New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 26

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. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (15-3-10, 55 points)

Dominate against the Rapids, and with Landon Donovan starring as the goalscorer, the Gals clinch the first MLS playoff berth of the 2011 season. (Brian – 1) … Continue to get the points needed to cruise towards the Supporter’s Shield. (Sean – 1)

2. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (10-8-10, 40 points)

K.C. has been straight up killin’ it this summer, and the Dynamo was their latest victim, as C.J. Sapong and Teal Bunbury hit up Houston for a 3-0 win. (Brian – 2) … As everyone else at the top, outside of LA, slips up, Kansas City keeps up the pace to jump to second in the rankings. (Sean – 2)

3. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (13-6-9, 48 points)

Tough home  loss to swallow with a slumping Salt Lake in town, especially with Kasey Keller’s own goal tipping it toward the guests, who really had no right winning it with a 34% possession rate. (Brian – 3) … Costly errors cost Seattle three important points to Salt Lake. Sounders spot in second in the standings is under threat. (Sean – 4)

4. REAL SALT LAKE (13-7-6, 45 points)

Salt Lake grabs a convincing 2-1 road win in Seattle, and thus, confirm that their premature deaths have been great exaggerated. (Brian – 5) … Three wins in a row leave Salt Lake just three points out of second place with two games in hand. (Sean – 3)

5. FC DALLAS (13-8-7, 46 points)

Shocked 2-0 by the win-challenged Revs thanks to a surprisingly uninspired performance days after Bobby Rhine’s untimely death. (Brian – 4) … Looked flat-footed against New England. In serious danger of falling into a wild card slot. (Sean – 5)

6. COLORADO RAPIDS (10-8-11, 41 points)

Matt Pickens keeps his club in the contest, but without any signs of life on the other end of the pitch, the defending champs fall to, quite possibly, next year’s defending champs. (Brian – 6) … Now tied for the current longest losing streak in MLS, the Rapids are slumping at the worst possible time. (Sean – 6)

T7. COLUMBUS CREW (11-9-8, 41 points)

I don’t know what was more unintentionally funny this week: the Crew getting crushed by Toronto or the satisfaction survey. (Brian – 8) … The Crew are so high only thanks to how poor every team outside of the top 5 has been. (Sean -7)

T7. PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-7-12, 36 points)

Surprisingly passive match against Portland only days after their four goal extravaganza against the Revs, Philly fails to distance themselves from the wild card slot. (Brian – 7) … When the offense is there, the defense isn’t, when the defense is there, the offense isn’t. Thus the Union haven’t won since beating the struggling Revs on July 17th. (Sean – 8)

9. D.C UNITED (8-7-10, 34 points)

After a summer-long hiatus, the artist formerly known as Chuck D comes back with a hat trick, but Chris Pontius suffers a potential season-ender, all amid Saturday night’s 3-0 win over the Goats. (Brian – 9) … Huge win gets D.C. back in the playoff hunt. Good hat trick for Mr. Davies, but with the chance he had it’s almost disappointing he didn’t have more. (Sean – 9)

10. HOUSTON DYNAMO (8-9-12, 36 points)

I do not know a lot of things, but I am puzzled how a team that literally disappears on the road is capable of qualifying for the playoffs at this stage of the season. Damn that Don Garber and his socialist agenda! (Brian – 10) … Winless in three and winless on the road all season. They may make the playoffs, but they won’t be going far. (Sean – 10)

T11. CHIVAS USA (7-11-10, 31 points)

Goats get slaughtered at home as they continue to find ways to fall further down the playoff table. It’s just taking too long for Robin Fraser to figure his team out. (Brian – 11) … Inconsistency and Chivas. Sounds like every other season of the club’s existence. (Sean – 12)

T11. PORTLAND TIMBERS (9-12-6, 36 points)

A point is a point, especially on the road, but Portland needed to play with much greater urgency in Philly with their playoff hopes fading. (Brian – 12) … Sure it was just a road point, but Portland is doing the right things to get back in the playoff hunt. (Sean – 11)

13. NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-15, 33 points)

Who would have thought that back in March, the Red Bulls would not only be struggling for points, but actually playing admittedly cynical soccer in September? It was not Bouna Time at Red Bull Arena this weekend, my friends. (Brian – 13) … Someone should tell New York that they don’t need to spend so much money on players to go on an 8 game winless streak. (Sean – 13)

14. TORONTO FC (5-12-12, 27 pointS)

The Reds raze the Crew to the tune of four goals and, in the process, further proves my hypothesis that no one in the Eastern Conference, save for Sporting KC, deserves a playoff spot this year. (Brian – 14) … Toronto shows some life, but their CCL form shows that it was just a one game fluke. (Sean – 14)

15. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (6-10-11, 29 points)

In a contest of two of the most inconsistent squads, San Jose puts its stamp on the match with a 2-0 win and, laughably, inspires hope for the playoffs. Playoffs??? (Brian – 15) … Games in hand means after their win they still have an extremely small shot at the postseason. (Sean – 15)

16. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (5-11-12, 27 points)

Rebound from Wednesday’s woeful 4-4 draw with an unexpected win at home, where they haven’t sent the home fans happy since May 14th. (Brian – 16) … It doesn’t mean much, but beating Dallas 2-0 was certainly a surprise. Way too little, way too late. (Sean – 16)

17. CHICAGO FIRE (4-8-15, 27 points)

The Fire musters zero offense against a similarly-embattled San Jose, and as a result, sink to the bottom of the conference table. (Brian – 17) … Two game win streak snapped with a disappointing loss to San Jose and the Fire can all but erase their paper thin playoff hopes. (Sean – 17)

18. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (4-13-10, 22 points)

Unlucky to give up a goal with the man advantage against New York, but managed to steal a point away from the league’s underperformers nonetheless. Oh, and David Chiumiento’s goal was a work of art. And don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. (Brian – 18)  … Seven points in their last five games wouldn’t be bad if they had kept that pace all season. Now it means little. (Sean – 18)

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