Major League Soccer - Power Rankings week 16

Well it was a long holiday weekend and as soon as it is over Week 17 of MLS action is about to kick off on Wednesday, so here goes this weeks power rankings:

18. Vancouver Whitecaps - down 4

Yes I know it is a drastic drop, but when you lose two matches to the team that used to hold the bottom spot there is little room for me to work with.  A 1-0 loss in midweek MLS action and then a 2-1 loss in NCC action both at BMO Field as the Whitecaps with 14 points are now clearly the bottom team in the league.  The Cap's get two chances at redemption this week as they host the Columbus Crew at Empire Field on Wednesday, and then travel to take on the defending MLS Cup champs Colorado on Saturday.

17. Toronto FC - up 1

Well when you play one of the worst teams twice in a week at home and win both matches, well it moves you up one spot for me.  It will take more than a couple wins over the Whitecaps to convince me, and to be honest with their recent announcement of two more DP's (Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans) to join their squad when the transfer window opens might be a move in the right direction but the last few DP's haven't worked out so well for TFC.  It will be a tough week on the Red's as they look for their first road win of the season, first up a trip to face the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, and then Saturday a trip to Houston to face the Dynamo.

the rest of the rankings after the jump:

16. New England Revolution - up 1

By no action of their own did the Revolution move up, simply the moving down of Vancouver. Their 3-3 draw with RSL is a result that clearly should have an asterisk.  The Rev's now enjoy a couple weeks off from MLS action so their fate will be in the hands of other teams. 

15. Portland Timbers - down 2

Well when you got ready to start the season, not many people would have been surprised if you would hit the midway mark of the season with the two expansion teams in the bottom of the rankings.  While the Timbers would like to think they were going to replicate what the Sounders did, they instead look and play more like TFC.  On Sunday they will get a chance to show up the Sounders as they will play host to their rivals from Seattle.

14. Chivas USA - up 2

Another team moving up not because they won, in fact Chivas settled for a 1-1 home draw with the Chicago Fire, but since others lost or did less than Chivas they move up a little bit but there are still some issues for Robin and his boys, they have 3 losses in their last 5 matches.  Two chances to find a way to move up the rankings, first on Wednesday they will play host to the San Jose Earthquakes and then on Saturday they will head to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to face Sporting KC (the hottest team in MLS).

13. Chicago Fire - up 2

Like Chivas, the Fire didn't do much in their 1-1 draw but despite having just two wins on the season their 12 draws have kept them alive in the Eastern Conference where they are just 9 points out of first place.  For the Fire they will head to the Home Depot Center to face the LA Galaxy, the best team in MLS.

12. DC United - even

Well I was actually fairly impressed that DC played well against the Union, but they failed to close it out and had to settle for the 2-2 draw at home.  Playing against the top team in the East, I start to see the potential of Ben Olsen'steam and I think De Ro may be the key.  Saturday night will be the big test of the trade that saw De Ro come to DC United, as they will head to New York to face the Red Bulls.

11. Houston Dynamo - down 1

Well mediocre is what the Dynamo have brought this year and their 4-6-8 record reflects just that, as did their 0-0 draw with the Rapids.  It was painful to watch that match as neither team really performed at the level expected. On Saturday the Dynamo will host Toronto FC, a match they should be able to win.

10. Colorado Rapids - down 1

The defending MLS Cup Champions are in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference and in the middle of my rankings, at 5-5-8 is reflective of a team that has some issues to deal with. Two chances to impress this week as Wednesday they will head to LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to face SKC, then they will play host to expansion side Vancouver on Saturday night.

9. Columbus Crew - down 1

A 2-0 loss at FC Dallas this weekend is enough to move the Crew down a bit, their 6-5-6 record screams that this team is looking for someone to take charge and lead a talented group to better results. I look for the Crew to put forward a solid effort on Wednesday when they head to Empire Field to take on the struggling Whitecaps.

8. Sporting KC - up 3

The Hottest team in MLS keeps moving up and recovering from the blistering 10 match road trip that was the start of their season, 4 wins in their last 5 matches including this weekends 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers.  Sporting will play host to a pair of Western Conference teams this week as Colorado comes to town on Wednesday and then Chivas USA will be the opponent on Saturday.  A couple more wins and you will see them in the top 5.

7. San Jose Earthquakes - even

I thought San Jose played a decent match in their 2-2 draw against New York on Saturday, had they been able to finish out the match they could have gotten a much needed win.  The Qakes find themselves in the bottom half of the Western Conference standings, but 4 results in their last 5 matches have me believing they will use their matches in hand to move up the standings.  They get a chance to prove it when they head South to face Chivas USA on Wednesday, and then they will play host the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

6. New York Red Bulls - even

A late comeback against San Jose was enough to get them a 2-2 draw but they still have just one win in their last 5 matches and would find themselves in 5th instead of 2nd if they were in the West.  Two chances to get a win as they will host Toronto FC on Wednesday and then host DC United on Saturday, have to believe that unless they get 4 points or more from these matches that they may be moving down my rankings.

5. Seattle Sounders - even

A 0-0 draw may sound like a boring match but their Monday match against LA was anything but, very exciting stuff but if they want to move up the rankings (or further in the playoffs this year) they will need to find a way to beat LA. On Sunday afternoon the Sounders will head to Portland for a chance to finally get a win in the Cascadia Cup, anything else will be a huge blow for their fans and could impact their rankings.

4. Philadelphia Union - even

A solid draw against DC United as the Union continue to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference, they have a two point lead over New York and a match in hand.  Carlos Ruiz got the late goal to help the Union get the draw, but I still wonder if he will be moving on when the transfer window opens in a couple weeks. Next up is a trip to the West coast where the Union will take on San Jose on Saturday night.

3. Real Salt Lake - even

Going down a man and a goal 3 minutes in on a bad call is a tough thing for a team to overcome, but RSL managed to battle back for a 3-3 draw with New England.  RSL will face their biggest home test of the year as they will play host to FC Dallas on Saturday night in what will likely be a match that goes a long way in determining both teams rankings and race to catch LA in the West.

2. Los Angeles Galaxy - even

Well a 0-0 draw at home isn't going to help LA move back up to number 1 in my rankings and now they are just 4 points in front of FC Dallas in the table, but Dallas has two matches in hand.  LA isn't losing but with 4 draws in their last 5 matches they are giving teams a chance to catch up with them.  I have to believe that LA should be able to get a home win on Saturday when they play host to the Chicago Fire.

1. FC Dallas - even

A 2-0 over the Columbus Crew keep FCD on the top spot in my power rankings and allows them to close the gap on LA in the West.  Now just 4 points behind with 2 matches in hand, Dallas will be looking to close that gap even more when they come to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday to take on Real Salt Lake.  What might be the biggest match of the year so far for both teams.

Well there you go my thoughts on how the teams stack up after 16 weeks of MLS action, 4 Wednesday matches and 8 more this weekend will give a number of teams to move up or down in the rankings, should be a fun week.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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