New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 5

Every week the New England Soccer Today crew will look beyond the standings to rank each of the 19 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams. This week  Sean Donahue and Ryan Lanigan contributed rankings. Comments are followed by the ranker’s name and the rank they gave that team.

1. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (5-0-0, 15 points)
Kept on rolling with a 1-0 win over the defending champs. Biggest test yet this week with Real Salt Lake on the schedule. (Sean – 1) …  They are the first team to start 5-0 since 1998 and have been impressive while doing so. (Ryan – 1)

2. REAL SALT LAKE (5-1-0, 15 points)
Salt Lake keep on winning and could overtake Kansas City if they can get a result at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday. (Sean – 2) … Two wins this week for RSL, handling the Rapids with ease. (Ryan – 2)

3. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-0, 12 points)
Two weeks into the season it looked like the ‘Quakes were set for another disappointing season. Now, San Jose has shocked everyone as the second best team in the West thus far. (Sean – 3) … They finally made Vancouver surrender a goal, but scoring isn’t hard for them with the fantastic Chris Wondolowski.  (Ryan – 3)

T4.  (+3) HOUSTON DYNAMO (2-1-0, 6 points)
Never been a fan of such a big gap in the schedule. I expect a rusty Dynamo on Sunday. (Sean – 6) … A week off for the Dynamo should have them well rested for their game against Chicago. (Ryan – 4)

T4. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (2-1-1, 7 points)
A draw on the road isn’t a bad result against an improving DC. 5 shots for Montero and still no goals? The Sounders DP needs to start showing the fantastic form he had in preseason. (Sean – 5) … After a loss, a 0-0 tie with DC United is probably not what they had hoped for, but not a bad result considering United has proved they can score. (Ryan – 5)

T4. (+4) NEW YORK RED BULLS (3-2-0, 9 points)
Two blowout wins in a row against weak or weakened opposition could’ve been a fluke, but blowing out the Crew? New York might finally be putting it all together. (Sean – 4) … Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper are just on fire right now. I’m not sure they can both keep it up for the entire season, but they might decide to alternate scoring multiple goals in a game. (Ryan – 6)

7. (-3) COLORADO RAPIDS (3-2-0, 9 points)
I can’t fault the Rapids too much for being outplayed and losing to a superior Salt Lake team. (Sean – 7) … One of the most confusing teams in the league, showing at times they are a serious team and then the next minute looking like an expansion team. (Ryan – 7)

8. (-4) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-1-2, 8 points)
The Whitecaps fall big to San Jose and they still haven’t shown they can get a result against a quality opponent. (Sean – 8 ) … They set the record for a shutout to start the season but Chris Wondolowski couldn’t be contained for a full 90. (Ryan – 8 )

9. (+1) D.C. UNITED (1-2-2, 5 points)
After a big win, not falling to Seattle was a momentum builder for DC. (Ryan – 9) … Offense was silenced this week, but still impressive to shutout the Sounders. D.C. will need to find the back of the net if they’re going to get a result in New England. (Sean – 9)

10. (+5) FC DALLAS (2-2-1, 7 points)
Injuries are really piling up for FC Dallas, but the club did well to grind out a result against New England. If they can get healthy, there’s no reason they can’t move up in the standings. (Sean – 10) …  Dallas did well to play until the final whistle, even if it was extended an extra, extra period of time. (Ryan – 12)

T11. (+3) CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-1, 4 points)
Losing Cory Gibbs to injury hurts. Can Arne Friedrich step in? (Sean – 14) … The Fire also had a bye heading into their game with a Dynamo, which could end up being the second biggest game of the week. (Ryan – 10)

T11. (-2) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (2-3-0, 6 points)
Very poor first half, but the Revs looked to turn things around in the second period before losing their concentration late to suffer their third loss of the season. (Sean – 13) … Surrendering a late, late goal to lose was not exactly what the team was looking for but they showed flashes of brilliance in the midfield in the second half.  (Ryan – 11)

T11. (+5) CHIVAS USA (2-3-0, 6 points)
This is one strange team. Chivas can’t get anything at home, but have come away with two stunning road victories this season. (Sean – 11) … A great come from behind win for the Goats over Portland. (Ryan – 13)

14. (-3) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-3-0, 3 points)
Even if the Galaxy was 100% healthy and in top form, a loss is Kansas City shouldn’t come as a surprise. Under the current circumstances it’s to be expected. (Sean – 14) … They did a great job defending, but had to drop nine, often ten guys back to do so. (Ryan – 14)

15. (-3) Columbus Crew (2-2-0, 6 points)
A crushing 4-1 defeat at home against the Red Bulls exposes the Crew’s weaknesses after they took advantage of two weakened foes the previous two matches. (Sean – 15) … The Crew ran into New York at the wrong time. (Ryan – 15)

16. (-3) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-3-1, 4 points)
Yikes. The wheels have officially fallen off in Portland. Too much quality to be losing these games. (Sean – 16) … They aren’t having any problems scoring and Nagbe has looked fantastic. But they have stopped playing late in games, conceding game-winners late in back-to-back games. (Ryan – 16)

17. (+2) MONTREAL IMPACT (1-4-1, 4 points)
Sure it was home against a tired Toronto, but it’s the first win is an important step for Montreal. (Sean – 17) … Getting the first win for an expansion team is always a good thing. (Ryan – 17)

T18. PHILADELPHIA UNION (0-3-1, 1 point)
Did they pull themselves together in their week off? (Sean – 19) … The good news is they didn’t lose but the bad is that they didn’t play. (Ryan – 18)

T18. (-1) TORONTO FC (0-4-0, 0 points)
Champions League hopes went up in flames and now Toronto must turn their MLS season around immediately if they have any playoff aspirations. (Sean – 18) … Maybe they are a little fatigued but teams are starting to look forward to playing Toronto now. (Ryan – 19)

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