By IVES GALARCEP
The New England Revolution were not considered much of a threat in the MLS Eastern Conference as recently as a month ago, but a strong run sparked by a steal of a trade, and the emergence of a young star, have the Revs looking very much like a serious contender.
New England’s 5-0 mauling of the Los Angeles Galaxy pushed Jay Heaps’ squad into the Top 10 of the SBI MLS Power Rankings for the first time this season and their surge has been led by the recent outstanding form of Diego Fagundez.
The young Uruguayan has put together a stretch of virtuoso efforts, which coupled with New England’s tough defense and the arrival of Juan Agudelo, has the Revs thinking playoffs.
Another team making a steady climb into the Top 10 is the Colorado Rapids. Their 2-2 draw vs. West leaders FC Dallas pushed the Rapids’ unbeaten streak to six, the second-longest active streak in the league.
Two teams that have tumbled out of the top half of the Power Rankings for now are MLS Cup finalists Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy have lost four of their past six while the Dynamo have fallen into a four-match winless rut.
Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 14:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 14)
1. MONTREAL IMPACT (8-2-2)
LAST WEEK– Beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– W-W-W-L-T
OUTLOOK– Three wins in a row and the Impact are really looking strong, even showing quality on the road, which used to be their Achilles heel.
2. FC DALLAS (8-2-4)
LAST WEEK– Tied Colorado Rapids, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-W-L-W-T
OUTLOOK– Not looking quite as invincible in recent weeks, but have battled through some injuries to remain on top of the West. A week off will do them some good before a stretch of tough matches against Houston, Portland and Sporting KC.
3. PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-1-7)
LAST WEEK– Bye
THIS WEEK– at Chicago Fire
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-T-T
OUTLOOK- The Timbers probably didn’t want a week off, but then again with so many players on international duty the schedule-makers did them a big favor. Their 11-match unbeaten streak will be tested by a rejuvenated Chicago Fire side benefiting from the acquisitions of Bakary Soumare and Mike Magee.
4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (5-4-3)
LAST WEEK– Beat Chivas USA, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-L-W-W-W
OUTLOOK– Nothing like a visit to Chivas USA to help erase the memories of their drubbing vs. the LA Galaxy. With Eddie Johnson on national team duty and Obafemi Martins suspended (for now), Sigi Schmid will need Lamar Neagle to step up against a surging Vancouver side playing really well at the moment.
5. REAL SALT LAKE (7-5-3)
LAST WEEK– Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 3-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-L-W
OUTLOOK– Javier Morales is starting to turn it on, and Robbie Findley is starting to heat up, which bodes well for an RSL attack coping without Alvaro Saborio. They face a struggling Los Angeles Galaxy side, but it should be noted these teams always put on memorable matches when they face each other.
6. NEW YORK RED BULLS (7-5-4)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE – L-T-W-T-W
OUTLOOK– Followed up a slugging draw vs. Columbus with a flat showing vs. the Whitecaps. You have to wonder if their extended three-week break isn’t coming at a perfect time for a team that had loaded up on matches through the season’s first three months.
7. COLORADO RAPIDS (5-4-5)
LAST WEEK– Tied FC Dallas, 2-2, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-W-T-W-W
OUTLOOK– Oscar Pareja has to like the way his team is playing, but won’t mind the bye as he draws closer to having a close to full-strength side. Jaime Castrillon is close to returning, and Shane O’Neill will be back from the Toulon Tournament after the break.
8. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-4-4)
LAST WEEK– Beat Los Angeles Galaxy, 5-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– vs. D.C. United on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-W-W-T-L
OUTLOOK– The Revs are rolling and three straight wins have turned around the vibe in New England, with the Revs poised to climb into the Top Five with a win against hapless D.C. United. Diego Fagundez is on fire, but Jose Goncalves has really been a key to the team’s surprising season.
9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-5-4)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Montreal Impact, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-T-T-W-L
OUTLOOK– Even with a man advantage Sporting couldn’t put away the Impact at home. Peter Vermes has to be a little worried about his team’s inconsistency, with only one win in five matches. He might also want to have a word with Claudio Bieler about his antics. Some good news is Teal Bunbury’s looming return to action.
10. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (6-5-2)
LAST WEEK– Lost to New England Revolution, 5-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– L-W-L-W-L
OUTLOOK– You can put some blame on international call-ups, and travel, but ultimately there’s really no excuse for as bad a performance as they delivered in getting pummeled by New England.
11. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (4-4-4)
LAST WEEK– Beat New York Red Bulls, 2-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– W-T-W-L-T
OUTLOOK– With Kenny Miller back in the fold, and the midfield playing well, Vancouver look like a solid team and with just one loss in five, the Whitecaps can make a major statement with a win in Seattle on Saturday.
12. PHILADELPHIA UNION (5-5-4)
LAST WEEK– Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Columbus Crew on Wednesday.
LAST FIVE– T-L-W-L-W
OUTLOOK– Jack McInerney keeps on scoring goals, but the fact that he keeps having to bail them out raises some questions about the rest of the attack. They face a Columbus Crew team tonight they need to beat if they want to maintain hold on their current Top Five spot in the East.
13. HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-4-4)
LAST WEEK– Tied Columbus Crew, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-T-L-L-W
OUTLOOK– The Dynamo are sliding and with several key starters away on national team duty a bye comes at a perfect time for Dom Kinnear’s men. Houston has made a habit of being a second-half of the season team, but their recent four-match winless skid is still a bit surprising considering how well they were playing for before that slump.
14. COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-5)
LAST WEEK– Tied Houston Dynamo, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– at Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.
LAST FIVE– T-T-W-L-L
OUTLOOK– Did well to earn a point vs. Houston, and pushed their unbeaten streak to three matches, but with Jairo Arrieta on national team duty and Eddie Gaven lost for the season to a torn ACL, Robert Warzycha will have a tough task getting his attack going. He will need Federico Higuain to step it up.
15. CHICAGO FIRE (3-7-2)
LAST WEEK– Beat D.C. United, 2-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday
LAST FIVE– W-T-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Things are starting to look up for the Fire, with Mike Magee scoring goals in each of his first two official matches and Bakary Soumare looking every bit like the rock in the back they were hoping to land when they traded for him. A stiff test awaits from a Portland side that just might be vulnerable to do all the international call-ups missing from their starting lineup.
16. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (3-6-6)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Real Salt Lake, 3-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-L-T-L-W
OUTLOOK– Remember when San Jose simply couldn’t lose a year ago? All that luck that went their way in 2012 has disappeared in 2013. They simply aren’t playing well and have just one point from four matches. Going from Supporters Shield to missing the playoffs is looking very much like a strong possibility.
17. TORONTO FC (1-7-5)
LAST WEEK– Tied Philadelphia Union, 1-1, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– T-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Toronto FC’s penchant for blowing late leads is reaching mind-numbing proportions. Shedding players like John Bostock and Hogan Ephraim show that maybe, just maybe, their approach to building their roster was a bit too thrown together. Reality has set in now that this is going to be another disappointing season. What Ryan Nelsen has to do though is ensure there is some serious rebuilding and improvement taking place.
18. CHIVAS USA (3-8-2)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Seattle Sounders, 2-0, last Saturday.
THIS WEEK– Bye
LAST FIVE– L-L-L-L-L
OUTLOOK– Getting rid of head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola made Chivas USA a prime candidate for a full-blown meltdown. The week off should help the new staff get acclimated, but a bye week won’t change the fact the roster simply isn’t good enough to compete.
19. D.C. UNITED (1-10-2)
LAST WEEK– Lost to Chicago Fire, 2-0, last Sunday.
THIS WEEK– at New England Revolution on Saturday.
LAST FIVE– L-L-T-L-L
OUTLOOK– Things just keep getting worse and worse for D.C., and it seems like only a matter of time before Ben Olsen gets fired. It’s tough to see D.C. turning things around at this point and it may be time to start playing the team’s young players with an eye toward 2014.
What do you think of this week’s power rankings? Think anyone is rated too highly? See anyone being too low?
Share your thoughts below.
At least DC has more wins than Metros/Red Bull have trophies.
Way to turn a bad situation into a burn. Props
One thing about the rankings, Seattle is too high. If you actually watched the Chivas vs Seattle game, Seattle barely beat Chivas. Chivas was running all over Seattle at first, and throughout the match at times. Seattle is lucky that De Luna scored on himself to collapse the moral of Chivas, otherwise Chivas would’ve pushed harder for the tying goal.
Portland fan, right? Just asking 😉
I did watch that game and Seattle more or less cruised through that game on autopilot. Chivas only really only started playing well and getting solid chances when Salazar stepped in and sent off a Sounders player like always
I think something in the Dynamo psyche cracked with the KC home loss. They tried to downplay it but I think it was quietly taken sufficiently serious where it was an ego bruise. Gotta get the swagger back.
Also, this is going to be a “depth” type year with all the injuries, callups, CCL, and so forth. Very busy. Kinnear stayed a lot with one lineup for the first several games, but his teams often tend to struggle when they have to adjust, the fill-ins tend to be rusty from dis-use, the team is pretty dependent on taking early leads with a set XI and grinding out results.
One reason Houston has often been a second half of season team is they fix their offseason mistakes in the summer window, eg, Boniek. I’ll be interested if that happens this year because some of the problems we are dealing with, like, say, forwards, we have a fair amount of money committed to CBA veterans who are injured or unproductive. I’m not sure how you fix that since the contracts are guaranteed, you can’t just release Weaver or Cummings. And who would trade for them.
Ditto back, we are paper thin on depth and I thought we already showed last 2 Cup finals we needed upgrades. Speaking of paper thin, it tells you something that we’ve drafted middies to play CB and F.
With Arena getting hurt in training today, it’s almost becoming laughable at the injury bug that Houston has had this season. That’s three central defenders injured. Bobby Boswell and Rico can likely put up a good defense, but it’s not optimal.
I’m not very excited about Cummings coming back. Will he be any good after so many surgeries in such a short time at his age. I’ve been saying it every transfer window for the last few years that the Dynamo need a good striker.
I don’t think Olsen will be fired. DCU management has gone cheap, maybe even “Major League” cheap. For god’s sake, DCU currently is trialing two players from a relegated Ligue 2 side. There is absolutely no indication the ownership group gives a rat’s ass about results on the field. Oh yeah, the stadium deal is going about as well as the team on the field. An absolute clusterf–k.
I agree. Olsen isn’t the problem. Firing him would help things? What, like they are going to bring in guus hidink to replace him? Yeah,just look at how they are looking at acquiring dos santos since they suck. Oh wait, that’s another team.
At some point will Olsen call the management out? Or is everybody just hanging on?
I’m confused at how Vancouver which has 1 loss in 5 outings is a spot below a team that has lost 3 of 5 and its most recent outing being a 5-0 demolishing.
Nothing confusing at all. Power rankings aren’t based strictly on recent results ONLY. Recent results are a factor, but Vancouver has to work their way up the ladder after an awful run of results while the Galaxy have slid after being at or near the top.
I would also say that all wins aren’t created equally. I don’t know who the Whitecaps have played recently but if their recent wins are against teams like Chivas, Toronto or DC that holds less weight than beating say Montreal or Seattle for example.
I see your point. I’ll just leave it by saying I think 5 games is a large enough sample size to outweigh previous results and set a standard for new judgments.
Vancouver has 8 points in their past five. LA has six points in their past five. Is a two-point difference really enough to erase the fact that before those games LA was MUCH stronger than Vancouver? I don’t think so. You can disagree.
I agree that five games isn’t a good enough sample size , however one of the losses LA has was against the Whitecaps and that should be enough to make the 2 point difference count.
Seattle could very well lose this week to Whitcaps. Especially if Martins suspension isn’t overturned, does anyone know if they appealed it? Neagle is good but i’m not sure how he would combo with Estrada or Ochoa. They are going to be missing a lot of players, including some very key ones: EJ, Alonso, Joseph, Martinez, Martins, Zakuani. Whitecaps are missing a couple as well but Seattle has failed to win like the last six games Alonso doesn’t start, he is crucial for them.
Also MLS schedulers need to get it together, they are so random at times. Why is Montreal going on bye when they have only played 12 games? I know some of the madness is CL related for LA and Seattle but beyond that there isn’t an excuse for such a discrepancy in games played.
If it wasn’t for the CCL cancellations there wouldn’t be a discrepancy. They’d have played 14 games so I’m not sure why everyone keeps freaking out about the scheduling. They had 14 games scheduled, they played 12 of them.
The other issue though is RBNY having played 16 games and now going on a three week break, something about that planning is clearly off.
Travis give it a rest. MLS is sort of observing the international break for Nat Teams.
I am glad Seattle played less to do better in CCL. I wouldn’t have missed their comeback in the round of 8 for anything.
They will all play equal at the end. Although Chivas and DC might just stop playing mid-season when they get eliminated.
MLS does not observe international breaks at all except like two weeks for the world cup finals. RB just got lucky and happened to have theirs coincide with it. Multiple teams are missing 3+ players during this break. I do appreciate MLS working around CL but the bottomline is their scheduling is like this more often than not. It isn’t a one year blip. Plus I as a fan wouldn’t like when my team has a three week break in the middle of the year, thats just disruptive.
Montreal,…who would have thunk the coaching change would have such an, errr,…impact?
Love what Jay Heaps is doing in New England! Fagundez and Agudelo.
Hoping Ben Olson ‘rights the ship’ in DC. Think it might be time for DC to splash out some $$$ and repatriate some US talent in Euro and non-Euro leagues. DMB? Ream? Bedoya? Specter? Bocanegra?
When are we going to hear Kevin Payne say,…”I’m very proud of what we have done in Toronto. We got the team name right,…we got the uniform and logo right,…”
MLS should just sell Chivas to David Beckham for $5MM and let him move the team to Miami. I am stunned that MLS continues to support a team/franchise that openly promotes ethnic delineation.
Portland’s streak in all likelihood comes to an end on Saturday. Ricketts, R. Johnson and Wallace all being out is going to be too much to overcome. Frederic hasn’t shown he can get it done in an MLS game yet. Who the keeper will be is anyone’s guess. Kocic I know nothing about. I really think our best hope is Valencia. He needs to be getting minutes.
I doubt the streak will end at all. All season long they keep missing key players, two or three at a time, and Portland still continues to win or draw against three times the better of sides than Chicago is.
Not sure if serious, seriously hoping you are trolling
They haven’t had a game without their offensive options yet though. And Ricketts has been lights out this year. And Kocic is untested. He hasn’t gotten a single first team minute. The reason they’ve been able to avoid a second loss is because their defensive replacements have all stepped up and held their ground. Their depth up top is not as likely to do so. Frederic hasn’t done anything of note in a league match this season. His only offensive production was against Wilmington in USOC and that’s hardly a good barometer.
I totally agree about the offense, what with W Johnson (4 goals), Nagbe (4 goals) and Valeri (2 goals) being left behind. How ever are we going to score?
RJ and Rodney also have 4 goals each and RJ has 4 assists. I’m not saying we’re totally handicapped, but we’re missing a keeper who’s having career season and two major pieces in the offensive puzzle that to this point has not really had any signs of decent replacement pieces. Porter is going to start Piquionne up top with Nagbe. Diego, Diego, Will and probably Khalif in the Midfield, and Jack, Andrew, Ka and Harrington on the back.
Frederic hasn’t shown he can compete in the league. He’s got 2 SOG on 12 shots in 11 appearances (including 2 starts). Maybe the burst against Wilmington will give him the confidence he needs to finish in a league game but I’m not optimistic.
I’m not trying to be doom and gloom, just realistic about the absence of key players and back ups who either don’t have any thing to look at to show what they might do, or who have shown previously they aren’t an adequate replacement to what will be missing.
Just because you say that you’re being realistic, doesnt make it true. Timbers will be fine.
Don’t know how New England can be ranked lower than Seattle right now (or how Seattle could be in the top 5). LA throttled Seattle, New England’s won three in a row including their nickel they dropped on LA, and Seattle’s in the 4 spot? Seems too high. They had a rough week and manged to put one past Chivas (no, the De Luna goal does not count) and they’re still in the 4 spot?
Can’t argue with the top spot. Montreal’s 3-0 against Cascadian teams on the road, Di Vaio (despite his incredible offsides numbers) is in the race for the Golden Boot, and their defense (when healthy) is top shelf. Serie A West is definitely impressive.
this guy REALLY wanted to say “serie A west” at some point in his comment. Glad to see you fit it in dude
New England didn’t play the same LA team Seattle did (Keane and Gonzalez vs. Seattle/not NE), and Seattle was on the road where New England was at home. Sounders have won five of their past seven (5-1-1). Very much deserving of their spot right now.
and this is why your site and rankings are great. A writer who thinks!
Still, when you look at their total week (including the open cup, which may be outside the scope of the rankings), many were calling it the worst in MLS Sounders history. Certainly New England’s 5-0 victory was not against the same LA team as Seattle faced but still, that’s a nine point swing, no matter if it was home or away or missing players or not.
Then again, they’re power rankings on your website. Obviously totally your call. Not saying they deserved to be dropped to 10th or something, but after New England’s run of form the past three weeks figured they’d leapfrog them.
I like a writer who thinks too.
That is why I will think this:
Seattle is too high….and Ives you might be too.
My Sounders are undefeated at home in front of 50k+, so their ranking is going to give us nose bleed next Tuesday. Gooo Sounders.
Montreal are not 3:0 on Cascadian teams. Montreal has not beaten Vancouver in MLS or this year’s ACC. Both ACC games were tied. They did get the cup for away goals. They have not played in league play this year.
Another bye week for Montreal! This is their 4th one already this season, June just started and theyve only played 12 games, less than most of the rest of the league! Who the hell is the scheduler for MLS, is he throwing darts at a board or just drunk.
They had two early season games moved because of CCL participation by their adversaries, LA and I think Houston.
I like the fact that they reorg’d the schedule to allow MLS to do better in the CCL.
You don’t Id ? If not, maybe you are the drunk ?