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Week 7 MLS Recap and Power Rankings

So after a very bad 1 of 4 midweek set of picks, I did much better on the Saturday matches (but I was shocked by the margins in some of the matches):

My Picks

Actual Results

KC Wizards 2 - DC United 1

DC United 2 - KC Wizards 1

Chivas USA 2 - New England 2

Chivas USA 4 - New England 0

Houston 2 - FC Dallas 1

FC Dallas 1 - Houston 0

LA Galaxy 3 - Colorado 2

LA Galaxy 1 - Colorado 0

Saturday Matches

LA Galaxy 2 - Seattle Sounders 1

LA Galaxy 4 - Seattle 0

Chicago Fire 1 - Toronto FC 1

Toronto 4 - Chicago 1

Columbus 2 - New England 1

Columbus 3 - New England 2

FC Dallas 1 - DC United 0

FC Dallas 1 - DC United 0*

San Jose 2 - New  York 1

San Jose 4 - New York 0

Chivas USA 3 - Houston 2

Houston 2 - Chivas USA 0

Real Salt Lake 4 - Philadelphia 1

Real Salt Lake 3 - Philadelphia 0

So I got 5 of 7 right and nailed the score on the FC Dallas match.  I don't think anyone saw the margin of victory in the Galaxy, Toronto, or San Jose matches but they sure did cause some havoc and improve their goal differentials.  LA now sits as the top scoring team (15 goals for- despite no goals from Buddle this week) and the best defense with just 2 goals allowed.

My Power Rankings

16. DC United (-)
It might have been easy to move United up after their first win of the season but they went down to Dallas and lost to the other team that had won their first match on Wednesday.  While they have stopped leaking goals, but you have to wonder if the win was more a bad show by KC?  It will take more than one win to move DC out of the cellar.

15. Philadelphia Union (-)
I stick by my original prediction that the Union would end up much more like a typical MLS expansion team than the success of last year's Sounders squad.  I do give Union head coach Peter Nowak a lot of credit, he doesn't have his team trying to bunker and go for ties, they come out to play every match and I have a feeling they will find more wins before too long.

The rest of the power rankings after the jump:

14. New England (-1)
The shame is that the Rev's could have gone up the rankings if they had found a way to play with 11 men against Chivas, or if they had been able to close out the match against Columbus.  Injuries and the missing Sharlie Joseph, have the team lacking direction and teams they face are taking advantage of it.  Next up they have to face the red hot Earthquakes.

13.  Chivas USA (-1)
It is easy to win matches when you have two man advantage, but failure to get a win at home when it matters against a conference foe is enough to keep Chivas at the bottom of the rankings.  They are a solid team, and I expect that they will do much better as the season goes along, but they have to head to Ohio to face Columbus who have found a way to keep on winning.

12. Seattle Sounders (-3)
There is far too much talent on this team for them to be ranked this low but the reality is they are having issues finding the back of the net and once steady Kasey Keller and Sounder defense are looking more like Swiss cheese, in fact no team in the West have allowed more goals than the Sounders. Now they have to head to New York and face the Red Bulls, a team that beat them at Qwest field earlier this year.

11. FC Dallas (+3)
Two big wins for Dallas have them moving up the rankings, the win against Houston was impressive as they played a solid game plan. When DC United came to Dallas, they didn't play very well but they were able to get the win and hold onto it, but a win over DC isn't very impressive.  There is talent on this team but there are still some things missing, if they can get a win in Philly next weekend it will go a long way towards helping them crack the top 10.

10. Kansas City Wizards (-3)
The Wizards found a way to score for the first time in 4 matches, but still ended up on the losing end to DC United. With just one goal in their last 4 matches, they will need some help as the face the Fire who are coming off their worst lost of the year.  

9. Chicago Fire (-4)
Wow to get beat by Toronto at BMO field is nothing to get down about, but to play as badly as the Fire did and get beat that badly is enough to drop them almost out of the top 10, next up will be KC at Toyotoa Park.  Their 2-3-2 record doesn't seem that bad but for a team that was picked to be at the top of the East by most experts, their adjustment to a new coach seems to be more rocky than some expected.

8. Toronto FC (+3)
In MLS a lot comes down to how well you can do at home and for Toronto FC a 4-1 over the Chicago Fire is impressive.  The question will be can they figure out a way to get some points on the road, there will be no tougher task for them going to LA to face the unbeaten Galaxy.  If they can get a result it would be very impressive.

7. Colorado (-1)
A tough midweek loss to LA has dropped the Rapids a spot, but they could have fallen further as their effort against LA wasn't very impressive.  I have a feeling this team is still trying to get used to the new faces that make up a large part of their lineup.  They will have a chance to pick up a 3rd road win of the early season as they head to DC to face a United team that is still the worst in MLS.

6. Real Salt Lake (+4)
While several early season results didn't go their way, RSL have shown why at home they are the toughest team in MLS, a 3-0 win over a very game Philadelphia Union team on top of last weeks win over Toronto FC.  While the first half was less than impressive, the second half was solid.  For RSL this weeks match against Houston will be a huge test that could propel them into the top 5 of the power rankings.

5. San Jose Earthquakes (+3)
Since their opening day loss, the Quakes are 4-1 and their convincing win over New York will now have everyone paying attention to the Quake's.  Striker Ryan Johnson got his first goal of the year, and Wondolowski got his 4th in 4 matches and everything seems to be clicking for San Jose.

4. New York (-2)
You simply never know what is going to happen with the Red Bulls, they look to be one of the best teams in MLS and then they give up 4 goals to San Jose.  This is the second loss in California for New York and they have to be thankful that they only have one more match in the state that is anything but golden for them.  They have to be happy they are heading home for their next match against the struggling Sounders.

3. Houston (+1)
It is hard to move Houston up after they dropped a match at home, but they were the better team against FC Dallas and it took an incredible short handed goal to beat them, but then Houston headed to the Home Depot Center and took care of Chivas USA and while losing at home is tough we all know that wins on the road over conference foes is one of the hardest things to do in MLS.  The question is can Houston do it twice as they head to Salt Lake City for a Thursday showdown.

2. Columbus Crew (+1)
Well if anything is true in the early portion of the MLS season, it is that the Crew are the luckiest team in the league. Mystery PK's, goals taken off scoreboards, and now a solid last minute goal, all have helped the Crew remain the second unbeaten team in MLS at 3-0-2.  Next up for the Crew will be Chivas who has done well facing Eastern Conference teams on the road.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy (-)
When you are the number one team in the power rankings, how do you stay at the top?  Go on the road for two matches against conference foes and beat them both.  First was a midweek win over Colorado 1-0 in a match that LA dominated, and then was the thrashing of Seattle 4-0.  You have to imagine that returning to Qwest field was enough to fire up the Galaxy who lost MLS Cup the last time they were there.  Next up for the Galaxy is Toronto FC coming to the HDC, and LA should be able to keep their place at the top for another week.