2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IAugust 28, 2011

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 24

0 of 18

    The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season got into full swing this past week with Irene making landfall, not only wreaking havoc physically, but also wreaking havoc on the 2011 Major League Soccer schedule.

    Unless a miracle happens in the East, the 2011 Supporters Shield winner will come from the MLS Western Conference. Four teams have a strong case at laying claim to this trophy. All four sit at the top of this week's MLS Power Rankings, led by the high-flying Seattle Sounders.

    No hurricane's going to stop these power rankings from making webfall. Onward!

No. 18: Toronto FC

1 of 18

    At the bottom of this week's power rankings are Arom Winter's Toronto FC, who did not have a week to remember.

    In what was a glorified MLS match, Toronto lost 1-0 to FC Dallas at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.

    Back in league play, Toronto drew 1-1 with the San Jose Earthquakes at BMO Field. Eric Avila scored his second goal of the season and first with the Reds in the 33rd minute of play.

    "In the end when you  get only one point instead of three points its not good and the way we get the goal against, in three days exactly the same situation," Winter told torontofc.ca's Asif Hossain.

    Up next for Toronto FC is a match with the Columbus Crew on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. KIckoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by GOLTV Canada.

No. 17: San Jose Earthquakes

2 of 18

    Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes check in at 17th after drawing 1-1 with Toronto FC. Chris Wondolowski brought home a late equalizer in the 87th minute of play.

    The goal was Wondo's ninth of the season.

    Up next for the Quakes is a match with the Chicago Fire at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California on Saturday, Sept. 10.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

No. 16: Chivas USA

3 of 18

    A week of foregone futility told the story for Robin Fraser's Chivas USA, who are seeing their playoff dreams vanish into thin air.

    On Wednesday, Chivas dropped a 1-0 decision to the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. Days later, they dropped yet another 1-0 contest, this time to Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

    With teams like the Timbers and D.C. United having games in hand, it will be an uphill battle for Chivas to remain in the race for the postseason.

    Up next for the Goats is a match with D.C. United on  Saturday, Sept. 10 at the Home Depot Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KDOC TV and KWHY TV.

No. 15: Vancouver Whitecaps FC

4 of 18

    Tom Soehn's Vancouver Whitecaps move up to 15th after a 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Empire Field in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    Shea Salinas opened his scoring account with the game-winner in the 86th minute of play.

    "For us, we were looking to put together a 90-minute performance," Soehn told reporters after the match. "We felt like we have had lapses in our games at crucial times, and we want to establish our home ground and make sure teams know when they come here, it will be difficult."

    Their hopes for the postseason may be all but over, but the Vancouver Whitecaps will look to build on momentum for next season when they take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Rogers SportsNet Pacific.

No. 14: Portland Timbers

5 of 18

    John Spencer's Portland Timbers could have had two games this week, but the match with D.C. United was cancelled due to Hurricane Irene creeping in.

    Instead, they gained ground on the top brass of the MLS Western Conference with a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA. 

    "I think that we're formidable at home at times," Spencer told the press.

    "We need to, now, after the last two performances, get on the road to D.C. and try and put in a good performance there so that we stay in this position.  We've got as good a chance as anybody for the eighth, ninth, and 10th positions."

    Actually, if Portland wins out the rest of their schedule, the Timbers could be placed even higher. The possibilities are endless for Portland.

    But they have to learn how to win on the road first. Portland's next contest is against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Sept. 10 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ROOT SPORTS.

No. 13: Red Bull New York

6 of 18

    Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls were off this week due to Hurricane Irene postponing the match between the Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy.

    They will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by MSG.

No. 12: New England Revolution

7 of 18

    Steve Nicol's New England Revolution were also off this week due to Hurricane Irene postponing the match between the Revs and the Philadelphia Union.

    The match will be moved to Wednesday, Sept. 7 at PPL Park in Chester. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet and Galavision.

    On Saturday, September 10, New England will face FC Dallas at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

No. 11: Philadelphia Union

8 of 18

    Another team that was off this week were Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union, whose contest with the New England Revolution was postponed due to Hurricane Irene.

    The match will be moved to Wednesday, Sept. 7 at PPL Park in Chester. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet and Galavision.

    Philadelphia travel to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3 when they take on Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

    On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Union continue their home-cooking when they host the Portland Timbers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

No. 10: Columbus Crew

9 of 18

    Robert Warzycha's Columbus Crew saw Jeff Cunningham become MLS's all-time leading goal scorer in the 59th minute, but it was mere consolation as they were hammered by the Seattle Sounders 6-2.

    Josh Gardner also scored for the Crew in the 73rd minute but scored an own goal minutes later.

    “I didn’t think it would take this long into the season but I feel very proud and humbled right now," Cunningham told thecrew.com's Craig Merz. "To have the goalscoring record is an honor. It’s been 14 years of hard work and some ups and downs.”

    However, to be on the losing end of such a lopsided result may post trouble for the Crew as they battle for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

    Up next for Columbus is the renewal of the Trillium Cup with Toronto FC on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Crew Stadium.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ONN-TV.

No. 9: Colorado Rapids

10 of 18

    Gary Smith's Colorado Rapids had a week to forget, earning just a draw and a loss. On Tuesday, the Rapids draw 1-1 with Real Espana in the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.

    Jeff Larentowcz scored in the 45th minute for Colorado.

    Things really got out of hand over the weekend when they lost 2-0 to the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois.

    For the Rapids manager, the two-week break couldn't have come any sooner.

    “I think we’re all very much in need of a few days rest and to get back with the family, be in our own beds, and to make sure the recovery time is used well," Smith told reporters.

    "We have some tough games but we also have a group of guys that are fully focused on achieving both of the challenges that I’ve just told you about.”

    Up next for Colorado is a Friday night match with the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.  Kickoff is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. MT/11 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

No. 8: Chicago Fire

11 of 18

    Frank Klopas's Chicago Fire pulled off an impressive 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. 

    Dominic Oduro recorded his ninth goal of the season in the 17th minute while Cory Gibbs added an insurance goal in the 36th minute of play.

    Some U.S. Open Cup action will be on the way for the Fire when they host the Richmond Kickers of USL PRO in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup semifinals. Kickoff at Toyota Park is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET.

    Chicago's next league game is on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they travel to Buck Shaw Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CT/10:30 p.m. ET.

No. 7: D.C. United

12 of 18

    Ben Olsen's D.C. United were off this week due to Hurricane Irene postponing the match with the Portland Timbers at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

    Up next for D.C. is a match with Chivas USA on Sept. 10 at the Home Depot Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

No. 6: Sporting Kansas City

13 of 18

    Peter Vermes's Sporting Kansas City will need to learn how to hang on to leads if they are to have any chance at success in the postseason.

    Sporting blew a two-goal lead to drop a 3-2 result to FC Dallas at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

    Kei Kamara scored his eighth of the season in the 22nd minute while Omar Bravo notched his seventh of the year in the 68th minute of play.

    “It was a wake up call the first few times it happened,” Sporting's Graham Zusi told MLSSoccer.com's Andrew Wiebe. “If we want to get anything out of this season, we’ve got to be able to hold on to a lead. That’s the bottom line.”

    Sporting will have a couple of matches on the way. On Monday, Sept. 5, they will host the Los Angeles Galaxy at Livestrong. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

    On Saturday, Sept. 10, Sporting will take on the Houston Dynamo at Livestrong Sporting Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV and Telefutura.

No. 5: Houston Dynamo

14 of 18

    Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo were upended in disgraceful fashion at the hands of the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0, at Empire Field.

    The Dynamo need to recover from this disastrous display when they take on Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by Telefutura.

    Before that, Houston will host C.F. Monterrey, the defending CONCACAF Champions League champions.

    Kickoff at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by Multimedios.

No. 4: Los Angeles Galaxy

15 of 18

    Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy were unable to sort out some unfinished business with the New York Red Bulls due to Hurricane Irene, but they did have a CONCACAF Champions League match to attend to.

    Goals from Omar Gonzalez in the 38th minute and Chad Barrett in the 77th minute of play powered a full-strength Galaxy side to a 2-0 victory over L.D. Alajuelense at the Home Depot Center.

    "It’s a good experience for our group for the most part," Arena told the press following the match.

    "A number of players haven’t been through a lot of this. I think overall we are real pleased with the win. This is going to be a tough competition until the end.”

    After the break, Los Angeles will have a couple of matches in league play to open up September. First, the G's will take on Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on Monday, Sept. 5.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

    On Friday, Sept. 9, the Galaxy will host the Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center.  Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

No. 3: Real Salt Lake

16 of 18

    Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake were walking wounded heading into the match with Chivas U.S.A. at the Home Depot Center, but Alvaro Saborio's 11th minute strike gave RSL a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

    The goal was Saborio's seventh of the season. Real were forced to play down to 10 men after Nat Borchers was sent off in the 24th minute as per the DOGSO rule.

    "It takes a lot of belief from the guys, a lot of willingness to stay together as a unit," Kreis told reporters following the match.

    "To be through the stretch we’ve just been through, it would be extremely easy [to have not believed], and I think 80 or 90 percent of the teams in this league couldn’t have been as mentally tough as we were.”

    Real Salt Lake will host the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 3.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT/9 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by ESPN 700, ESPN Deportes 1600 AM, Freedom 570 and Juan 106.1 FM.

    On Saturday, Sept. 10, RSL will take on the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by KMYU 2.2, Comcast 22 and Dish Network 12.

No. 2: FC Dallas

17 of 18

    Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas had a solid week of results. In CONCACAF Champions League play, the Hoops's Jack Stewart scored in first half stoppage time to give FC Dallas a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC.

    Returning to league play, Dallas rallied from a 2-0 deficit to pull off a 3-2 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park.

    Daniel Hernandez scored in the 70th minute and Maicon Santos tallied his eighth goal of the season in the 89th minute.  Bobby Warshaw opened his scoring account with the game-winner in the first minute of seconf half stoppage time.

    “I don’t think anybody should ever expect FC Dallas to give up,” Hyndman told MLSSoccer.com's Robert Casner, “and I think tonight was an example of great leadership and character.”

    Defender George John, who was close to securing a transfer to Blackburn Roverswill be returning to the team after talks broke down in time for Dallas's U.S. Open Cup tie with the Seattle Sounders at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.

    Kickoff is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. CT/10 p.m. ET.

    FC Dallas's next game is on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET.

    Between those two matches is a friendly with Tigres UANL of the Primera Division de Mexico. Kickoff at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Tex. is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET.

No. 1: Seattle Sounders FC

18 of 18

    There is a reason why Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders FC are at the top of this week's MLS Power Rankings.

    Not only did they upset the defending CONCACAF Champions League winners, but they also pulled off one of the most lopsided results in recent memory over the weekend.

    On Tuesday, Alvaro Fernandez's 38th minute goal powered Seattle to a historic 1-0 victory over C.F. Monterrey at the Estadio Tecnologico in Champions League play.

    Returning to league action, Seattle produced one of the most one-sided results in history: a 6-2 beatdown of the Columbus Crew.

    Lamar Neagle scored a hat trick with goals in the fourth, 21st and 70th minutes. Also on the score sheet for the Sounders were Mauro Rosales in the 16th minute and Mike Fucito, who opened his league scoring account in the 40th minute of play.

    “It’s a great feeling knowing that you’re capable.  When that comes along, your confidence is sky high. You know you can play with any of these guys and with our depth, everybody is getting better and better in training,” Neagle told SoundersFC.com's Matt Gaschk.  

    “If I have an open shot, I’m going to take it.  But the way I’m playing lately, they’ve been coming more often.”

    This week, Seattle return to U.S. Open Cup competition when they take on FC Dallas on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the Starfire Sports Complex.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised on the web at SoundersFC.com.

    Seattle's next league game will be on Saturday, Sept. 10 when they host Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET and will be televised by KING 5.