4.05.2007

Power Rankings

Here are my power rankings, which will be updated after each week of play. Feel free to debate them in the 'comments' section. You might even change my mind.

1. (-) D.C. United
Despite being knocked out of the CCC, DCU still has all of the tools to dismantle most teams in the MLS. The forecast for Saturday's game is SNOW showers, which I'm sure the Brazilians (Emilio and Fred) will love.

2. (-) L.A. Galaxy
Even with the loss of Alan Gordon for two months, the Galaxy have assembled a strong (and healthy) squad while they await David Beckham's historic arrival. I might be giving the G's too much credit this early on, but Landon Donovan has been on fire for the national team and he will be eager to maintain that form in Houston on Sunday.

3. (-) New York Red Bulls
Bruce Arena seems to be relying on aging stars (Reyna, Mathis) to bring out the best in his club's youth, but there is more than enough talent present to push this team to the top half of the table. An opening week trip to surging Columbus should be a good early test for RBNY.

4. (-) Real Salt Lake
Freddy Adu finally gets to assert his *cough* leadership on a team and I expect good things all season from his club. Luis Tejada and Jeff Cunningham have the potential to be the best duo of forwards in MLS, but RSL's season will likely hinge on how well (or not) the defense plays.

5. (-) Colorado Rapids
Opening their new stadium in the snow isn't quite Plan A, but the new-look Rapids could surprise in a Western Conference full of parity. They've cracked the top five, but the play of Zach Thornton will decide if they stay there for long.

6. (-) Columbus Crew
A blistering pre-season has shed light on Joseph Ngwenya's talent - he could be a leading scorer in '07 - and Columbus will surprise a few people with the positive results they'll score on pitch.

7. (-) Chivas USA
U.S. international defender Jonathan Bornstein hasn't fully recovered from his knee injury yet, but may be back for The Goats' second game. They will get stronger as the season goes on under first-year head coach Preki, and should sneak into the playoffs.

8. (-) Toronto FC
Sure, Ronnie O'Brien is out. But Mo Johnston has a few more weapons in his arsenal to make Canada proud. Injuries are the only thing that can slow this team down, but when they're at full strength, they will be a force in the East.

9. (-) Houston Dynamo
Five goals allowed against Pachuca? Not exactly the way you want to back into the season opener vs. a rejuvenated Galaxy. The reigning MLS champs will be regretting turning AEG's blank check down. Could you imagine Blanco in Houston instead? Just holding your ground isn't good enough when everyone else around you has improved.

10. (-) New England Revolution
New England was the hardest team for me to place in this first power ranking. The team has been plunged into turmoil amidst a flurry of injuries, off-the-field problems, and Shalrie Joseph's one-man soap opera. Still, could Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman carry this team to the MLS Cup for a third straight year? Not happening. Aim low... the playoffs are still within reach.

11. (-) Kansas City Wizards
On the bright side, Eddie Johnson may have played his way out of the national team picture for at least one of this summer's tournaments. But on the negative side, Eddie Johnson remains the best scoring threat for the stagnant KC side, and Kevin Hartman can't stop EVERY shot he sees.

12. (-) Chicago Fire
Blanco can't arrive earlier than July 1st? Really?? It's gonna be a long spring in Chi-town. I'm not saying they won't turn things around after Blanco's arrival, but for now, the East cellar will be their home.

13. (-) FC Dallas
Will not be competitive. Steve Morrow will be pulling the remaining hair from his scalp by May. Positive note: Pizza Hut Park is lovely. I'm betting they'll go from first to worst in the West?


Look for the next edition of the power rankings sometime next week.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chicago in the cellar in the east? Really? Justin Mapp has emerged as one of the best attacking mids in MLS. Chris Rolfe, Matt Pickens, and Dasan Robinson all have the skill to be called into USMNT camps and see time on the field. The new crop of youngsters seem skilled as well.

Yes Houston gave up a bunch of goals to Pachuca, but those guys looked possessed on the pitch out there. Houston's midfield is still top-notch and with Ricardo Clark back in the mix, they'll stay strong.

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