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MLS week 8 Wrap Up and Power Rankings

Well my week started off well with RSL's 3-1 win over Houston, and overall I got 5 of 8 results right with one on the nose:

My Picks

Actual Results

RSL 3 - Houston 2

RSL 3 - Houston 1

FC Dallas 1 - Philly 1

FC Dallas 1 - Philly 1 *

San Jose 2 - New England 1

San Jose 0 - New England 0

Colorado 2 - DC United 2

Colorado 1 - DC United 0

Columbus 2 - Chivas 1

Columbus 1 - Chivas 0

Seattle 2 - New York 1

Seattle 1 - New York 0

Chicago 1 - KC Wizards 1

Chicago 2 - KC 2

Galaxy 3 - TFC 1

Galaxy 0 - Toronto 0

It was a weekend where fans had to sit tight and wait until late in matches to know the final results: Philly got a 90th minute goal for their draw with Dallas, the Crew needed a late PK to get their win, the Sounders got a 85th minute goal for their win, and KC got an 89th minute goal to even up their match with Chicago.  So how did all the late results impact my power rankings for this week?

16. DC United (-)

Just when you started to think that United may have turned it around a bit with a win over KC and a solid match in Dallas, they drop 3 points at home to Colorado.  Their task will not be easier this weekend as they head back to Texas, this time to face the Houston Dynamo.  Looks like United may be at the bottom when the World Cup rolls around.

15. Philly Union (-)

They almost move up a slot, they scored a late goal at home to get a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas.  Considering their brutal road schedule to start the season, I am almost starting to pull for the Union just because fate has been so cruel to them.  They do get a week off this weekend, before heading down to face Houston on the 29th, hopefully Le Toux will continue his recovery.

More after the jump:

14. New England (-)

In MLS it is all about wins at home, and despite all the chaos of injuries and such in New England, they couldn't find a way to win, so they stay down at #14.  This weekend they head north of the border to face off against TFC, who are tough at home, my prediction is that New England may be at #14 next week as well

13. Chivas USA (-)

You can move down with a draw but it is unlikely you can move up with one.  Two weeks without a goal makes it hard to get wins, it won't be much easier as they face RSL this weekend at the HDC.  If they can't score in that one they wil likely end up with a loss.

12. KC Wizards (-2)

Yup they got a result at home and still moved down, after a hot start to the season the Wizards have looked more like first year students at Hogwart's than playoff contenders.  Their unique home field should give them a real advantage but it didn't help them against Chicago and next up is a Sunday showdown with the unbeaten Crew, good luck Wizards.

11. FC Dallas (-)

When you get a lead on the road, you really don't want to lose it in stoppage time, what should have been a rare road win, instead is a draw.  For a team with just one loss so far this year, you would think they would rank higher but with 5 draws and the inability to close out matches they are still out of the top 10.  A Thursday matchup with the Galaxy will be a bit easier than expected since Landon and Buddle will be gone, but still will be a tough test at PHP.

10. Seattle Sounders (+2)

Well the Sounders regrouped to pull off a late win on the road against the top team in the East, that is enough to get them back in the top 10.  I haven't watched the match yet, but if you look at the stats it sure looks like this one was all Seattle.  Now they get to go home and face the surprise of the Western Conference, San Jose, should be a good matchup at Qwest field on Saturday.

9. Chicago Fire (-)

Draws can help you but for the Fire, giving up a late goal to get a single point instead of all 3 won't help you out much in my rankings.  Still one of the biggest mysteries of the early MLS season, the Chicago Fire. Perhaps when they return to action on the 27th against FC Dallas they will start to provide some answers.

8. Toronto FC (-)

To be honest I almost move TFC up in the rankings, they went to LA and forced a draw from the best team in the league, they got their first point away from BMO field.  If LA hadn't simply outplayed them for almost the entire match, if LA hadn't been distracted by the going away party after the match, it might have been easy to move TFC up a bit for a draw.  But I think they will stay right where they are.

7. New York Red Bulls (-3)

Losing at home to a team you beat on the road will cost you points in my book, New York gave up a late goal to Seattle and dropped 3 points with the 1-0 loss.  You still have to give the Red Bulls some credit, their 5 wins still have them at the top of the Eastern Conference, if they get 6 more points in their next 22 matches they will match last years 21 points (funny LA already has 23).  They get to host the Crew on Thursday, the winner is going to be on top of the East.

6. Houston Dynamo (-3)

To lose on the road isn't a bad thing, to get soundly beat is something else.  Houston got both last Thursday, as they continue their win, lose, win, lose streak.  Since they face the bottom two teams in the East next, and both at home the Dynamo might finally shake that trend.  DC United on Saturday, and Philly on the 29th, anything less than 6 points and Houston could drop like a brick.

5. Colorado Rapids (+2)

The Rapids picked up their 3rd road win of 2010, which is more than they had all of 2009.  Beating DC United doesn't get you as much credibility as beating others but a win is a win.  The Rapids get a little time off before heading to New York next Wednesday to fight for a US Open Cup spot, then they host the Sounders on the 29th.

4. San Jose Earthquakes (+1)

San Jose moved up with a road draw at New England, I expected them to win over a team that is clearly struggling right now.  The task doesn't get easier for the Quakes, as they will head up to Seattle on Saturday, Qwest Field isn't an easy place for a result but should San Jose find a way, they might crack the top 3.

3. Real Salt Lake (+3)

After a lackluster win over Philly a couple weeks ago, Real Salt Lake took it to the Dynamo and looked great in doing so.  For the first time since the opening weekend, RSL came out with an energy level that caught their opponent off guard and with Javier Morales getting back to match form, RSL could be dangerous this weekend as they head to the HDC to face Chivas USA.  

2. Columbus Crew (-)

I don't believe the Crew are the second best team in MLS this year, I do believe they have been the luckiest team in MLS this year.  A favorable schedule, they have only played 6 matches and 4 have been at home, some favorable calls (two wins from the PK spot at home). We should find out if the Crew are that good or if it has been luck as they will face New York at RBA on Thursday and then travel to KC on Sunday to face the Wizards, before ending the month at home against the Galaxy.

1. LA Galaxy (-)

Still unbeaten, with more than half the points needed to make the playoffs and 22 matches left to play, even when distracted by World Cup callups for Landon and Buddle, even without their starting keeper.  They manage to outplay, but not outscore Toronto.  They should have gotten the win but sometimes days go like that.  LA heads to Dallas for a Thursday matchup, lets see how they do without their two stars.  Who will be the one to step up for LA?  Someone will need to if they want to stay on top.