2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IJune 20, 2011

2011 MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - JUNE 18:  Head coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy directs his team against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 18, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Galaxy defeated the Rapids 3-1.  (Photo by Doug Pens
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    So Bob Bradley's hopes of managing the USA Men's National Team for the long haul have increased with their breakthrough victory over Jamaica in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals.

    Fair enough.

    Meanwhile, the 2011 Major League Soccer season rolls along, and the Los Angeles Galaxy have returned to the top of the 2011 MLS Power Rankings with their first win in the month of June.

    We got some movers. We got some shakers. We got it all. Here's this week's MLS Power Rankings.

18. Chivas USA

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    CARSON, CA - JUNE 18:  Heath Pearce #3 and Simon Elliott #9 of Chivas USA celebrate with teammate Michael Lahoud #11 after Lahoud's goal in the second half as teammate Zarek Valentin #20 joins the celebration during their MLS match against FC Dallas at Th
    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    Robin Fraser's Chivas USA are still going through their learning process as a club. On Saturday, they dropped a 2-1 decision to FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

    Michael Lahoud opened his scoring account in the 71st minute of play.

    “Obviously, we’re extremely disappointed," Fraser told reporters after the match. "If you look at the flow of the game, we did a pretty decent job of controlling most of the game and to make a few mistakes and let a game like that slip away with absolutely nothing to show for it is extremely disappointing. 

    "There’s an issue of precision that needs to happen in the final third in order to score goals. When we’ve done that, we’ve been effective and tonight, I felt like we were not precise in the final third.”

    Chivas return to action with an match on Saturday, June 25 against the Philadelphia Union in PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT and will be televised by FOX Sports Prime Ticket.

17. Toronto FC

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    TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 18:  Maicon Santos #29 of Toronto FC reacts to the loss to Seattle Sounders FC during MLS action at BMO Field June 18, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
    Abelimages/Getty Images

    It turns out all this talk about Alan Gordon being the new scoring messiah for Aron Winter's Toronto FC was nothing but a flash in the pan.

    On Wednesday, the Reds scrapped to a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

    And on Saturday at BMO Field, they got shut out again, this time by the Seattle Sounders, to the tune of a 1-0 defeat.

    “It’s a tough result because I think we deserved to win," goalkeeper Stefan Frei told Larry Millson of MLSSoccer.com. "We played pretty well. We’ve had a tough stretch, but finally we showed some consistency and that’s a positive. It’s going to be tough to bounce back from this.”

    “We deserved to win,” Winter added. “We we had more opportunities than Seattle. Also when they were playing with 11, we were the better team and we were giving nothing away. I’m a little bit upset, and I can’t believe that we lost the game.”

    “I’m still saying we’re rebuilding. We have to get some players because we need them. We don’t have enough quality."

    Or maybe they need to schedule the Galaxy more often. Que sera, sera.

    Next up for Toronto is a match with a frustrated Real Salt Lake side at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by GOLTV Canada.

16. New England Revolution

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    FRISCO, TX - JUNE 04:  Rajko Lekic #10 of the New England Revolution at Pizza Hut Park on June 4, 2011 in Frisco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    While it has been nothing but elation for Bruins fans, the same can't be said for fans of the world game in Beantown.

    Steve Nicol's New England Revolution continued their disappointing season with a couple of draws.
    On Wednesday, the Revs fought to a scoreless draw with Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium.

    "We had what, 19 shots, 11 corners? Free kicks. We’ve had plenty of the ball in the final third and we haven’t produced that bit of quality that’s needed. And that pretty much says it all," said a grim-faced Nicol. "The (sic) tried to break on us, we knew they’d try that. Couple of wee bits and bobs that might have done better with, but overall, we were the team that was pressing. But it really is down to the final third and we didn’t have the quality when it was needed. 

    "We just need to be encouraged that we have plenty of the ball in the final third. We have to be positive, and we were as positive as much as we’ve been to get into the final third. But we just didn’t have that quality when it was needed."

    "We were just a little bit unfortunate tonight," said defender Darrius Barnes. "It’s the story of these last few games for us. We can’t finish and if we don’t put balls in the back of the net, we’re not going to win. We’re just going to put this one behind us and continue to work and continue to look forward because we have a big game on Saturday against Chicago."

    Rajko Lekic scored in the 48th minute but New England was unable to add a second, as they were consigned to a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium. The goal was Lekic's second of the season.

    "To be honest, it feels like a loss, coming in at halftime one down when we should be three up," Nicol told reporters. "Defensively we’ve been great this year; tonight we defended terribly. But saying that, going forward we created chances. We could’ve had three first half. We had a couple of chances second half, obviously (Kenny) Mansally’s clean through (on the quick restart)—so we really could’ve put the game out of reach."

    "I’m a...passionate guy," Lekic confessed. "And I want to win games, every game. Like the team, that’s normal, but I’m showing it more than the other guys. In the last game, it was maybe a little bit too much. I just want to win games, nothing else."

    Unfortunately, a win did not come calling for Lekic, Nicol and Company this past week. And if this keeps up, New England may have to start thinking about next season—and fast.

    Next Sunday, June 26, the New England Revolution take on the high-flying Seattle Sounders. Kickoff at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

15. Chicago Fire

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    FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 18:  Patrick Nyarko #14 of the Chicago Fire celebrates with his teammates after Dominic Oduro #8 scored in a game against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on June 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Gail Oskin/Ge
    Gail Oskin/Getty Images

    Frank Klopas's Chicago Fire were back in action on Saturday with a match against the New England Revolution. In the end, this pillow fight ended in a 1-1 draw.

    Dominic Oduro scored his fourth of the season in the 32nd minute of play.

    "I believe in the players. It’s a new group. It’s a lot of new players so it’s going to take time for them to gel," Klopas told reporters after the match. "But I think you need continuity. The one thing that we addressed right away is team defending as a group because we were giving opportunities and we adjusted certain areas and tried to stay compact, even though today the game was kind of wide open. 

    "I just try to give the players confidence and I think that’s the really important thing and let them know that I believe in the team. I’ve always shown that depending on how the game goes…I try to bring guys in and push the game and help us. I’m able to do that and I think that the players know that I try to give them confidence in that way also."

    "We’ve been working on trying to get the ball into the net in that second half and creating a whole lot of chances," Oduro added. "I think we should have buried a couple of them—very disappointed in that. But we just have to keep moving forward, just keep working on that and hopefully we get better."

    Next up for the Fire are a couple of matches. On Wednesday, June 22, the Fire take on Real Salt Lake at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by MY50.

    On Sunday, June 26, the Fire will host Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls. Kickoff at Toyota Park is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT/2:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN.

14. D.C. United

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    SANDY, UT - JUNE 18: Chris Wingert #17 of Real Salt Lake kicks the ball away from Charlie Davies #9 of DC United but was called for a penalty kick foul late in the second half of an MLS soccer game June 18, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The pe
    George Frey/Getty Images

    Charlie Davies may be reviled by the state of Utah and elsewhere around the country for baiting gullible officials like the deadbeat known as Terry Vaughn for simulating tackles with the artistry of a Frenchman. (Hint: Davies is on loan from FC Sochaux.)

    But Washington, D.C. should thank this guy. After all, what seemed to be another loss for Ben Olsen's D.C. United turned out to be a 1-1 draw against Real Salt Lake on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium. The converted penalty was Davies' seventh of the season.

    “I thought that on the day [Real Salt Lake] were probably a better soccer team than we were, but we found a way," a smug Olsen said. "It’s a tough place to come and sneak out a result.”

    “Whenever you come off the bench you’re supposed to add something to the game, especially me," Davies said. "My job is to come in and change the game for this team.  The game was pretty flat and they needed someone who could stretch the defense and change the game and bring that energy on.

    "For me now it’s just whenever I step up to the penalty spot I feel like I’m going to score.  I knew that Nicky is a good PK stopper so I just wanted to hit it with power right in the corner, which I was able to do.”

    Sorry Charlie, but in spite of the goal, you have a reputation to be clean. Can you do it? Stay tuned.

    Next up for D.C. United is a match with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, June 25. Kickoff at RFK Stadium is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet and Galavision.

13. Colorado Rapids

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - JUNE 18:  Conor Casey #9 of the Colorado Rapids leaves the field after the Rapids were defeated 3-1 by the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on June 18, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Im
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The woes for Gary Smith's Colorado Rapids at home against the Los Angeles Galaxy continued on Saturday.

    At Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, the Rapids were buried, 3-1.

    Conor Casey scored in the 64th minute for the Rapids, but an own goal by Drew Moor in the 25th minute of play set the tone for what became another sorry performance from the defending MLS Cup champions.

    To add insult to defeat, Caleb Folan was sent off for a rough tackle on Juninho in the 74th minute of play. Never mind that their best player, Jamie Smith, injured himself during warmups.

    Smith had a bone to pick with the officiating, led by match referee Hilario Grajeda.

    "[LA Galaxy midfielder Chris] Birchall does really well.  He’s aggressive, he tries to keep it in play and he does all he can with a lot of energy, but it was out of play. And from that point on we shouldn’t even be talking," an angry Smith told reporters. "The next call is the penalty, which [should have been] a penalty. Anyone that goes to the ground inside the box and doesn’t play the ball is a penalty. They’re both moving at pace, and I just would like an explanation as to with all three of the decisions, where and how they’ve come about."

    The Rapids will hope for a better result when they travel to Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. MT/8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Altitude.

12. Portland Timbers

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    PORTLAND, OR - JUNE 19: Trevor James assistant coach for the Portland Timbers paces the sidelines during the second half of the game against the New York Red Bulls at Jeld-Wen Field on June 19, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. James was filling in for suspended
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    John Spencer's Portland Timbers were engaged in a goal festival with the New York Red Bulls at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon on Saturday. Unfortunately, the inability to hold off the Red Bulls late in stoppage time proved costly, as they were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw.

    Spencer was forced to serve a one-game suspension on Sunday, but viewed the proceedings from the press box. Assistant manager Trevor Jame took care of the work on the sidelines.

    “Disappointed," Spencer told reporters. "That shows you how far we’ve come that we’re sitting in the locker room and the players are absolutely distraught. We’re gutted that we never took three points off what I consider to be the most potent attacking force in the country, although they were missing a couple players.

    “I said last week it’s a cruel game. It was a cruel game tonight. I think from the 46th minute to the 90th minute we’ve run them ragged, we outplayed them, we outran them, we were better than them in every department. We said in the video meeting the other day that if you give guys like [Thierry] Henry and [Dwayne] De Rosario a chance in and around the box, you need to be switched on because they’re super players and we got punished in the end.”

    “It’s one of those ones you’d love to have back," said midfielder/team captain Jack Jewsbury. "Obviously, the positive is the way we approached the second half and the way the guys came out and fought. We could’ve hung our heads...that wasn’t the case.”

    Jewsbury equalized in the 48th minute of play for his fourth of the season. Kevin Goldthwaite opened his scoring account in the 49th minute and New York's Stephen Keel scored an own goal in the 68th minute of play.

    “I think in a situation like this you’ve got to look at the positives," Goldthwaite said. "You almost really just take the first half and throw it away and look at the second half and take the positives from that and really try to translate that into next week and how you can start on the right foot.”

    It won't get any easier for the Timbers, who need to learn how to hold on to leads against big-name opposition. Or any opposition, for that matter.

    They get their chance at redemption on the road against FC Dallas on Sunday, June 25 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast locally via radio on 750 AM The Game and La Pantera 940 AM.

11. Real Salt Lake

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    SANDY, UT - JUNE 4: Fabian Espindola #7 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal with Ned Grabavoy #20 and Collen Warner #26 against the Vancouver Whitecaps during the second half of an MLS soccer game June 4, 2011 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Real b
    George Frey/Getty Images

    Victory escaped the grasp of Jason Kreis's Real Salt Lake yet again, as poor finishing, combined with a Charlie Davies penalty, sealed their fate in a 1-1 draw. So the Monterrey hangover continues.

    Ironically, RSL took the lead on a penalty. Fabian Espindola scored his fourth of the season with his conversion in the 38th minute of play.

    “I think we have to be very disappointed to kind of have three points wrapped up and then give away a counter-attack and to be at the mercy of the referee’s decision," said a visibly disappointed Kreis to reporters.

    "It's frustrating," midfielder/team captain Kyle Beckerman said of the officiating. "The referees are trying their best, but, just like in soccer, sometimes it's not good enough. The game was there for us to win and we didn't put it away."

    “It's almost laughable, I don't know what to say," said defender Chris Wingert, who was marking Davies in their defensive third which led to the penalty. "Charlie is a friend of mine…we roomed together in (U.S.) National Team camp. He even looked at me, kind of smiling. He knew. It's a shame we lost two points on that play because it really wasn't even close.”

    Cue the silver lining to all this. Real Salt Lake still have five games in hand over the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy and only trail by 12 points. If they caught up and won out, they would pass the G's by three points. You do the math.

    And speaking of which, the men of Real Salt Lake continue to catch up on their games with a couple of matches.

    On Wednesday, June 22, RSL take on the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park in Bridgeview. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KMYU 2.2, Comcast SportsNet and Dish Network 12.

    On Saturday, June 25, Real take on Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT/9:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the radio by ESPN 700, ESPN Deportes 1600 AM and Juan 106.1 FM.

10. Philadelphia Union

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 18:  Carlos Valdes #5 and Kyle Nakazawa #13 of the Philadelphia Union look on as Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC falls to the pitch during their MLS game at Empire Field on June 18, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbi
    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union will be grateful that Carlos Ruiz will be returning to the team after Guatemala crashed out of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

    That's because Ruiz's absence was instrumental in their 1-0 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Field in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    “Vancouver scored a good goal early on and we struggled to get our rhythm,” Philadelphia’s Sheanon Williams told MLSSoccer.com's Dave Zeitlin. “I think we just didn’t play our game and we didn’t play that well.”

    “Everybody is trying to help and stay positive,” Nowak said of the struggling Sebastien Le Toux. “It’s very easy to drop your hat down and say, ‘You’re not scoring goals and we have to make a change.’ At some point we have to consider that, but as I said, we always try to stay positive and make sure that the players we’ve got have a fair shot at the positions they play. But the chances he had, especially at that point in the game, he had to finish.”

    “I think everyone worked hard and put a lot of effort into the game and it’s unfortunate to come out of here with nothing,” added midfielder Brian Carroll. “We’ve got to turn around quickly and get ready for the next game.”

    Philadelphia have a couple of matches this week. On Wednesday, June 22, the Union take on Sporting Kansas City, who have finally found their form after a long wait. Kickoff at PPL Park in Chester is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet.

    On Saturday, June 25, the Union host Chivas USA. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by 6abc.

9. Houston Dynamo

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    HOUSTON - JUNE 18:  A Dynamo fan dresses up for the game against the Columbus Crew at Robertson Stadium on June 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Dominic Kinnear's Houston Dynamo were shut out by the Columbus Crew at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas to the tune of 2-0 on Saturday. The Dynamo were reduced to 10 men late in the second half, with Lovel Palmer getting his marching orders in the 52nd minute of play.

    “We didn’t play well. We lost," said a terse Kinnear to reporters. "We all came out flat. We gave up a terrible goal. In the second half, we had a little bit of energy, and the red card killed us. We had a couple of chances, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. We were just off tonight. Individually and collectively, we were off, and when you have everyone off, your chances of winning are slim.”

    “It was a poor performance from us all around," said forward Cam Weaver "I think we showed more energy in the second half, and we played better when we were down a man. We needed to bring that type of fighting energy from the beginning, and we didn’t. We deserved to lose.”

    “We are upset. We lost 2-0. It wasn’t a good night," added midfielder Danny Cruz. "It is tough to play a man down, but we still had our opportunities. Even before the red card, it wasn’t a good night. Obviously it doesn’t make it any easier, and this loss puts us in a hole, but now we need to dig ourselves out.”

    Even though Houston remain in fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, in-state FC Dallas and the rest of the MLS Western Conference are setting a blistering pace, and that means the Men in Orange have some work to do if they want to contend for a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Off nights won't help their cause.

    The Dynamo will look to rebound from a dismal performance at home with a solid outing on the road against D.C. United on Saturday, June 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT/6:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Galavision.

8. San Jose Earthquakes

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    KANSAS CITY, KS - JUNE 17:  Anthony Ampaipitakwong #23 of the San Jose Earthquakes takes a kick against Sporting Kansas City on June 17, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
    G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

    Ouch! What was that thing that upended Frank Yallop's San Jose Earthquakes like a high-speed train to the point of no return?

    Why, it was none other than little old Sporting Kansas City. The Quakes earned the dubious honour of being the first team to lose in MLS play at Livestrong Sporting Park, 1-0.

    Yes, we all felt that. You're not the only ones.

    "Obviously, going down deflates you a little bit," Yallop told reporters after the match. "I thought we did a good job keeping it to one at that point. And the second half, I wouldn’t say we bossed the game but we definitely had some chances to score. I thought Simon Dawkins came in and did really well, and I thought we deserved at least a point tonight."

    "[Sporting] are dangerous on free kicks and it was just one of those where who can get position," said goalkeeper Jon Busch. "Unfortunately for us, they got a little better position, and re-directed it. Good free kick, tough to defend, and maybe another night we get a piece of it, but not tonight."

    "I think coming in, we knew it was going to be a very difficult game," defender Jason Hernandez added. "They’ve been playing well the last couple of games and obviously with the new stadium and the crowd behind them, they would come out and push the tempo." 

    San Jose gets a chance to make up for that with a match against a team they have had success at home against last year: the Los Angeles Galaxy. Kickoff at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

7. FC Dallas

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    CARSON, CA - JUNE 18:  Brek Shea #20 of FC Dallas congratulates teammate Jackson Goncalves #6 after Goncalves scored to put FC Dallas up 2-1 against Chivas USA in the second half as teammate Bobby Warshaw #16 jogs upfield during their MLS match at The Hom
    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    While the Mavericks slam-dunked their way to their first NBA world championship, their football counterparts were just trundling along on their own path.

    On Saturday at the Home Depot Center, Schellas Hyndman's FC Dallas made amends for a terrible performance at home last week with a 2-1 victory over lowly Chivas USA. Shea scored his sixth of the season in the 22nd minute and off the bench, Jackson Goncalves opened his scoring account in the 85th minute of play.

    “I am very happy to score such an important goal and my first goal in my career,” Jackson told Casner. “Three points are very important points.

    “I am very happy in the midfield. Last year I played the position and I liked it a lot. I feel as comfortable playing midfield as I do playing forward.”

    “This was a game for us to kind of get back on track,” Hyndman added. “As I mentioned to the guys, the most important game is the game after that performance [vs. Sporting], and tonight we fought for every ball. We competed and we had scoring opportunities.”

    Now the question is: Can FC Dallas start up a new unbeaten streak? They will loook to do so when the Portland Timbers come to town. Kickoff at the Oven is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Sports Southwest.

6. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - JUNE 18:  Eric Hassli #29 of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC celebrates their win over the Philadelphia Union during their MLS game at Empire Field on June 18, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 1-0.  (Photo by Jeff
    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Forget about the Canucks for a minute, Vancouver. You'll always have Paris, the Lions...and this team.
    Tom Soehn's Vancouver Whitecaps check in at sixth in our power rankings after their biggest win of the season, a 1-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Union at Empire Field.

    Alain Rochat scored his second of the season in the 12th minute.

    “It’s been a tough week in the city of Vancouver with the Canucks having such a great year and what happened there after,” an enthused Soehn told MLsSoccer.com's Brandon Timko. “This is something that the city needed.

    “I credit the guys. The staff has worked tiresomely to prepare ourselves to continue to progress. We are looking for the 90-minute mentality and today is a good sign we are getting there.”

    “I am just happy for everybody,” said midfielder Davide Chiumiento. “First for the team, for the club, for the supporters, for everybody because after 14 games, it was a long time. Now we are just happy.”

    Vancouver will have a surprisingly tough test awaiting them...in the form of Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by TSN.

5. Columbus Crew

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    HOUSTON - JUNE 18:  Midfielder Bernardo Anor #7 of the Columbus Crew celebrates with Rich Balchan #2 and Josh Gardner #31 after scoring in the second half against the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on June 18, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Columbus won 2-0
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Robert Warzycha's Columbus Crew were solid in their 2-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium.

    Andres Mendoza scored his fifth of the season in the 41st minute while Bernardo Anor opened his scoring account in the 77th minute of play.

    “In practice I’ve been working at it to get some minutes on the field,” Anor told thecrew.com's Craig Merz. “Finally, I have the opportunity to start a game and I wanted to give my 100 percent to the team because they deserve it. They have been working very hard.”

    “[Anor] played great today,” forward Tommy Heinemann said. “He had a great assist to Andres and way to stick with it on that second goal. He really stepped it up and put in a great performance. We really needed it.”

    “I feel that we left it all on the field,” Mendoza concluded. “We came here looking for the three points. We got them, and now we need to keep on working.”

    On Sunday, June 26, the Columbus Crew take on the Colorado Rapids at Crew Stadium Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ONN-TV.

4. Sporting Kansas City

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    FRISCO, TX - JUNE 12: Luke Sassano #32 of the Sporting KC (bottom center) is swarmed by teammates Chance Myers #7, Seth Sinovic #16, C.J. Sapong #17 and Kei Kamara #23 during the second half of a soccer game at Pizza Hut Park on June 12, 2011 in Frisco, T
    Brandon Wade/Getty Images

    Hide the women and children, if they are still awake. Sporting Kansas City have finally awakened from their slumber.

    On second thought, if they happen to be fans of Sporting Club, get them fired up if you haven't done it already.

    It was a solid week for Peter Vermes' men, who have rediscovered their scoring form with a two-game win streak to show for it. On Friday, they scored their first-ever victory at Livestrong Sporting Park, shutting out the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0.

    "This was a very difficult match, we knew going into it," Vermes told reporters following the match. "San Jose is a very good team. They've been playing well as of late, especially on the road. They haven't given up many goals. For us, we knew it would be a tough game in a lot of respects.

    "In this League, it is never easy. Anybody can beat anybody. Because of that, you have to come out and roll up your sleeves, fight, battle and scrape for every single roll of the ball. I think we've done that every game since the Seattle game. I thought we were very organized and balanced and I think they're very confident in the way they're playing right now."

    "It’s a step in the right direction," remarked Sporting CEO Robb Heineman. "It’s all about optimism and it’s all about hope. I’m really happy for the guys. They’ve been working their absolute ass off. We made them go on the road for so long, so I’m just happy for them to come home in front of a home crowd and get a win."

    C.J. Sapong scored his second goal of the season, and consequently the first-ever Sporting goal at Livestrong Park, in the 31st minute of play.

    "It’s basically the story of my life," Sapong said of the goal. "Refs don’t really see too much that goes on in the trenches. From the second it was hit, I knew I could get my head to it, but he was holding me back so I just stuck my foot out, and it went in.

    "The confidence has always been there. We’ve always known, this is just reassurance. It’s different when you have fans calling your name, and when you know you can put results on the board, it makes everything so much easier."

    Sporting will look to continue their momentum with a couple of key contests as they catch up with the rest of the league.

    On Wednesday, June 22, Sporting take on the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff at PPL Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV.

    Sporting will then return to Livestrong on Saturday, June 25 to host the Vancouver Whitecaps. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by KSMO-TV and TSN.

3. Red Bull New York

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    PORTLAND, OR - JUNE 19: Jorge Perlaza #15 of the Portland Timbers looks skyward as Mehdi Ballouchy #10 of the New York Red Bulls and Sal Zizzo #7 of the Portland Timbers shake hands after tthe game at Jeld-Wen Field on June 19, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. T
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    It was a wild Sunday night for Hans Backe's New York Red Bulls, who saw Thierry Henry earn his marching orders late in stoppage time and Dwayne De Rosario salvage a draw on a penalty at the death. All in all, the Red Bulls drew 3-3 with the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field.

    Six cautions were also handed out by match referee Ricardo Salazar.

    Austin da Luz opened his scoring account in the fifth minute and Henry made it 3-2 in the 73rd minute of play. The goal was his eighth of the season. Stephen Keel did score an own goal for New York in the 68th minute to make it 3-1 to Portland.

    "Portland deserved to win, every time they were kicking the ball forward it seemed like they were going to score," Henry told reporters following the match. "I don't think Portland deserved to draw the game, and I didn't think we deserved to draw the game either. They deserved to win."

    "Strange, very strange game," da Luz said. "Obviously going up 1-0 [in a] pretty comfortable first half, I thought we played pretty well. [We] came out very flat in the second half, much too flat. We gave up three goals on set pieces. Overall it was a very strange, strange game but I think we deserved a point."
    Backe summed the trip to Portland best.


    "Well, it's the Wild West," Backe said. "We played very good in the first half, very comfortable and very composed. Our shape was phenomenal. It was the way we wanted it going in, winning one-nil."

    And the Wild Pacific Northwest, to be exact, Mr. Backe.

    The Red Bulls continue their Northwest expedition with a Thursday night match against the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field. Kickoff is scheduled for June 23 at 10:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2 and TSN.

    New York will then travel to Toyota Park in Bridgeview on Sunday for a match with the Chicago Fire. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN. 

2. Seattle Sounders FC

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    SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11:  Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC dribbles against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Qwest Field on June 11, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Welcome back to the score sheet, Fredy Montero.

    The young Colombian's heroics were clutch as his 90th-minute free kick sank Toronto FC, 1-0 at BMO Field. The goal was his third of the season for Sigi Schmid's Seattle Sounders.

    “I have to give this one to my dad,” Montero told SoundersFC.com's Matt Gaschk.  “I promised you and I got it for you.”

    Happy Father's Day, Mr. Montero, from your good friends at Bleacher Report. Moving right along...

    “I thought the team showed a lot of resiliency.  We battled,” Schmid told reporters.  “We held firm and we ended up getting a great goal from Fredy Montero.”

    Seattle were forced to play with 10 men after Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was sent off in the 49th minute of play.

    “I thought in the first half, we didn’t do a good job of holding onto the ball,” Schmid added.  “After we got that shot it’s almost like we went back into a shell.  With ten men, we actually played our best soccer of the night.”

    Could that tactic work again on Thursday against the New York Red Bulls? Stay tuned...kickoff at Qwest Field is scheduled for June 23 at 7:00 p.m. PT/10:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

    On Sunday, June 26, the Sounders will clash with the New England Revolution. Kickoff at Qwest Field is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by KONG 6/16.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy

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    COMMERCE CITY, CO - JUNE 18:  Juninho #19 (C) of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his goal in the 42nd minute with teammate Sean Franklin #5 of the Galaxy as Wells Thompson #15 of the Colorado Rapids looks on as the Galaxy took a 2-0 lead over the Rapids
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    No Landon Donovan?

    No David Beckham?

    No Donovan Ricketts?

    No problem for Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy, whose depth proved key in their 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday.

    For those of you wondering, the two Donovans had a CONCACAF Gold Cup match to settle at RFK on Sunday, and David Beckham had back problems.

    Drew Moor's own goal put the Galaxy ahead in the 25th minute. Juninho then snapped out of his scoring funk with a blistering shot in the 42nd minute. Char Barrett also got his touch back with his fourth goal of the season in the 80th minute to put the match out of reach.

    "It is a team game," Arena told reporters following the match. "If you are missing players, you are missing players it is all a part of it. We have missed Landon Donovan for about seven games this year, if you use that as an excuse, you are not putting yourself in a position to win any games.

    "We were not short-handed today. If we would have lost today our excuse could not have been that we were missing players. They were missing some players as well, but I think that our team played well. It is a team game and we don’t put our heads down when we are missing someone. We got here today and our objective was to win the game."

    "Basically there are two big guys, me and then A.J. DeLaGarza," said defender Omar Gonzalez. "A.J. is a small guy but if you see him play, you know that he goes up for headers and other plays. 

    "Our thing today was to keep with them and drop them a lot early and not let many balls behind us because we knew that they were going to target their big men and knock balls down. I think that we did a great job managing that. Whenever they got to the channels we did great job getting back and clearing balls out. It’s a good job for us."

    Pending the outcome of the proceedings at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, LA should either have most of their players ready or all hands on deck for a full-out assault on Buck Shaw Stadium in their bid for payback against the San Jose Earthquakes.

    Kickoff in the renewal of the California Clasico is scheduled for Saturday, June 25 at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Channel.

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