2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2011

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

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    FOXBORO, MA - APRIL 9:  Sharlie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution trips is entangled with Kyle Beckerman #5 of Real Salt Lake at Gillette Stadium April 9, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
    Gail Oskin/Getty Images

    Bad officiating? What bad officiating? Poppycock. That's just men with the speed of tree trunks trying to get a bonus to their meager stipends by carding as many as they can, while in the process, compromising the quality of officiating in this league we call Major League Soccer.

    Cheeky.

    All joking, frivolous claims and water cooler jibjab aside, Real Salt Lake is back on top for another week in our 2011 MLS Power Rankings. If Brigham Young ever considered playing football or some variant of it in his lifetime, he would make a good goalkeeper, but that's just this ranker's opinion.

    Here's this week's MLS Power Rankings on B/R. Roll 'em!

18. Chivas USA

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    CARSON, CA - APRIL 9:  Ante Jazic #13 of Chivas USA  chases the ball ahead of Emilio Renteria #20 of the Columbus Crew at The Home Depot Center on April 9, 2011 in Carson, California. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    There can be no solace for Robin Fraser's Chivas USA, who settled for a scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew at the Home Depot Center.

    Or is there not?

    "Shut outs are a great thing," argued Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy to CDChivasUSA.com.

    "I think at home especially we need to get shutouts consistently so it was nice to get the first one of the season here.  

    "Unfortunately, we didn’t put one on the board to take three points so we got to continue to still take the positives. It’s still early in the season. We just need to take the positives and continue to progress and build."

    Next up for Chivas USA is a match with the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 16 and will be televised by Fox Sports Prime Ticket.

17. Portland Timbers

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    FOXBORO, MA - APRIL 2:  The starting team of the Portland Timbers prepare to battle the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    John Spencer's Portland Timbers were off this week. They have a couple of games to attend to this week.

    Portland takes on the Chicago Fire on Thursday, April 14 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. PT/11:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2.

    The home cooking continues for the Timbers when they take on FC Dallas. Kickoff at Jeld-Wen is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ROOT SPORTS.

16. Vancouver Whitecaps

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    CHESTER, PA- MARCH 26: Referee Yader Reyes issues a red card to Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps during the game against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on March 26, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 1-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/G
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Teitur Thordasson's Vancouver Whitecaps had a difficult week ahead of them.

    Eric Hassli didn't do himself any favors by being sent off after coming off the bench in Vancouver 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution. Vancouver finished with just nine men on the pitch.

    “It’s a different feeling since last time, but it’s a point," said Thordarsson to RevolutionSoccer.net.

    "Under the circumstances, the way we managed to reorganize and get through the game I think we did quite well. If you look at the game through 90 minutes I don’t think it’s deserved that we finished 1-1.”

    "Every single game something crazy has happened; we battled and it’s been exciting," said Jonathan Leathers.

    "Everyone wanted that point at least. We were close to three points which would have been tremendous, but having nine players, a point isn’t bad at all.”

    “Being two men down is a big challenge—being down 3-0 in the 73rd minute on Saturday was even more of a challenge and we came behind from that," added the Caps' John Thorrington.

    "That’s the kind of attitude you need to win in this league, and it’s the attitude the team has shown.

    “We don’t use being an expansion team as an excuse. We want to win and we know we can win. We’ve shown a lot of depth with the injuries and red cards. The key now is to get healthy. We’re not just 11 players—we’re a group of 28 guys who have earned a spot on this team.”

    No one on the Caps got their marching orders on Sunday against the Houston Dynamo, but the lack of Hassli's presence proved to be costly for Vancouver, who fell 3-1.

    Camilo scored an equalizer in the 38th minute, but Vancouver couldn't produce anything else.

    The Whitecaps need to show better character and class if they  are to contend for a spot in the playoffs. Up next for Vancouver is a pillow fight with Chivas USA at Empire Field in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 4:00 p.m. PT/7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Rogers SportsNet Pacific.

15. New England Revolution

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    FOXBORO, MA - APRIL 9:  Sharlie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution leaves the field after being issued a red card during a game against Real Salt Lake at Gillette Stadium April 9, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
    Gail Oskin/Getty Images

    Steve Nicol's New England Revolution also had a difficult week ahead of them. Ilija Stolica salvaged a 1-1 draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Thursday at Empire Field with a late second half goal.

    "Let’s just say you won’t see too many games like that," Nicol told RevolutionSoccer.net.

    "The decision making was poor. The execution was poor. We should be happy I guess…At the end of the day you should have a smile on your face, but it kinda feels like we let some points go. I guess if you put it down to chances in the game, it was probably a pretty fair result. We felt we had enough of the ball to be better but, as I said, when it mattered we couldn’t come up with it.”

    “It was a circus," said midfielder Pat Phelan.

    "Second one of the year for us. I mean uh.…first things first, you know…one man up, two men up. We just didn’t come out with the right mentality at half time. We made a huge mentality change at that point, so you know as crazy as the game was with everything that went on the first people we have to blame is ourselves. Great atmosphere. Fun to play and the crowd definitely kept them in it. That’s a big draw for them and another disappointing draw for us. The good thing is we pulled one back but at the end of the day it still kinda feels like a loss.”

    And there is no shame in losing to the glamour boys of Major League Soccer in Real Salt Lake. But a 2-0 shutout defeat is a 2-0 shutout defeat, hence the Revs sinking to 15th in this week's Power Rankings.

    “Well, I guess there’s no hiding behind anything: we weren’t good," Nicol said grimly to RevolutionSoccer.net.

    "The first half, we probably found their men more times than we found our own, and if you’re doing that—I don’t care who you’re playing against—you’re going to be in trouble. You have to give them credit. They had great shape, they kept solid and just tried to hurt us on the break. We gave them a rotten goal from a set piece and then we’re up against it."

    "We made the changes, and then we gave the ball away again at the halfway line and we end up going two down. It makes it difficult. For that game to have three red cards is pretty incredible. I haven’t seen any of them, but that’s tough to swallow. We weren’t good tonight, but we lost Shalrie (Joseph) and Pat Phelan for next week in a game which nobody challenges in it up until the red card."

    "This isn’t a good result for us," said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. "We really wanted to take three points at home, obviously. It just didn’t happen tonight. It wasn’t working."

    New England will come into next week's match with the Houston Dynamo without the services of Shalrie Joseph and Phelan, who were both sent off late in the second half.

    So what does this all mean?

    "It just means that some people are going to have to step up," said defender Darrius Barnes.

    "That’s going to be a big game for us—we would hate to go on a two-game losing streak. It’s a good thing that we have a week off to prepare, train and get our bodies rested from this past week. But it’s time for some guys to step up and show what they’re made of, and hopefully they can do that in Houston."

    Kickoff at Robertson Stadium in Houston is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

14. Toronto FC

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    SANTA CLARA, CA - APRIL 9: Danleigh Borman #25 of the Toronto FC in action against the San Jose Earthquakes during an MLS soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium April 9, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. The game ended in a 1 to 1 tie. (Photo by Thearon W. Hende
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Another day, another draw for Aron Winter's Toronto FC. Alan Gordon scored in the 27th minute, but TFC could not hang on to the lead as they settled for a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

    “We didn’t do so well in the first half, we made some changes, and came out and played much better in the second half," Winter told Asif Hossain of TorontoFC.ca.

    "We gave them too much space in the first half, but marked much better in the second. We had some good opportunities and could have won. It’s a pity in the end to only get a draw. But to be playing an away game and get one point is a good result.

    “It was physical out there, but if we want to compete in this league we’ve got to be physical," Gordon said.

    "I’ve always played that way, and we’ve got other guys who want to do that as well. We can be successful in this league once we start doing the little things right."

    "The game is 90 minutes not 45," said midfielder Julian de Guzman.

    "To me the most important time in a game is the first 20-25 minutes. But with the type of second half we had today we can certainly have some positive results on the road this season."

    Toronto FC will now take on a couple of opponents who also shared a 1-1 draw this week. First, they take on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, April 13 at BMO Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by GOLTV Canada.

    Next, the Reds will face D.C. United on Saturday, April 16. Kickoff at BMO is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET and will also be televised by GOLTV Canada.

13. Red Bull New York

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    HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 02:  Thierry Henry #14 of the New York Red Bulls controls the ball against the Houston Dynamo at Red Bull Arena on April 2, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Thierry Henry and the rest of Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls are losing their energy drink mojo, and fast. On Saturday, they were doop'd on the road and dropped a 1-0 decision to the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

    John Rooney and the reserves also fell to Philadelphia 2-1, but that was a different story.

    The Red Bulls will look to rumble back into the win column when they face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, April 16 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by MSG.

12. Columbus Crew

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    CARSON, CA - APRIL 9:   Robbie Rogers #18 of the Columbus Crew controls the ball against Michael Lahoud #11 of Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on April 9, 2011 in Carson, California.  The game ended in a 0-0 tie.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Robert Warzycha's Columbus Crew fell a few spots after mustering nothing more than a scoreless draw against Chivas USA on Saturday at the Home Depot Center.

    “We’re doing the right things defensively,” Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer told MLSSoccer.com's Craig Merz.

    “We’re compact, organized. We’re communicating and we’re winning most of our one-on-one battles. We’re really fighting for each other. We’re getting it done defensively and we’ve got to keep trying to gain some traction at the offensive end, and hopefully, the results will start going our way.”

    “I’m happy about the shutout, but I want the goals and a win,” Warzycha said.

    “We had some chances in the second and we should have scored a couple of goals. I know the last few years we haven’t been successful here, so the point is important."

    “In the first half, we all were a little bit off up until the last five minutes. We switched the point of attack. We put some crosses in. In the second half we played better.”

    It was a chippy encounter, with 39 fouls to show for it.

    “It was physical,” defender Julius James said.

    “We can roll with the punches, absolutely. We had to match the intensity tonight and we did. I’m pleased with the way we played defensively. We had chances but didn’t score. The most important thing is we had the chances and we created a lot.”

    “It’s always nice to get shutouts in this league, and we’ve done it against some dangerous attacking teams,” defender Chad Marshall added. “We’ll take the point on the road, and get back to work this week.”

    This week, the Crew take on Sporting Kansas City at Crew Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by ONN-TV.

11. D.C. United

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09:  Charlie Davies #9 of the D.C. United celebrates his goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the second half at RFK Stadium on April 9, 2011 in Washington, DC. The game ended in a 1-1  draw.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    It was a good week for Ben Olsen's D.C. United, who are now becoming more and more battle-tested. Not to the level of Real Salt Lake, but they are getting there in their own right.

    And they're doing it...with penalties.

    Earlier in the week, D.C. United advanced in the play-in rounds of the U.S. Open Cup, defeating the Philadelphia Union 4-2 on penalties after playing to a 2-2 draw at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Maryland.

    Josh Wolff scored in the 45th minute for D.C., and Daniel Woolard added a goal in the 111th minute of play. D.C. was perfect in the penalty shots, with Chris Pontius, Brandon Barklage, Andy Najar and Branko Boskovic all converting.

    Returning to MLS action, once again, Mr. Charlie Davies was the hero for  D.C. United, as he converted a penalty of his own in the 90th minute of play to salvage a 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

    "I’m happy we battled back and found a way to get a tie but overall, it’s not good enough and that starts with me and I think we may be fortunate tonight and I will take the blame for that," Olsen told DCUnited.com.

    "We got some work to do and we get back at it this week to try and fix some things that I didn’t think we did well enough.

    "Overall, I thought we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be tonight, I thought the energy was there but we just weren’t a good enough soccer team. We need to become a better passing team."

    Davies was lucky enough not to be carded by referee Abbey Okulaja for his goal celebration. By the end of the match, both teams were down to 10 men. Santino Quaranta was given his marching orders by Okulaja in the second half.

    "I was definitely trying to get in the car—it was locked," Davies said.

    "On Friday after training I was able to run over there and see if the car was open, and it was, so I planned for the team to get in the car. As soon as I got over there I saw it was locked, but it was worth it."

    Next Saturday, D.C. United travels north to take on Toronto F.C. Kickoff is scheduled for April 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

10. Sporting Kansas City

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 2: C.J. Sapong #17 of the Sporting Kansas City runs during MLS action against the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 2, 2011 at Empire Field in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    Peter Vermes's Sporting Kansas City was away from MLS action this week, but they did have U.S. Open Cup obligations to deal with, as they took out the Houston Dynamo 1-0.

    C.J. Sapong delivered the game-winner in the third minute of extra time at Texas A&M University's Aggie Soccer Stadium in College Station, Texas. Sporting will now face either the New England Revolution or D.C. United on April 26, with the winner advance to the third round proper of the Open Cup.

    “To me, it was a huge result for us,” Vermes told Andrew Wiebe of MLSSoccer.com.

    “The reason being [is] the guy’s reaction from the last game. For them, the whole thing was to make sure that we don’t give up any goals and then be able to lock the game down.

    “Every game is an evolution. The part that we evolved with today was that we learned a valuable lesson in our last game. The guys had a chance to put it use right away. I am very proud of them in the fact that they did, scored the goal and held a clean sheet, which is tremendous.”

    Sporting will be without the services of designated player Omar Bravo, who will be sidelined three to six weeks with a sports hernia injury.

    Up next for Sporting Kansas City is a match with the Columbus Crew, scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by KSMO-TV.

9. Chicago Fire

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    SEATTLE - APRIL 09:  Diego Chaves #99 of the Chicago Fire looks on against the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field on April 9, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Carlos De Los Cobos's Chicago Fire took a tumble in this week's Power Rankings after dropping a 2-1 decision to the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.

    Diego Chaves equalized for the Fire in the eighth minute after Seattle went off to an early lead.

    Next up for Chicago are a couple of matches. First is a match with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen field. Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 at 10:00 p.m. CT/11:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2.

    The Fire will then host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, April 17 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. CT/4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Telefutura.

8. Houston Dynamo

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    HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 02:  The Houston Dynamo pose for a team photo before playing the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on April 2, 2011 in Harrison, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The week for Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo didn't turn out the way it should. The Men in Orange crashed out of the U.s. Open Cup in a 1-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City.

    Despite the results, Houston kept its head up.

    “When we got to the final third, I thought we were a little rushed with our crosses and decision,” said Kinnear to Darrell Lovell of MLSSoccer.com.

    “We had our chances and, unfortunately, we were a little off.”

    “Say what you will, but for 90 minutes, I thought we played very well,” Eddie Robinson said.

    “We didn’t give up much, but we weren’t creating much.”

    Houston looked to rebound on Sunday when they hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps.

    “It’s a quick turnaround for us, which is good," Robinson said of the matchup, "because when you lose a game like this, you want to get back on the field and get things right and get going in the right direction.”

    And they did. With style.

    Cam Weaver scored in the 37th minute, Bobby Boswell made it 2-1 in the 42nd minute and Will Bruin scored his first MLS career goal in the 76th minute to give the Houston Dynamo a well-deserved 3-1 victory.

    Up next for the Dynamo is a match with the New England Revolution at Robertson Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at 6:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by KHOU 11.2 and Fox Sports Houston.

7. San Jose Earthquakes

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    SANTA CLARA, CA - APRIL 9: Ryan Johnson #19 of the San Jose Earthquakes dribbles the ball up field against the Toronto FC during an MLS soccer game at Buck Shaw Stadium April 9, 2011 in Santa Clara, California. The game ended in a 1 to 1 tie. (Photo by Th
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes were unable to capitalize on a 38th minute equalizer from Charlie Davies and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA.

    Despite the result, Yallop believes it's a sign of things to come.

    “If we play like that, we’ll beat teams—for sure,” Yallop told MLSSoccer.com's Geoff Lepper.

    “I think if you ask Toronto, they’ll feel that we should have scored at least two goals tonight. They had their chances in certain spells of the game, but I felt that we dominated play and came away with only the one point and not three points.”

    \“We don’t like it, we’re not pleased, but we’re not concerned,” said Chris Wondolowski when asked of the sluggish start to the season.

    “If we were getting outplayed and we have a lot of questions, maybe that’s where we start being concerned. We all still feel very confident in each other and our ability.”

    “All we can do is keep working,” said goalkeeper Jon Busch.

    “We’re playing very good soccer, both sides of the ball. The bottom line is, we’re not finishing our chances. [After] three home games in a row [without winning], I don’t think you [can conclude that] we’re unlucky anymore."

    Luck or no luck, results have to come for the Quakes at some point in time. San Jose gets their chances to get one against a down-on-their-luck New York Red Bulls outfit.

    Kickoff at Red Bull Arena is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the radio by KZSF 1370 AM and KDOW 1220 AM. 

6. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09:  Mike Magee #18 of the Los Angeles Galaxy (L) is congratulated by teammate David Beckham #23 after Magee scored a goal against the D.C. United during the first half at RFK Stadium on April 9, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by R
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy have been prone to dropping points like the Lakers have been prone to losing with style and ease.

    Saturday against D.C. United on the road was no different, as a foul on Charlie Davies by defender Omar Gonzalez inside the box in the 90th minute forced a converted penalty...and a 1-1 draw.

    Midfielder David Beckham, who wore the captain's armband this week after Landon Donovan was given time to recuperate, was not at all pleased by the team's effort.

    “Disappointed, disgusted,” Beckham told Luis Bueno of MLSSoccer.com.

    “I felt we deserved the game. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be walking away from this stadium tonight with three points.

    “I don’t think there’s much to improve on because I think that we played well. We passed the ball around well, we worked well, we defended well, so we just need to continue that. There’s not much that we need to work on, but we need to just work on obviously playing like that again and hopefully winning.”

    Mike Magee gave the Galaxy an early 1-0 lead in the 12th minute off a Beckham corner.

    “When you come on the road you try to weather their storm, especially in DC,” Magee said.

    “They like to come out fast so to get a goal, that definitely played to our advantage.

    “Personally, I think that I had some good chances that I kind of squandered, and I think on a better day, I could have had two. But we fought hard tonight on the road. We deserve two points and we felt we were robbed of it.”

    The Galaxy have two more chances to get a positive result on the road, with a couple of key encounters.

    On Wednesday, the Galaxy will face Toronto FC, a team they had not been able to defeat last year. Can the deadlock be broken? Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised in Canada by GOLTV Canada and in the USA by MatchDay Live and MLS DirectKick.

    On Sunday, April 17, the Galaxy will look to get a win against another team they did not fare well against: the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Telefutura and on tape delay by Fox Sports West.

5. Seattle Sounders FC

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    SEATTLE - APRIL 09:  Steve Zakuani #11 of the Seattle Sounders FC controls the ball during the game against the Chicago Fire at Qwest Field on April 9, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Finally, a pulse can be heard from the Pacific Northwest. Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders got a monkey off their back and earned their first victory of the season, a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire.

    O'Brian White got Seattle on the board with a goal in the seventh minute of play, while Steve Zakuani scored the eventual game winner in the 25th minute of play.

    “We decided we weren’t leaving without the three points,” said White to SoundersFC.com.

    Schmid was impressed by the work of Kasey Keller, who frustrated the Fire's offensive threat with a plethora of saves.

    “It was world class.  That was Kasey Keller from his prime,” Schmid said.  

    “As you finish out a career, to be able to still manage and come up with performances like that is a tremendous tribute to the work that he does on a daily basis.  I thought those three saves were big time."

    “We have some tough games away coming up now and so it’s good to get that win and get some points on the board,” Zakuani added.  

    “The confidence is there and hopefully we carry it on to the road stretch now.”

    One of those tough games is on Saturday, April 16 when they take on the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by KONG 6/16.

4. Colorado Rapids

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - APRIL 03:  Marvell Wynne #22 of the Colorado Rapids controls the ball against D.C. United at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 3, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids defeated D.C. United 4-1.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty I
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Gary Smith's Colorado Rapids could sense that a little MLS Cup payback was coming their way against FC Dallas on Saturday. The Rapids were ambushed in a 3-0 whitewash at Pizza Hut Park on Friday.

    “The goals were at very nice times for them,” Smith told MLSsoccer.com's Nick Thomas.

    “They played quite well and were clearly up for it and we were well below par. It was a bad day at the office.

    “Sometimes, you just can’t put your finger on it. We have to be able to deal better with the adversities that will be thrown at us. We didn’t start particularly well and we weren’t threatening enough going forward until those last 20 minutes.”

    It won't get any easier for Colorado, who now have to deal with the league and Power Rankings leaders Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, April 13. Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT/9:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Altitude 2.

3. FC Dallas

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    FRISCO, TX - APRIL 8: David Ferreira #10 of FC Dallas celebrates scoring a goal against the Colorado Rapids while sucking on a pacifier during the first half of a soccer game at Pizza Hut Park on April 8, 2011 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Gett
    Brandon Wade/Getty Images

    Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas made the biggest jump of all the teams this week after stomping the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids 3-0 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.

    Ugo Ihemelu opened the proceedings in the 26th minute before David Ferreira, last year's league MVP and soon to be a proud soccer dad, scored a brace in the 40th and 46th minutes.

    “My wife is pregnant and the goals were dedicated to her,” said Ferreira to MLSSoccer.com's Robert Casner.

    “I always have confidence, [even] when things don’t go my way.

    “That happens in soccer. The most important thing is that when things aren’t going well, I stay strong Luckily, tonight, I had a lot of patience and my teammates helped me to have the day I did.”

    “I really think that he is such a good player and he figures things out very quickly,” Hyndman said of Ferreira.

    “We talked about him getting up higher so that the defenders have to worry about him, and I think you started to see a David that we have seen in the past.”

    With a win finally under their belts, the possibilities come for the Hoops. Can FC Dallas make a tear out of this? Stay tuned...

    Up next for the Hoops is a match with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at 5:00 p.m. CT/6:00 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by Fox Sports Southwest.

2. Philadelphia Union

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    CHESTER, PA- APRIL 09: \Roger Torres #8 of the Philadelphia Union celebrates his game winning goal during the game against the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park on April 9, 2011 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Union won 1-0. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Imag
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union exited the U.S. Open Cup down to 10 men, losing 4-2 in penalty kicks after the match went to a 2-2 draw. 

    Carlos Ruiz scored in the 18th minute for the Union, while Brian Carroll scored an extra-time equalizer in the 118th minute. Sebastien Le Toux and Kyle Nakazawa converted their spot kicks in the penalty shootout.

    In spite of that result. the Union would get their doop back. Roger Torres, Danny Mwanga and Amobi Okugo came off the bench to help set up Torres's game-winner in the 68th minute en route to a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.

    "It was definitely hard for the guys who played in the entire Open Cup,” said Mwanga to Dave Zeitlin of MLSSoccer.com.

    “They needed some rest and we needed some guys to come in and bring energy to the team. Me and Roger came right in and tried to make an impact.”

    “Roger came in and changed the tone of the game,” Union defender Danny Califf said.

    “He got the ball on his feet and did special things. He did what he does best. He still lost the ball in a couple of tight spots that we’ll have to give him a hard time about.

    “And Danny [Mwanga] came in and did a great job as well. He used his big body and was a difference-maker at the end of the day. I think the subs were huge.”

    Next up for the Union is a match with the Seattle Sounders. Kickoff at PPL Park in Chester is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 at 4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

1. Real Salt Lake

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    FOXBORO, MA - APRIL 9:  Robbie Russell #3 and Arturo Alvarez #10 of Real Salt Lake celebrate a goal against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium April 9, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
    Gail Oskin/Getty Images

    It has been a good week for the flagship club of MLS. Yes, they have been in existence for only a few years, but they are now the flagship club. They are now the glamour club. They are...Real Salt Lake, and they hold the top spot in this week's MLS Power Rankings.

    Real was as work earlier this week when they took on Deportivo Saprissa in the second leg of the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League semifinal. Sure, they lost the second leg 2-1, but they won 3-2 on aggregate to advance to the final against Monterrey, with the first and second legs scheduled for April20 and April 27.

    Jamison Olave scored for Real in the 61st minute in that contest.

    “It was really exciting to play against Cruz Azul [during the group stage] because I think they play a very similar style to the way we do," Kreis told MLSSoccer.com's Simon Borg.

    "And I think it would be very exciting to play against Monterrey because I think they play the exact opposite style we do. In some ways, it maybe would be nice to have a new challenge and not have a team we played in the first round.”

    Well, Jason, let it be known that you got your wish in the form of the latter.

    Meanwhile, back in MLS action, the depth of Real made any talk of a letdown moot, as they shut out the New England Revolution 2-0 in a card-filled encounter. Chris Schuler scored in the 27th minute for Real, and Paulo Araujo Jr. added an insurance goal in the 47th minute.

    Real did have to play down to 10 men with Will Johnson being sent off in the 87th minute after incurring two yellow cards.

    "We put the challenge on them to rise to this occasion—to step out and step up and make a statement for themselves," Kreis told RealSaltLake.com.

    "Not only for us, but for everybody in the league of what kind of players they are. We see them every single day at training, and we have a whole lot of belief in them, but a lot of people don’t see those players enough. I think they made a big statement for themselves and for our club tonight."

    Backup goalkeeper Kyle Reynish was in goal for Real Salt Lake  and picked up his first win of the season.

    "It feels awesome," Reynish said.

    "To be honest, I didn’t feel like I had to do quite as much as I have in some other games. Over four years now I’ve been waiting to get it, so I think [I] appreciate it a little more than some other guys who maybe get it earlier in their careers.

    "I think [this game] shows that we can put some of our reserves, or not our consistent starters in, and you’re not going to have a drop off when the other guys need a rest for the Champions League game."
    With Monterrey on the horizon, Real can't look past their shoulders just yet; there is a bit more MLS action to be had before that two-legged final for supremacy of CONCACAF unfolds.

    Up next for Real Salt Lake is the renewal of the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry with the Colorado Rapids.

    Kickoff at the fortress known as Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m. MT/9:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast locally on the radio by ESPN 700 AM, ESPN Deportes 1600 AM and Juan 106.1 FM.