Well only 3 of the top 8 teams got a win in week 29, it was RSL, Seattle and Colorado who found a way to get a win in the second to final week of the season. The playoff 8 are set, but who will face who is still very much up in the air with just one match (for most teams) to go, and week 30 will have a huge impact on how everything will shake out. So let's get to the rankings:
18. DC United - 22 points
It is no surprise that DC United keep the bottom spot in the rankings, despite a 0-0 draw with the Chicago Fire it is United that find themselves on the verge of a MLS record for fewest goals scored in a season with just 19. Perhaps the biggest tragedy of the 2010 DC United season is that Jamie Moreno wasn't given the chance to play a major role with the team. I get age and I get that Kevin Payne clearly was ushering him out early in the season, but for a team that has struggled so much to score goals, not using the guy with the most goals in league history just seems to be a tragic mistake. Jamie and the DC United fans both deserved much better.
17. Chivas USA -28 points
A team with talent, a team with some quality young players, a team that has all season played as individuals and not as a team. I have little doubt that we will see another coaching change in the off season as this team is still after 6 years looking for an identity of it it's own. The team has been successful when individuals have been able to be difference makers but far too often the team has lacked leadership on the field and failed to play as a team. They get two chances this week to exit the Western Conference cellar, at San Jose on Wednesday, and home against Chicago on Saturday, they might just get 3 points from those two matches.
more after the jump:
16. Portland Timbers
No reason other than New England got a win. The Timbers will announce this week who from their current roster that they are planning to sign to their MLS roster for next season, could be some interesting announcements. Remember this team took eventual US Open Cup winner Seattle to PK's then the two faced off earlier in the tourney.
15. New England Revolution - 32 points
The Rev's move up one for their 1-0 win over the KC Wizards as they got to play spoiler and keep the Eastern Conference to just two teams in the playoffs this year. The question is can they play spoiler again as they will head to New York to face the Red Bulls on Thursday night?
14. Vancouver Whitecaps
Eliminated from the division two playoffs by the PR Islanders, now the Whitecaps can focus all their attention on getting ready for the 2011 MLS season. I have not heard if the Whitecaps are going to make public the list of their current players that they will be extending MLS contracts to, but I am sure they are also will waiting to hear the status of any USMNT players who may be returning to the league as they have the right of first refusal on the next player who returns to MLS, Jay, cough.
13. Houston Dynamo - 30 points
Houston accomplished a very rare feat this weekend and secured a road win over a playoff team as they beat the Quakes 1-0 in San Jose for just their 3rd road win of 2010. The creamsicles get to end their disastrous season by hosting the red hot Seattle Sounders and with playoff position at stake, will the guys in orange play spoiler again?
12. Philadelphia Union - 31 points
Well many people were thinking about just handing the MLS Cup to NYDP, but the Union showed that a team effort can be more than enough to defeat a team of very talented individuals. Their aggressive style has impressed me all season, and they can make a huge statement on Sunday if they can defeat the other Eastern Conference playoff team when they travel to Columbus.
11. Toronto FC - 32 points
Well TFC got to hold their heads a little higher after going toe to toe with the Crew and getting a result, but they have to be kicking themselves for letting Will Hesmer get a stoppage time goal on them. Getting your keeper tossed and going with your 3rd string guy didn't make things any easier, but it will be interesting to see how TFC reacts during the off season as far as finding a new GM and making a decision on their coach. Will they do the right thing, or continue to throw money at DP's who simply haven't produced? Will they pay DeRo? He was the only highlight on this team in 2010.
10. Chicago Fire - 33 points
When you have two big name DP's and still can't find a way to get a goal against DC United, you should know why you didn't make the playoffs. So the question is who will be the coach in Chicago next year? Will they stick by their man or dump him and start the rebuilding process, there are some real needs for this team and they will need to rebuild quickly to get themselves back into the playoff hunt next year.
9. Kansas City Wizards - 36 points
Well their loss to New England sealed their playoff fate, but with the win by Colorado would have eliminated any chance for the Wizards. Now the big questions are, will their DP ever show up? Will the Wizards ever see their new stadium, or will it be KCAC, or some other club? They get one more match to prove that they had the right stuff, but San Jose will have a lot to play for this weekend at CommunityAmerica Ballpark. Should be fun to watch.
8. San Jose Earthquakes - 43 points
The Quakes knew they were in the playoffs and may have let that cloud their vision when they faced off against Houston on Saturday and they got beat, now they have two matches this week and a chance to move up the standings and perhaps find a way to stay in the Western playoff bracket but they will need wins over Chivas on Wednesday, and at KC on Saturday. This is a team that does well when Chris Wonderkid Wondolowski does well, but when he doesn't play well, they are a very average team. That could be trouble for someone in the playoffs, but who?
7. Columbus Crew - 47 points
One win in their last 8 matches, no team is heading into the playoffs colder than the Crew are. This team is clearly lacking the depth of that they showed last year, and with their CCL group stage wrapping up this week in front of their match against the Union, will the team that has scored 4 but allowed 10 in their last 5 matches find a way to get their act together before their playoff series will start? Can GBS carry the Crew past the first round this year?
6. New York Red Bulls - 48 points
NYRB struggled against KC, couldn't deal with RSL, and then lost to the Philly Union, not exactly the type of run you want when heading into the playoffs, but they can get healthy in a hurry if they can bet their offense which had scored more than 2 goals in 3 straight matches, now have just 2 goals in their last 3 matches combined. The Revolution are up next for the Red Bulls, and the question is will TH14 show up and can JPA focus, knowing this could be the end of his Red Bull career?
5. Los Angeles Galaxy - 56 points
LA has lost two of their last 5 matches, the only two against playoff caliber teams, their 3 wins are against teams with a combined 22-49-15. You can go further back but the reality is that since July 22nd they are 5-5-2, and that simply spells a team in distress and while they may win the Supporters' Shield, whoever they face in the first round of the playoffs has to feel confident they can make it very interesting on the team that up to June looked like the odds on favorites to win everything.
4. Colorado Rapids - 45 points
A huge jump for Colorado who have found a way to get back to back road results against tough teams, 2-2 in Dallas and then 3-1 over the Galaxy, makes you wonder what happened when they faced DC United. It is clear that no tandem up top is more dangerous than Casey and Cummings, and it will be a great test to see how they match up against a MLS best ever defense in Real Salt Lake with the Rocky Mountain Cup, and RSL's bid for the Supporters' Shield in the balance this weekend.
3. FC Dallas - 50 points
It wasn't going to last and it may have been good for FCD to get a loss out of the way so they can focus on the task at hand, getting wins in the playoffs. This is a team that needs Hartman back in goal, if only for confidence but with Sala in goal they have just one clean sheet in their last 6 matches, including giving up 2 goals in 4 of their last 6 matches. I expect that Dallas will look to improve against a LA team that can score goals in bunches, should make for a fun match to watch on Sunday.
2. Seattle Sounders - 48 points
Yes, I jumped Seattle up a huge amount, not because they beat Chivas USA, but rather the fact that they have won their last 5 matches with 3 on the road and are playing some of the best soccer in MLS. After a July 4th loss to LA, many people wrote off the Sounders, but I saw them as being a team like RSL was last year, a lot of talent but they needed something to bond them together as a team. For RSL it was a friendly against Chivas, for Seattle I think it was the departure of Ljungberg and the return of Alonso to their lineup. Whoever faces Seattle faces one of the best teams in MLS, I hope that San Jose can jump up in the standings and that Seattle heads to the East because my best matchup in MLS Cup would be Seattle vs. RSL.
1. Real Salt Lake - 55 points
Well RSL avenged their only loss since May by beating FC Dallas 2-0 on Saturday, that along with the loss by LA not only keeps the RSL Supporters' Shield dreams alive, but allowed RSL to set the stage to put a lot of pressure on LA on Saturday as they get to face off against Colorado in leg two of the Rocky Mountain Cup. RSL will set a record for the fewest goals allowed in a MLS season, and they could end the season with the highest scoring offense as well, and their +25 goal differential also could be a MLS record. The only real question is who will RSL have to face in the playoffs in order to get back to the MLS Cup final.
There you go my power rankings for week 29, with one week to go teams will have a final chance to make their case for the final rankings next week.
OFF MY SOAPBOX