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Major League Soccer - Week 18 Power Rankings

Well it was an interesting weekend in Major League Soccer as the top team in the league played (and lost badly) in a friendly, the second place team had their match cancelled (due to rain, which hurt a grass pitch laid on top of a turf pitch) a first for Major League Soccer.  This means a little movement in the top 5 and some minor shuffling in various parts of the rankings:

18. Vancouver Whitecaps - down 1

While they didn't play the team with 4 straight losses failed as the host team to provide a playable pitch (a first in MLS) and rightfully should have forfeited the match.  They will play their friendly on Monday and then head to San Jose for an actual league match on Wednesday night.

17. Toronto FC - up 1

The Red's didn't play this weekend and moved up only because I now hate all things Whitecraps.  TFC will return to MLS action with two matches this week, they will host FC Dallas on Wednesday and then travel to KC to face Sporting on Saturday.  They made a number of moves to improve their roster so it will be interesting to see who actually ends up on the pitch for them.

the rest of the rankings after the jump:

16. New England Revolution - even

A 3-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Union, yet I leave them above the Canadian teams for now.  Another red card will mean that on Wednesday when the face DC United that there will be no Benny, but they will get Shalrie back. There is no rest for the Rev's who will then head west to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

15. Chicago Fire - down 1

The Fire become the first team to lose at home to one of the expansion teams, and it comes as little surprise to me that the Timbers were able to get the 1-0 win over the Fire.  I feel bad for the Fire because I don't think it was a PK and to lose because of a bad call sucks worse than ending up with a draw because of a bad call.  The Fire will take the week of from league play.

14. Portland Timbers - up 1

Getting your first road win is big for a team, and the Timbers did get the 1-0 win but clearly you won't hear them complaining about the call that they got that lead to the PK goal.  Next up will be a Saturday match at Crew Stadium, and getting a win there might actually be impressive.

13. Chivas USA - even

I was tempted to move Chivas up a spot or two for their draw against the New York Red Bulls, then I remembered that the Red Bulls only have one more win than Chivas, so their 0-0 draw keeps them outside of my top 10. They will get to face Houston at home on Saturday, both teams really need a win.

12. DC United - even

To go to Pizza Hut Park and get a draw with FC Dallas isn't easy, to find a way to get a 0-0 draw and allow Dallas 14 shots to your 5 is even tougher to do.  Hard to believe that they were able to get the draw in that one, but now they head home to face the New England Revolution on Wednesday, they have to get a win in this one if they want to move up the table.

11. San Jose Earthquakes - even

A 0-0 draw at Columbus isn't a bad result but the Quakes should have done better, they were the better team.  The Quakes will have a chance to move into a playoff position if they can get some results with their two matches this week, first up they will play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday and then they will head to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

10. Houston Dynamo - down 1

I didn't watch this match but cleary it was an action packed one as the Dynamos took the lead early, on another amazing free kick by Brad Davis, then lost two players to red cards in the second half, Colin Clark on a horrible tackle in the 51st minute, and then Brian Ching in the 69th minute on a clear cheap shot.  Sporting KC was able to get a 90th minute goal to tie the match up.  The only upside to the Houston performance was Tally Hall, now they will play host to Chivas USA on Saturday.

9. Sporting KC - up 1

When you are up a man for 40 minutes, and up two men for 20 minutes you should be able to find a way to get more than just a goal for a draw but still it was enough to keep Sporting moving up the Eastern Conference and with just 3 more road matches and 12 at home you have to believe they will continue to move up, the first step is a home win over Toronto FC on Saturday.

8. Colorado Rapids - even

In an amazing match in Seattle the Rapids lost 4-3, they took the lead in the first minute, then gave up a goal, then took the lead and then in the final minute tried to battle back but fell just short.  The Rapids have just one win in their last 5 matches, but this week they will get two chances at home to add to that total.  First up is the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday and then they will host New England on Saturday.

7. New York Red Bulls - down 1

I keep waiting for the Red Bulls to live up to expectations, I mean they have a lot of talent on their roster but they continue to under perform, their 0-0 draw with Chivas USA was exactly that a match where they under performed. So while MLS can hand Hans Backe the coaching gig at the All Star Match, the reality is that they simply need to do more to meet their potential.  They will get two chances, neither of them easy, to do that on Wednesday they will face the Colorado Rapids in Denver and then on Saturday they will play host to FC Dallas.

6. Columbus Crew - up 1

A team doesn't often move up with a draw at home but due to the Red Bulls moving down and the fact that the Crew have 3 wins in the last 5 and find themselves just a point behind New York in the standing but they have 2 matches in hand.  The Crew will have a chance to move in front of NYRB if they can get wins in both their Wednesday match at the LA Galaxy and when the Portland Timbers come to Crew Stadium on Saturday.

5. Philadelphia Union - even

A 3-0 win over New England was almost enough to move the Union up but the reality of how weak the East appears I am not going to move them up this week, no team above them lost this week.  The Union had a match against Seattle but it was rescheduled to make room for a friendly, so they have no MLS action this week.

4. FC Dallas - down 1

A 0-0 draw at home against DC United was telling when FC Dallas couldn't play defend and counter they seemed to struggle a bit, a team that out shoots their opponent 14 to 5, controls 58% of the possession well normally you expect them to win.  The Hoops get two chances to rebound, first a Wednesday match at Toronto FC, and then a Saturday match at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls, wins would really boost their position.

3. Seattle Sounders - up 1

The Sounders got a win at home over the defending MLS Cup champions in a crazy 4-3 match. I understand that the Sounders have a Champions League match and can only hope that they will get more players announced to the remaining inactive All Star slots.  The Sounders will play a friendly this week, but no MLS action.

2. Real Salt Lake - even

It is truly a shame that a team was allowed to make choices that resulted in a league match being cancelled because of rain on their grass pitch put over their turf pitch so they could host a friendly.  I maintain that the Whitecaps who were unable to host the regularly scheduled match should have been forced to forfeit the match, but instead MLS will force RSL to travel back to Vancouver at some random time to replay the match.  Neither MLS or the Whitecaps have mentioned any form of trying to compensate the many RSL fans who traveled to Vancouver to see the match.  RSL at least didn't lose any players due to injuries on the poorly thought out grass surface and does get some extra rest for their roster, they will play host (unless it rains) to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy - even

Well the Galaxy didn't play a league match this week, instead they got beat by Seattle in Open Cup action, and then beat by Real Madrid in a friendly.  Up next for them is a real MLS match on Wednesday when they host the Columbus Crew, I hope they don't try to dial it in as they prepare for their friendly against Man City on Sunday.  So they stay at the top but for how long?

Well there you have my take on how the MLS teams stack up this week.