Well some of the teams in MLS played two matches this week, some even in league play, while others were busy playing host for friendly matches but in the end there were 11 matches played either on Wednesday or Saturday, and some very interesting results as a team that once was projected for the top of the league continues to fall, while some show new signs of life.
18. Toronto FC - down 1
Well two matches end in two more losses for Toronto FC, at least against Sporting KC they showed signs of life as Ryan Johnson was able to get a goal and assist for them in the 4-2 loss. At home on Wednesday they held a Dallas FC side to just one goal but were unable to find the back of the net themselves in the 1-0 loss. This week they will head to Portland on Saturday to try to find their first road win of the 2011 season.
17. Vancouver Whitecaps - up 1
As much of a move for their 2-2 draw against San Jose on Wednesday as it is a move that TFC had an awful two loss week. I thought both Eric Hassli goals were good ones but the Whitecaps weren't the better team, they just did what a team needs to do and took advantage of their opponents mistakes. A good road result. Next up for the Whitecaps is playing host to the LA Galaxy, that is if it doesn't rain.
the rest of the rankings after the jump:
16. Chicago Fire - down 1
They didn't have a league match this week but moved down because of teams below them moving up. Once again this week the Fire don't have a league match so their movement, if any, will be determined by others.
15. Portland Timbers - down 1
Well it wasn't in the cards for the Timbers to get a second road win of the season as they were unable to score and lost 1-0 to the Columbus Crew. Lot's of rumors about Kenny Cooper perhaps being trade bait, but I think the issues for the Timbers are much more deep than just getting rid of Cooper. Good news is they get to play host on Saturday to Toronto FC, perhaps a chance for them to get another win at home.
14. New England Revolution - up 2
I was tempted to move the Rev's up a couple more spots but then I remembered all the bad things about them, but when you can beat a heated conference rival 1-0 on their pitch midweek and then head to the home pitch of the defending MLS Cup champs and get a 2-2 draw on Saturday, well that is fairly impressive and worthy of a couple spots. A good result on the road against Sporting KC on Saturday might see even more movement for the Rev's.
13. DC United - down 1
You are at home against the bottom team in your conference and one of the bottom 3 teams in the league and you lose to them 1-0, you dominate possession, you dominate shots and shots on goal but you give up a goal and can't come back. Well that moves you down, and your 2-3-5 record at home is second worse in MLS, your fans deserve better. Next up is a trip to the West coast to face the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.
12. Houston Dynamo - down 2
I didn't watch the Houston 3-0 loss at Chivas USA this weekend, and I am glad I didn't. I am not sure what is going on down in Houston but clearly this team simply hasn't been the same since the departure of Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark a couple years ago. Their attempts to find a DP have failed over the last couple years and things probably won't get easier for them as they play host to the Sounders on Saturday.
11. San Jose Earthquakes - even
A hard fought 2-2 midweek draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps and then a crushing PK and red card call in their match against Real Salt Lake that leads to a 4-0 defeat. I can't blame the Quakes fans for being upset, as it clearly looks like Alvaro Saborio duped the officials into making a bad call in giving Bobby Burling a red card and pointing to the PK spot. Perhaps the soccer gods will be more kind on Saturday when they host Charlie Davies and DC United?
10. Chivas USA - up 3
Do I think a 3-0 win over Houston is enough to pop a team up 3 spots no, not really but not losing in your last 5 matches and moving yourself into a playoff spot are. That is exactly what is going on with Chivas USA, but I think they are still depending on individual efforts and to sustain improvement they will need to begin functioning more as a team. Perhaps their biggest test in July will come on Sunday as they head to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas.
9. Sporting Kansas City - even
Sporting continues to improve and while their 4-2 win over Toronto FC gets them 3 points, it hardly is a statement win but if they can continue to get good performances from Kei Kamara and Omar Bravo it will make their extensive home schedule that remains will be easier. Next up is New England as the Rev's will come to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, should be an interesting match.
8. New York Red Bulls - down 1
A 4-1 at Colorado on Wednesday, and then having to get a late goal at home to salvage a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas and you are left to wonder how in the world they have stayed in the top 10, but due to a very weak Eastern Conference, if they were in the West they would be in 6th place. All of this despite having 3 DP's and the highest payroll in MLS history, yet they stock the shelves of the MLS All Star match, their coach gets to be in charge of the MLS team and had one of the biggest fluff pieces ever written about MLS coach done. Next up for the Red Bulls is a trip to the UK for the Emirates Cup, not because they are good but because they have TH14.
7. Colorado Rapids - up 1
Had the Rapids continued their dominance from Wednesday when they destroyed the New York Red Bulls 4-1 on Saturday they could have moved up more, but they didn't and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in a match they should have won. You need to see the highlights of this one, Colorado's second goal was so funny as Matt Reis got caught watching the ball as it bounced over his head and into the net. The Rapids gave up the lead on a late (90th minute PK call) and were unable to get the win despite the man advantage for almost 30 minutes.
6. Columbus Crew - even
In the East 2-2-1 in your last 5 is good enough to be tied for the top spot with 31 points from 21 matches, the Crew had a mixed week losing to the LA Galaxy 1-0 on the road Wednesday and then they got a 1-0 win over Portland at home on Saturday. The Crew are still looking for consistency and they will need it as they head to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
5. Philadelphia Union - even
It was scheduled to be a huge match for the Union, no not their friendly with Real Madrid, their match against the Seattle Sounders, where two top teams would face off, but that was rescheduled for a later date. So the Union didn't play in league action this week but still managed to hold onto the top spot in the Eastern Conference. This week they return to action by hosting the defending MLS Cup champions the Colorado Rapids on Friday night, should be a good one.
4. FC Dallas - even
A 1-0 midweek win at BMO Field and then a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls in New York, 4 points from two road matches isn't bad, and I was tempted to move them up in the rankings over idle Seattle, but I will give the Sounders a chance to defend their position. FC Dallas have a big Western Conference match at home on Sunday as a Chivas USA side that hasn't lost in their last 5 will head to Pizza Hut Park.
3. Seattle Sounders - even
By no fault of their own the Sounders were out of action this weekend due to the scheduling of some of the friendly matches, and while they didn't end up with a great result against Man U in their recent friendly I have to believe Sigi and his team were more focused on their CCL qualifying match with San Francisco FC tomorrow night. Good Luck in Champions League action to all the Sounders players and fans. The team will return to MLS action on Saturday as they head to Houston to face the Dynamo.
2. Real Salt Lake - even
Well of their last 5 matches played 3 have ended with great controversy, and then there was last week's match that never took place. Oh the drama just never seems to end for RSL, this time a bad call gave them the PK and extra man advantage against San Jose and they sure wasted little time in taking advantage on their way to a 4-0 victory over the Quakes. RSL looked a bit flat the first 20-30 minutes but even before getting the man advantage they had started to establish a level of dominance in the match. They will need 90 full minutes on Saturday as they will face the Columbus Crew for the 4th time this year. So far it is 1-1-1, so the match at Rio Tinto could be a huge one for both teams.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy - even
The Galaxy battled their way to a 1-0 win over the visiting Columbus Crew on Wednesday to keep their place at the top of my power rankings and the top of MLS. Their 11-2-9 record is good for 42 points from 22 matches and clearly they have set themselves up with a playoff spot, their fall schedule will be a bit rougher as they have to deal with the travel and additional matches of Champions League action but so far they are the class of MLS this year. On Saturday they will face expansion side Vancouver if the Whitecaps were able to get the grass pulled up and their turf cleaned off well enough to host the match.
Well there you go as we head towards the All Star match on Wednesday, LA remain at the top of the heap when it comes to MLS teams.
OFF MY SOAPBOX