MLS Power Rankings—Week Seven
The power rankings have been...remarkably unstable, to put it simply.
Outside of Chivas, Chicago and Seattle, most teams are just struggling to put together a consistent run of good form, and even those three have suffered hiccups early on.
This week isn't going to be any different than the previous six. This season is just begging for somebody to rip off a long winning streak and seize control.
Somebody besides Chivas needs to separate themselves from the pack to make the 2009 season exciting.
Last week's rankings in parentheses.
1. Chivas USA (2)
Three goals allowed on the season and a six-point lead in the Western Conference.
Even with Sacha Kljestan failing to meet expectations so far, Chivas have quickly established themselves as the favorite to take home the 2009 MLS Cup.
2. DC United (3)
Jaime Moreno opened his 2009 goalscoring account with a brace on the weekend.
Six different players have scored at least one of DC's 11 goals this season, and that kind of diversity on offense will only help them later in the season.
3. Chicago Fire (1)
Major League Soccer's only remaining undefeated team, but they're sitting at third place in the East thanks to five draws against just two wins.
When their offense is firing on all cylinders, the defense sputters. When the defense is in lockdown mode, the offense shuts down.
If they ever play well at both ends of the field in the same match, they could quickly rise to the top.
4. Seattle Sounders FC (4)
Kasey Keller surrendered his first goal, after a 457 minute shutout streak to begin his Sounders career. But, the goal came when they were down to 10 men.
Seattle has still not surrendered a goal when they've had Keller between the sticks and been at full strength.
5. Toronto FC (7)
Even though they only managed a draw with Columbus on the weekend, Toronto showed a lot of grit by equalizing quickly after Emmanuel Ekpo had put the Crew on top.
The next three matches will show us a lot about this club, as they face DC, Chicago and New England in succession.
6. Colorado Rapids (9)
Beating Salt Lake without leading scorer Conor Casey makes a big statement. A lot of folks were questioning their ability to get contributions from other players, and they silenced some doubters with a convincing 2-0 victory.
7. Houston Dynamo (10)
Houston's two best players, Stuart Holden and Brian Ching, came through with the goals for the Dynamo this weekend. If they start getting consistent contributions from those two, it will go a long way towards erasing the disappointment of 2008.
8. KC Wizards (6)
Kansas City was idle this past weekend.
9. Real Salt Lake (5)
Salt Lake is having a yo-yo of a season.
In their last five, they've beaten Columbus and DC, lost to New York, blown out New England, and fallen to Colorado.
There's been no consistency to their play this season and will be in trouble if they can't figure out which team is going to show up on a given night.
10. New England Revolution (8)
Two straight bad losses for the Revs.
They've only scored five times in six games this season, but the defense has shipped 11 goals. This is clearly not the same New England team that we've become used to over the years.
Will things change when Taylor Twellman returns?
11. San Jose Earthquakes (10)
No shame in losing to Chivas, but if they can't pick up a win this week against New York, they'll plummet down the rankings even further.
12. Los Angeles Galaxy (15)
Los Angeles finally broke into the win column with their 1-0 victory over the dysfunctional New York Red Bulls.
They still haven't gotten a meaningful contribution from anybody not named Landon Donovan and look to be headed for another postseason at home.
13. FC Dallas (n/r)
As has been their modus operandi this season, Dallas took a lead in the first half and surrendered it in the second.
Did I really think that their defense would be okay once the season began? My preseason rankings have been completely turned on their head.
14. New York Red Bulls (13)
New York charitably gifted Los Angeles their first victory of the season by conceding a penalty. Giving Landon Donovan an unimpeded shot from 12 yards out is not a sound strategy.
Have we ever had a playoffs where both of the previous year's finalists were absent? It might happen in 2009.
15. Columbus Crew (14)
Were these guys really atop my preseason power rankings? They are desperate for a victory, but might have to wait until May 27th, when San Jose visits Columbus.
Forget about defending the MLS Cup, if they keep this up for too much longer, they'll have to scramble to just make the playoffs.
With every good performance turned in by Seattle, Columbus looks even dumber for letting Sigi Schmid walk away. Clearly he had a lot to do with the success of the 2008 squad.
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