MLS Power Rankings Week 12: Escape from New York
Escape From New York was a 1981 Kurt Russell flick about a fugitive-turned-government operative attempting to get out New York City after rescuing the President of the United States after a plane crash.
It's important to note that in the movie, the city of New York had been turned into a mega-jail where chaos reigned and prisoners ran riot through the streets.
This plot will sound very familiar to fans of the Red Bulls. Juan Carlos Osorio figures to be escaping from New York in the very near future (he'll likely be forced into it, just like Kurt Russell) as the team's performances on the pitch have descended into complete and utter chaos.
Last week's rankings in parentheses
1. Chivas USA (1)
Same old story here, as Chivas continues to win and maintain a large lead in the Western Conference. Even with Houston's recent hot streak, Chivas is still six points in the clear. Their next three matches will be very telling, as they travel to both Houston and Columbus, then return home for the Superclasico.
2. Houston Dynamo (2)
Don't look now, but Houston has quietly assembled the league's best defense and is also one of the hottest clubs in MLS. The Dynamo took down the East-leading Chicago Fire without leading scorer Brian Ching, which illustrates the depth that this team has.
Houston seems to have adapted quite well to the loss of Dwayne De Rosario in the offseason.
3. DC United (5)
DC continues to look like they are figuring out how to win, but they'll have to beat Chicago this week without an in-form Luciano Emilio. Emilio took a stupid red card against New York when, after being subbed out, he threw a case of water bottles onto the pitch.
Is this a sign of some unhappiness in the locker room? We'll continue to monitor the situation.
4. Chicago Fire (3)
Chicago is stumbling a little bit, thanks to two straight losses, but Fire fans shouldn't be overly concerned yet. Cuauhtemoc Blanco has been absent, and the Fire ran into the league's top defense this past week. They still lead the East and they've still got Brian McBride. They will be back in the top three before too long.
5. New England Revolution (9)
New England made the largest leap through the power rankings this week on the strength of a 4-0 demolition of New York. Taylor Twellman bagged his 100th goal in MLS as the Revs proved that they will be a force to be reckoned with if they can keep Twellman healthy. Two appearances by Twellman, two victories.
6. Colorado Rapids (6)
Even without Conor Casey, Colorado managed a point against Real Salt Lake as they continue to look to avenge their playoff miss of 2008. They aren't flashy, but they're consistent and that's what matters in this league.
7. Seattle Sounders FC (4)
Seattle, like Real Salt Lake, haven't won since Apr. 25. The key difference is that the loss this past week to Chivas has been their only loss in that span. Seattle is struggling, but they've found a way to tread water. They need to get Fredy Montero back on track if they want to start winning again.
8. Los Angeles Galaxy (10)
Los Angeles picked up a great win on the road at BMO field this week despite the absence of leading scorer Landon Donovan. It's only LA's second victory of the season, but they've got the fewest losses of any MLS club. If they can somehow continue to find production from guys other than Donovan, they should make a return to the playoffs.
9. Kansas City Wizards (7)
In many ways, KC is very similar to Colorado. They aren't loaded with star power, but they've found a way to get results. Well, except for this week when they suffered a loss at the hands of Columbus. But, the numbers that KC is putting up are almost identical to Colorado. Could they sneak into the playoffs?
10. Columbus Crew (11)
Columbus grabbed their third win of the season thanks to a brace from Guillermo Barros Schelotto, but all is not well. Schelotto has eight goals on the season while his teammates have only managed nine. Even worse, Schelotto had 20 assists last season and 12 games into 2009, has yet to register a single assist.
11. Toronto FC (8)
Amado Guevara was out of action thanks to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and Toronto struggled without him. Three losses in their last four matches have taken Toronto from near the top of the East to near the bottom.
Luckily, thanks to New York's ineptitude, they don't have to worry about occupying the cellar. Also, they're only five points out of first. A short winning streak could put TFC right back into contention.
12. FC Dallas (12)
Split the points with San Jose thanks in part to a Pablo Richetti own goal. Still, when you've been playing as poorly as Dallas has this season, you aren't going to turn down a point. The entire team owes Kenny Cooper at least one steak dinner.
13. San Jose Earthquakes (13)
Got a draw with Dallas this past week, and they'll be happy with the point. If not for a very late (87th minute) Kenny Cooper strike, San Jose would have taken home all three points.
14. Real Salt Lake (15)
Still bad, but New York is worse. No wins in their last seven, dating back to Apr. 25. To make matters worse, Dallas and San Jose are in striking distance and playing better at the moment.
15. New York Red Bulls (14)
New York is finished, and Juan Carlos Osorio should be the first coaching casualty of the 2009 MLS season. In two matches this past week, New York shipped six goals without finding the back of the net once, just abysmal.
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