New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 21

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. (+1) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (13-3-9, 48 points)
Bounce back from the Portland loss with a convincing 3-1 win over FC Dallas and get some breathing room between them and the footballers in the Big D. (Brian – 1) … There hasn’t been consistency at the top of our rankings since Salt Lake suffered their post Morales/post-CCL drop in form. LA retakes the throne after beating FC Dallas. (Sean – 1)

T2. (-1) FC DALLAS (12-6-6, 42 points)
No shame in losing to the best team in league, but they’ll face another tough test against Philly this week. (Brian – 3) … Disappointing loss to LA after taking an early lead, but Dallas advance to the group stages of the CCL and David Ferreira may be nearing a September return. (Sean – 2)

T2. (+1) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-5-8, 41 points)
Improbable two-goal extra-time comeback against K.C. keeps from the loss column, but a win’s a win, especially on the road. (Brian – 2) … Certainly got a bit lucky in their list minute comeback win at K.C., but Seattle remains one of the hottest teams in the league and did well to advance to the group stages of the CCL. (Sean – 3)

4. (+2) COLORADO RAPIDS (9-6-10, 37 points)
Beat the best team in the East, and all of a sudden, the Rapids are rising up the conference table. But can they sustain it down the stretch? (Brian – 4) … Big win over Columbus and the Rapids have won three of their last four. A late season run seems in the cards. (Sean – 4)

5. (+2) REAL SALT LAKE (10-5-6, 36 points)
Short-lived funk is snapped with a solid 3-0 win over the struggling Red Bulls. Now, if they can avoid another hiccup, Salt Lake will be a team to keep a careful eye on for the rest of the season.  (Brian – 5) … Recovered quite nicely from a two game losing streak with a 3-0 win over New York, but can they build on it? (Sean – 5)

6. (-2) COLUMBUS CREW (9-7-7, 34 points)
Loss to Colorado is more of the same from one of many Eastern Conference clubs that fail to assert themselves on the table. Does anybody actually want to win the conference? (Brian – 7) … Tough road loss to the defending Champs, but the Crew still maintain their position at the top of the East as the entire conference goes winless this past weekend. (Sean – 6)

7. (+5) CHIVAS USA (7-8-8, 29 points)
Displayed the firepower that’s been absent nearly all season with a 3-2 win at New England. It’s a shame that Chivas can’t play New England every week (Brian – 6) … Sure they took advantage of a makeshift Revs backline to score three goals and grind out three points, but they made an anemic Revs offense look better than it had in months. Still not impressed. (Sean – 9)

T8. (-3) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-7-9, 30 points)
At the start of stoppage time against Seattle, K.C. had a 1-0 lead. At the end of stoppage time, Seattle had a 2-1 lead. Gah, and goodbye unbeaten streak. (Brian – 9) … Completely unnecessary tackle by Omar Bravo snaps K.C’s 14-game unbeaten run and costs them three points. (Sean – 7)

T8. PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-5-9, 33 points)
1-1 draw to struggling Houston is a missed opportunity to leapfrog the Crew for the top spot in the east. Tough test against Dallas this week. (Brian – 8 ) … Outplayed at home by Houston. Can Freddy Adu save their struggling offense? (Sean – 8 )

10. D.C. UNITED (6-6-9, 27 points)
DeRo scores the hat trick, but dumb ejection to Bill Hamid leaves Toronto with the man-advantage and the opportunity to score three of their own. What is it with these guys? (Brian – 10) … De Rosario just might push D.C. into the play-offs… if the rest of the team doesn’t blow it for him. (Sean – 10)

T11. HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-7-10, 28 points)
North Attleboro’s Geoff Cameron scores the equalizer in the 85th minute to steal a point against Philly. Now, if they could only figure out a way to win on the road. (Brian – 12) … Possibly the Dynamo’s best road performance as they out-possess and outshoot Philly to grab a point. Interested to see Costly’s impact as it’s not too late to make a playoff push for the Dynamo. (Sean – 11)

T11. (-3) NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-12, 30 points)
Humbled by Salt Lake 3-0 as the Red Bulls continue their winless ways, now going to five straight. If they don’t beat Chicago this weekend, I’ll refuse to put the words “playoffs” and “Red Bulls” in the same sentence. (Brian – 11) … Crushed by Salt Lake and New York has just two league wins since April.  Those two wins came against the struggling Toronto and New England. I thought the Emirates Cup win would spark them to life… I was wrong. (Sean – 12)

13. PORTLAND TIMBERS (7-10-5, 26 points)
After their resounding 3-0 win over L.A., they fall short over getting their second in a row as they settle for a 1-1 draw to San Jose. (Brian – 13) … Road draw at San Jose and Portland might just be on the verge of a late season playoff run. (Sean – 13)

14. (-1) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-10-9, 21 points)
Get lit up for three goals by the Goats for the second time this season, and all but sealed New England’s fate as a non-contender this season. (Brian – 14) … Diego Fagundez and Milton Caraglio give hope… for next season. The loss to Chivas USA, barring a miracle, ends any playoff hopes. (Sean -14)

15. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-8-10, 25 points)
Their draw to Portland extends their winless streak to ten and all but kills any dreams they had about returning to the postseason. (Brian – 15) … The MLS playoff format means it’s not too late for the ‘Quakes to make a run, but it’s awfully close. Nothing from their recent performances says they’re capable of putting together the winning streak it would take to move up the standings. (Sean – 15)

T16. (+1) TORONTO FC (3-11-11, 20 points)
Victimized by their former midfielder, Toronto nonetheless showed life on the attack with three goals from three different goalscorers. (Brian – 16) … Bill Hamid tried to give Toronto the game, but they couldn’t take it. New players, same results. (Sean – 17)

T16. (+2) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (3-11-9, 18 points)
Put up a four spot against Chicago and win for the first time since June 18th. With Martin Rennie coming in as manager next season, the remainder of the season will focus on who’ll be back next season. (Brian – 17) … Big win over Chicago gives a rare highlight in the Whitecap’s poor inaugural season. (Sean – 16)

18. (-2) CHICAGO FIRE (2-7-13, 19 points)
Good news and bad news. The bad news: the Fire lose to the worst team in the league. The good news? The Fire are positioning themselves well to get the second overall pick next year’s SuperDraft. (Brian – 18) … Three games in hand on Toronto means they might still be able to avoid last place! (Sean – 18)

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