and showed Ben Olsen they can be counted on in hostile conditions. D.C. finishes its mini West Coast swing with its final tilt against the Galaxy, and Charlie Davies should make his return to action after being upgraded to "probable" on the injury report.

T-10. (10) CHIVAS USA (3-4-4, 13 points)


Last week: Tied Columbus, 3-3, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Vancouver, 10:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Portland, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Chivas attack is clicking, though Robin Fraser won't be happy with a defensive effort that coughed up three leads. He'll turn his attention to the league's two expansion sides, as the Goats welcome both to the Home Depot Center this week and are the first to get a crack at the new-look Whitecaps.

12. (T-11) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (3-4-4, 13 points)


Last week: Tied Chicago, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Houston, 10 p.m., Saturday, Galavision.

Outlook: The Earthquakes' depth will be put to the test, as Chris Wondolowski (USA) and Ryan Johnson (Jamaica) depart for international Gold Cup duty. Rookie midfielder Anthony Ampaipitakwong looks poised to do well in an expanded role after his two assists guided the Quakes to a point against the Fire.

13. (T-11) COLUMBUS CREW (3-3-5, 14 points)


Last week: Tied Chivas USA, 3-3, on Saturday.

This week: at New York, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The good news: Andres Mendoza and Emmanuel Ekpo broke out and led the Crew to a three-goal outburst. The bad news: It still wasn't enough to get three points. The usually stable Crew back line yielded three goals to Chivas USA and had to settle for one point despite coming back from deficits on three occasions. Columbus will face a shorthanded New York side for the second time this season this weekend.

14. (T-13) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (3-5-4, 13 points)


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

This week: at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Revolution were denied by the post, A.J. DeLaGarza, Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts repeatedly last week and couldn't get a home result against the Galaxy. Making matters worse, Benny Feilhaber injured his right ankle in the waning moments of the game and the team still waits on his diagnosis. The silver lining is that Shalrie Joseph won't be leaving the club for the Gold Cup after all, spurning Grenada to be with the Revs.

15. (16) CHICAGO FIRE (1-4-6, 9 points)


Last week: Tied San Jose, 2-2, on Saturday.

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

Outlook: The Carlos de los Cobos era is over, probably 11 games later than most would've expected after the way last season played out. Frank Klopas is the man in charge now, and he'll have to find a way to get the Fire to snap its nine-game winless streak without Marco Pappa, who's on international duty with Guatemala for the Gold Cup.

16. (17) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (1-5-6, 9 points)


Last week: Tied New York, 1-1 on Saturday.

This week: at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m., Wednesday; at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Despite being 30 minutes away from winning the Canadian championship before torrential downpours and lightning forced the abandonment of the game and despite tying the Red Bulls a few days later, the Whitecaps showed coach Teitur Thordarson the door and gave the reins to Tom Soehn. His first two tasks won't be easy, as he'll face two solid sides on the road in his first week at the helm.

17. (15) TORONTO FC (2-5-6, 12 points)


Last week: Lost to Philadelphia, 6-2, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The six goals that Toronto FC yielded marked a franchise-record, and injury was added to insult when centerback Adrian Cann went down with a torn ACL in training on Tuesday. He's done for the season, and the Reds may be too after their latest performance had them booed off their own pitch by a furious contingent of fans.

18. (18) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-6-2, 5 points)


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

This week: at Toronto, 7 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Ryan Smith's laser of a goal against the Rapids gave SKC some momentum heading into the final game of its season-opening 10-game road trip. After seeing what the Union was able to accomplish at BMO Field, SKC will be hopeful of doing the same so it can be off and running when opening Livestrong Sporting Park next week.


  1. Being fifth in PPG probably has something to do with it.

    Like Philadelphia, Portland plays painfully boring but effective soccer.

  2. It’s funny how Philly keeps getting results in games where they are “clearly outplayed”

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and while dump-and-chase set piece play, put 10 men behind the ball isn’t the most aesthetically attractive soccer in the world, it’s no less effective than possession or attacking football.

  3. Next to nothing other than results. The season’s a third over and Philly has the third best Points Per Game measure in the league. It’s not pretty, but they’re winning. They’re definitely top 5.

    Putting em over Dallas is insane, though.

  4. Indeed. In fact, pretty much all of the teams that have played a lot of games this season have CCL later on in the year. LA, Dallas, Colorado, and Seattle have all played 13 or more games, while most other teams have played around 11. No idea why Houston and Toronto have played 13, though.

  5. Have you actually watched Portland play?

    Their fans are #1…their team is far from it.

    They are terrible…it’s funny how all the rankings guys have them so pumped up just because…well just because. I’m not sure why.

  6. I’m just so happy to be able to look at the PRs again after last year when DCU sat in the bottom slot for the majority of the season. I’m really good with them in the middle. Big improvement and big win over the Timbers.

  7. Dallas’s fan problem is that one the games are in frisco which is a pretty good drive away if you don’t live in the north poart of the metroplex and two as far as I can tell FC dallas has done nothing to reach out to the spanish speaking community hear in Dallas.

    That said dallas will never move, The hunt’s are dallas royalty, league founders, and huge honchoes in american soccer.

  8. I understand they pitched a shutout against NJ/NY but anyone that watched that game clearly knows that Philly got severely outplayed.Im just basing my opinion on who i think is better despite records, if you base it on records then i guess Philly is better the NJ,RSL and Col.Just think Philly has won ugly and dont deserve to be at 2 in the “power” rankings

  9. Regarding the RBNY game, the goal was scored off an error but the shutout was earned. You concede Philly ought to beat out Houston, Colorado and (obviously) Toronto. Only LA Galaxy beats Philly’s total of six wins — and they’ve played four more games! With their two games in hand, Dallas only has two more points. So where, exactly, should Philly be in the rankings?

  10. Why does everyone mention bad fan support in

    Dallas when there are 5 teams with lower ave attendance then Dallas. I think the big problem Dallas has is that youth soccer is huge here in dallas, FCD target market, and

    most parents have multiple games for their kids and by the end of the day, it is hard for them to make it to the game, I know during tournament season it is hard to.

  11. “Teams expected to show a profit this year include the Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas. Both play in their own soccer-specific stadiums, and Garber said he expects at least 10 teams to have such facilities by 2010”

    this a a garber statement from 2006

  12. I suspect SKC is underrated.

    They have the fewest points,

    but have only played away

    games. If we look at away

    game results only, they have

    a better record than Columbus,

    New England, Toronto, Chicago,

    Portland, and Vancouver. Let’s

    see how they do at home before

    writing them off.

  13. actually they have played so many games because they are going to be in the CCL and have 6 games for sure later in the season. kind of how MLS changed salt lakes schedule for the beginning of this year.

  14. Here’s a prediction, SKC makes the playoffs and wins the MLS Cup. Being on the road for 10 straight games is pretty absurd, and they will go on a tear in their new stadium

    Disclaimer, DC fan, so no bias

  15. This. MLS knew the Galaxy would be the major MLS representative when it comes to summer friendlies what with Beckham and all. Smart move by MLS.

  16. That NY/NJ win was a complete joke,TFC blows, Houston is shaky and Rapids are hurting,..Philly is not that good!! Snap out of it!!

  17. They beat Houston at Houston, beat NY at home, and killed a team that just tied the Rapids at DSG Park a couple weeks prior…so how do you punish a team for beating teams it is supposed to?? Facts are facts, and they are at the top of the table in the East…I never understand this logic for the life of me

  18. I understand that this is done on a weekly basis, and based on points, but Philly truly is not a good team. They’ve been underwhelming all season, and consistently employ 10-man behind the ball tactics. If Mwanga comes alive (not sure why he’s been on teh bench) and Letoux elevates his play above terrible, then maybe they’re a top five team in this league. But apart from this week’s uncharacteristic rout of a team everyone admits is VERY sub-par, this Philly team has shown next to nothing to merit being held in such high regard. I can’t bring myself to praise a team that plays such negative soccer. And I suspect that their results will soon start to expose their weakenesses.

  19. MLS makes money off of Dallas and Pizza hut Park. Seriously. It’s really the main reason. While many of the league’s stalwart franchises are barely breaking even, PHP is raking in the dough–every event there SUM sees a chunk of, so they could care less if there’s only 6K in the stands on most nights. In fact, that 6K at PHP is more profitable than 13K in Gillette or Toyota Park, or most other stadia that are not wholly owned by a SUM/MLS partner entity.

    But no, no one is afraid to ask/mention that there is a low turnout in D-town for the FCD games.

  20. john, welcome to the world of power rankings. NY sat above Philly for weeks after NY lost the head to head match. I’ve given up on trying to figure out PRs.

  21. Why is everyone so afraid to question the horrible fan support in Dallas? Is it not time to move this team to another city. Who cares if they built a staadium, a fun team to watch, young players, one of the best coaches and a sea of empty seats??? Let the NY Cosmos buy out the franchise and move them to NY.

  22. How is Philly above Dallas, Dallas

    beat them head to head. Dallas’s

    one loss at the beginning of the

    season occurred with 10 men for

    the majority of the game and

    both losses happened during the Brek

    Shea as a defender period. Since

    they moved Brek back up top they have

    beaten the two teams ahead of them

    and tied RSL.

  23. It’s funny how MLS gave LAG so many games in the beginning of the season to combat the departure of Donovan during the Gold Cup. They have played 15 games while other teams only played 9.


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