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Week 4 MLS results and Power Rankings

Some trends are starting to emerge after the 4th week of the MLS season, LA is that good (as long as Buddle scores) and DC United is that bad, but perhaps the biggest thing is "home is where the wins come" as from Thursday to Sunday only one road team won and that was Chicago over DC United.  7 of 8 home teams won in week 4 which makes my picks better but still off by a bit:

My Picks

Actual Results

Seattle 2 - KC 1

Seattle 1 - KC Wizards 0

Houston 1 - Chivas 0

Houston 3 - Chivas 0

New York 1 - FC Dallas 0

New York 2 - FC Dallas 1

DC United 1 - Chicago 1

Chicago 2 - DC United 0

San Jose 2 - New England 2

San Jose 2 - New England 0

Real Salt Lake 1 - LA Galaxy 1

LA 2 - Real Salt Lake 1

Colorado 3 - TFC 1

Colorado 3 - TFC 1

So I ended up just over 50% with 4 of 7 correct and one dead on with the score, not bad but I can do better.  So how will the weekend results impact my power rankings?

16. DC United (-) - 0-4-0 - Even at home DC United seem to really be struggling, they actually put up a good battle as they have against other teams but in the 79th minute they gave up a goal to Pappa (one of my keys to a Chicago win) and then just before the end of regulation another goal was given up to Brian Mc Bride.  The upside is that they can't go 0-5-0 next weekend since they are off, but clearly they need the time to figure things out.

15. Philadelphia Union (-2) - 1-2-0 - It pains me to keep reminding people but Philly is an expansion team and each week they find a way to remind people, silly red cards, mistakes by the keeper, and overall a lack of quality.  I would almost say that man for man Philly was better than TFC in their 2-1 loss but mistakes gave up set pieces and mistakes allowed those to become goals. Things won't get easier as they head to New York this weekend.

More after the jump:

14. Chivas USA (-2) - 1-3-0 - Well it now looks like their win over New York may have been a bit of a fluke as they fall 3-0 at Houston.  It is clear that a new coach, new players, and a new system are costing Chivas, but how they went from a Western Conference power house to this in a couple months is beyond me.  They get to play San Jose this weekend at home, a chance to figure things out?  Maybe.

13. Toronto FC (+2) - 1-3-0 - A win in their home opener against Philly move TFC up a bit, but not much as they dropped a 3-1 Sunday match in front of a sparse crowed in Colorado.  This team baffles me as they have always had good players but fail to find a way to play together, I think DeGuzman's dive out of the wall to allow a Colorado goal is symptomatic of TFC, skill but no heart or passion.  The question is how long does Preki last before he is last weeks coach?

12. FC Dallas ( -3) - 0-1-2 - Not sure how I keep a team without a win in front of others but they forced Houston and Columbus to draws and the only reason they didn't get a result against New York this weekend was Bouna, he made some amazing saves to keep a Red Bull team that had to get a second PK in order to move ahead of Dallas.

11. Chicago Fire (+3) 1-2-1 - A win is a win and for the Fire beating up on DC United didn't seem to bother them at all, it was a gritty match for 78 minutes and then DC gave up a goal and Chicago got some energy and was able to close the deal.  Fitting that their first win comes on the road where they got 6 of their 11 wins in 2009 and had a positive goal differential, but now they go home to face Houston this weekend, so can the Fire get it done at home or will they go down in flames?

10. Real Salt Lake (-4) 1-2-1 - After 120 minutes plus PK's on Wednesday to beat San Jose in a Open Cup qualifying match, RSL played a lackluster match against the Galaxy.  Long balls and disconnected passes were the norm and no the exception, and there is no excuse to ever leave the hottest scorer in MLS unmarked.  Real did that twice and now Buddle has 7 goals and RSL has another loss.  They head to Columbus sight of their huge 3-2 playoff win last year, and they will need a match like that to move them up the rankings.

9. Columbus Crew (-6) - 1-0-1 - Hard for a team with only two matches to be fairly ranked against teams with 4 matches, so I have to move the Crew down a hard 6 spots as they simply aren't playing, now every team has played at least 3 and most 4 but the Crew have been able to rest the opening month is beyond me.  They can blame MLS's schedule makers for their rapid descent down the rankings.

8. New England (-4) - 2-2-0 - New England is a hard cookie to figure out but both of their wins have come off freakish 5-10 minute hot streaks in matches, their losses come when nobody does the incredible, then they look like a middle of the pack team.  They could move back up if they can beat the Rapids at home this weekend.

7. San Jose (+4) - 2-1-0 - Well after an opening day loss, the Quakes have found a way to beat up on two Eastern Conference foes, at Chicago last weekend, and then at home against New England this weekend 2-0.  Up next a match in LA against Chivas USA, beat them and everyone will begin to think you might just deserve that new stadium everyone is talking about.

6. Houston Dynamo (+4) - 2-1-1 - After a convincing loss to LA's Galaxy last week, this week they beat up on the other LA team and get a 3-0 win.  Houston usually is a slow starter but their 2-1-1 start is one of their best since moving to Houston and if they can pick a win up in Chicago next weekend, they could move into the top 5.

5. Colorado Rapids (+3) -2-1-1 - Not many people saw it Sunday but Colorado beat up on TFC, it was a small crowd but there was plenty of action from the PK spot as 2 of the Rapid's 3 came from there and Toronto's only goal came from the PK spot.  It leaves me left wondering how bad is TFC if 2 of their 3 goals this year have come from PK's, and how good is Colorado when half of their goals have come from the PK spot.  They head to New England, let's see if they can win without PK's?

4. KC Wizards (-2) - 2-1-0 - It is hard to move KC down too much as they have given up just a single goal this year in MLS play and that came in stoppage time, but a loss is a loss and KC will go from the frying pan of Qwest field to fire as they face the LA Galaxy.  The only advantage they will have is the match is being played in their tiny stadium, can they find a way to do what nobody else has, can they stop Edson Buddle?

3. Seattle Sounders (+4) - 2-1-1 - Well you have to say that the Sounder's may have gotten a two-fold education this weekend, first is that you never stop trying to get a goal no matter what (a lesson they were on the wrong side of last weekend in Salt Lake), and second you can never go wrong with a Harvard man.  Beating a team that had been undefeated and scoring against a team that hadn't given up a goal yet in 2009 was enough to move them back up to where I expected them to be, in the top 5.  They take their act on the road on Sunday to face TFC, beating them at BMO would go a long way to cement SSFC's place in my top 3.

2. New York Red Bulls (+3) - 3-1-0 - This was the hardest thing I had to do this week, I don't believe that the Red Bulls are the second best team in MLS, they struggled with FC Dallas, it took two PK's (they could only convert one) to get the win at home.  The thing that makes me put them here is Bouna, when he plays like he did in the second half against Dallas, well New York is going to be tough to beat.  Their next two have them facing Philly at Red Bull Arena and DC United at RFK, yes the Red Bulls could be 5-1-0 in a couple weeks.

1. LA Galaxy (-) - 4-0-0 - Well the Galaxy gave up their first goal of 2010, but RSL failed to shut down Edson Buddle and his 6th and 7th goals of the season were enough to give them a 2-1 win at home.  Having 3 of your first 4 at home is a nice thing and it hasn't hurt LA, they now make the trek to KC, but right now the question is can anyone stop Edson Buddle?  I don't think so, but it would be nice to see LA establish themselves as more than a one-trick pony soon, can Landycakes get a goal already?  I think LA could be at the top for some time.

There you go, the who's and why's of my week 4 MLS power rankings.