New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 19

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 Julian Cardillo contributed rankings. Comments are followed by the ranker’s name and the rank they gave that team.

1. San Jose Earthquakes (12-4-4, 40 points)
After throttling Salt Lake, who’d bet against the ‘Quakes? Chris Wondolowski is ready to break some records. (Sean – 1) … A 5-0 thumping of Real Salt Lake shows that this team has come a long way. Easy pickings for the best team in MLS. (Julian – 1)

2. (+1) Sporting Kansas City (11-5-3, 36 points)
On a modest three game unbeaten streak and into the U.S. Open Cup Final. Sporting seems to be rounding back into their early season form. (Sean – 2) … Beating Columbus may not be that glamorous, but Kansas City looked dominant in the game. After struggling for a little bit, they look like they’re back on course. (Julian – 2)

3. (-1) D.C. United (10-6-3, 33 points)
When your starting goalkeeper gets ejected 17 minutes into a road match against a decent Dynamo squad, it’s never going to be easy. Chalk this big loss up as an anomaly. (Sean – 3) … A 4-0 loss to Houston is certainly surprising, but then again almost every team gets manhandled at least once a year. (Julian – 5)

T4. (+4) Seattle Sounders FC (8-5-7, 31 points)
Back to another U.S. Open Cup Final and on a four game unbeaten run (albeit with three ties), but more importantly Fredy Montero seems to have come to life. If Montero and Eddie Johnson can continue to build their partnership, the rest of the league better watch out. (Sean – 7) … They’re on a four game unbeaten streak. That’s definitely something. They’re a talented side that just needs to put in more complete performances. (Julian – 3)

T4. (+3)  New York Red Bulls (9-5-5, 32 points)
Sebastien Le Toux should be a good pick-up, but can the Red Bulls successfully find a way to keep Kenny Cooper, Thierry Henry and Le Toux all starting? Decent draw against Seattle, but Red Bulls need wins at home. (Sean – 6) … Le Toux should only bolster their attack, as he proved in the 2-2 Seattle draw. But their defense needs to come together in the wake of all these injuries. (Julian – 4)

T4. (-1) Real Salt Lake (11-7-3, 36 points)
Modest recovery comes to a screeching halt and Beckerman red card/suspension just compounds the problem. But, with a home game against Colorado on tap, expect Salt Lake to return to their winning ways.  (Sean – 4) … Truly in lackluster form and a 5-0 loss to San Jose proves it. They certainly don’t belong second in the west right now. (Julian – 6)

7. (-1) Chicago Fire (9-6-4, 19 points)
They certainly aren’t playing pretty soccer, but the Fire are finding ways to win, even while dealing with adversity. (Sean – 5) … Beating Vancouver was huge. With another win, they could solidify a playoff place cushion. (Julian – 7)

8. (+3) Los Angeles Galaxy (8-10-2, 26 points)
Two big wins in a row as the three DPs really step it up. If the “little snag” in Omar Gonzalez’s recovery, really is “little”, expect the Galaxy to continue to move up the table. (Sean – 9) … In really stunning form thanks to the reawakening of the DPs, specifically Landon Donovan and David Beckham. It doesn’t look like this LA train will be stopped. (Julian – 8)

9. (+1) Houston Dynamo (7-5-7, 28 points)
The Dynamo are four games unbeaten and three straight shutouts. If the offense can use their explosion against the Galaxy to give them confidence going forward, the Dynamo could be ready to make another run. (Sean – 8) … A 4-0 thumping of DC definitely means that these guys are headed in the right direction. Whether they can keep their place in playoff territory remains to be seen. (Julian – 10)

10. (-6) Vancouver Whitecaps FC (8-6-6, 30 points)
Two losses in a row and some interesting trades and additions by the Whitecaps. Dane Richards pace could prove a nice addition, but can the ‘Caps make a new team work midseason? (Sean – 10) .. Lots of question marks have arisen over the departures of LeToux and Chiumiento, plus whether or not their newest acquisitions will help. It may be a long summer for the Whitecaps. (Julian – 9)

11. (-2) New England Revolution (6-8-4. 22 points)
Toronto found the perfect formula to beat the Revs – force them to win on set pieces. The “hack-a-Rev” strategy follows the same basic premise of the “hack-a-Shaq” like Shaq’s dismal record at the free throw line, the Revs aren’t going to beat anyone – and seem to get increasingly more frustrated – if forced to rely on the dead ball. Oh, and finishing from the run of play has to improve. (Sean – 11) … The loss to Toronto was certainly a kick in the teeth. Terrible first half play handed them that loss. That, and benching Shalrie Joseph and losing Stephen McCarthy early. The team is certainly capable of beating anyone, but with three straight road games against Montreal, Kansas City, and Philadelphia, don’t expect a fantastic record. (Julian – 11)

T12. Columbus Crew (6-7-4, 22 points)
Still can’t score. Emilio Renteria’s suspension could be a blessing in disguise as he clearly hasn’t been getting the job done and someone else needs to step up. I hear Jeff Cunningham might be available? (Sean – 13) … By far, the least interesting team to watch. The Crew have lots to do in regards to scoring. They have the league’s worst offensive record. (Julian – 16)

T12. (+3) Philadelphia Union (6-9-2, 20 points)
Another win for Philly and that’s three in a row and four of five. Now if they can get a result against a tired New York team on Saturday, that’ll be a real shocker. (Sean – 12) … A new beginning may make them better, but this season will be lost if they don’t find an identity soon. (Julian – 17)

T12. (+4) Toronto FC (4-11-4, 16 points)
Toronto has had no problem scoring goals and now the defense is stepping up. That they’ve done so well with nine games in 28 games makes it even more impressive. But, can they survive the loss of Danny Koevermans? (Sean – 14) … The advent of Paul Mariner has been nothing but positive so far. The only issue is whether or not Danny Koevermans will be out long term. (Julian – 15)

T15. (+4) FC Dallas (4-9-7, 19 points)
Finally a win, albeit against a struggling Rapids. Don’t expect them to turn it into a streak with San Jose up on Wednesday. (Sean – 18) … At least they won their last game. Julian DeGuzman should help them out in midfield. (Julian – 12)

T15. (-2) Montreal Impact (6-12-3, 21 points)
After finally picking up another win, Montreal quickly goes back to their losing ways against Philly. The struggles of an expansion team… (Sean – 17) … When this team is clicking, they are very, very good. They may just need one game to jumpstart. That game could be Wednesday against New England. (Julian – 13)

T15. (+1) Chivas USA (5-7-5, 20 points)
Rest may have helped Chivas as they look to get their strike force healthy and in form to make a run. (Sean – 16) … They have been lackluster all season but they’ve had a positive record in their last five games. Only two wins from playoff territory. (Julian -14)

18. (-4) Colorado Rapids (7-11-1, 22 points)
Three losses in a row – most recently to a terrible Dallas – and now Pablo Mastroeni was moved to the disabled list? Things don’t look good for the Rapids. (Sean – 15) … Really struggling in midfield due to injuries and the results just haven’t been there due to lack of 90 minute performances. (Julian – 19)

19. (-3) Portland Timbers (5-9-4, 19 points)
Two early to question the coaching change? Two things seem pretty obvious: Don’t give David Beckham acres of space and don’t foul the Galaxy near the box. Portland didn’t remember either. (Sean – 19) … The Galaxy game showed that they have character. Whether or not they can stay competitive and get some wins remains to be seen. (Julian – 18)

Leave a Reply