Well one thing is clear as the MLS season enters the home stretch, the Western Conference is simply dominant at this point of the season, but with 4 the top 4 teams in the table all getting ready to start CONCACAF Champions League group stage action will it have an impact as the season progresses? Well let's get to the rankings:
18. Chicago Fire - down 3
Well a 4-2 loss at Vancouver is enough to move the Fire to the very bottom of the rankings, they now have a 2-7-13 record and just 19 points from 22 matches played. While there are teams with more losses than the Fire but I just think right now this is the team in the worst shape in the league. Their next test will be visiting a struggling New York Red Bulls team and I don't see it ending well for the Fire.
17. Vancouver Whitecaps - up 1
Well the Whitecaps were able to get out of the cellar but their match against struggling Chicago was far from convincing and they are still likely to end the year at the very bottom or very close to it. It was good to see Eric Hassli both scoring and getting assists, and he didn't get any type of card to go along with his player of the week performance. Next up will be at trip to RFK stadium and a match with DC United, can they get their first road win?
the rest of the rankings after the jump:
16. Toronto FC - up 1
A late PK competed by Dwayne De Rosario gave him the hat trick and was enough to derail TFC from getting their first road win of the year, they had a man advantage for 83 minutes and still they couldn't get a win. They only moved up because Chicago moved down. Saturday will be interesting as they will play host to Real Salt Lake.
15. New England Revolution - down 1
Despite taking more than double the number of shots of Chivas USA, they were unable to match the 3 goals that Chivas was able to get, the result was a 3-2 loss for the Rev's. This club has a lot of issues and news that Shalrie Joseph won't be returning next year doesn't help. They get a trip to Columbus Ohio to take on the Crew on Saturday.
14. San Joe Earthquakes - down 1
With a 1-1 home draw to the Portland Timbers the Quakes drop to 8th place in the Western Conference, 0-2-3 in their last 5 isn't going to keep them in the playoff hunt. Upside is that I hear Simon Dawkins may be back soon, but not likely in time for their match against the visiting Colorado Rapids.
13. Portland Timbers - up 3
A road draw on the back of a road win and the Timbers are looking like the team that impressed many the first couple months of the MLS season. Still waiting for them to make a move with the transfer window open, I think they need a couple more pieces to keep moving up. Next up will be a trip to Houston to face the Dynamo in what will very likely be scorching weather.
12. DC United - down 1
Despite a red card to their keeper in the 7th minute of the match, DC United actually lead this match twice, but in the end they had to convert a late PK (yeah I know) to get a draw. This match saw some awful officiating, but Dwayne De Rosario showed again that he can be an offensive force given the chance, he scored all 3 DC United goals in the 3-3 draw with TFC. DC has to hope they will can do better at home (where they have just 2 wins) this weekend when they play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
11. Houston Dynamo - down 1
The up and down performance of the Dynamo continued with their 1-1 draw at Philly and it was a late goal that got them the road point. I just am not sure about this team and if they are going to really push for a playoff spot or not. They will look to get a big win at home this weekend as they play host to the Portland timbers.
10. Chivas USA - up 1
A big road win gets Chivas back into the playoff picture, but there are 3 teams within 3 points of them for that final playoff spot, so they will need more results like their 3-2 win over New England. They have a big 6 point Western Conference match at Seattle on Saturday afternoon where they will try to get a result against the Sounders.
9. New York Red Bulls - down 1
Despite going to London and winning the Emirates Cup, NYRB continue to stink up MLS and got beat 3-0 at Real Salt Lake. In their last 5 matches they are 0-3-2, and have just 6 wins in 24 matches. They could find their way back into the win column as they will play host to the Chicago Fire on Saturday.
8. Sporting KC - up 1
A 2-0 midweek win over RSL was huge for the team, but losing their first match ever at LIVESTRONG Park on Saturday to two stoppage time goals scored by Seattle had to be a heart breaker. Still considering they played 31 minutes a man down, I am not going to hold it against them. This team has the potential to be a showstopper in the East and with the weekend off they will have some time to prepare for their next stretch of matches.
7. Philadelphia Union - even
A late goal by Houston stole a couple points from the Union as they had to settle for the 1-1 draw, for me the upside is that the team is done with Carlos Ruiz, the downside is they have yet to make any moves with the open transfer window. Next up will be a very tough road match as they will head down to Pizza Hut Park to face FC Dallas.
6. Columbus Crew - down 2
After looking good a couple weekends ago, they then look awful in a 2-0 loss at Colorado but they maintain a hold on the top spot in the Eastern Conference. This is a team that has a grind it out mentality, and that will likely be enough for them to hold on to a playoff spot again this year. They get a chance for 3 points on Saturday as they will play host to the New England Revolution.
5. Colorado Rapids - up 1
No other team in MLS has 4 straight results but the Rapids are making up for a long streak without a win, I really like the new faster attacking style that the team has been playing lately. Can they make it 5 straight results on Saturday when they will play at San Jose?
4. Real Salt Lake - up 1
After two of their worst performances in over 18 months, including last Wednesday's 2-0 loss at Sporting KC, RSL not only bounced back but did it with style as they got a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. 17 yr old Luis Gil got his first ever MLS goal, a goal of the week contender. Next up is a road trip to BMO Field and a chance to add to their road record on Saturday.
3. FC Dallas - down 1
Unlike the playoffs last year, this time FC Dallas couldn't get a win at the Home Depot Center as they lost to the Galaxy 3-1, with that loss they drop a bit but they are still one of the top teams in the league. It should be interesting to see how they do on Saturday when they play host to the Philadelphia Union.
2. Seattle Sounders - up 1
A last minute and stoppage time comeback to get a 2-1 win at Sporting KC was enough to move Seattle up this week in part due to their 3-1-1 record in their last 5 matches. I love the never say die attitude, it was something playoff teams need. Next up will be a home match on Saturday afternoon against Chivas USA, a big Western conference match.
1. Los Angeles Galaxy - even
Well another week, another win, and another week at the top of the power rankings. A huge statement win 3-1 over FC Dallas leaves LA almost untouchable (based on other teams with games in hand) and other teams can only hope that maybe the rigors of Champions League action will slow them down. The Galaxy are off this week so there is no doubt they will be there again next week.
Wow that took a long time to get done, it was a busy week but there you go my take on power rankings.
OFF MY SOAPBOX