New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 30

Every week the contributors to New England Soccer Today will look beyond just the standings to rank the 16 Major League Soccer (MLS) teams. This week Brian O’Connell and Sean Donahue contributed rankings. Comments are followed by the ranker’s name and the rank they gave that team.

1. Real Salt Lake (15-4-11, 56 points) – Narrowly escaped defeat after two stoppage time scores against Colorado, which could serve as a wake-up call to any ideas of coasting to the MLS Cup this season. However, there’s little doubt that they’re still the team to beat in the postseason. (Brian – 1) … Undoubtedly the hottest team heading into the playoffs having not lost since July 17th. (Sean – 1)

2. Seattle Sounders (14-10-6, 48 points) – Caught looking ahead with a disappointing loss to Houston. Perhaps the chink in the Sounder-green armor has been discovered? (Brian – 2) … With little to play for, the Sounders impressive run finally came to an end. (Sean – 2)

3. Los Angeles Galaxy (18-7-5, 59 points) – Claimed an impressive win against Dallas to win the Supporter’s Shield, but can they stay consistent? (Brian – 3) … Got the wins they needed to earn the Supporter’s Shield, but 5-4-1 down the stretch isn’t what you’d expect from a title contender. (Sean – 3)

T4. New York Red Bulls (15-9-6, 51 points) (+1) – Looked sharp against a recently-impressive Revolution. The question remains whether they’ll be healthy enough to advance. (Brian – 4) … Impressive offensively against the Revs, but were lucky poor finishing let them get away with sloppy defensive play. (Sean – 5)

T4. FC Dallas (12-4-14, 50 points) (-1) -Consecutive losses going into the postseason may have shown what this draw-happy club is actually made of. Need to regain their form quickly. (Brian – 5) … Lost to 2 of the league’s best to end the season. Still only 4 losses, but not in their best form heading into the playoffs (Sean – 4)

6. Colorado Rapids (12-8-10, 46 points) (-1) – Could’ve claimed a huge upset against Salt Lake, but going into stoppage with two-goal lead is worth bragging about. Watch out for the Rapids, especially against slumping Columbus in the Eastern Conference semis. (Brian – 6) … Rapids have a very potent attack, but need to be able to close out games better. (Sean – 6)

T7. Columbus Crew (14-8-8, 50 points) (+1) – A pair of 3-1 scorelines against Philly and Joe Public in CCL is just what the doctor ordered for Robert Warzycha’s club. But can they keep it up on short rest with Thursday’s EC Semis on tap? (Brian – 7) … Barely managed to go .500 over their last ten games. Two big wins heading into the postseason may have helped right the ship. (Sean – 8 )

T7. San Jose Earthquakes (13-10-7, 46 points)The question remains: can anyone pick up the slack besides Chris Wondolowski? A loss against a non-contender suggests the answer is “no.” (Brian – 8 ) … Impressed against Chivas, but looked equally unimpressive in a 4-1 loss to Kansas City. Still, 5-3-2 over their last ten games isn’t a bad way to end the season. (Sean – 7)

9. Kansas City Wizards (11-13-6, 39 points) (+2) – With nothing to play for but pride, they registered perhaps their most impressive performance of the season, thanks to Birahim Diop’s treble. (Brian – 9) … Another performance that will keep fans wondering what could’ve been. (Sean – 9)

10. Philadelphia Union (8-15-7, 31 points) (-1) – An uninspiring performance against Columbus was hardly the ending that Philly fans pictured. However, Sebastien LeToux’s goal may have convinced a few more voters that he deserves the MVP. (Brian – 10) … Went .500 over the last ten games of the season, not good enough for the play-offs, but a drastic improvement over their early season form (Sean – 10)

11. New England Revolution (9-16-5, 32 points) (-1) – Just when you think the Revs had finally turned the corner after struggling much of the season, they mail in a slumber-inducing performance against the Red Bulls. Look for them to overhaul their defending this offseason.  (Brian – 11) … Poor performance against New York, but could’ve gotten something from the game with better finishing. (Sean – 11)

T12. Toronto FC (9-13-8, 35 points) –I n a battle of sad, sad sides, the Canadians came out on top. However, the question on everyone’s mind: was Dwayne DeRosario’s double his curtain call in Toronto? (Brian – 12) … Beat DC to close out the season, but Toronto had a legitimate playoff chance until they self-destructed at the end of the season. Can they keep their top players next season? (Sean – 14)

T12. Houston Dynamo (9-15-6, 33 points) – Pulled off a stunner against the Sounders. It’s fair to say their performance will be carefully reviewed by Bruce Arena and Dave Sarachan. (Brian – 13) … Impressive victory against the most in form team in MLS, but it does little to hide the fact that Houston disappointed this year. (Sean – 13)

T12. Chicago Fire (9-12-9, 36 points) (+2) – Closed out the season with a bang, and the best part is that Brian McBride finds a goal in his final MLS game. (Brian – 14) … Big victory to end an otherwise disappointing season. Fire have talent, but just weren’t able to put it together in time (Sean – 12)

15. Chivas USA (8-18-4, 28 points) – Days after their humiliating loss to Chicago, Martin Fernandez gets sacked. Looks like Chivas will be starting from scratch again this offseason. (Brian – 15) …  Unsurprisingly Chivas fire their head coach after another two dreadful losses last week. (Sean -15)

16. D.C. United (6-20-4, 22 points) – Ben Olsen’s boys do what they do best – conceding a rare lead. Unfortunately, Olsen himself will not be invited back to lead the club out of the dumpster. Someday, though, Ben Olsen will lead an MLS side to championship glory. You read it here first. (Brian – 16) … D.C. finish their season with another loss. Lots of work to be done this offseason. (Sean – 16)

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