New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 11

Every week (Well, that was the plan. Sorry for the three week absence), 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 Los Angeles Galaxy (8-2-5, 29 points) – Unbeaten in 10 of their last 11. Could this be the year the Galaxy finally win a championship with David Beckham on board? (Brian – 1) … Winners of four in a row and the Galaxy are looking like the class of the league. (Sean – 1)

2FC Dallas (6-3-4, 22 points) – Riding an eight game unbeaten streak thanks to Brek Shea and Martin Chavez, not to mention the ageless Kevin Hartman. The Mavs aren’t the only team putting it down for the Big D. (Brian – 2) … People were ready to write Dallas off after a slow start, but they’re now proving last year’s championship appearance was certainly no fluke. (Sean – 2)

3 Seattle Sounders (5-4-5, 20 points) – A call to arms by Sigi Schmid awakened the Sounders in time to become the first MLS team to claim victory at the fortress known at Rio Tinto Stadium in over two years. Imagine if they had a healthy Steve Zakuani? (Brian – 3) … Yet another team that was written off after a slow start, Seattle is now showing why they were the surprise team of 2010. (Sean – 3)

4 Philadelphia Union (6-3-2, 20 points) – After getting by with minimal goalscoring, the Union exploded for six against Toronto. Maybe they do have the firepower to match wits with New York. (Brian – 4) … If the Union can show even a fraction of the offensive strength they showed at Toronto and maintain their stalwart defense, a trip to the MLS Cup might be in the team’s future. (Sean – 4)

5Colorado Rapids (4-3-6, 18 points) – Eeeking by with another tie to road weary K.C. The Rapids need to start finding the win column before they start losing more ground in the west. (Brian – 5) … The Rapids seem to have gotten down the tie on the road part of the formula for success, now they just need to make DSGP the fortress it should be. (Sean -6)

T6New York Red Bulls (4-2-6, 18 points) – Without Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry, the Red Bulls draw even with the Whitecaps in Vancouver. But, really? Only one goal against Vancouver? (Brian – 6) … After looking like a contender in April, a winless May shows the Red Bulls still have a lot of work to do. (Sean – 7)

T6 Real Salt Lake (5-2-2, 17 points) – How the mighty have fallen. They have the talent and depth to do better, but their first loss in 30 games at the Rio may signal that things are starting to spiral out of control. (Brian – 8 ) … Yes, Salt Lake is slumping, but they can afford to thanks to their fantastic start to the season. RSL still has the second most points per game in MLS, right behind the Galaxy.  The team has a lot to recover from after the CCL disappointment and losing Javier Morales to injury and their early success has bought them time. (Sean – 5)

8Portland Timbers (5-4-2, 17 points) – Dropped their first home loss to D.C., but that shouldn’t diminish the fact that the Timbers are quickly becoming a contender. (Brian – 7) … The invincibility at home is gone and Portland is still winless on the road. Lots of Questions remain. (Sean – 9)

9 D.C. United (4-4-3, 15 points) – Claim the first road victory at JELD-WEN against the Timbers and starting to show some much-needed consistency. Can they keep it going? (Brian – 9) … Four games unbeaten and D.C. is finally displaying some of the promise they showed in their season opener. (Sean – 8 )

10 Chivas USA (3-4-5, 14 points) – Impressive in 3-3 goalfest against Columbus. Looks like the Goats have turned a corner after a tough start to the season. (Brian – 10) … Once again inconsistency seems to be the theme for Chivas, alternately showing promise and looking like a disaster. Is it 2010 all over again? (Sean – 11)

11San Jose Earthquakes (3-4-4, 13 points) – Seem to finally be finding some offensive rhythm and it showed against Chi-town in the 2-2 draw last Saturday. (Brian – 12) … 2-0-2 in their last four matches and the Quakes are demonstrating just how deep the West is again. (Sean – 10)

12 Houston Dynamo (3-4-6, 15 points) – Although they’re tied for third in the East, the Dynamo need to start winning some games if they’re going to be a factor this summer. (Brian – 11) … An unbeaten April is followed by a winless May. I tend to think May is more indicative of the real Dynamo. (Sean – 13)

13 Columbus Crew (3-3-5, 13 points) – A trio of goals against the Goats was encouraging, while giving three up against the Goats was discouraging. (Brian – 13) … A fantastic April is followed by an equally unimpressive May, but the young Crew have enough upside to expect a brighter future. (Sean -12)

T14Toronto FC (2-5-6, 12 points) – Scorched for six goals against a typically-score starved Philly side. Looks like more of the same in Toronto. (Brian – 14) … They’d been looking a bit better lately, but Philadelphia showed just why TFC was at or near the bottom of most of our early rankings. (Sean – 15)

T14 New England Revolution (3-5-4, 13 points) – Get blanked for the fifth time in their last eight games. Offense is currently on life support. (Brian – 15) … There is little wrong with the defense, but some serious help is needed offensively and the news on Perovic is hardly what the Revs needed. (Sean -14)

T16Vancouver Whitecaps (1-5-7, 10 points) – Tough to see Teitur Thordarson get the ax less than halfway through his first year in top flight football. But, a series of draws won’t cut it in MLS. (Brian – 16) … Vancouver has some nice pieces, but is struggling to put it all together. Will a midseason coaching change make a difference? (Sean – 17)

T16 – Chicago Fire (1-4-6, 9 points) – Carlos de los Cabos’ firing was proof positive that this club was sinking fast. Can Frank Klopas save the ship before it’s too late? (Brian – 17) … The Fire are clearly missing their departed veterans. Can anyone step up to turn things around? (Sean – 16)

18Sporting Kansas City (1-6-2, 5 points) – A draw against the defending champs represents a small silver lining on an extremely trying season so far. How many more days until June 9th? (Brian – 18) … If the Open Cup is any indication, getting some home games will do Sporting a world of good. (Sean – 18)

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