New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 4

Every week, the New England Soccer Today crew will look beyond the standings to rank each of the 18 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 (4-0-0, 12 points) – This really isn’t even a contest anymore. After beating the Rapids, Salt Lake is undeniably the league’s top team (Sean -1). Second-choice starting XI dismantles first-place Revs. Nevermind best team ever- how about deepest team ever? Jason Kreis has a juggernaut on his hands (Brian -1 ).

3. Philadelphia Union (3-1-0, 9 points) – A win over New York shows Philly’s the real deal (Sean- 2). Class of the East thanks to a smothering defense. Shutting down a potent Red Bull lineup may shift the power to the Keystone State (Brian -3).

3. Colorado Rapids (3-2-0, 9 points) – Played strong against RSL for long periods, but a loss at an underperforming Dallas knocks the Rapids down a bit. Need Mastroeni back (Sean – 3). Dropped a stunner to Dallas, but they have the talent to stay in the upper echelon of the table (Brian – 2).

4. Los Angeles Galaxy (2-1-3, 9 points) – Two unlucky draws for the Galaxy this past week with Landon Donovan absent. Their offense is too talented to be kept silent for long (Sean -4 ). Follow up a controversial draw to D.C by failing to score against Toronto. Gals have shown me little this season (Brian – 4).

5. Seattle Sounders FC (1-2-2, 5 points) – Seattle finally tasted victory last week and I imagine they’ll have plenty more in the near future (Sean – 6). After a snail-like start, the Sounders seem to have awakened after a sold 2-1 win over Chicago (Brian-7).

6. Houston Dynamo (1-1-2, 5 points) – Houston finally show some life with a big win over Vancouver (Sean – 10).  Started off slow against tough teams, but seem to be turning a corner with their 3-1 win over Vancouver. We’ll see if the attack is back for good (Brian – 5).

7. San Jose Earthquakes (1-1-2, 5 points) – A home draw against Toronto is nothing to be proud of. Games like that are ones the ‘Quakes need 3 points from (Sean – 7). Should’ve beaten the fledgling Reds. Need to start finding some more goals (Brian – 9)

8. New England Revolution (1-1-3, 6 points) – Completely overrun at home by a Salt Lake side largely made up of reserves. Inexcusable. The Revs are without Shalrie Joseph this weekend (Sean – 12). Tough defeat against Salt Lake, but with Ousmane Dabo and Rajko Lekic ready to contribute, the picture looks promising (Brian – 6).

8. FC Dallas (1-2-1, 4 points) – Huge win for Dallas over the defending champs could be just what the team needs to get their season back on track (Sean – 8). Triumphant win over Colorado. Did the Rapids awaken a sleeping giant? (Brian – 10)

8. New York Red Bulls (1-1-2, 5 points) – Had their chances in Philly, but the Red Bulls are capable of better (Sean – 5 ). Uber-talented team that have underperformed badly. They are the MLS version of the Red Sox (Brian -13).

11. Sporting Kansas City (1-1-1, 4 points) – Hopefully some time off and an Open Cup shutout will have helped Kansas City solve their earlier defensive issues (Sean – 9). Got a hard-earned win against Dynamo in USOC competition, travel to Columbus to see if they can bounce back from their Vancouver 3-3 debacle (Brian – 11).

12. Toronto FC (1-1-3, 6 points) – Luck has been on their side, but a weak Toronto squad has managed two straight draws against tough competition (Sean – 15). Draw to San Jose on the road signals the reports of the Reds’ demise may be a bit premature (Brian – 8).

12. Chicago Fire (1-1-1, 4 points) – Tough loss at Seattle for the Fire. Finishing let them down (Sean -11). Fell to a rising Sounder squad and hope a quick return to action Thursday night gets them back on track (Brian – 12).

14. Vancouver Whitecaps (1-2-2, 5 points) – Destroyed by a struggling Houston side. Vancouver has struggled to find consistency (Sean – 14). Porous defense continues to watch goals fly into their net. Also didn’t help that their offense was a no-show against Houston (Brian -14).

14. D.C. United (1-2-1, 4 points) – Lucky draw at home against Los Angeles. D.C. still have yet to show the offensive punch they had in their season opener (Sean – 13). Miraculously squeezed a point against the Gals thanks to a dubious penalty. How long before Charlie Davies gets the starting nod for good? (Brian – 15).

16. Columbus Crew (1-1-2, 5 points) – Played to a scoreless draw at Chivas in what was a pretty dreadful match (Sean – 16). Listless attack is saved by their backline again. They need more from Eddie Gaven and Emmanuel Ekpo (Brian – 18).

16. Portland Timbers (0-2-1, 1 point) – Some time off and a new DP playmaker heading into the team’s home opener could spark this expansion side to life (Sean – 17). Idle last week, but the signing of Diego Chara should give the Timbers some added stability in the middle (Brian -17).

16. Chivas USA (0-2-2, 2 points) – Chivas will need to do better than a dire home draw with Columbus if they want to move up these rankings (Sean – 18). Caution: broadcast of scoreless draw to Columbus may cause drowsiness (Brian -16).

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