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SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 16

Jackson (Getty Images)

There's been another change at the top.

Despite not losing, the Los Angeles Galaxy has made way for FC Dallas to take over the No. 1 spot in SBI'S MLS Power Rankings. FCD, on the heels of its 2-0 win over Columbus, extended its torrid streak to 9-1-3 in its last 13 games and trails the Galaxy by two points in the race for the Supporter's Shield but has two games in hand. The Galaxy, which has drawn four of its last five matches — including three scoreless draws — checks in at No. 2.

Another major riser this week is Sporting Kansas City, which won at reeling Portland to extend its unbeaten run to eight games (4-0-4) and climb all the way up to seventh in the rankings.

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


1. (Last week — 2) FC DALLAS (10-4-4, 34 points)


Last week: Beat Columbus, 2-0, on Saturday.

This week: at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Dallas continues to excel despite key missing pieces, overwhelming an in-form Crew side. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that FCD drew more than 20,000 fans to Pizza Hut Park for the victory. With Brek Shea having scored in four straight matches, Jackson scoring in three straight and a stifling defense playing as well as any unit in the league, FCD is on a roll but is facing a stern test at Rio Tinto Stadium.

2. (1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (9-2-9, 36 points)


Last week: Tied Seattle, 0-0, on Monday.

This week: vs. Chicago, 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: To be dropped for not losing may be a bit harsh, but the fact of the matter is that Los Angeles is not playing on the same level as Dallas right now. Its most recent performace against Seattle left much to be desired, although third-string goalkeeper Brian Perk was stellar in his debut, stuffing Fredy Montero's penalty kick. Of concern, though, is that the goals have been few and far in between, and David Beckham's back injury looked to limit what he could do against the Sounders.

3. (3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (8-4-8, 32 points)


Last week: Tied Los Angeles, 0-0, on Monday.

This week: at Portland, 4 p.m., Sunday, ESPN/ESPN Deportes.

Outlook: Just as Los Angeles underwhelmed in their Fourth of July match, Seattle didn't exactly light fireworks either. Montero's PK miss prevented the Sounders from exorcising their Galaxy demons, and instead of being a point behind the Galaxy in the standings, they're still four back. If Seattle's first Pacific Northwest rivalry match this season is any indication, then Sunday's match at Portland should be quite the spectacle.

4. (4) REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-6, 27 points)


Last week: Tied New England, 3-3, on Monday.

This week: vs. FC Dallas, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Credit RSL for battling back from a two-goal, one-man deficit to salvage a point. Refereeing certinaly didn't help RSL's cause, and as a result, Nat Borchers will be forced to sit out Saturday's key Western Conference battle against FC Dallas. The good news is that Alvaro Saborio looks to have regained his form after a lackluster start to the season, evidenced by his goal and pass to set up Fabian Espindola for the equalizer.

5. (5) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-4-6, 27 points)


Last week: Tied D.C. United, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: at San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Union didn't play its best match over the weekend, but it battled back from one-goal deficits on two occasions to rescue a road point, and there's something to be said for showing resiliency in a hostile environment. The forward position seems to still be unsettled, as the Union rotated as many as five players up top in its draw at D.C. 

6. (6) NEW YORK RED BULLS (5-3-10, 25 points)


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

This week: vs. Toronto FC, 8 p.m., Wednesday; vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Even when the big names on the team's roster are healthy, Joel Lindpere tends to save the team's bacon time and again. With Thierry Henry and Luke Rodgers missing in action on Saturday, Lindpere's performance against the Earthquakes singlehandedly salvaged a point for the Red Bulls, who have been dropping points at a staggering rate. The goalkeeping is primarily to blame, and that's obviously an issue the front office is looking to address.

7. (T-12) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (5-6-5, 20 points)


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

This week: vs. Colorado, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Chivas USA, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Galavision.

Outlook: Aside from FC Dallas, SKC is the hottest team in the league. With 11 of its next 12 league games being at Livestrong Sporting Park, the club's eight-game unbeaten run could go on for the foreseeable future, too. What's surprising is that SKC's success is coming with barely any contribution from Teal Bunbury. Instead, rookie C.J. Sapong is playing a starring role, while the defense continues to improve in front of goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen.

8. (7) COLUMBUS CREW (6-5-6, 24 points)


Last week: Lost to FC Dallas, 2-0, on Sunday.

This week: at Vancouver, 10 p.m., Wednesday.

Outlook: Columbus failed to get much going against Dallas in a meeting of two teams who had both been playing very well. While the club has struggled overall on the road (1-4-3), its next match at Vancouver provides an opportunity to rebound against a team that's really struggling. Chad Marshall's ability to mark Eric Hassli will go a long way in determining if the Crew can get back in the W column.

9. (8) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-5-6, 21 points)


Last week: Tied New York, 2-2, on Saturday.

This week: at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Philadelphia, 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Earthquakes must be kicking themselves for dropping what looked to be a sure win in the late moments of their match against New York in front of more than 41,000 at Stanford Stadium. There's no time to dwell on lost points, as San Jose has an opportunity to distance itself further from the bottom of the conference table with a win at Chivas in their mid-week match.

10. (9) COLORADO RAPIDS (5-5-8, 23 points)


Last week: Tied Houston, 0-0, on Sunday.

This week: at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday; vs. Vancouver, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: The Rapids had some quality chances to top the Dynamo, but after not putting any of them away they fell to 0-2-5 in their last seven home matches. Conor Casey and Omar Cummings should get to pair together this week, with neither being suspended nor hurt, and the duo should challenge SKC's suddenly stout back line in their midweek tussle.

11. (11) HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-6-8, 20 points)


Last week: Tied Colorado, 0-0, on Sunday.

This week: vs. Toronto FC, 8:30 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: Like he has on a few other occasions this season, goalkeeper Tally Hall delivered a man-of-the-match performance to help the Dynamo increase its point total. Despite its inconsistent play, Houston still stands in the thick of the postseason hunt, but it needs to take things to another level with its direct competitors (SKC, D.C., Toronto) either facing an elongated stretch of home games or making big personnel upgrades.

12. (10) D.C. UNITED (4-5-7, 19 points)


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

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

Outlook: Deja vu for DCU. For the second straight game, United blew a lead at home in the final minutes of the match and was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw. Dwayne De Rosario played a strong 90 minutes in his first game with the team, assisting on Josh Wolff's opening goal. Andy Najar's 35-yard strike was a thing of beauty as well, but the team's inability to close games out has cost it crucial points against conference foes.

13. (T-12) CHICAGO FIRE (2-4-12, 18 points)


Last week: Tied Chivas USA, 1-1, on Saturday.

This week: at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Fox Soccer Channel.

Outlook: The sun came up, the sun went down, the Chicago Fire played to a draw. Chicago has managed to play to 12 draws in just 18 matches and is two shy of tying the league mark for a season. Dominic Oduro has been more on-target than ever, it seems, and his fifth goal of the season gave the Fire a lead it ultimately relinquished.

14. (14) CHIVAS USA (4-7-6, 18 points)


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

This week: vs. San Jose, 10:30 p.m., Wednesday; at Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Galavision.

Outlook: Chivas snapped its three-game losing streak, but it took Nick LaBrocca's goal to offset a Chicago lead in order to do so. While LaBrocca has been a constant performer this season, Chivas' overall level of production has been anything but consistent. The Goats face a big two-match week, where the game against the Earthquakes is particularly important considering the current conference standings

15. (18) TORONTO FC (3-7-9, 18 points)


Last week: Beat Vancouver, 1-0, on Wednesday.

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

Outlook: Toronto had a banner week, first by signing two Designated Players, then beating Canadian rival Vancouver midweek for three crucial league points, then beating Vancouver again for the Canadian championship and a place in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round. Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans won't play for the club until July 15, but TFC has positioned itself to at least fight for a postseason berth based on current points and incoming personnel; however, the team needs to improve on its 0-4-4 road record starting this week.

16. (15) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-8-3, 18 points)


Last week: Lost to Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, on Saturday.

This week: vs. Seattle, 4 p.m., Sunday, ESPN/ESPN Deportes.

Outlook: Coach John Spencer has said that his Timbers are "on the ropes," and a home loss to rival Seattle could certainly provide a knockout punch. The club's mojo has worn off game-by-game, the latest instance being a home loss to Sporting Kansas City. On the bright side, Darlington Nagbe's self-volley strike has joined the highlight-reel goals of Eric Hassli and Juan Agudelo in the conversation for top moment of the season.

17. (16) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (3-8-7, 16 points)


Last week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 3-3, on Monday.

This week: Idle.

Outlook: Normally, scoring three goals and/or taking a point at Rio Tinto Stadium would be considered a success, but given the Revs' 2-0 lead while up a man for the majority of the draw, its result can't be completely viewed in a positive light. The Revs will have plenty of time to stew on its missed opportunity, as its next league game isn't for two weeks and its next game is against Manchester United in the World Football Challenge on July 13.

18. (17) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-8-8, 14 points)


Last week: Lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, on Wednesday.

This week: vs. Columbus, 10 p.m., Wednesday; at Colorado, 9 p.m., Saturday.

Outlook: There's nowhere to go but up for the Whitecaps after twice losing heartbreaking games to TFC, including blowing a lead in the replayed final leg of the Canadian championship after carrying a lead and momentum in the original second leg. There will be no CCL dream for Vancouver, and at this rate the MLS postseason looks like a pipe dream with the club having the lowest point total in the league.


  1. Arena’s style is just awful to watch…Galaxy needs a manager willing to take some chances and a GM that is willing to strengthen the team. With all that money, they should be bringing in trialists right now. Instead they will again coast into the playoffs and get knocked off by a team that brought in reinforcements…

  2. yeah FCD is starting to really do some thing right…. with the youth academy being the best in MLS, finally getting a sell out crowd, and a shirt sponsor on the horizon… we could be seeing FCD emerge as a power in MLS… LA has more money, Sea has better fans, but honestly FCD has the best team and best players right now…. brek shea should have been on the gold cup roster

  3. Finally got to see red bulls live as they were in Ca on sat. To say goal keeping is partly to blame is the overstatement of the year.

    First goal was give to SJ by keeper. Plus so many plays where the lack of communication from net minder was overly apparent.


  4. Well, I think this says it all; “For the second straight game, United blew a lead at home in the final minutes of the match and was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw. ” Or at least explains some of the reasoning behind the drop. And let’s face it, there’s no real science behind any of this, it’s opinion, and unofficial at that.

  5. Sounder land is buzzing with a huge record over the last 34 games ( I think the best )

    And they have a pretty decent 1/2 season in 2011,


    They have scored 2 goals off of LA in the last 6 MLS games…both of them in losses.

    Supporter Shield, I guess my team is in the hunt, MLS Cup, good luck. They need to be able to score against PLAYOFF teams.

  6. LA dropping to 2 is about right, but only on current form. With beckham, Gonzo, DeLaG, and ricketts injured, and Chad Barrett starting up top, the Gals need to do some house cleaning to get back to the top.

  7. I’m glad to see FCD recognized with the top spot in the Power Rankings this week. It’s hard to believe they’re the only team in the league that’s won more than half of their games. That being said, the sold out crowd had more to do with the team hosting the largest fireworks show in North Texas postgame than their current form on the field.


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