New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 6

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 Brian O’Connell, Sean Donahue and Ryan Lanigan contributed rankings. Comments are followed by the ranker’s name and the rank they gave that team.

1.   SPORTING KANSAS CITY (6-0-0, 18 points)
Come out on top in an early-season clash of the titans, thanks to Aurelien Collin’s header at a rainy LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on Saturday. And the juggernaut continues to stay perfect on the season. (Brian – 1) … Proved once again their record is no fluke with a win over the West’s best, Salt Lake. (Sean – 1) … After a big 1-0 win over RSL, KC will now have to worry about the defensively sound Vancouver Whitecaps, who will be trying to stop their undefeated campaign. (Ryan – 1)

2.   REAL SALT LAKE (5-2-0, 15 points)
Nick Rimando makes a tremendous save on a Kei Kamara in the second half, but Salt Lake’s attack betrays him with its only shot on goal against K.C. coming in stoppage time. Another tough test awaits this weekend against a resurgent San Jose. (Brian – 2) … Not RSL’s finest game, but it was never going to be easy in Kansas City. You have to wonder though, how different would the game have been with a healthy Javier Morales? (Sean – 2) … Things don’t get easier for the RSL defense now as they travel to take on Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes. (Ryan – 2)

3.   SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-1, 13 points)
A spirited draw in New York earns the ‘Quakes a valuable road point and, in the process, pull them within a pair of points of the top of the conference. (Brian – 3) … Hard fought draw in New York and might have been a bit unlucky not to grab the full three points. Have a tough game on tap with RSL coming to town. (Sean – 3) … San Jose did well to get a tie against a red hot New York team. (Ryan – 3)

4.   SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (3-1-1, 10 points)
Back in the win column thanks to Zack Scott’s clever header, which proves to be the game-winner. Meanwhile the Hunt for Fredy Montero’s first goal of the season continues. (Brian – 4) … Important three points against Colorado helps Seattle gain ground on the leaders in the West. (Sean – 4) … A good win over a Colorado team that has shown they can play. (Ryan – 5)

5.  (-1) NEW YORK RED BULLS (3-2-1, 10 points)
Remain unbeaten in their last four with Saturday’s 2-2 draw against a flying San Jose side. Still, it was the Red Bulls that appeared on their back hooves in the second half. (Brian – 5) … Stumbled a bit in their draw against the ‘Quakes. Rafa Marquez is a red card waiting to happen these days and New York were lucky to finish with 11 men and a draw. (Sean – 5) … Another game, and more goals from their top two guy. It would be been nice if they could have held on though. (Ryan – 4)

6. (-2) HOUSTON DYNAMO (2-1-1, 7 points)
The Dynamo strike first from the foot of Will Bruin, but Logan Pause puts his back into Pavel Pardo’s free kick to level it before lightning brought a halt to the game in the 66th minute. (Brian – 8 ) … Grabbed a draw in tough conditions on the road despite missing three midfield starters. (Sean – 6) … They could really use a big win to solidify them as a top team in the East. (Ryan – 6)

7.  (+1) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-1-2, 8 points)
Well-rested in time for a pair of games against Sporting K.C. and Dallas, which will visit BC Place on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. (Brian – 6)… Face a pair of tough opponents this week – can they finally beat a good team? (Sean – 7) …  A week off to help recover from surrendering their first goals of the season. (Ryan – 8 )

8. (+2) FC DALLAS (3-2-1, 10 points)
Brek Shea saves the day in Frisco to give the Hoops its second-straight win in the waning stages – this time against Montreal. (Brian – 7) … Expected win against Montreal, but Dallas is continuing to get result without key players. (Sean – 8 ) … Another late goal to pull out the win. Neither have been overly impressive, but they are finding ways to win games. (Ryan – 9)

9.  D.C. UNITED (2-2-2, 8 points)
Score a pair of unanswered goals on the road as Ben Olsen’s Boys suck the Shalrie Joseph-less Revs into a disheveled match that ended in a 2-1 D.C. win. Another week, another rung up the conference ladder. (Brian – 9) … Road win in New England as D.C. continues to trend in the right direction. (Sean – 9) …  United has now gone unbeaten in its last four games. (Ryan – 7)

10. (-3) COLORADO RAPIDS (3-3-0, 9 points)
Sensational performance by Matt Pickens, but he couldn’t stop them all in Seattle as the Rapids drop their second straight conference loss. (Brian – 10) … Back to back tough road games from Colorado. Big match against the Galaxy as they return home. (Sean – 11) …  Continue to be a very streaky team, highlighted by their two halves against Seattle. (Ryan – 12)

11.   CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-2, 5 points)
Lucky to get a goal from a Pavel Pardo free kick that ricochets off of an unassuming Logan Pause, but it still equals a point at the end – which came prematurely just after the hour due to lightning. (Brian – 11) … Friedrich gets his first start in a rain shortened draw. Still hard to tell where this team will be after just four games. (Sean – 12) … They only have one win in their first four games, but certain players looked better than others. (Ryan -11)

12. (-1) CHIVAS USA (3-3-0, 9 points)
Don’t look now but the Goats have won three of their last four, with their most recent win coming against the Reds on the road. Oswaldo Minda gets the game-winner while Dan Kennedy came up big in the waning minutes. (Brian – 12) … Chivas USA have now won two in a row and are a perfect 3-0-0 on the road. It’s time to start getting results at home and with Philly up next, there’s no excuse not to. (Sean – 10) … Another game, another win for the Goats. It might have been over lowly Toronto, but those are the games you have to win. (Ryan – 14)

13. (+1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (2-3-0, 6 points)
Finally get its first win since Mar. 18 with a 3-1 victory over a reeling Timbers’ team. But it won’t get any easier when they head to Colorado to face an improving Rapids squad at altitude. (Brian – 15) … Looks like the Galaxy offense may have finally awakened. Can they bring that momentum to Colorado. (Sean – 13) … David Beckham showed he still has it with a great strike. (Ryan – 10)

14. (-3) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (2-4-0, 6 points)
The effort was never in question, but without their skipper, the Revs leave the pitch without points thanks to another late-game goal. But with a bye week on the agenda, the Jay Heaps hopes it’ll afford his squad the opportunity to fine tune its form. (Brian – 14) … Clearly missed Shalrie Joseph this past weekend and defense still needs work. Will Lozano be back in the XI after a needed bye week? (Sean – 14) … The defense is starting to sink like it did last year. It’s time to put a rock in the back line. (Ryan – 13)

15.  COLUMBUS CREW (2-3-0, 6 points)
Succumbed to a Union side that needed a penalty to earn three points, but even so, the Crew look like a team that’s still searching for its identity. (Brian – 13) … Lost to Philly thanks to a PK. The Crew have would could be a defining game against Houston this week. (Sean – 15) …Tough loss to Philly, but the road doesn’t get any easier with Houston on the docket. (Ryan – 16)

16. (+2) PHILADELPHIA UNION (1-3-1, 4 points)
Gabriel Gomez scores – albeit from the spot – while the Union’s stingy defense suffocates Columbus to earn its first win of the season. But there’s still a lot of work to do before Philly can even dream of climbing up the standings. (Brian – 16) … Grab an unconvincing win over the Crew. Union have yet to show they can contend for a playoff spot. (Sean – 17) … After a tie last week, Novak’s guys picked up their first win on the season. (Ryan – 15)

17. (-1) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-4-1, 6 points)
After a promising start to the season, the Timbers are now winless in its last five with Saturday’s disheartening 3-1 loss to the struggling Galaxy. (Brian – 17) … After a promising start in Los Angeles, the Timbers fell apart late. Too talented to be doing this poorly. (Sean – 16) … Just bizarre to see how this team has performed in the middle and the defensive third. (Ryan – 18)

18. (-1) MONTREAL IMPACT (1-5-1, 4 points)
Suffer a fate similar to that of the Revs two weeks ago when Dallas finds the game-winner before the closing bell. No one said it’d be easy for the Impact this season, as evidenced by its fifth loss of the season. (Brian – 18) … Fought valiantly in Dallas, but couldn’t hold on late. (Sean – 18) … A late goal costs them their second win. (Ryan – 17)

19. (-1) TORONTO FC (0-5-0, 0 points)
Toronto – According to Aron Winter – and I quote – “”If you see all the games, we are the better team. Only difference is that (we) don’t have points.” In related news, pigs were seen flying around BMO Field. (Brian – 19) … Ok, Champions League grace period is over. Toronto’s the worst team so far this season. (Sean – 19) … Even a tie would be good for them at this point. (Ryan – 19)


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