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 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.

T1. Los Angeles Galaxy (11-2-9, 42 points)

The Galaxy keep getting points even with stars such as David Beckham missing matches due to suspensions or injuries. (Photo by Art Donahue/

Sure, they keep avoiding the loss column, but putting together a few more wins – even if it’s of the 1-0 variety like the one against Columbus last week – is a must if they want to climb back into the first spot. (Brian – 2) … Haven’t lost since May 13th, a stretch of 13 games. They may not be blowing out opponents, or even winning every game you’d expect them to, but they keep finding a way to keep getting points regardless of whose missing from the line-up. Impressive draw with Manchester City should further aid confidence. (Sean – 1)

T1. Seattle Sounders (10-4-8, 38 points)
Idle last week, but have a favorable matchup against the sinking Houston Dynamo this weekend that should see their winning ways continue. (Brian – 1) … Nine games unbeaten in league play, but you have to wonder if the 7-0 trouncing by Manchester United and subsequent loss in the CONCACAF Champions League to Panama’s San Francisco F.C. will have dented their confidence. (Sean – 2)

3. Real Salt Lake (9-3-6, 33 points)
Unbeaten in their last seven thanks to their 4-0 shellacking of San Jose, it looks like Salt Lake is finally back to its former self. (Brian – 3) … I think it’s safe to say Salt Lake are out of their post-Champions League funk. I picked these guys to win it all at the start of the season and they’re still my favorites to take home the title. (Sean – 3)

4. FC Dallas (11-5-6, 39 points)
Squeak past Toronto 1-0, but a late equalizer at New York deprives them of maximum points on the road. Even so, they’re still one of the top 4 teams in MLS right now, and I think they’ll get even better as the season goes on. (Brian – 4) … Frankly these top four teams in the West look like the only title contenders in the league right now, but after their last four games, Dallas are firmly in the fourth spot behind Los Angeles, Seattle, and Salt Lake. (Sean – 4)

5. Philadelphia Union (8-4-7, 31 points)
Handily beat the Revs 3-0 at Gillette, but their A-1 defense will be tested by Colorado’s pace this weekend.  (Brian – 5) … It looked like the Union were slipping up in June, but they’re back to being the best in the East with a win at home, draw on the road strategies over the last four games. (Sean – 5)

6. Colorado Rapids (7-6-10, 31 points)
Humiliated New York with a 4-1 pounding, and almost went 2 for 2 before giving up a late equalizer against the Revs. If the Rapids attack can continue their current form, they may get hot down the stretch. (Brian – 6) … Impressed with a crushing victory over New York, but then didn’t at all in a draw with New England. In the six spot, but doesn’t look at all like a contender yet. (Sean – 6)

T7. Columbus Crew (8-6-7, 31 points)
Inconsistencies crept into the Crew’s form last week with a 1-0 loss to the Gals, then only managing a single goal  – an own goal, to boot – in their win over the Timbers. (Brian – 8 ) … They aren’t scoring many goals, but their defense has been rock solid this month. If they can get their offense on track, they’ll give the Union a fight for the top spot in the East the rest of the way. (Sean – 7)

T7. Sporting K.C. (6-6-8, 26 points)
Kei Kamara and Omar Bravo each score a brace against a hapless Toronto team, and, like the Galaxy, K.C. keeps itself out of the loss column. (Brian – 7) … I can never give a team much credit for beating Toronto and I just haven’t been impressed with Kansas City this month, despite their unbeaten record. Losing Aurelien Collin for a while to injury won’t help. (Sean – 8 )

9. New York Red Bulls (6-5-12, 30 points)
You have to wonder what the heck is going on with this team. Look away loss to the Rapids, and a 2-2 draw against Dallas only add more to the argument that this team is, by far, the underachiever of the season. (Brian – 9) … New York just can’t seem to find the winning formula this season, but they now have the Emirates Cup to get things right before returning to league play and it seems to be coming at just the right time. (Sean – 9)

T10. Chivas USA (6-7-8, 26 points)
Offense – or should I say, Justin Braun – awakens with the striker’s second hat trick of the season over a stingy Dynamo defense. Braun’s legit, but the jury’s still out on the rest of the offense. (Brian – 11) … Unbeaten in July, but I’ll need to see them maintain their form even longer before I push them any higher. (Sean – 10)

T10. D.C. United (5-6-8, 23 points)
If Charlie Davies’ penalty is accurate, D.C. gets a point. But instead, the former BC Eagle launches a duck against his hometown team, and allows the Revs to win their first road victory of the season. (Brian – 10)

T12. San Jose Earthquakes (5-7-9, 24 points)
Should have drilled Vancouver, but instead, settle for a 2-2 draw. And yeah, there may have been controversy with Saborio’s dive in the RSL game, but giving up four goals is inexcusable. (Brian – 13) … It’s hard to separate the former Earthquakes (current Dynamo) for the present Earthquakes right now, but I give San Jose a bit more credit despite the huge defeat to Salt Lake considering their ridiculously busy July schedule and the circumstances of the loss. (Sean – 12)

T12. Houston Dynamo (5-7-9, 24 points)
The Dynamo continue to shoot themselves in the foot, and their loss to the Goats is proof of that. Going down to 10 men with a 2-goal deficit? Not brilliant. (Brian – 12) … Zero wins on the road isn’t going to get them very far. (Sean – 13)

14. Portland Timbers (6-10-3, 21 points)
Losers of four out of their last five, this time thanks to an own goal against Columbus. Now, they’re thinking of trading Kenny Cooper. Huh? (Brian – 14) … Portland has been finding new ways to lose each week this month. You’d think their friendly wins might build confidence, but it hasn’t happened yet. (Brian – 14)

15. New England Revolution (4-9-8, 20 points)
Finally win on the road with 1-0 at D.C. and avoid disaster with an improbable 2-2 comeback draw at Colorado. Still, the Revs have a ton of work to do as the final third of the season approaches. (Brian – 15) … I’d be a lot more impressed with the Revs recent results if they actually maintained some possession during the matches or scored from the run of play. Leading the league in red cards doesn’t help… (Sean – 15)

16. Chicago Fire (2-6-12, 18 points)
When your only measure of success this season is putting a goal on the board against Manchester United, well, you might have some problems. Those problems may get worse when they face Philly next week. (Brian – 16) … Winless since June 12th and haven’t scored two or more goals in a match since May. 0-0 and 1-1 draws aren’t going to be enough to make the playoffs. (Sean – 16)

17. Vancouver Whitecaps (2-10-9, 15 points)
Eric Hassli single-handedly steals a point from San Jose in their 2-2 draw. This team’s already in dire straits, but imagine how much worse they’d be without Hassli? (Brian – 17) … There is a lot of talent on this team, but they still haven’t been able to put it together. (Sean – 17)

18. Toronto FC (3-11-9, 18 points)
Throttled by K.C. 4-2 and fall back to the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Hey, there’s always CONCACAF Champions League! (Brian – 18) … New additions, same results. The quality might be there, but maybe it has come too late to make a difference. (Sean – 18)

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