I had confused some people with my listing of the week 5 rankings on the front of this post with the current rankings after the jump, so I have gotten rid of last weeks numbers and updated the post.
18. Toronto FC - down 1
Once again a team that had one of the greatest home field advantages simply failed to get a win, and they showed that the maturity level was lacking after scoring his first goal for his new team Tony Tchani he jumped the ad boards on the side of the pitch to celebrate with the fans and was given his second yellow card leaving his team a man down for the entire second half. At this point I am going to say again that the official probably could have shown a bit of class and just warned him, but giving him a yellow for leaving the pitch without permission is a bit harsh and clearly forcing a team to play a man down for an entire half did TFC no favors. Next up for TFC is a trip to Seattle for a match with the Sounders on Saturday night.
17. Chicago Fire - down 1
Another team that has to find a way to get results at home, the Fire find themselves with a -3 goal differential and under 1 point per match played. When you take an early lead at home you have to be able to figure out a way to convert that to a win, you can't give up a late goal to lose 2 home points and settle with a 1-1 draw. There is a lot of talent on this team but I find the Fire as one team that has to find a on field leader who can keep them focused. Now the Fire will need to head to Colorado for a match next weekend.
16. Vancouver Whitecaps - down 3
One team in MLS has given up more goals than the Whitecaps (fellow expansion side Portland) and while they were entertaining earning results at home with frantic finishes that would send their fans into a frenzy, but this time it was a 83rd minute goal that they gave up that would hand them their first loss at home. The Whitecaps where whistled for 22 fouls on Saturday and while they will be playing just their 8th match in team history next weekend when they travel to Columbus, they will be missing DP Eric Hassli who picked up his 5th yellow card and will be suspended for the match. They look more like an expansion team each week, huge highs and lots of lows.
15. Sporting Kansas City - down 1
Listen nobody thought starting the 2011 season with 10 straight road matches would be easy for Sporting KC, and it hasn't been but while I had to move them down this week, they at least provided one of the more entertaining performances of the weekend in their 3-2 loss at New England, 29 shots by the two teams, 35 fouls, 9 cards (including a red). The road doesn't get any easier for SKC, they will head to New York to face the Red Bulls on Saturday evening, that could be a very entertaining match.
14. Portland Timbers - down 3
Well after back to back wins at home, after back to back multiple goal efforts, the Timbers headed to the Home Depot Center and faced the LA Galaxy and they simply looked like, well an expansion team (which is OK that is what they are) as they got beat 3-0 and while they had a couple chances they where clearly outplayed and outclassed. Like the team from Vancouver the Timbers have moments where they look great and then other moments when you think they should have stayed in the USL/NASL, which isn't surprising. They will have a huge test next weekend as they head home and will get to welcome Real Salt Lake to Jeld-Wen, can they catch RSL on a Champions League high and surprise them?
13. DC United - down 3
A week after DC United went to BMO field and looked like a real contender against Toronto FC, they came home and looked like what we saw from them last year as they simply got handled by the New York Red Bulls 4-0. It simply leaves people scratching their heads, there is some talent on the pitch for DC but there backline and over all defensive abilities questions as DC has given up 12 goals and 1/3 of their 9 goals scored have come from the PK spot. Right now DC United look like a one trick pony, one named Charlie Davies who leads them with 5 goals, but clearly that pony isn't enough of a workhorse to carry DC all year, new they get to head to Houston for some Friday night footy, should be interesting.
12. Chivas USA - up 6
Does a single win deserve to move Chivas up 6 spots, no way, but when the teams around you all sucked this weekend you get a huge boost. Still credit has to go to Robin Fraser and his team for going on the road and getting a win against a team that made the playoffs last year. Coming from behind on the road is no easy task, but when you fire 17 shots, with 6 on goal it makes it much easier. Thanks to a 85th minute goal by Marion Trujillo, his first MLS goal, Chivas got a win and now every MLS team has at least one. Can they make it two in a row as they will host the New England Revolution next Saturday at the Home Depot Center.
11. San Jose Earthquakes - down 3
It was tempting to put the Quakes event lower in the rankings considering that they have just 5 points so far, only Sporting KC has fewer points at this point of the season. Yet I still am going to give them some credit as they still have to find someone other than Chris Wondolowski who can score for them, so far just Simon Dawkins has looked like a threat. Last year they brought in players that pushed them over the edge and into the playoffs, this year they may need to bring in that help earlier if they want to stay in touch with the teams at the top of the conference. It will be a huge test for the Quakes as they head East to face the Philly Union next weekend.
10. New England Revolution - up 5
I know this is too big of a jump for the Rev's but their 3-2 win over Kansas City showed me two things picking up Benny Feilhaber could be a very good thing for them, and Rajko Lekic appears to have some real talent and if they can all figure out how to work together they could be a team that fights for one of the wildcard playoff spots. I do think there will continue to be some question on the defensive side of the ball, and I wouldn't be surprised if they bring in a new player or two before the season is over. A trip to the to the Home Depot Center is on the agenda for this weekend as they will face Chivas USA.
9. FC Dallas - up 3
While this weekend cost FC Dallas a heavy toll as their 2-1 win at Empire Field cost them the 2010 MVP David Ferreria who broke his ankle and will be evaluated by doctors in Dallas. So they handed Vancouver their first ever home loss, and they did so by being one of the few teams in MLS to give up the first goal and still win a match. I still think that they are trying to adjust to the many changes to their lineup from 2010 and with it likely that Ferreria is gone for the season, they will need to adjust to another change but who will step up to fill the MVP boots? We get to see who gets the call on Sunday as FC Dallas will play host to the LA Galaxy.
8. Columbus Crew - up 1
Well the Crew continue to play ugly matches but they ground out a 1-1 win against TFC on Saturday, and having watched most of this match they were the better team with 16 shots but only 3 on goal. There are still a lot of questions about this team and a win over TFC who are looking like the chaos that ruled there the last couple year is still the issue. Still wondering if the Crew can live off grinding out results? With just 5 goals scored in 6 matches, I think they will need to figure out who is going to be the creator and finisher for this team, but having given up just 4 means that their rebuild backline is exceeding expectations. On Saturday they will play host to the other team from Canada as the Whitecaps come to Crew Stadium.
7. Houston Dynamo - even
I laughed a bit when some people picked the Dynamo to be a top team in the East after being one of the worst teams in the West last year, but they are sitting in 3rd place with 9 points from 6 matches. Of course that leave the question are they better or is the East just easier to excel in? I think the Dynamo are a legit team that still has some questions but they seem to have a fairly balanced team with a keeper who is impressing me more and more each week. This week it was a 1-1 draw at Chicago, but they were able to get a goal in the last 10 minutes after being down for most of the match. Friday night will see the Dynamo face off against DC United at Robertson Stadium, should be a huge match for both teams.
6. Colorado Rapids - down 1
OK, this will be the only time I talk about the Mullan/Zakuani incident, it was far too early in the match and in a position on the pitch where such a foul has to make you question the motives. No I don't think Mullan meant to hurt Steve Zakuani, but I think he was trying to send a message and in the end it simply all went very wrong. Yes there must be consequences for such action, I would say a 6 match ban by the league would be about right. It will be interesting to see if the players union will step in to add some self-policing on top of what the league does. All of that being said the Rapids were able to hold on for 88 minutes and only give up a single goal to the Sounders. The Rapids are still on a pace of 1.5 points per match, which would have them end the year at 51 points which should be good enough for the playoffs. It is kinda strange that only two teams in MLS don't have a draw yet, the 3-3-0 Rapids and 4-0-0 RSL. Up next for the Rapids will be the Chicago Fire who come to Dick's Sporting Goods park on Saturday.
5. Seattle Sounders - up 1
Well a road win over the defending MLS Cup champions is always a huge thing for a team, the shame is that it came at a high price, the loss of Steve Zakuani for the rest of the season, but I think there is enough depth on the Sounders roster that they will be able to keep their recent improvements (3 matches without a loss). The upside of the match was the return of Fredy Montero who got his first goal of year and was able to play the full 90 minutes, they will now need more out of Fredy than ever before. Seattle should be able to keep their current run going as they play host to Toronto FC at Qwest Field on Saturday.
4. Los Angeles Galaxy - even
Well most of the time you want to reward the big time performances of the top teams by moving them up the rankings but for LA the 3-0 win over Portland may say two things, the Galaxy are better than their recent form and that Portland is worse than their recent form. The Galaxy can breath a sigh of relief seeing Landon back in action and playing well, and while the Galaxy may be at the top of the Western Conference standing with 15 points, their 3 point lead over RSL has taken them 4 additional matches. LA will play FC Dallas next Sunday in a rematch of the 2010 Western Conference Final, and what could be a very telling match for both teams.
3. New York Red Bulls - even
Just like the Galaxy, the Red Bulls got a huge win but it was over a team that looked rather disinterested in the match. You have to believe that the Red Bull fans are happy that Thierry Henry was able to get a couple goals and has looked much better in recent weeks than ever in a NYRB kit. Joel Lindpere and Juan Agudelo both added additional goals for the Red Bulls. I think their upcoming match with Sporting KC will be a very entertaining match and with both Philly and RSL in action next week, a solid result could see New York move up.
2. Philadelphia Union - even
I am not going to move down the Union who were kind enough to allow RSL to reschedule what would have been the best match of the weekend to later in the summer. It would have been nice to see how the Union would have been able to do against RSL at Rio Tinto, now we have to wait until labor day weekend to see how they fare.
1. Real Salt Lake - even
Well RSL didn't play this weekend, instead they rescheduled their match with the Union until September and instead they held a high energy practice as they prepare for the Wednesday Champions League final match at Rio Tinto. You can't move down the only undefeated team and I didn't.
OK there you have my power rankings for Week 6 of the Major League Soccer season.
OFF MY SOAPBOX