New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 8

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.

1New York Red Bulls (4-1-3, 15 points) – A draw to L.A. in the so-called Match of the Season (so far) may have been a letdown, but the Red Bulls still look strong. (Brian – 1) … Getting a point on the road against Los Angeles in a back and forth affair is enough to keep New York on top. (Sean – 1)

2 Real Salt Lake (5-1-0, 15 points) – Squeak by Chivas, but lose Javier Morales in the process. When it rains, it pours, even in Salt Lake City. (Brian – 2) … Quickly back to their winning ways, but how will they handle the loss of Morales? The league’s deepest team will be tested again. (Sean – 2)

3Los Angeles Galaxy (4-2-5, 17 points) – Go head to head with New York and get a point in the process. However, they’ll have to widen their goal differential to keep their spot in the top 5. (Brian – 3) … Winless in their last three, LA needs to start victories if they are to have any hope of holding off Salt Lake at the top of the conference.

4 (-1) – Philadelphia Union (4-2-2, 14 points) – Their defending has been outstanding. Their attack? Not so much. Philly’s gotta find a way to score some goals if they harbor any hopes of getting to the top of the conference.  (Brian – 4) … It’s amazing that the team with league’s worst offense statistically has been as successful as they have. (Sean – 4)

5 Colorado Rapids (4-3-2, 14 points) – Beat Houston and blank the Revs on the road. Goodbye April, hello May. (Brian – 5) … Seem to be getting back to form, but still only one win in their last six matches. (Sean – 5)

6 (+1) – Columbus Crew (3-1-4, 13 points) – Draw to Seattle extends Columbus’ unbeaten streak to seven as they leapfrog the Dynamo in the standing. (Brian – 6) … You’d expect more from Columbus than a home draw with how they’ve been playing, but the Crew have still been one of the surprises of the young season so far.

T7 (-1) – Houston Dynamo (3-3-3, 12 points) – Devastating back to back losses – including one to Toronto – has the Houston tipping its hat out of the Top 5. (Brian – 7) … Houston are beginning to look like the dreadful team of last season. (Sean – 9)

T7 (+3) – Portland Timbers (4-3-1, 13 points) – Remain unbeaten at home with a solid 1-0 win over Philly. They’ve come a long way since the start of the season. (Brian – 8 ) … Four wins in their last five games, but still haven’t shown they can succeed on the road. (Sean – 8 )

T7 (+1) – FC Dallas (4-3-2, 14 points) – Settle for 0-0 draw to D.C. in a game in which clearly nothing was working for FCD. (Brian – 9) … Expected more against D.C., but Dallas pulled off a victory at Toronto and is now unbeaten in four games. (Sean – 7)

10 (-2) – Seattle Sounders (3-3-4, 13 points)  – Claiming a road point to a resurgent C-bus is another point in the right direction for the Sounders, but it’s obvious they’re not firing on all cylinders. (Brian – 10) … Good result after losing Zakauni. Should be interesting to see if they can be successful without him as the season goes. (Sean -10)

11 (-1) – D.C. United (3-4-2, 11 points) – Another week, another inconsistent performance. Silver lining was the fact that they didn’t allow a goal. (Brian – 11) … Still struggling to find their identity this season. (Sean – 11)

12 (+1) – New England Revolution (2-3-4, 10 points) – Midfield plays miles better against Colorado, but the goals are nowhere to be found. They need Marko Perovic back ASAP. (Brian – 12) … Shutout in four of the last five games, New England needs some serious work on offense. (Sean – 12)

T13 (+1) – Toronto FC (2-4-4, 10 points) – Took a surprising victory over Houston thanks to Joao Plata. They still need more consistency on the attack. (Brian – 13) … Pulled out a victory over the weekend, but returned to form with a loss to Dallas on Wednesday. (Sean – 14)

T13 (-1) – Chivas USA (2-3-3, 9 points) – Loss to Salt Lake darkened further by Marcos Mondaini’s tackle on Morales, which probably kept it as close as it was. (Brian – 14) … Picked up an expected loss to Salt Lake, but have been unbeaten in the four games prior. (Sean – 13)

15 (-1) – Chicago Fire (1-3-4, 7 points) – When will Chicago realize its potential? Another week, another wasted opportunity to collect three points. (Brian – 15) … Here is where stats can be deceiving; Chicago is unbeaten in their last three games, but more importantly winless in their last six. Chicago’s getting closer, but can’t find a way to get three points. (Sean – 15)

16 Vancouver Whitecaps (1-4-5, 8 points) – Get its first road point at Chicago, but were fortunate that the Fire were unlucky all night. (Brian – 16) … Two consecutive ties for the Whitecaps, whose defense is finally clicking, but the offense has now disappeared. (Sean – 16)

17 San Jose Earthquakes (1-4-3, 6 points) – Things like the attack and overreliance on Chris Wondolowski need to change for the better if San Jose hopes to turn it around. (Brian – 17) … Got a road draw at Vancouver, but it’s not enough to move them up the rankings. (Sean – 17)

18Sporting Kansas City (1-4-1, 4 points) – Idle last week. Hey, at least they didn’t lose! (Brian – 18) … They have plenty of games in hand and hopefully some time off will have done them good. (Sean – 18)

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