MLS: Week 18 Power Rankings

It has been a shocking – shocking, I tell you – amount of time since I’ve done power rankings; have to go back to Week 15, in fact. Given the layoff, what I thought of each of Major League Soccer’s 13 teams way back when doesn’t strike me as all that relevant. So, consider this me getting back on the power-rankings horse (add an image of a bald guy with a plumbers’ crack trying to hoist himself on a horse if that helps) – and go easy on the crazy calls; I’m consulting my gut about future form more than usual.

Next time I do these, I’ll add some of the old features in which I confess the degree of separation between me and the games – i.e. whether I sat through the whole game or just part of it. For now, though, it’s time to ride that pony…

1) Houston Dynamo
The Dynamo holds onto #1 (here and everywhere I’ve so far seen) on the assumption that anyone can lose to Real Salt Lake one the right day. Still solid, they should do fine down the stretch.

2) New England Revolution
Oh, am I swallowing my doubts here or who? As much as I think these guys racked up some damned fortunate points, it’s hard to name a better team in the East (except last Sunday when DC was clearly better).

3) DC United
Like a lot of people, I kept waiting for these cats to wake up; and they have, from time to time at least, before rolling over to hit the snooze button. But I think they’ll vie with the Revs for the Eastern title when all’s said and done.

4) FC Dallas
Slipping these guys below DC didn’t come easy – not least ‘cause I don’t like DC a whole lot. Taking Superliga into account, though – and I do ‘cause teams can’t neatly compartmentalize form – old concerns about the defense remain valid. For all that, this Dallas team seems to have more fight than past editions.

5) Chivas USA
Shh…they’re doing OK. (Do people know this team exists, even in LA?) Seriously, add a great home record with a bit of a mess on the road and that takes them to the new beginning that is the playoffs. Given a two-leg quarterfinal, they could reach the semis if they play tight enough on the road.

6) Kansas City Wizards
I don’t have a lot of faith in this team, but being second in the East counts for something (even if those games lead me to expect DC to pass them by, oh, Thursday). Their high-pressing game may be fun to watch – and bless ‘em for it – but it’s killing them to the tune of having the second-worst defense in MLS.

7) Columbus Crew
The words “solid” and “confident” come to mind, but, because they are the Crew, I’m still wary of listing them higher. But KC and Chivas need to stay on their game because I’ll drop both of ‘em in a heartbeat.

8) Red Bull New York*
The most remarkable thing about Red Bull right now is that they remain a playoff team. Things can only get better, I suppose, but that doesn’t mean they will. More to the point, I’m not seeing anything leading me to expect a revival. They need to watch their butts…

9) Toronto FC
…though not, as I see it, because of Toronto. Injuries may be an excuse, but they’re also a reality. The second resultant scoreless streak hardly helps a club that needs all the help they can get.

10) Chicago Fire
If you think this is low for the Fire, just know I’ve ranked the dead last on many, many occasions. Can’t say they’ve rounded a corner or anything, but, in 2007, four points from their last two games constitutes a streak.

11) Los Angeles Galaxy
As noted with Dallas, Superliga counts when considering form – but it’s not defining. As well as LA has done so far in the Superliga, they flat-out suck in the league…which hurts their chances of getting to next year’s Superliga. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?

12) Real Salt Lake
I may not be a bonafide RSL fan, but I’ve got a hell of a soft spot for this bunch. For that odd reason, I’d feel a little like a homer if I followed my heart and rated them higher. The win over Houston was swell, but sure feels isolated. So, here’s the bottom line: give me a reason to bump you higher, guys. I’m totally willing.

13) Colorado Rapids
I read good-ish things about their loss to Dallas, but wins are wins and losses losses. Something is rotten in Denver. (Clavijo!…cough, cough, cough…)

OK, back later in the week with the collective rankings, though I’m worried that my sample is shrinking…and that hurts the science…

* I don’t want the number 8 ahead of the Red Bull’s ranking to look like a smiley face – and I certainly wouldn’t know what it meant if I did – but the computer didn’t like my choice of punctuation.  C’est la vie.  It’s supposed to be an 8.

2 Responses

  1. […] My MLS Biases You know, until I confessed my soft spot for Real Salt Lake in this week’s power rankings it never occurred to me that some form of disclosure about my Major League Soccer (MLS) loyalties […]

  2. […] Center Holds It (Me) My Soccer Blog MLS Underground/American Soccer Daily WVHooligan (damned accurate this one) Sideline Views (Luis Bueno) Fox Soccer (Keith Costigan) Sports Illustrated (Ryan Hunt) ESPN (another collective) […]

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