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Major League Soccer week 11 recap and Power Rankings

Well the last full week of action before MLS takes a break for the group stage of the World Cup, 4 teams played two matches and everyone played at least one.  My picks were subpar as I only got 4 of 10 correct.

My Picks

Actual Results 

Wed - Houston 2 - New York 1

Houston 1 - New York 2

Wed - Columbus 1 - San Jose 1

Columbus 2 - San Jose 2

Sat - Toronto 2 - Kansas City 1

Toronto 0 - Kansas City 0

Sat - Chivas 1 - New York 1

Chivas 0 - New York 1

Sat -  LA 2 - Houston 1

LA 4 - Houston 1

Sat - San Jose 2 - FC Dallas 2

San Jose 0 - Dallas 2

Sat - Philadelphia 1 - Chicago 1

Philly 1 - Chicago 2

Sat - Colorado 2 - Columbus 0

Colorado 1 - Columbus 0

Sat - Seattle 3 - New England 1

Seattle 3 - New England 0

Sat - Salt Lake 3 - DC 1

Real Salt Lake 0 - DC 0

So how did all the action impact my power rankings?

16. DC United (-)

I was very tempted to move United out of the basement, I mean they did play the defending MLS Champs to a 0-0 draw.  Except DC was at home, coming off a good stretch of play (win over Milan, win over Chivas, and Open Cup win over RSL) but they could not finish their very good chances in the first half.  They had RSL on their heels for most of the first half but failed to convert, they were able to hold off the RSL attack in the second half and get a draw. If they can get a result in Seattle on Thursday night, then out of the basement they will come.

15. Chivas USA (-)

The struggles for Chivas continue, after last weeks loss to DC Untied, they stayed on the East coast and dropped a 1-0 loss at New York.  Now with the departure of Sacha Kljestan to Belgium, Chivas will be looking for a new leader on the pitch, and I just don't see anyone on their roster that inspires much confidence in me that they will get their act together anytime soon.  Perhaps no team needs the World Cup break more than the Goats.

More after the jump:

14. KC Wizards (-)

I was almost ready to move KC up a spot, getting a result in Toronto is tough, but then I realized that they had 30 minutes of a man advantage and couldn't score, in fact they only ended the match with one more shot than TFC.  KC did lose a man in the 57th minute but their failure to capitalize on a chance for a win on the road keeps them at 14 for now.  They do have one more match before the WC break, they host the Union on Thursday and if they aren't careful the boys from Philly may be more than the Wizards can deal with.

13. Philadelphia Union (-)

Well the Union continue their grind on the road, and almost find a way to come back at the end of the match and get a result against the Fire, but trying to catch up in stoppage time is a rough thing to do.  Danny "stoppage time" Mwanga was able to find the back of the net in the 92nd minute but it was too little too late.  Now the Union get one more match before the World Cup break, they head to KC for a Thursday matchup, and then they get to open up their brand new home stadium (PPL Park) on the 27th.

12. New England Revolution (-)

Well giving up a goal in the first 5 minutes of a match is hard thing to come back from, giving up 3 goals in the first half when you only have two shots the entire match, means you lose and lose big.  3-0 at Seattle was a tough lost for the Rev's who had started to look better since Shalrie Joseph's return but in their last match before the World Cup break, they looked bad, really bad.

11. Houston Dynamo (-4)

Two big road matches in a week are tough, even tougher when one is on the East coast and the other is on the West coast, you know what makes it even more of a challenge?  Facing the top team in both Conferences, well the Dynamo weren't up to it and lost both matches giving them a 3 match losing streak, and a drop from the top 10. Houston are another team that is done until the last weekend of June, and they will be welcoming the break to try and get themselves re-organized and ready for the long MLS summer.

10. Chicago Fire (-)

A hard fought win over the Union at home isn't enough to move the Fire up in my rankings, their 3-3-4 record is anything but impressive.  You have to expect to beat expansion teams at home, but some questionable tactics at the end of the match almost allowed Philly to get back into the match.  If they make that same mistake on Wednesday against a Colorado team that just beat the Crew, they might find themselves dropping points at home.

9. Seattle Sounders (+2)

You knew the Sounders were better than their record, you knew their offense was more lethal than the 9 goals they had scored in their first 11 matches, and on Saturday the Rave Green took out their frustrations on the Revolution. The end result was a very impressive 3-0 win, I actually expected a bit more from them after the 3 goals in the first half but they looked a bit content in the second half to take their foot off the gas a bit and save something for their midweek match against DC United.  Can they get two straight wins, can they score multiple goals at home for the second match in a row, yup they sure can.

8. FC Dallas (-)

Perhaps my toughest call of the week is not moving Dallas in front of San Jose, I mean they beat them on Saturday, but it was just the 3rd win of the year for FC Dallas.  I am still a bit confused by this FCD team, the only team with fewer losses is the undefeated LA Galaxy, but only 3 teams have fewer wins (KC, Philly, and DC each with 2).  It looked almost like the Quakes were already on their break, and Brek Shea is starting to develop into the player that Dallas expected as he scored both goals for FCD. Dallas out shot the Quakes 15-5 in the match and were the better team all night.  Now they can enjoy their 21 day break in action, but watch out for the Hoops this summer, they could get on a run like they did at the end of last season and cause teams some real headaches.

7. San Jose Earthquakes (-1)

I am not sure what happened to San Jose on Saturday, other than they started their World Cup break 90 minutes early.  Not just the players but you have to wonder why they would make 3 major lineup changes to their squad that battled to a 2-2 draw with the Crew on Wednesday?  That decision would cost them and they now trail the Galaxy byt 15 points in the Western Conference standing.

6. Toronto FC (-1)

Fortress BMO was invaded by poor quality MLS officiating and that hurt the Red's chance to get their 5th home win of the season, settling for a 0-0 draw with KC as both sides finished the match with 10 men.  Neither side looked overly impressive in the match and thus TFC drop a place in the rankings.  After getting a 3-1 win over San Jose last weekend, I expected more from them against the Wizards.

5. New York Red Bulls  (+4)

Winning two matches in a week is a good thing, moving into a tie for the top of the Eastern Conference is a good thing, and heading into the World Cup break (and soon some major signing).  I think perhaps the most important part of their two wins is their improved defensive play, just one goal allowed to Houston on Wednesday and another clean sheet for Coundoul as they blank Chivas 1-0 on Saturday.  A great way to rebound after their lost last weekend to New England.

4. Real Salt Lake (-1)

I know that many people will say I am being too hard on RSL, it was their 3rd match in 7 days and there were lots of other distractions, they have some key injuries, and all of those things are true.  It is no excuse for one of the worst halves of soccer played by the team all year, they should have honestly given up two goals in the first half and had they been playing anyone other than the scoring inept DC United (just 9 goals in 11 matches), they would have been.  Perhaps they were all looking forward to Wednesday and the David Cook post match concert?  I am hoping that they will regain their composure in time for the match against the undefeated (10-0-2) LA Galaxy, who come to Rio Tinto before the concert on Wednesday.  3 points and to be the first team to bloody the Galaxy's nose this year is the expectation for Wednesday.

3. Colorado Rapids (+1)

There is an old saying that "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best", well the Rapids beat the best of the Eastern Conference on Saturday night with their 1-0 win over the Crew.  That is enough for them to crack the top 3 of my power rankings and depending on the midweek results (they face the Fire at Toyota Park) it might get them in the top two.  To be honest, they weren't that impressive in the match, but neither was Columbus, but they did get the win despite being down a man as Pablo got sent off in the 75th minute, their goal came from Drew Moor in the 85th minute.

2. Columbus Crew (-)

A tough week for the Crew as they get a 2-2 draw in San Jose and then drop a 1-0 loss at Colorado, oh it would be easy to move them down, as I feel very justified that they are over rated and that too many of their wins were handed to them earlier in the season, but with just two losses so far this year they were safe for now, but either RSL or Colorado could move ahead of them with wins on Wednesday.

1. LA Galaxy (-)

Another one bites the dust, for LA that has got to be their theme song for the first 12 matches of the MLS season, as they have 32 of 36 possible points and have all but clinched a playoff spot before the middle of the season.  As impressive as that is, it is their 3 goals allowed that simply blow me away.  I have watched almost all their matches and I am simply amazed that teams can't score against them.  Perhaps their biggest test of the season will come on Wednesday as they head to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake, when these teams faced off in LA it was a 2-1 win for the Galaxy, but RSL has been unbeatable at home for over a year, and boast 4 straight home wins.  You have to wonder why FSC or ESPN haven't adjusted their schedules to cover this match, which clearly is one of the biggest matches of the MLS season so far?  Edson who, a pair of goals from Jovan Kirovski, Tristan Bowen's second goal of the season, and the first MLS goal for Alex Cazumba gave LA the 4-1 win over Houston, and allow to remain on top of the Power Rankings.

4 midweek matches (2 on Wednesday, and 2 on Thursday) before MLS hangs up their hat for a couple weeks and enjoy the group stages of the World Cup, will anyone do something to move themselves up before the break?

OFF MY SOAPBOX