New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 24

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.

T1. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (14-6-5, 47 points)
Shocker in Montreal, but it’s hard to take too much away from a game that featured three red cards. Still ‘Quakes had but getting results, but hadn’t been looking so dominant lately. (Sean – 2) … There weren’t any really impressive results from any of the top teams in the league this week, therefore I’d keep San Jose at the top. (Ryan – 1)

T1. (+2) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (14-7-4, 46 points)
Three wins in a row – including two on the road – rockets Sporting Kansas City to the top of the East and the top of the rankings. (Sean – 1) … The top team loses yet they are at number two? An unimpressive 1-0 win over Toronto will do that. (Ryan – 2)

3. (-1) HOUSTON DYNAMO (11-6-8, 41 points)
Needed an error from Andy Gruenebaum just to grab a point and it would be fair to call it a two game “mini-slump” for the Dynamo. Still Houston has only lost once in its last ten games (6-1-3). (Sean – 3) … A tie against Columbus isn’t the worst thing. It might have been 2 months ago, but a lot has changed and Brad Davis’ wonder goal helped with the tie. (Ryan – 3)

4. NEW YORK RED BULLS (13-7-5, 44 points)
Two wins in a row for New York, but frankly the ugly performance they had against Portland does not inspire any confidence. If this Red Bull team is a contender, they’ll need to do a bit better at home against the league’s worst team. (Sean – 4) … Who says the West is better? The East holds three of the top 4 spots and New York stormed back to win a game they should have never trailed in. (Ryan – 4)

5. (+3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (11-6-7, 40 points)
Impressive win in Vancouver essentially locks up their playoff spot.  Defenses have to get nervous seeing Fredy Montero enter off the bench. (Sean – 6) … An important shutout win over Vancouver shows how dangerous this team can be when they play good soccer. (Ryan – 5)

T6. CHICAGO FIRE (12-7-5, 41 points)
It may have been only 2-1, but the Fire’s attack looked creative and dangerous all night and their defense kept the Revolution from ever really threatening. Second best record in MLS over the last ten games (6-2-2) and three straight wins. (Sean – 5) … They win and I drop them two spots?  At this point, a 2-1 home victory over arguably the worst team in the league isn’t that impressive anymore. (Ryan – 8)

T6. (-1) REAL SALT LAKE (13-10-3, 42 points)
Caught pushing numbers forward for the win on Dallas’ late counterattack. Three MLS losses in a row, but a 2-0 win over Tauro in CONCACAF Champions League play could help snap them out of their funk. (Sean – 7) … That’s three straight losses from RSL, but none has to be as painful as the loss to FC Dallas.  (Ryan – 6)

8. (-1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (11-11-4, 37 points)
Road draw without Landon Donovan or David Beckham against a Columbus team hungry for points? Good result for the Galaxy. Defeat Dallas on Sunday and the Galaxy should feel pretty comfortable in their playoff spot. (Sean – 8) … I can’t say that I’m totally shocked at LA’s resurgence. There is too much talent on that team for them not to be a top team in the West. (Ryan – 7)

9. D.C. UNITED (11-8-4, 37 points)
They may be frustrated with how the end of the game went, but you know what? They never should’ve been in that position at home against Philadelphia. The 1-1 draw isn’t good enough and one win in the last five isn’t either, but D.C. is still in great position to fend off their challengers for the fifth playoff spot. (Sean – 9) … The final 15 minutes of their game against Philadelphia is something that I’ve never seen happen before. It’s a game they should have won, with Rosario scoring his 99th goal, but the majority of the calls were correctly made at the end of the game. (Ryan – 9)

10. (+2) MONTREAL IMPACT (11-13-3, 36 points)
Huge win over San Jose to make it four in a row for the Impact. With just seven games remaining, while D.C. has 11 left and the Crew are still in the hunt, a point out of the playoffs is a huge task to overcome. Anything less than a win over D.C. on Saturday and the good form will all be for naught. (Sean – 10) … A huge win over the best team in the MLS. The upcoming game with D.C. United will be huge and have huge implications on their playoff hopes. (Ryan – 11)

T11. COLUMBUS CREW (8-8-6, 30 points)
Needed more than a home draw against a depleted Galaxy and will feel they could’ve had three points from Houston. Busy schedule continues with two games this week, but home vs. Toronto and New England should be and NEEDS to be six points for the Crew to keep the pressure on. (Sean – 13) … Tying Houston and the Galaxy after a trying last couple of weeks is impressive. They are both top teams and they got results they needed. Their schedule eases up now with the two worst teams in the East, Toronto and New England – six points waiting to be taken. (Ryan – 10)

T11. (+2) FC DALLAS (8-11-8, 32 points)
Three wins in a row, the last two on the road, including a big one over RSL. The return of David Ferreira and Brek Shea to form is setting up Dallas for a run. (Sean – 11) …  A big win over RSL and now they have won three in a row. They can make a huge statement with a win over LA on Sunday. (Ryan – 12)

13. (-3) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (10-9-7, 37 points)
Two consecutive 2-0 losses for the Whitecaps and suddenly Dallas is might be starting to become a worry. Need to turn things around soon or there will be lots of questions asked about their midseason moves. Just 3-5-2, in the last ten. (Sean – 13) … They will certainly have to recover this weekend against Portland after dropping two straight to Dallas and Seattle. (Ryan – 13)

14. CHIVAS USA (7-9-6, 27 points)
Perhaps could feel hard done by the lack of a foul call on the Rapids’ goal in the 1-1 draw with Colorado, but if Chivas continues to struggle to score, their four games in hand – which means they control their own playoff destiny – could be meaningless. (Sean – 14) … It wasn’t as bad as their loss to the Galaxy, but it was three points they really needed against Colorado. The Rapids are a team that they need to beat if they want to make a push for the playoffs. (Ryan – 14)

15. (+1) COLORADO RAPIDS (8-15-2, 26 points)
Late signing of Hendry Thomas could make a difference, but the reality is the Rapids can’t afford to take anything less than three points against Western Conference rivals going forward. (Sean – 15) … The same could be said for the Rapids. If they want to make people fear them or have any sort of hope, they need to win against beatable opponents.  (Ryan – 15)

16. (-1) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-12-3, 24 points)
Held on for dare life to grab a draw at D.C., but it’s something positive they can take going forward in a lost season. (Sean – 16) … A huge result on the road for the Union. The show at the end of the game was something else, but overall they did will to hold on for a tie, despite the man (at times, two man) advantage. (Ryan – 16)

17. (+1) TORONTO FC (5-14-5, 20 points)
Offense came to life and grabbed a draw against Portland even with some key international absences. Unfortunately those same chances weren’t there, though the defense was better as they held the red hot Sporting Kansas City scoreless for 83 minutes before falling to a 1-0 defeat. (Sean – 17) … They’ve won two games in their last five. Yes, they’ve gone winless in three, but they’ve tasted victory more recently then the Revolution. (Ryan – 17)

T18. (-1) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (6-13-5, 23 points)
Saturday’s loss in Chicago left no doubt about who was the better team. The Revs are winless in seven (0-6-1) and have shown no signs of turning things around. (Sean – 18) … Rock bottom for the Revs. A dismal one point in their last seven and it doesn’t get easier with a hungry Columbus team. (Ryan – 19)

T18. (+1) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-13-6, 21 points)
Conceded two goals and couldn’t get a win against a depleted Toronto side then blew a two goal lead against a New York side that was playing some of their worst soccer of the year? This season can’t end soon enough. Worst in MLS over the last 10 games (1-7-2) … Why not the worst ranked team? They’ve earned two points in their last five games. (Ryan – 18)


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