MLS Power Rankings Week Five: The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth
And then there were two.
After the latest weekend of action, the number of winless teams in MLS has been cut in half, from four to two. New York and Dallas finally tasted victory in their fifth game of the season. Fans of both teams can finally crack a smile.
Columbus and Los Angeles are now the only two winless teams in MLS. Landon Donovan has to be growing increasingly frustrated with each opportunity wasted by his teammates, and Columbus keeps glancing at the door, hoping Sigi Schmid comes back to them in a touching re-enactment of "Homeward Bound".
As Rick Pitino might say, "Sigi Schmid isn't walking through that door!"
Last week's rankings in parenthesis
1. Chivas USA (1)
Chivas asserted their dominance over the rest of the league with a 2-0 win over Seattle. It wasn't pretty, as Chivas committed a staggering 18 fouls, and were outshot by five. But a win is a win, and they'll take it regardless of how it looked.
2. Chicago Fire (2)
Brian McBride took his one goal from last week and turned it into two this weekend. Unfortunately for McBride and his teammates, Chicago couldn't hold the lead and had to settle for a draw thanks to a late Josh Wolff brace.
3. DC United (8)
DC were this week's big movers thanks to a quality performance against New England. DC had six more shots on goal and four more corner kicks than the Revs, and would have taken home all three points if not for a Shalrie Joseph strike that came against the run of play. Christian Gomez looked very dangerous before limping off with an injury, and Ben Olsen turned in a very inspired performance.
4. New England Revolution (4)
New England was on the ropes for 90 minutes against DC and were lucky to come away with a draw. Some great saves out of Brad Knighton were the only thing keeping the match from turning into a blowout. They've got to get Taylor Twellman back from injury if they want to stay near the top of the East.
5. Kansas City Wizards (7)
The Davy Arnaud and Josh Wolff combination has looked like it might be enough to get KC into the playoffs these last few weeks. They're providing a great deal of offense and have carried the team to points when the defense has let them down.
6. Seattle Sounders FC (3)
That's two losses in a row for the surprise package of the early season. Even worse, that's two straight shutout losses in a row. But, if Fredy Montero keeps taking five shots a game like he did against Chivas, the offense will get back on track sooner rather than later.
7. Real Salt Lake (5)
Any way you slice it, the loss to New York was a bad one. They've looked very energetic and aggressive in their two victories this season, and very lethargic in their two losses. Everybody's preseason MLS Cup dark horse needs to bring more consistency to the park if they want to make those predictions come true.
8. Colorado Rapids (6)
Conor Casey really can't be missing penalties. He's got over half of Colorado's goals this season and really has to put opportunities like that away if they want to erase last year's memory of narrowly missing the playoffs.
9. San Jose Earthquakes (9)
San Jose shouldn't be too discouraged by their draw with LA, as they were missing a key part of their attack in Darren Huckerby. Bobby Convey is staying healthy so far and starting to shake some of the rust off. And, it's not entirely unexpected for a recent expansion team to continue suffering some growing pains into their second season.
10. Houston Dynamo (13)
Some great work by Pat Onstad earned Houston their first win of 2009. After blocking a Conor Casey penalty, he blocked Terry Cooke's rebound attempt. Houston will also be encouraged by Brian Ching opening his goalscoring account for 2009.
11. New York Red Bulls (14)
New York got their first win of the season with a comfortable victory over Real Salt Lake. Macoumba Kandji opened the scoring in the second minute, with Juan Pablo Angel capping it off in the second half. Finally, a good 90 minutes out of last year's losing MLS Cup finalists.
12. FC Dallas (15)
Dallas finally turned in a quality offensive performance, putting three goals in the net against Toronto. Kenny Cooper looked very strong, like he's playing for a transfer elsewhere. Still, one win isn't going to be enough for this club to move up in the rankings. They've got to put together some consistency and show that their defense can keep an opponent out of the net.
13. Columbus Crew (11)
Columbus was idle this week. They've got to play Chicago this weekend though, and that will make it tough for them to get their first win.
14. Toronto FC (8)
Last week, a late FC Dallas goal denied Toronto all three points. This week, another late FC Dallas goal denied Toronto any points. TFC needs to find some defense, and fast.
15. LA Galaxy (12)
LA still can't figure things out, and Bruce Arena's seat has to be growing warmer. One positive: they've got Gregg Berhalter in the back line, and he returns from a one-game red card suspension next week.
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