New England Soccer Today

MLS Rankings: Week 24

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. LOS ANGELES GALAXY (14-3-9, 51 points)
Hurricane Irene wipes out their high-stakes match against New York; face a tough match at K.C. on Labor Day. Well, tough for most teams that don’t have three DPs and an airtight defense. Just saying. (Brian – 1) …  Squad depth will be tested with seven games in September. If they can make it through this month in first, they’ll really be worthy of the top spot. (Sean – 1)

2. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (13-5-9, 48 points)
Clobbered the Crew with six goals, and pretty much reinforced the idea that even the best in the East can’t bring it against the West. Thank you for that, Lamar Neagle & Co. (Brian – 2) … A near perfect August – capped by slaughtering the best team in the East 6-2 – has the Sounders in position to catch the Galaxy if they suffer any slip-ups. The domestic double of MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup is certainly a possibility, but with some help the Supporter’s Shield and CONCACAF Champion’s League could make it an unprecedented year of success. (Sean – 2)

3. FC DALLAS (13-7-7, 46 points)
Heroic 3-2 win over K.C. put Dallas back on track – that is, until they lost a 1-0 squeaker to Seattle. Makes you wonder whether the Hoops are getting a little ahead of themselves after a sensational summer. (Brian – 3) … Still can’t solve the Sounders, but Dallas haven’t lost to a team outside of the top 2 since July 9th. (Sean – 3)

4. (+2) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (9-8-9, 36 points)
Drop a late-game stunner to Dallas; if they want to be taken seriously, they may want to avoid squandering two-goal leads. But, at least their loss was somewhat respectable compared to the one Columbus endured. (Brian – 4) … Bunbury’s dumb red made it hard on Kansas City, but there is no excuse for giving up two goals so late in the game. Kansas City may be going to the playoffs, but the invincibility of their impressive unbeaten run appears long gone. (Sean – 5)

5. (+2) REAL SALT LAKE (11-7-6, 39 points)
Eek out a 1-0 win over Chivas USA, but more importantly, earn back the respect of their coach in the process. Now, a real test against Seattle awaits this weekend. Get the popcorn ready for this one. (Brian – 6) … Call me a sucker, but grinding out a result on the road despite being down a man for 66 minutes gives me hope – again – that Real Salt Lake is ready to go on a run. (Sean – 4)

6. (-2) COLORADO RAPIDS (10-7-11, 41 points)
The Rapids may want to hide for a while after dropping a 2-0 loss to Chicago. Yeah, that’s right: THE CHICAGO BLEEPIN’ FIRE.  (Brian – 5) … Three disappointing results in a row (through all competitions) and now the Rapids head to LA. Oh, and Salt Lake have 4 games in hand. Expect a drop in the standings soon. (Sean – 6)

7. (-2) COLUMBUS CREW (11-8-7, 40 points)
Sporting the best record in the East isn’t enough after the Crew get their hard hats handed to them after the 6-2 demolition. Way to rep for the EC, guys. (Brian – 7) … 3-7-3 on the road. They may be the best in the East, but they are not a contender. (Sean – 7)

8. HOUSTON DYNAMO (8-8-11, 35 points)
It only stood to reason that the winless-on-the-road Dynamo wouldn’t win on away from Robertson Stadium. But a 1-0 loss to the hapless Whitecaps? Not the stuff playoff pushes are made of. (Brian – 8 ) … Kept their awful road record going with a loss to the Whitecaps, but the crap around them means they stay at 8. (Sean – 8 )

9. CHIVAS USA (7-10-10, 31 points)
Despite having the man advantage against Salt Lake, the Goats can’t buy a goal, as their offense lets them down…again. In other news, (Brian – 9) … Amazing. After a good streak Chivas USA are winless in four. Who would’ve guessed? Oh yeah, Chivas and “consistency” have never belonged in the same sentence. (Sean – 10)

T10. (-1) PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-6-10, 34 points)
Hurricane Irene moves their match against New England to September 7th; if the Union can’t beat the Revs at home, well, they probably won’t get far in the postseason. (Brian – 10) … Got an extra week off to think about how they are throwing away their season. Tough trip to RSL this weekend won’t help. (Sean – 11)

T10. (+2) PORTLAND TIMBERS (9-12-5, 32 points)
1-0 win over Chivas inches them back into the playoff picture; now, they’ll have to keep getting results to keep themselves there. (Brian – 12) … Two wins in a row. The Timbers have a lot of losses, but going for three points, rather than settling for draws, has kept the Timbers in the hunt in a season where the tie is the norm. (Sean – 9)

12. (-1) D.C.UNITED (7-7-10, 31 points)
Another match scrapped due to Irene; they’ll head west for an interesting late-season matchup against Chivas USA next weekend saturated with playoff implications. (Brian – 11) … Remember how D.C. rested players – and lost – against Kansas City? Something ironic about how they then had to play starters in their reserve match  when Irene forced them to postpone their match last weekend. (Sean – 12)

T13. (+1) CHICAGO FIRE (4-7-15, 27 points)
Shock the defending champs with a 2-0 win and earn some temporary respect within the league.  OK, so maybe “respect” is a bit strong. Maybe “acceptance” is a more appropriate word. (Brian – 14) … Yes, it’s too little too late, but unbeaten in their last four and two wins in a row shows the Fire have some life in them yet. (Sean – 13)

T13.  NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-14, 32 points)
Irene keeps the Red Bulls from a potential embarrassment against L.A.  Luckily, a home game against Vancouver awaits for the underachievers. But even then…these are the six-win Red Bulls we’re talking about. (Brian – 13) … Idle New York gets some extra time to figure out how to play as a team. Can they save their season. (Sean – 14)

15. (+1) TORONTO FC (4-12-12, 24 points)
Just about ready to cash in three points before the Reds revert to their old form and drop points on the pitch, this time due to a late equalizer. Way to go Toronto. At least there’s still Champions League to play for. (Brian – 15) … A wrong offside call kept Toronto from going up 2-0, but there’s no excuse for a late game collapse. Even their reserves are winless! (Sean – 15)

16. (+2) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (4-13-9, 21 points)
Don’t look now, but the ‘Caps have doubled their win total in a matter of days! Hey, four out of 26 ain’t bad! Just ask the Revs! (Brian – 17) … Two wins in four games won’t get Vancouver to the playoffs, but it does give some positives heading towards the offseason. (Sean – 16)

17. (-3) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-11-11, 23 points)
Saw their weekend match at Philly moved to September 7th. Spoiler alert: the last time the Revs had an extended break before playing Philly, they were dismantled 3-0. (Brian – 16) … Unfortunately for the Revs, games last more than 45 minutes. Will they have learned what to do in the second 45 during their long break? (Sean – 18)

18. (-2) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-10-11, 26 points)
Chris Wondolowski saves the ‘Quakes from an embarrassing loss, but it wasn’t enough to snap their 13-game winless streak. The boys of summer they ain’t. (Brian – 18) … A blown offside call kept the game close and allowed Wondolowski’s late equalizer. Can they carry that momentum forward? (Sean – 17)

Leave a Reply