Power Rankings - Week 5

Thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me their thoughts (TheMLSZone@gmail.com) and opinions about my rankings. I've been swayed by a few of you Chicago Fire fans out there who took the time to point out how down I've been on the unbeaten Fire. Notice how they jump in this week's rankings...

Keep the comments coming!

1. (1) Red Bull New York
Still on a roll after winning in Frisco, Bruce Arena's team heads to Utah to take on a struggling Real Salt Lake team. RBNY is the strongest of the three unbeaten teams (Chicago, Columbus are the other two), and should have an easy time with rookie goalkeeper Chris Seitz.

2. (4) Los Angeles Galaxy
I received a lot of hate mail for keeping the Galaxy so high in my rankings, but the G's showed last Saturday just why they will be playing for the MLS Cup in November. Their dismantling of Chivas USA was led by Landon Donovan, who appears to have woken up from his MLS hibernation just in time to cook the Goats. With a goal and two assists, he was named MLS Player of the Week, and rightfully so.

3. (7) Chicago Fire
I still haven't really seen what makes the Fire so unbeatable, but that is exactly what they have been up until now. I have a feeling that the Fire may be put out when they travel to New England this Sunday, but they are still a better team than I expected.

4. (2) Colorado Rapids
Solid road victory against RSL for this side, but their offense still appears to be relying on a broken play to lead them into a goal-scoring opportunity. Kyle Beckerman scored his first goal of the season on Monday and is turning into a solid midfielder, both for Colorado and the USMNT.

5. (3) Chivas USA
After looking so good against RSL a week earlier, Chivas fell flat in a big game against the Galaxy. The defense seemed a little lax at times and allowed the G's to jump all over them early. The Goats now have to travel to the nation's capital to face a cranky, winless D.C. United side and will have to be prepared for a tough game.

6. (5) Houston Dynamo
If it weren't for D.C. United's struggles, we might be talking about how Houston has only score one goal in four games this year and how Dwayne De Rosario is seemingly absent from the lineup. I expected Paul Dalglish to be a driving force for this team, but he has only two shots on goal in 180 minutes played this season. The Dynamo have to turn things around soon or they'll be in real trouble when the hot Texas summer rolls around.

7. (9) Columbus Crew
Had a strong home win against D.C. United and remain unbeaten (1-0-3). They now have to face the surprising Kansas City Wizards and a much-improved Eddie Johnson. If the Crew walks out of there with 3 points, they could finally get some of the respect they deserve around the league.

8. (11) Kansas City Wizards
Sure, two of their wins have come against Toronto FC (both in the past week), but Eddie Johnson has looked like Didier Drogba so far (okay, not really). New keeper Kevin Hartman has posted shutouts in half of the Wizards four games and has a 1.00 GAA. If Joe Cannon weren't so good, they would miss him in Los Angeles.

9. (10) New England Revolution
Another team that I banked on to suck pondwater this year, Taylor Twellman is doing his best to prove me wrong. Adam Cristman, a fourth-round pick in the 2007 draft, has already registered two assists and is in the running for rookie of the year. But in the long run, I don't see this team going back to the playoffs. Their style of play isn't intimidating at all, but it's gotten the job done so far...

10. (6) D.C. United
A four-spot drop in this edition of the Power Rankings is the least of their worries. Zero points through the first three games for the team that most experts picked to win the MLS Cup is a big problem. Don't look now, but here comes undefeated Columbus into RFK. I expect a very physical game - look for D.C. to pick up their first points of the year this weekend.

11. (8) FC Dallas
Finally, some time off for FC Dallas - they've played two more games than any other team in the league at this point. With only seven points through six games, this team is falling back to where I saw them being when the season began. Carlos Ruiz and Kenny Cooper can only take you so far. Enjoy the time off and then get ready to be thumped in Kansas City in two weeks.

12. (12) Toronto FC
The only Canadian MLS side finally showed a little offensive firepower early in their first home game, but were overwhelmed late by Eddie Johnson. The crowd support in Toronto has been positive so far, but a winless first month of existance can't be doing much to help win over new fans. Ronnie O'Brien could single-handedly turn things around for this club when he gets healthy.

13. (13) Real Salt Lake
Certainly, they are in a valley right now, but there shall be peaks ahead for this club. Personally, I think the main problem with this team is that I jinxed them by picking them to win the West. It's not often that a rookie goalkeeper can be considered an upgrade, but Nick Rimando has been THAT bad. I won't back off my prediction of success for RSL, as I see them sneaking by Dallas and Houston later in the season.

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