Well half the teams in MLS have played at least 15 matches, making this the midway point of the season for most teams. It was an interesting weekend that saw the #1 team in MLS get beat by a cellar dweller team in New England, we saw a number of matches decided in the last few minutes or stoppage time, and then there were the 0-0 draws. So I thought it would be interesting to post where the teams were in my power rankings in week 1 vs. where they are today:
16. KC Wizards (-1 from last week, #1 on Week 1)
Well getting beat at home by the only team ranked lower than them last week is a far cry from the team that beat DC United 4-0 to start the season. One has to wonder how that team has become the team with just one win in their last 12 matches? It is unlikely to get better as they now head to Columbus for a midweek match on Wednesday, and then head out to Colorado to face the Rapids on Saturday.
15. Philadelphia Union (-1 from last week, #16 on Week 1)
The Union were the better team for the vast majority of their match against San Jose, but when San Jose tied up the match, it seemed like the Union lost heart when they gave up a stoppage time goal in the first half. They were flat for most of the second half, typical of what you would expect from an expansion team. San Jose kept battling and got the winning goal in stoppage time of the match to break the hearts of the more than 17,000 fans at PPL park. They get another chance for a home win as they will host TFC on Saturday.
more after the jump:
14. Chivas USA (+2 from last week, #12 on Week 1)
Getting a road win is impressive, getting one over 3-8-3 KC not so much, but it was enough to move them out of the cellar and up a couple spots. Chivas has struggled all season and even with this win are still in last place in the Western Conference. They have the talent to move up but lack on field leadership and their coach is still trying to figure out how MLS teams play, they could move up in the second half of the season, but I don't think they will be able to crack the top 10. They are off from league play until they head to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on the 24th, they will be playing in SuperLiga so they have some time to get their act together.
13. DC United ( - as last week, #14 on Week 1)
Well they went on the road and got a 0-0 draw against a New York team, that seemed more interested in Thursday announcement. Good enough to hold their place, not enough to move up. This could be a good week for DC, as they will host a couple of Western Conference teams (2 of their 3 wins this year have come against teams from the West), first up is Seattle on Thursday night in a contest of teams that people expected more from, and then on Sunday they will face a LA team stung by their loss to New England. Both should be interesting matches to watch.
12. New England Revolution (+2 from last week, #10 on Week 1)
Winners of the upset of the week award, the Rev's rebounded from their 5-0 beating by RSL by taking it out on LA and getting a 2-0 win in a match that they played well in and showed that they may just be close to getting back on their win bandwagon. New England is another MLS team taking the SuperLiga break, their next MLS match isn't until July 31st when they head to PPL Park to face the Union.
11. Houston Dynamo (-1 from last week, #8 on Week 1)
They Dynamo are usually one of the best teams at home, but after their 0-0 draw with the Crew they are just 4-3-2 at home. Houston are another team going into their SuperLiga break, their next MLS match will be the return leg against the Crew in Columbus on the 24th and then they play host to the MLS All Star Match on the 28th. I expect Houston to be a team to make some moves once the transfer window opens, if not they may not crack the top 10 this year.
10. Seattle Sounders (+1 from last week, #3 on Week 1)
A stupid mistake by a young kid getting his first start, ends up costing the Sounders a match, with a 1-0 lead over FC Dallas a straight red card to Montano, left Seattle shorthanded for 34 minutes plus stoppage time. To be honest there were more than one player on each side who probably should have been sent off as each side tried to out Holland each other. Could have and should have been a win, ends up being a draw. I still move them up a spot because it looks like they are figuring it out. Now they need to play smart on Thursday as they go to DC to face United.
9. Chicago Fire (- from last week, #11 on Week 1)
They played an ugly first half, where their goal was clearly defensive play and then in the second half they played well as they attacked and tried to get back into the match. They still have issues finishing, Pappa can't do it all for them. Steve Kinney is a player other teams are going to take notice of, the Fire are one of those SuperLiga teams so they won't see MLS action again until August 1st when they travel to LA to face the Galaxy.
8. Colorado Rapids (-2 from last week, #5 on Week 1)
UGLY, their match against TFC was simply a ugly match and unlike the top teams involved in ugly matches, they couldn't get the result. I am still unconvinced about how goos the Rapids might be. They have talent, but have yet to become a convincing team, leadership comes from Pablo, who is less and less effective on the pitch. The Rapids have a chance to get back on the winning side of things as they play host to KC on Saturday.
7. San Jose Earthquakes (+1 from last week, #15 on Week 1)
Who says crime doesn't pay, the Quakes stole a result after getting outplayed for the vast majority of their match against the Philly Union, but in the end they took advantage of stoppage time at the end of the first half and at the end of the match and in the end they got the win. Clearly they took advantage of the inexperienced Union side, but winners do whatever it takes to win. San Jose will have to be more impressive after their 12 day break, they will head to LA to face the Galaxy on the 22nd.
6. New York Red Bulls (-1 from last week, #6 from Week 1)
Another team that failed to take advantage of playing a weaker opponent, a 0-0 draw against DC United, how do you not score against a team that had given up 25 goals in 14 matches? Sorry, in this case a draw will move you down as it was clear that some players didn't have their heads in the match, and given the coming media circus that will be around them and Handball Henry, it is almost understandable. After their Thursday press carnival, they will head to Columbus to face off against the Crew, at stake will be first place in the Eastern Conference.
5. Toronto FC (+2 from last week, #13 on Week 1)
Top teams find a way to win even when they don't play their best and it was clear that Saturday that neither Colorado or Toronto played their best, but TFC found a way to get the win and pushed themselves into the top 5. Being TFC you can expect them to be busy during the transfer window, they have been each year, but with Preki now the coach it will be interesting to see what kind of move they make. They get to travel to Philly to face the Union this weekend, and a win there will secure them as one of the top team in the East.
4. FC Dallas (- from last week, #9 on Week 1)
As I have said before in this post, sometimes you have to win despite not being the best team on the pitch, and getting a result against a rejuvenated Seattle team has to be seen a win for FC Dallas who leads the league with 7 draws, and only have two losses. The late goal by David Ferreira was a thing of beauty, but the FC Dallas announce team might be off a bit claiming him "the best player in MLS". Goal of the week winner, sure but sorry he will need to lead his team to more than 5 wins before claiming to be the best player in the league. Up next for FC Dallas is playing host to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
3. Columbus Crew (- from last week, #4 on Week 1)
Getting results on the road isn't easy for anyone and Columbus is still looking for their first win in Houston but their 0-0 draw was good enough to keep them atop of the Eastern Conference. They can extend that lead this week, as they play host to two matches, first up is KC on Wednesday night and then New York comes to town on Saturday, Columbus could move up or down based on those results.
2. Real Salt Lake (- from last week, #2 on Week 1)
Well the theme of this week is getting results even when you don't play your best, and RSL clearly didn't play their best when they were in Chicago but they got their first ever win at Toyota Park, and their 3rd road win of the season. RSL is the hottest team in MLS with a 10 match undefeated streak, and they haven't given up a goal in 498 mintues, 23 minutes shy of 3rd longest in MLS history. In front of them is a big test in FC Dallas on Saturday, getting a clean sheet and another road win might be enough to move RSL up to #1 if LA should stumble at all.
1. LA Galaxy (- from last week, #7 on Week 1)
Wow, Landon goes to spend some time at the pool (he is shirtless so don't click right after meals) and the Galaxy get punished by New England 2-0. They are just 1-2-1 in their last 4 MLS matches, with just them only finding the back of the net in one of those matches. With what most people expect to be the impending departure of Landon Donovan, have the Galaxy peaked too soon? We should know a lot more by how they punish DC United on Sunday.
So there you have my look at how I think the teams stack up after the 15th week of MLS action.
OFF MY SOAPBOX