New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 29

Every week the contributors to New England Soccer Today will look beyond just the standings to rank the 16 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 (15-4-10, 55 points) – Ended Dallas’ 19-game unbeaten streak, then beat Cruz Azul in CCL play for good measure. Are we witnessing a dynasty in progress? (Brian – 1) … FC Dallas was their toughest test in a while, but they passed with an impressive 2-0 victory. (Sean – 1)

2. Seattle Sounders (14-9-6, 48 points) – The juggernaut continues to leave lesser teams in its wake. Wins against both Chivases (sp?) last week further cements the fact that this is a club to be reckoned with. (Brian – 2) … Now 10-1-3 since the World Cup. No one will want to see this team come the playoffs. (Sean – 2)

T3. FC Dallas (12-3-14, 50 points) – Hard to fault a loss against a team like Salt Lake, but maybe – just maybe – it’s something they needed before heading into the playoffs. (Brian – 3) … Unbeaten streak over and Dallas, despite the unbeaten run, has been struggling for victories lately. (Sean – 4)

T3. Los Angeles Galaxy (17-7-5, 56 points) (+1) – Dropped a shocker to Colorado at home. Somebody must have forgotten to tell the Gals that they’re in the driver’s seat for the Supporter’s Shield. (Brian – 4) … Shocking loss to Colorado ends the Galaxy’s four game winning streak. They may be giving the Supporter’s Shield away. (Sean – 3)

T5. New York Red Bulls (14-9-6, 48 points) – Another surprising result for another conference leader. Philly took a 2-0 lead into the half, and the Red Bulls never recovered. Likely an anomaly, but you never know as the playoffs approach. (Brian – 5) … Red Bulls still are struggling to find their top form and time’s running out for them to do so. (Sean – 6)

T5. Colorado Rapids (12-8-9, 45 points) – Put up an impressive result against the Galaxy, and hope to carry that momentum with a result against Real this weekend. (Brian – 6) … Huge win over LA. Cummings and Casey are tough for any team to stop. (Sean – 5)

7. San Jose Earthquakes (13-9-7, 46 points) (+2) – Sputtering down the stretch is no way to embark on the postseason. Chris Wondolowski’s going to need some help if the Quakes hope to advance further than the semis. (Brian – 7) … Big win over Chivas, Some poor form prior, but things may be turning around. (Sean – 7)

8. Columbus Crew (13-8-8, 47 points) – A draw to terrible Toronto does little to instill any confidence going into the playoffs. They’ll probably be too tired to go anywhere far come November. (Brian – 8 ) … It’s hard to have any confidence in the Crew getting past the first round of this year’s playoffs. (Sean -8 )

9. Philadelphia Union (8-14-7, 31 points) (+1) – A non-contender that has been on the rise since the late-summer, furthered their M.O. with a solid 2-1 over New York. It’s definitely looking Sunny in Philadelphia. (Brian – 9) … Expansion side could’ve been in the hunt if they had started off the season better. If they can carry recent form into next year they will be in good shape. (Sean – 9)

10. New England Revolution (9-15-5, 32 points) (+1)– Have improved over the last month thanks in large part to improved defending. Will look to finish out the season on a high note against the conference-leading Red Bulls. (Brian – 10) … Back-to-back wins and much better form since being eliminated from the play-offs.

11. Kansas City Wizards (10-13-6, 36 points) (-2) – Eliminated by the Revolution after a hard-fought loss in Foxboro. Showed a lot of fight this season, but it just wasn’t enough in the end. (Brian – 11) … Just couldn’t get it done down the stretch. Lost too many games against teams they should’ve beat (Sean -11)

T12. Toronto FC (8-13-8, 32 points) – Apparently, there’s still something to play for this season, as they drew a lethargic Crew. Next season may mirror 2010 unless the front office is properly addressed. (Brian – 12) … Drew against the underperforming Crew, but should have take 3 points if not for lack of discipline and poor defending at the end. (Sean – 13)

T12. Houston Dynamo (8-15-6, 30 points) (+2) – Claimed an encouraging 1-0 victory over their playoff-bound former namesake. Like the Revs, just looking to finish out the year strong. (Brian – 13) … Disappointing season, but a good win over San Jose is something positive to end the season. (Sean – 12)

14. Chicago Fire (8-12-9, 33 points) (-2) – Brian McBride bows before the Bridgeview supporters after a disappointing 0-0 draw to DC United. It’s been that kind of year for the Fire. (Brian – 14) … I’ve said it before, but there is way too much talent on the Fire squad for them to be this bad. (Sean – 14)

15. Chivas USA (8-17-4, 28 points) – Single-handedly pummeled by the aforementioned Wondolowski only proves that the defending is going to need a lot of help this offseason. (Brian – 15) … Already had their one good performance of the month, so no one should have expected anything less than a loss against San Jose. (Sean – 15)

16. D.C. United (6-19-4, 22 points) – A draw is better than another loss. Closing out the season with a win against Toronto would not only be encouraging, but completely possible against the most disenchanted club in the land. (Brian – 16) … How far the mighty have fallen. A draw between DC and Chicago, two former champions who have done nothing but disappoint this season. (Sean – 16)

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