MLS Week 19 Power Rankings

I’m going to level with you here: #1-4 are basically interchangeable; ditto with #5-8 and #9-13; my fascination with my collective rankings thing-y is the only reason I’m assigning specific numbers. In truth, I see those three tiers just outlined as a more accurate measure of each team’s relative “power.” And bye weeks? Those things are killing me. How can I justify, for instance, dropping KC two spots on a week they didn’t play? I can’t. Seriously.

So, for what they’re worth, here are my rankings and the best defense I can muster for each. Once again, the belief that a team higher in the rankings will beat the one below stands as the guiding principle here. And last week’s ranking appears in parentheses after this week’s. Whoops. And I just remembered this morning that I used to add current standings at the end of the rankings on the old site; call that a fine tradition discontinued (but enjoy the current standings).

1. (3) DC United
With everyone else seeming to favor Dallas, I’m going weird on this one. Why? Yeah, it was against LA, but DC looked very tight and smart against them; I think they’re about to start rolling.

2. (4) FC Dallas
As much as I loved the fight and depth they showed against the Crew, the reality is the Ohio club was the better team in the first half. Dallas has its weaknesses. Still, I did raise them two spots over last week…so lay off…

3. (2) New England Revolution
Why do I hate my team so much? Can’t say for sure. Maybe it’s that I find them boring. But, more significantly, it’s that casual air about them in front of goal that leads me to doubt this team. And that’s even accounting for my serious man-crush on Pat Noonan.

4. (1) Houston Dynamo
Two losses against crap teams are two losses against crap teams. Are they pulling a DC? I doubt it, but…still… Tough loss last night, though, huh?

5. (5) Chivas USA
I hate bye weeks. Pains in my ass, I tell you. But Chivas looks solid and their trades – assuming they pan out – show ambition.

6. (7) Columbus Crew
Rarely to teams look as good as the Crew did while losing. And a loss on the road to what I count the second-best team – and who several others count the best team – is hardly shameful.

7. (8) Red Bull New York
Tough call, to be sure, but the win over Toronto just didn’t convince me. Given the fluidity within the various tiers I see in the league, I’m ready to move them up provided more evidence of a Red Bull revival.

8. (6) Kansas City Wizards
Another bye week…next! Seriously, I simply don’t know quite what to think about KC. Fun as they are to watch, they’re kind of like that girl you date, but would never marry.

9. (10) Chicago Fire
I have supped the Blanco Kool-Aid; it is delicious. The crazy thing? Since July 1 the Fire has tallied one win – and that was against Toronto.

10. (9) Toronto FC
Getting abused by their shallow bench, MLS’s newest little darlings no longer look up to making the playoffs. Things should improve in the near-term, when absent players return, but not enough.

11. (13) Colorado Rapids
Holy shit! They won! That’s no excuse to keep Fernando Clavijo around, especially with talk that he’s pissing off still more players in the air. They might get a win or two before the end of the season, but this team ain’t good.

12. (12) Real Salt Lake
With reinforcements on the horizon, RSL fans at least have the opportunity to mull something other than their team’s two, lone wins. But they’ll take time to integrate into the team, etc. etc. – and that assumes they’ll perform. But, hey, maybe they’ll be better next year?

13. (11) Los Angeles Galaxy
For sullying the image of the rest of the league as the rest of the world watches, LA must be punished. In the basement, you assholes! That they haven’t won a league game since July 4 plays some role in this as well…

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