Thursday, September 07, 2006

MLS Week 23 Power Ratings

So strangeness of strangeness, I've done power ratings for the last two weeks, but didn't finish the post so I never put them up live. Anyway, I'm going to break that trend this week. Here are the ratings as we go into the final playoff run. Note the (last rating) is the one I published for week 20.

1. Chicago Fire (11) - The past few weeks have seen this club be reborn. Their passes are connecting, they are finding the goal and they are taking full advantage of their home pitch. Had they connected like this a month earlier, DC United would have some competition for top of the East.

2. FC Dallas (3) - They are getting over their injury problems and starting to find a way to score that does not involved Kenny Cooper, which is good news as teams have figured out how to shut him down. Still, they do have weakness in the midfield that can lead to mistakes.

3. DC United (1) - I guess a fall was to be expected. How could a team come out and play the way they did during the first half of the season and not relax a bit in the second half. Still, this bad run has not been awful, but it does seem they are having a tough time reconnecting with one another and are starting to get burned for their defensive mistakes. If they don't start pulling up soon, there might just be a shock come playoff time.

4. Los Angeles Galaxy (7) - The Galaxy are restarting their end of season run tradition. This year it is proving to be much harder, but not too hard. Santino Quaranta has brought a new flank to their attack, allowing Donovan the room he needs to make his stuff work. Add Chris Albright into the mix and you have the potential for a 2005 repeat.

5. Houston Dynamo (2) - What a difference a few weeks makes. When last I published one of these I talked about the race for the top of the West. Today, the Dynamo is in a race to stay out of the bottom two. Without Brian Ching, they suffered. A lack of offense put it all on their defense. Interestingly, they did a good job, but even a few mistakes cost them games. With Ching back, they should recover, but not enough to threaten Dallas again.

6. Chivas USA (4) - As always, they have skill, but they spend too much time 'showing off' if you will instead of taking it to goal. If Juan Francisco Palencia can recover fully from his hamstring strain, they should have what it takes to sneak into a spot. By the way, anyone know if John O'Brien might return before the end of the season (if you can say return for a player with just 5-minutes of pitch time for the club)?

7. Colorado Rapids (5) - I would have placed them lower on this list, but I don't think they are there yet. Let's face it, they have no offensive threat. When they do get goals, it is more luck or errors by the other team then their own skill. Still, it doesn't matter how you get them, just that you get them. The Rapids are in decline after looking strong during the middle of the season. If they continue on this track, they will finish in the bottom two.

8. Real Salt Lake (9) - I don't know if it was the stadium deal or getting a chance against Real Madrid, but this team is gelling. Obviously Jeff Cunningham is the main reason, but they are also showing something in the back (except for the 6-0 whopping in New York). Still, with so many of their goals coming from one person, they are going to hit a wall. Teams will stop Cunningham forcing others to step up and Jason Kreis is good, but not that good.

9. New England Revolution (6) - What happens when three of your biggest stars are unhappy? With all the off-pitch money and trade issues making headlines, I can't see how this team can pull anything great out of 2006. There is talent, but no will, thus few wins. Lucky for them they play with the Red Bulls and Crew, so they should still make the playoffs.

10. Kansas City Wizards (10) - Every time this team shows a sign of waking up, they play another game and fall right back to sleep. Scott Sealy is this team's biggest threat, but without a backup role by Eddie Johnson, I don't see them doing much. Perhaps the new owners can bring some life to the club. Failing that, look for the Wizards to limp to the finish line.

11. New York Red Bull (8) - All that Bruce Arena magic seems to be gone. To his credit, he told everyone not to expect much this year and he is delivering. But I don't want to just bash the team, so let me say Marvell Wynne is having a good year. Other then that, not such a great rookie run for Red Bull in New York.

12. Columbus Crew (12) - The Crew are 2-2 in their last 4 games. Sadly, that is their best run of the season. What can I say about the Crew that hasn't already been said? I expect them to linger for a couple more weeks before someone comes along and slices apart their final shred of playoff hope.



Post a Comment

<< Home