New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 16

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 Brian O’Connell contributed rankings. Comments are followed by the ranker’s name and the rank they gave that team.

1. (+1) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (10-3-3, 33 points)
Saturday’s epic between the Quakes and Salt Lake signaled a shift in power. And that shift has the Quakes as the clear front runner. (Brian – 1) … How about the Quakes? Road win at Salt Lake puts them on top. (Sean – 1)

T2. D.C. UNITED (9-5-3, 30 points)
Chris Pontius grabs two goals, but it wasn’t enough against an energized Red Bulls squad, who snapped D.C.’s winning streak at four. (Brian – 2) … The hottest team in MLS heading into the weekend looked it for the first 30 seconds against New York, then it all fell apart. (Sean – 3)

T2. (+3)  NEW YORK RED BULLS (9-4-3, 30 points)
Get a fortuitous road point in Vancouver on Wednesday, and three days later Brandon Barklage goes off against his former ‘mates with two goals in a 3-2 win over D.C. Four points in four days? Not too bad. (Brian – 3) … Thierry Henry’s back, but the Red Bulls didn’t need him on Sunday to remain unbeaten at home. (Sean – 2)

4. (-3) REAL SALT LAKE (10-5-2, 32 points)
Talk about a terrible week. A loss to LA followed up by another defeat – this time at the hands of San Jose – and Salt Lake gets ousted from the throne. (Brian – 4) … Could the week have gone much worse? Gave away a 2-0 lead to Los Angeles – which may have sparked the defending Champs to life – with sloppy defending, then some more sloppy defense handed San Jose a win and first place. Uncharacteristic play from Salt Lake. (Sean – 4)

5. (-1) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (9-4-2, 29 points)
A 1-1 draw against Seattle wasn’t bad, but a 4-0 loss to Philadelphia was unforgiveable. It may just have been one of those games, but rebounding from it won’t be easy with a game at Montreal on Saturday. (Brian – 5) … Sure, they dominated every stat but the score, but falling 4-0 to Philly, the worst offense in the league, is beyond embarrassing. (Sean – 5)

6. (+3) CHICAGO FIRE (7-5-3, 24 points)
Grabbed two goals before going shorthanded to hold on for a 2-1 win over the Crew.  It may not always be pretty, but the Fire are finding a way to say in the upper half of the conference table. (Brian – 6) … Overcoming an early red card to grab an ugly, but impressive, three points, shows the Fire might just have what it takes to make some noise down the stretch. (Sean – 6)

T7. COLUMBUS CREW (5-5-4, 19 points)
The anemic attack continued against Chicago, as the Crew failed to capitalize with a man advantage for over an hour and see their unbeaten streak snapped at six. (Brian – 7) … If the Crew can’t find an answer up top, they’ll keep sliding down the table. (Sean -9)

T7. (-1) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (7-4-5, 26 points)
A litany of chances only yields a single goal in a 1-1 draw to New York on Wednesday, while they get overwhelmed by a resurgent LA in an embarrassing 3-0 loss.  A gut check? You could say that. (Brian – 8) … Perhaps should’ve had more against New York, then fell victim to a surging Los Angeles. Tough week for Vancouver. (Sean – 8)

9. (+5) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (6-8-2, 20 points)
Are the Gals back for good? A 3-2 win at Salt Lake and a 3-0 pounding of Vancouver seem to suggest that the bear’s been poked – and the rest of the league better watch out. (Brian – 10) … Coming back from 2-0 down to beat the West’s best on the road looks like it may be the turning point in the Galaxy’s season. If it is, they should thank Salt Lake’s defense. (Sean – 7)

10. (-1) HOUSTON DYNAMO (5-5-5, 20 points)
The Dynamo endured a humbling 4-2 loss to the Impact and with Geoff Cameron about ready to leave, the attack has to step up this summer. (Brian – 9) … Rough loss to Montreal. Houston’s usually strong defense seems to have deserted them lately. (Sean – 11)

11. (-3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (7-5-4, 25 points)
When it rains, it pours. Fail to win for the seventh straight time and, to make matters worse, Fredy Montero gets booked in the waning minutes. Sigi Schmid can only hope that this too shall pass. (Brian – 11) … At least there’s still the Open Cup? Somehow that’s the only thing that seems to be going right for Seattle. (Sean – 10)

12. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-7-3, 18 points)
Exciting comeback at BMO Field rescues the Revs from the brink, but for the second time in a month, the Revs fall into a two-goal hole in the first half. Even so, the Revs are riding a modest three-game unbeaten streak. (Brian – 12) …  A two goal comeback may feel like a win, but the reality is the Revs have gotten two points out of two games they should’ve come away with six points from.  (Sean – 12)

13. MONTREAL IMPACT (5-8-3, 18 points)
They may have been stifled in a 2-1 loss at Chivas USA, but they follow up with a 4-2 goalfest against Houston. Their defense may not be standing tall, but their offense has been putting together some impressive displays as of late. (Brian – 13) … Loss to Chivas could’ve dented Montreal’s confidence, but the Impact bounced right back with a big win over Houston. (Sean – 14)

14. (-3) COLORADO RAPIDS (6-8-1, 19 points)
Crumbled in the later stages to the Quakes and watched the Galaxy leapfrog them in the standings.  A win at home against the re-energized Timbers would be big. (Brian – 15) … Another rough loss for the Rapids, albeit against the best team in the league. (Sean – 13)

15. PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-6-4, 16 points)
Send Seattle to its seventh-straight game without a win in an exciting 2-1 win at JELD-Wen. Kris Boyd comes alive and if Portland cane use the Cascadia Cup clash as a springboard, they could be dangerous this summer. (Brian – 14) … Big win for the Timbers over a struggling Seattle, but they’ll need to build off it if they are to move up the standings. (Sean – 15)

16. CHIVAS USA (5-7-4, 19 points)
At some point, the attack – which has scored only 11 goals – has to get clicking, right? Well, a 2-1 win over Montreal was promising. The 0-0 draw in Dallas? Not so much. Oh, those Goats. Inconsistent as ever. (Brian – 16) … Three points against Montreal was big, but dire scoreless draw in Dallas shows Chivas hasn’t turned the corner yet. (Sean – 16)

17. (+1) PHILADELPHIA UNION (3-8-2, 11 points)
Who saw that coming? A 4-0 bashing of the boys from the BBQ Capital of the World gives the Union a brief moment of joy amid a tumultuous season. (Brian – 17) … Big win for Philadelphia, yet they were still out-possessed, lost the duels battle, outshot and essentially beat out in every statistical category. Fluke? (Sean – 17)

18. (-1) FC DALLAS (3-9-5, 14 points)
The winless streak extended to 11 with a 0-0 draw against Chivas USA was tough to watch. Warning: their July 4th match against Toronto may cause blindness. (Brian – 18) … Couldn’t find the goal they needed to beat Chivas, but if we’re looking for positives, they avoided getting any cards. (Sean – 18)

19. TORONTO FC (1-10-2, 5 points)
Two straight games with two-goal leads produces only two points. The grave’s been dug.  Let the dirt shower over you, Toronto.  (Brian – 19) … Two draws would be a positive for Toronto, if not for the fact they blew two goal leads in both. (Sean – 19)

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