Two weeks ago only two matches were played with RSL getting a 2-1 win over Philly and LA drew 2-2 with Sporting KC, so the only team that would have moved much would be RSL moving up a spot or two. That gets us to the action last week and this weekend and to be honest it was one of the most "meh" weekends I can think of in recent MLS history. Yes the Union giving up early goals to New England only to battle back to get a 4-4 draw but the match much more looked like teams who simply refused to play much defense.
LA got a rather bland 1-0 win over Colorado on Friday night, and most of the weekend matches were just as vanilla. Now yes the 2-1 RSL win over Seattle was big but for all the wrong reasons, yes there were a couple of upsets (Toronto over Columbus, New England over FC Dallas) but for the most part it was the 0-0 Philly vs. Portland match, and the 1-1 New York vs. Vancouver. The other matches had some good action 3-0 wins by Sporting over Houston and DC United over Chivas but neither were good matches to watch (I tried and neither was very compelling San Jose picked up a 2-0 win over Chicago, but again not a match that I found myself glued to the TV
So all of that leads me to my power rankings, which find me unable to really do a true power ranking as a number of teams simply fail to distinguish themselves from the pack (there are a couple of packs). So there is a clear team at the top:
1 Los Angeles Galaxy (15-3-10 - 55 pts)
The Galaxy become the first team to secure a spot in the post season and remain the clear favorite to win the Supporters' Shield for the second straight year. If anything can derail them it will likely be a very busy schedule, they will head to Mexico for a Champions League match on Tuesday and then back to the Home Depot Center to take on Vancouver on Saturday night.
the rest of the rankings after the jump:
So I don't have a number two team, I consider the next 3 teams too close to call:
then there is a couple of teams in the Eastern Conference that I see just below this group:
and then there are the teams that are in playoff position but fighting to try to get one of those top 3 spots in a conference which will be able avoid the "wildcard" play in matches:
- Colorado Rapids (10-8-11 - 41 pts)
- DC United (8-7-10 - 34 pts)
- Philadelphia Union (8-7-12 - 36 pts)
- Houston Dynamo (8-9-11 - 35 pts)
Then we get to the teams who are fighting to get into the playoffs and while no team is fully eliminated the 4 teams above and these 4 teams I can really see fighting for a playoff spot:
- New York Red Bulls (6-6-15 - 33 pts)
- Portland Timbers (9-12-6 - 33 pts)
- Chivas USA (7-11-10 - 31 pts)
- San Jose Earthquakes (6-10-11 29 pts)
Now I could have included the Chicago Fire in that group but I just think that despite their back to back wins before losing at San Jose this weekend that they have too many unanswered questions. So I instead group them with the teams who are simply now looking to establish something positive moving forward towards 2012:
- Chicago Fire (4-8-15 - 27 pts)
- New England Revolution (5-11-12 27 pts)
- Toronto FC (5-12-12 27 pts)
- Vancouver Whitecaps (4-13-10 22 pts)
So this is how I see the teams breaking down, and hopefully with some of the big matches this week and weekend we will see some teams really distinguish themselves. The big matches this coming week for me are:
Houston at Columbus - Wednesday - both teams have struggled in recent weeks and a win would give them a little playoff breathing room.
Chivas USA at Chicago Fire - Saturday - A loss will likely end a teams playoff hopes, a draw keeps both on live support, a win could breath new life into a team.
Columbus at Philadelphia - Saturday - Huge match for both teams that need a win to try to claim one of those top 3 spots in the East.
New York at FC Dallas - Saturday - Will the Red Bulls set a MLS record by getting their 16th draw of the season? Or will FC Dallas be able to get a much needed win to keep them in the top 3 of the Western Conference?
Sporting KC at Real Salt Lake - Saturday - Huge implications on the playoffs that impact both conferences.
So there you have my thoughts on this weeks Power Rankings, that really aren't much of a ranking as few teams have shown much power.
OFF MY SOAPBOX