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Major League Soccer Week 20 - Power Rankings

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Well it was a big weekend in MLS as the top 4 teams all faced off against each other, while other teams looked to establish themselves as playoff contenders, and some looked to try to salvage their season.

16. DC United (-)

Another week, another loss for United 3-1 to FC Dallas at home and you have to wonder when it will sink in that the issues are deeper than the head coach?  Listen with a young talent like Najar, how long until he is tempted to seek opportunities elsewhere?  Next up for DC United is the Philly Union who come to town on Sunday, and to be honest I have to pick Philly in this one.

15. Houston Dynamo (-2)

I knew it wasn't going to be easy for Houston, keeping a dynasty together never is.  When Dwayne headed north to TFC it was the first leak in the boat, then Ricardo Clark and Stuart Holden left and the leaks have become more than the current players can bail out faster than it comes in.  Injuries have hurt them but losing to New England whose roster has as many if not more holes than Houston's simply shows how bad it has gotten. Next up is playing host to the Chicago Fire this weekend, Robertson Stadium is a hard place to get a win so maybe Houston can earn another point at home.

the rest of the rankings after the jump:

14.  New England Revolution (+1)

Listen I know some people are jumping on the Revolution bandwagon but I am far from sold, a 1-0 win over a bad Houston team at home is less than convincing.  I couldn't care less about SuperLiga, a win over DC United yeah that convinces me you are a solid team.  You got a draw against Philly and yes you did beat LA, you got lucky, but before that was the 5-0 loss to RSL, 1-0 loss to Chicago, 3-0 loss to Seattle.  Make you a deal get 4 points this week in your matches with Chicago and KC and I will move you up the rankings.

13. Philadelphia Union (+1)

I moved the Union up a spot on the basis of two solid draws at home against Western Conference foes and the fact that they didn't get either by playing defensive but in both matches they were the aggressor and played a very open style that was both entertaining and effective.  Given the fact that they are still an expansion side I don't expect too much but when this team gets some quality possession and offense in the midfield they could be dangerous as you have to rank Le Toux and Mwanga as one of the top forward combos in MLS.  Up next is a trip to RFK and a chance to play a team they should be able to get a road result against.

12. Chivas USA (-)

Well a home draw in a ugly match against the Sounders isn't enough to impress anyone as Chivas continue to lack consistency in their play.  At times they appear to finally have rounded the corner and are ready to go on a run, then they get a couple matches like this where the look fairly lost and that it will still be some months before they figure it all out.  If they don't figure it out before their Saturday match at FC Dallas they could find themselves on the wrong end of a ugly scoreline.

11. KC Wizards (-)

Much like Chivas USA, one match they come out and look like they are figuring it all out, then they go and lay an egg at San Jose.  The lack of a real attacking option up top, other than Kei Kamara has hurt them and relying on rookies isn't the solution for most teams.  They play host to New England on Saturday, and the "cozy" confines at CommunityAmerica Ballpark usually mean a fairly solid effort from the Wiz.

10. San Jose Earthquakes (-)

If San Jose played in the Eastern Conference they would be in 3rd place instead of 6th place in the West, which is where they find themselves.  A big home win over KC has them back in the thick of the playoff hunt, with just 18 matches played, only the Fire have played fewer.  A couple wins and they could jump up the standings quickly as they are just 7 points out of 3rd place.  The Quakes face a huge test on Saturday as they host the LA Galaxy, they were able to get a draw against them at the HDC and if they can pull out a win in this match they will put themselves back on everyone radar.

9. Colorado Rapids (-)

The Rapids are another team that it seems are still trying to figure some things out, they started out well but have gone into a funk of just one win in their last 8 matches.  They were able to manage a 1-1 draw against the Union in Philly and will find a much tougher test waiting for them as they head to Columbus to face the Crew on Saturday.

8. Toronto FC (-)

Unless TFC can find a way to start getting wins on the road, they may start to fall in my rankings, 1-7-1 simply isn't going to cut it this year for a road record.  Now facing New York, at home with the emotions of the debut of new players isn't easy but somewhere and sometime this year, the Red's are going to have to get some results on the road.  This weekend they get to seek a little revenge against the Red Bulls, as the boys from New York will have to head to BMO field.

7. Chicago Fire (-)

No team in MLS has played fewer matches than the Fire's 16, but even wins in every one of the 4 in hand matches wouldn't catch them up with East leading Columbus, and it would only put them 2 in front of New York.  Given their 5-5-6 record so far, not sure why anyone would think this team would do better than 6-7 points in those 4 matches, which would put them in 3rd or keep them in 4th place in the East.  The Fire get two matches this week, New England at home on Wednesday, and at Houston on Saturday, if they can pull out two wins then maybe they can move up the rankings.

6. Seattle Sounders (-)

The Sounders continue to surge against Western Conference foes with a 0-0 draw against Chivas USA, that makes them 3-0-1 in their last 4 matches against teams from the West and they are now up to 4th place in the West and are looking more like a playoff team than at any other time this season.  They still are battling some injury issues and will need to fully integrate their new players to their style of play, but I think you can count on seeing the Rave Green in the post season.  They are off from league play this weekend as the opening matches of the CCL take place.

5. New York Red Bulls (-)

The Red Bulls need to find a way to get their high powered offense going, a 1-0 win over TFC at home midweek, followed by a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy at home isn't going to impress anyone.  I know it takes time for new players to adjust to their teams, and teams to adjust to new players, for the Red Bulls the task this weekend isn't easy.  They head to Toronto and a showdown at BMO field where TFC is unbeaten this year.

4. FC Dallas (-)

Their 3-1 road win was almost enough to move in front of the Crew, and had it been against anyone other than DC United it would have.  FC Dallas are the best team with fewer than 10 wins this year, their 2 losses are the best in MLS, as are their 9 draws.  They get a big chance to impress as they will face off against Chivas USA at Pizza Hut Park, hopefully they will get a good crowd out to support their good team.

3. Columbus Crew (-)

Well Will Hesmer might learn to think before talking next time around, he helped propel RSL to a 2-0 win over the Crew and he got a earful from fans all around the stadium.  Yeah when you insult a team that you beat on a questionable PK, and a wrongfully disallowed goal, and then say you are the class of the league, you will get that kind of abuse. Injuries continue to plague the Crew, but hopefully they will have more than 17 players when they face the Rapids at Crew Stadium this weekend.

2. Real Salt Lake (+1)

Well RSL provided a bit of a gap over the Crew with a fairly convincing 2-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium, where there unbeaten streak is now 21 MLS matches.  Player of the week honors for Javier Morales, also up for shot of the week.  Some impressive saves by Nick Rimando, and a great first half by the entire team was enough to show that last years Cup win wasn't a fluke as some in the Crew organization thought.  No league match this weekend as RSL will start their CCL group midweek, their next league match will be against TFC at BMO field on the 28th.

2. LA Galaxy (+1)

The top two teams in the West faced off against the top two teams in the East, and both won their matches.  The Galaxy were able to get the 1-0 win over the Red Bulls, thanks to a league leading 13th goal by Edson Buddle.  The win wasn't enough for them to claim the top spot by themselves as they are still forced to share the spotlight with Real Salt Lake.  Since the Galaxy didn't make it to the group stage of the CCL, they will be in MLS action facing San Jose in San Jose.  A big road win might be enough to convince me to give them the top spot back, but any slip ups could find them handing that spot to RSL.

There you go my Power Rankings for week 20.

OFF MY SOAPBOX