Photo by Derik Hamilton/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
When it comes to MLS, one always has to expect that unexpected, a theme that was extremely apparent in Week 11.
It was hard to expect the Philadelphia Union to pick up the team’s first win in what feels like ages against a D.C. United team that was as hot as any. It was also difficult to expect a struggling Orlando City team to absolutely destroy the LA Galaxy in a 4-0 victory.
What can be expected, though, is some shakeup in the rankings, as some of the league’s bottom dwellers put on complete performances, while favorites faltered and floundered in confusing performances.
Have a look at the SBI MLS Power Rankings for Week 11 below:
SBI MLS Power Rankings (Week 11)
1. (Last Week- 3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (6-3-1)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0, last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Sporting KC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Despite the absence of Obafemi Martins, the Sounders put forth a virtually flawless performance against their Cascadia rivals. Chad Barrett filled in to the tune of two goals, and the backline all but limited a fearsome Whitecaps attack. The Sounders remain one of the league’s deepest teams, and that depth could be the difference between being good or being truly great.
2. (2) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-2-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied Toronto FC, 1-1, last Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Sporting KC on Wednesday; vs. D.C. United on Saturday
OUTLOOK– With a draw against TFC, the New England Revolution remain unbeaten in their last nine. Truthfully, the Revs were the better side against TFC, undone by a spectacular Michael Bradley goal and a strong goalkeeper performance from Chris Knopka. Despite drawing in two straight weeks, the Revs are fine, and remain a team to be reckoned with in the East.
3. (4) NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-5)
LAST WEEK: Tied FC Dallas, 0-0, on Friday
THIS WEEK: vs. Philadelphia Union on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Emerging from Frisco with a point is certainly a respectable result given how well FC Dallas has played this season. Saved by a highlight reel goal-line clearance from Felipe, the Red Bulls absorbed pressure from FC Dallas to snag a draw. The Red Bulls continue to pick up points in whatever fashion required, a necessary trait to have in MLS.
4. (1) D.C. UNITED (6-2-3)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Orlando City, 2-1, last Wednesday; Lost to Philadelphia Union, 1-0, last Sunday
THIS WEEK: at New England Revolution on Saturday
OUTLOOK– After picking up a come-from-behind victory over Orlando City midweek, D.C. floundered big time on a trip to PPL Park. It was the classic case of a two gameweek trap game, as D.C. fell right into the Union’s hands. Overall, not too concerning, especially since D.C. was without Luis Silva. If anything, the embarrassing loss should serve as motivation for a big clash with the Revs next time out.
5. (5) FC DALLAS (6-2-3)
LAST WEEK: Tied New York Red Bulls, 0-0, last Friday
THIS WEEK: at Montreal Impact on Saturday
OUTLOOK– FC Dallas will be left slightly disappointed by a scoreless draw with the Red Bulls, especially after seeing a goal cleared off the line by Felipe. Still, there are plenty of positives to take from the draw. The attack is good, that much is known, but it was the defense that stepped up most against the Red Bulls. If FC Dallas can put together consistent and complete performances on both side of the ball, watch out.
6. (6) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (6-4-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to Seattle Sounders last Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Colorado Rapids on Saturday
OUTLOOK– After wiping the floor with the Union the week prior, the Whitecaps were humbled a bit by the Sounders last time out. The backline was completely undone twice by Chad Barrett, a relative anomaly considering how strong the Whitecaps usually are at the back. The loss stings, sure, but should prove as a lesson that the Whitecaps still have more work to do to reach that elite echelon that the Sounders currently inhabit.
7. (9) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-2-5)
LAST WEEK: Game against Colorado Rapids postponed due to weather last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. New England Revolution on Wednesday; at Seattle Sounders on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Sporting KC were blessed by Mother Nature this weekend, seeing Saturday’s game postponed due to weather. SKC now enters a major double game week with fresh legs, and they will surely need them in the coming weeks. Matchups with the Revs, FC Dallas and the Sounders twice await, giving SKC one of the toughest months imaginable.
8. (8) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (3-3-4)
LAST WEEK: Lost 4-0 at Orlando City on Sunday
THIS WEEK: vs. Houston Dynamo on Friday
OUTLOOK– That was bad, very bad. The Galaxy continue to fall flat on their face without Robbie Keane, but the Irishman could have done little to stop a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Orlando City. The loss was flat out embarrassing, and perhaps the worst seen during the Bruce Arena tenure. The absence of Omar Gonzalez was clear as day, but the team as a unit needs to start doing things differently if they want to break out of this rut that has defined the early season.
9. (7) COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-0, to San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Chicago Fire on Friday
OUTLOOK: The Crew continue to be as inconsistent as ever, falling to the Earthquakes just one week after picking up what appeared to be a season-defining victory. Mohammed Saeid’s dismissal illustrated just how badly the Crew need the return of Wil Trapp to truly play at the highest level.
10. (12) HOUSTON DYNAMO (4-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Portland Timbers, 3-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: at LA Galaxy on Friday
OUTLOOK– A commanding win over the Timbers gives the Dynamo two straight statement wins after knocking off TFC the week prior. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin continue to torment opposing defenses, with the latter scoring four in his last five. The Dynamo seem to be rounding into form.
11. (15) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-4-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Columbus Crew, 2-0 last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Orlando City on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Going toe-to-toe with a previously impressive Crew team, the Earthquakes emerged victorious with a big-time win. The Earthquakes always seem to show up for big games, both a promising and frustrating trend. Being up a man certainly made life a little easier, but it was certainly a big win for an Earthquakes win that is starting to rack of those types of results
12. (10) TORONTO FC (3-5-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied New England Revolution, 1-1, last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Portland Timbers on Saturday
OUTLOOK– Following the prior week’s disaster against the Dynamo, a draw against the Revs is certainly a welcome result for TFC. What is not welcome, however, is any sort of injury to Jozy Altidore, who left with a hamstring injury. A healthy Altidore and the Michael Bradley of Saturday are a scary thought, but TFC needs them both healthy and clicking at the same time to pose a true threat going forward. TFC dropped a bit in the rankings this week, but more because of what other teams did than because of anything TFC did wrong this week.
13. (16) ORLANDO CITY (3-5-3)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 2-1, to D.C. United last Wednesday; Defeated LA Galaxy, 4-0, lat Sunday
THIS WEEK: at San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Losing at RFK Stadium is nothing to be ashamed of, especially after absolutely trouncing the LA Galaxy in response for the team’s first home win. Kaka continues to provide everything expected of him, while Cyle Larin is starting to look like the goalscorer Orlando City has needed so desperately this season.
14. (14) CHICAGO FIRE (3-5-1)
LAST WEEK: Tied NYCFC, 2-2, last Friday
THIS WEEK: at Columbus Crew on Friday
OUTLOOK– Up two goals and a man, the Fire capitulated at NYCFC, allowing a cheap goal just before halftime before a stoppage time equalizer effectively ruined the Fire’s night. That was exactly the type of game that needs to be put to bed with three points, something the Fire will need to learn going forward.
15. (13) REAL SALT LAKE (3-3-5)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 4-1, to Montreal Impact last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. NYCFC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– RSL laid an absolute egg in Montreal last Saturday, conceding thrice in a matter of 11 minutes to lose an hope of snagging a result. Chris Schuler’s absence was particularly apparent for an RSL backlike that was torched by the Impact on everything from set pieces to counters to basic build up play. Schuler should be back in a few weeks, but RSL need to find a way to put a bandaid on things until then.
16. (11) PORTLAND TIMBERS (3-4-4)
LAST WEEK: Lost, 3-1, to Houston Dynamo last Saturday
THIS WEEK: at Toronto FC on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Timbers defense proved to be a sieve on Saturday, allowing the Dynamo to attack, and score, at will. It looked like the Timbers of old, a team that just had no rhyme or reason to defensive duties. The backline has looked better this season, but the Timbers need to make sure that Saturday’s performance is more of an aberration than a return to past struggles.
17. (18) MONTREAL IMPACT (1-3-2)
LAST WEEK: Defeated Real Salt Lake, 4-1, on Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. FC Dallas on Saturday
OUTLOOK– What a performance from the Impact. Riding an attack that was absolutely dominant, the Impact thrashed RSL to pick up the team’s first league win of the season. Andres Romero was clinical, while Ignacio Piatti and Dilly Duka pulled some big-time strings. If the Impact can attack like that week in, week out, they have a real chance to recapture some of that CONCACAF Champions League magic in MLS play.
18. (17) COLORADO RAPIDS (1-2-7)
LAST WEEK: Game against Sporting KC postponed due to weather last Saturday
THIS WEEK: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday
OUTLOOK– The Rapids are winless in five games, a streak that the team will have to wait a little longer to tackle following Saturday’s postponement. The Rapids are still riding four straight draws, meaning the goal continues to be finding the ability to snag victories every now and then.
19. (19) NEW YORK CITY FC (1-6-4)
LAST WEEK: Tied Chicago Fire, 2-2, last Friday
THIS WEEK: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday
OUTLOOK– In a draw that felt as much like a win as any, NYCFC showed real character and fight to emerge with a point while in such a rut. Down a man and two goals, David Villa led the way to snag a point that could be quite the turning point. The winless streak remains at 10 games, but it’s hard not to feel a little bit better about NYCFC after Friday’s result.
20. (20) PHILADELPHIA UNION (2-7-3)
LAST WEEK: Defeated D.C. United, 1-0, on Sunday
THIS WEEK: at New York Red Bulls on Sunday
OUTLOOK– Not only did the Union pick up an absolutely much-needed win, they did so against one of the league’s best teams. Despite fan protests and overall unrest, the Union played smart, calculated and, perhaps for the first time this season, as a team. That challenge now lies in replicating that performance, but the Union have plenty to smile about after a big victory.