MLS Power Rankings: Week 16

Crew drop a spot after loss to FC Dallas

Crew vs. Dallas

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

We have a new champion. After another impressive showing, this time
against an Eastern Conference contender that wilted in the Texas heat,
FC Dallas have jumped the LA Galaxy to take the top spot in the Power
Rankings. How will the Galaxy react this week against Chicago, and can
Seattle gain some ground with a win over Portland? Stay tuned.

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All match times for this week's games are ET; only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

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1

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

A sellout, a convincing win over the surging Crew, and an endless
supply of fleet-footed, goal-hungry attackers. Who needs a pure forward
when you have Marvin Chávez, Break Shea, Eric Alexander et al? Right
now, FCD are the only team in the league to have won more than half
their games.

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

We at the Power Rankings Committee have said all year that the
Galaxy would remain on top of the standings as long as they had just one
forward who could finish consistently. Turns out, they don’t. They’ve
been shut out three times in five games, and their forwards have scored
just twice since May.

  • Last Week: Tied Seattle, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Chicago (10:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: TTWTT

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

If Fredy Montero were still on his game, they’d be closer to the
pace set by FCD and would have picked up a win at LA on Monday night. As
it is, they may have the best defense in the league and an attack that
generates plenty of chances. Finding someone to finish them is the next
order of business…

  • Last Week: Tied LA, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Sunday at Portland (4 pm, ESPN)
  • Last Five: TWWWT

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Peter Nowak’s left brain wants the Union to be a pragmatic,
shut-it-down, 1-0 win-every-week kind of team. His right brain is still
looking for playmakers, tinkering with adding more attackers, and trying
to get four forwards on the field at once. If he can balance the two,
the Union will win the East.

  • Last Week: Tied D.C. United, 2-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLTWT

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

Obviously a bad red card to Nat Borchers, obviously a promising
fight-back to get the point. But just as obvious is that this team has
lost its edge over the past couple of months and are prone to mental
errors that must be driving Jason Kreis nuts.

  • Last Week: Tied New England, 3-3 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. FC Dallas (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTTWT

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

In the “excitement” rankings, RBNY are near the top. You can
guarantee a few spectacular highlights, some temper-tantrums, comebacks,
blown leads and more every game. What you can’t guarantee is solid
goalkeeping or 11 guys who look like they want to play together.

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

A 2-0 loss at FC Dallas is nothing to hang your head about, but
losing defensive midfielder Rich Balchan is a huge blow. He’s quietly
been the Rookie of the Year and was a major catalyst for the Crew’s June
surge when he switched to d-mid from left back.

  • Last Week: Lost at FC Dallas, 2-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday at Vancouver (10 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLWWL

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

If you go by “points per game,” then SKC are still lagging. But if
you go by current form and potential for a second-half run, there’s
nobody in a better spot. They’re even managing to go on the road and
collect points these days, and are a good bet to challenge in the East.

  • Last Week: Beat Portland, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Colorado (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live), Saturday vs. Chivas USA (7:30 pm, Galavisión)
  • Last Five: WWTWW

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

The Quakes blew it against New York on the weekend, no way of
getting around that. The question now is how Frank Yallop is going to
work Chris Wondolowski back into the lineup, as shuffling him to the
right flank didn’t play out as well as it had in 2010.

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

The defense looked like it was back to being fully functional
against the Dynamo, which is a step in the right direction. And when the
Conor Casey/Omar Cummings tandem finally gets back on the field at the
same time, it’s a safe bet the offense will come around as well.

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

Two good trades during the week should give the young DC side more
balance and more veteran leadership. Given some time, Brandon McDonald
should help solidify the backline and Dwayne De Rosario should provide a
consistent attacking spark. How fast that happens will tell the story
of their 2011.

  • Last Week: Tied Philadelphia, 2-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at New York (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLTTT

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

The Dynamo’s central defense has zero ability to distribute, which
makes it easy to force them into aimless longballs. Add in the lack of
speed in the attack and they’re a very, very predictable team. Tally
Hall can stand on his head every now and then for a point, but that’s
not how this team will get it done in the end.

  • Last Week: Tied Colorado, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Toronto (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWLTT

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

The Fire aren’t losing much, but they’re not winning at all. Frank
Klopas has shored up the defense, but the offense is still out to sea,
directionless and unable to catch a break. Even when one of their
forwards does score — as Dominic Oduro did — he leaves a half-dozen
other chances at the gate.

  • Last Week: Tied Chivas USA, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at LA (10:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WTTTT

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

There should be an award for “Most Underrated Player” given out
every year. If it existed, 1) It would have to be named after Brian
Carroll, and 2) Nick LaBrocca would be the midseason leader. LaBrocca’s golazo will open eyes, but it’s his play all year that should have been attracting attention.

  • Last Week: Tied Chicago, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. San Jose (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live), Saturday at Sporting KC (7:30 pm, Galavisión)
  • Last Five: WLLLT

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

Sure, the Reds got their results against woeful Vancouver. But you
can’t argue with wins — especially during a season in which everyone
else is drawing. In Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans, the cavalry is
on the way, and with the confidence of the NCC title, TFC may just be
going places.

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

These are the midseason doldrums that any expansion club should
expect. It looked, with their hot home start, as if Portland would skirt
that hazard, but it’s simply not to be. Now John Spencer has to rally
the troops, fix the central midfield and get the Timbers’ heads up.

  • Last Week: Lost to Sporting KC, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Seattle (4 pm, ESPN)
  • Last Five: LLTLL

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

Normally a 3-3 draw at Real Salt Lake is something to hang your hat
on, but the Revs were gifted a man advantage and a lead from the third
minute. Benny Feilhaber makes a major difference offensively, but on
defense there’s no leader and no cohesion.

  • Last Week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 3-3 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Bye
  • Last Five: LTTLT

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

The ‘Caps have sunk to the bottom on the backs of a porous defense
and a misfiring offense. They squandered a lead in the NCC final and
hardly tested TFC during their midweek match. Tom Soehn has his work cut
out keeping his team motivated for the rest of the year.