New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 16

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. FC Dallas (10-4-4, 34 points)
Shutout victory over Columbus is their fourth win in their last five league matches. With Seattle and L.A.’s scoreless draw, Dallas is my pick for the top spot. (Brian – 1) … On week 3, Dallas was 16th in our rankings. Now, winners of three in a row and holders of the best point per game average in the league, Dallas is back to looking like the MLS Cup Finalists they were last season. (Sean – 1)

2. (-1) Los Angeles Galaxy (9-2-9, 36 points)
Another week, another scoreless tie. Yet, somehow, they’re riding an inexplicable 11-game unbeaten streak. (Brian – 2) … On their third string keeper and missing Beckham, the Galaxy still had chances to beat Seattle. They don’t look like contenders yet, but then again, no one outside of Dallas does currently. (Sean – 2)

3. (-2) Seattle Sounders (8-4-8, 32 points)
Shutout on the road against debutant keeper Brian Perk. Should’ve beaten a sagging Galaxy side. (Brian – 3) … Blew a golden opportunity to beat a weakened Los Angeles. (Sean – 3)

4. Real Salt Lake (7-3-6, 27 points)
Valiantly come back to salvage a point against the Revs despite going a man down and staring at an early 2-goal deficit. (Brian – 4) … Everything went against them early, yet Real Salt Lake outplayed the Revs despite being down a man and deserve a lot of credit for getting a draw. (Sean – 4)

5. (+3) Sporting Kansas City (5-6-6, 21 points)
Undefeated in their last eight, K.C.’s currently the hottest team in a maddeningly mediocre Eastern Conference. (Brian – 5) … Everyone was questioning K.C.’s decision to play such a tough road schedule while waiting for their new home, but Sporting has already clawed their way back into a battle for a playoff spot and are easily the hottest team in the East currently. (Sean – 6)

6. (+1) New York Red Bulls (6-3-10, 28 points)
Joel Lindpere’s heroics save NY from the loss column last week. But, with a five-game winless streak going, the Red Bulls need to start winning games instead of making excuses. (Brian – 7) … The pieces are finally starting to fall into place for New York. Can they make a run? (Sean – 5)

7. (-1) Philadelphia Union (7-4-6, 27 points)
Come back against D.C. to salvage a point. But, it appears that Philly’s stout defending is starting to soften. (Brian -6) … Mediocre June has carried over into July. (Sean – 7)

T8. San Jose Earthquakes (5-6-6, 21 points)
Almost pull off the victory over NY. Even so, the Quakes are starting to put together the pieces for a run this summer. (Brian – 8 ) … Great run through May and early June, but the wheels may have fallen off. (Sean – 9)

T8. (-3) Columbus Crew (7-5-6, 27 points)
Undermanned Crew fall 2-0 to Dallas may signal a brief hiccup in Columbus decent run of late. But hey, it’s all good, they’re in the east, and it’s anyone’s conference until September. (Brian – 9) … Still climbing the table, with a few bumps along the way. (Sean – 8 )

10. D.C. United (4-5-7, 19 points)
Once again victimized by a late goal, leaving two points on the pitch. If they could learn to hold onto a lead, D.C. might be going places. (Brian – 10) … Too talented to keep dropping points. (Sean – 10)

11. (-1) Houston Dynamo (4-6-8, 20 points) – Tally Hall single-handedly preserves a point for the guests at Commerce City, but the attack is nowhere to be seen. (Brian – 11) … It wasn’t pretty, but a point in Colorado is a positive for Houston. (Sean – 11)

12. Colorado Rapids (5-5-9, 24 points)
Miss out on an excellent opportunity to send the home fans happy, but fail to capitalize on their chances. Defending champs can’t seem to do much right this year – even at home. (Brian – 12) … Keep blowing opportunities to get back in the win column. What will it take? (Sean – 12)

T13. Chicago Fire (2-4-12, 18 points)
1-1 draw to Chivas means little to big picture as the Fire remain parked in the lower rungs of the East. Draws ain’t gonna cut it, fellas. (Brian – 13) … That they’ve drawn two-thirds of their games shows they aren’t that far off from being competitive, but at some point you have to wonder if they’ll ever get there. (Sean – 14)

T13. (+1) Chivas USA (5-7-6, 21 points)
One of the most inconsistent teams in the league. If it’s not the attack, it’s the defense. And vice versa. (Brian – 14)  … Chivas is capable of the odd surprise win, but little more it seems. (Sean – 13)

15. (+1) Portland Timbers (5-8-3, 18 points)
Recent winless streak has the Timbers crashing back down to earth. I guess you can only mask a bad defense for so long. (Brian – 15) … Not much positive you can say about Portland these days, but hey, Nagbe’s goal was impressive! (Sean – 15)

T16. (-1) Vancouver Whitecaps (2-9-8, 14 points)
Drop a lowlight against TFC in a match of two underwhelming clubs. However, they’re not completely out of the picture just yet. (Brian – 16) … Too much talent on this squad to be struggling as much as they are. (Sean – 17)

T16. (+1) New England Revolution (3-8-7, 16 points)
Showed spark against Salt Lake, but conceding a two-goal lead while a man up? Another week, another way to lose. (Brian – 17) … Hard to give the Revs much credit on a game in which they should’ve had in the bag in the 16th minute. Still can’t score from the run of play. (Sean – 16)

18. Toronto FC (3-8-9, 18 points)
Nick Soolsma’s penalty decides an otherwise abysmal game between the Canadian delegations. (Brian – 18) … As good as they are, I’m not sure even Frings and Koevermans can save Toronto’s season at this point. (Sean – 18)

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