4.17.2007

Power Rankings - Week 3

Here is the third weekly edition of The MLS Zone power rankings. Parity has caused a shuffling of the rankings this time around.

1. (3) Colorado Rapids
Fernando Clavijo's side moves up by default this week. Down to 10 men against Chicago, they appeared ready to still pick up three points - until a late soft goal forced them to settle for the tie. I predicted good things from Herculez Gomez, and so far it's come true. Herc has scored twice as many goals this season than the entire L.A. Galaxy roster has.

2. (2) Los Angeles Galaxy
Not a very good showing on national television against a weak FC Dallas side, but the team appeared to wake up in the second half. Rookie Robbie Findley showed his speed alone can cause problems when he's inserted late in a game. If Donovan comes around and the wings can provide better service into the box, L.A. will be at the head of the table before long.

3. (5) Red Bull New York
In just about the worst weather imaginable for the second straight week, RBNY showed some character. Clint Mathis has showed flashes of his old self and Josmer Altidore IS the real thing. Adding a healthy Claudio Reyna and Juan Pablo Angel into the mix has RBNY set to pick up some hardware this year.

4. (1) D.C. United
Got completely blitzed by the enigma that is Eddie Johnson. The back line doesn't have enough speed to support a 3-5-2 lineup, and the scoreboard is showing it. Luciano Emilio can be a star in this league. Fred may not quite be there yet, but if the current pieces are moved around, this team can re-gain the swagger that surrounded them all off-season/pre-season.

5. (8) Houston Dynamo
The men in orange keep moving up the power rankings. Brian Ching is the new Brian McBride - he's lethal in the air when he wants to be. With a proper DP signing in the summer transfer window, Houston could be back-to-back MLS Cup winners. I'm not completely won over yet.

6. (6) Chivas USA
Where's Amado Guevara? Was he worth giving up a DP spot? I'm still waiting for him to make his debut - for now the midfield is Sacha Kljestan's on this squad. The Goats are still solid, despite dropping a close one to Houston on the road.

7. (4) Real Salt Lake
So I picked them to win the West and I'm not ready to eat crow after two games. Any deficiencies in defense or the goalkeeping area's should be offset by Adu and Cunningham. But until they get on the same page, RSL's slide continues.

8. (11) Kansas City Wizards
Holy schnikees, somebody get Eddie Johnson in to a USMNT camp now! Is this the same kid that looked feeble just a few weeks ago and had everyone screaming for him to be pulled from the national team? One game does not a season make, but it did go a long way towards shutting up one of his most vocal critics - me.

9. (9) Chicago Fire
Up a man against Colorado and they couldn't get much going until very late in the match. Maybe it was a good job by the Rapids to shut this team down, but I just don't feel like Chicago can do much more than sneak into the playoffs. Cuauhtemoc Blanco's arrival will give the team a needed boost in the dog days of summer. But how long will that last?

10. (7) Columbus Crew
They've finally locked up Guillermo Barros Schelotto and can count on him to be a catalyst for this young team. Somehow the Crew kept their DP spot - it has Brian McBride's name all over it, come summer 2007.

11. (12) FC Dallas
Fought hard for a road win at the Home Depot Center. Maybe they got lucky with a questionable penalty kick call in the first half, but they managed to hold off a hard-charging L.A. side. Their road trip ended three days later with a thud in a hurricane in New York, but Kenny Cooper and Carlos Ruiz are a deadly combination right now.

12. (13) New England Revolution
A 4-goal showing against Toronto has helped the Revs leapfrog the Mounties, but most other teams in MLS will be able to contain Taylor Twellman better than TFC did.

13. (10) Toronto FC
Defense looks bad... really bad. Maybe Marvell Wynne can help change things? Team will continue to suffer until Ronnie O'Brien returns. Really looking like an expansion team right now.

1 comment:

JDJ said...

This is from your buddy over at JDJ Soccer Blog (formerly JDJ Sports - I made the plunge). I like some of your picks, but RSL has no chance of winning the West. Offense wins games, defense wins championships. The better this league gets the tougher it will be to score. Cunningham and Adu are good, but you can't expect each of them to score 1 to 2 goals every game to make up for defensive mistakes. And, the Galaxy? I know you like them, and I do, too, but nobody is scared of a team that can't score. This drought began last season and looks to continue, and Donovan is not the answer. I'll halt my commenting there. Keep up the good work. I love your site!