Tuesday, May 08, 2007

2007 MLS Week 5 Power Ratings

Five weeks are in the bag and things are starting to get a little muddy as both conferences have at least four teams within a win of first place. The battle between East and West didn't move much this past week as only two inter-conference games were played, but the East still came out the better at 1-0-1 bringing their season total to 6-2-3. This weekend there will be four such match-ups. So here are my ratings based on play over the full season.

1. New England Revolution (Last week - 3) - On Thursday they went down a man and didn't seem to worry. On Sunday, they exploded with great passing and wonderful all around play. Their defense is looking sharp and they are making goals happen. Add it some wonderful coaching and you've got a strong side.

2. New York Red Bull (1) - Clint Mathis was on fire and the rest of the team looking hot as well, but then blah. As bad as giving up two goals in stoppage time is, the worst part of Sunday's game might end up being the loss of goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus. It is no accident that once he went out, their defense went to pot.

3. Kansas City Wizards (6) - KC has shown they can push balls into the final third, but they are still having trouble finishing their chances. On an unknown side, their defense really has not been challenged much this season. It will be interesting to see how they respond when put under continuous pressure.

4. Chicago Fire (2) - The Fire just failed to show up in New England. They are starting to show some big mid problems that might develop into a scoring drought if they are not careful.

5. Houston Dynamo (10) - I normally would not move a team up so far so fast, but their work rate on Saturday night blew me away. They didn't even allow the Rapids the thought of being in the game (even when Houston was down a goal). Over the whole season, they've had good parts, but never a wonderful whole till this weekend and even though they were not scoring, they were not allow others to score much on them. Now they just need to keep the momentum.

6. FC Dallas (5) - FC Dallas had the week off, but coach Steve Morrow pulled Carlos Ruiz out after just four days.

7. Colorado Rapids (4) - Where has their attack gone? How can their midfield disappear like that? Does their defense not understand that holes are a bad thing? These were all questions I was asking as I watched the Rapids play their worst game of the season.

8. Los Angeles Galaxy (9) - The Galaxy had yet another week off, which gave Alexi Lalas just enough time to call the last 7400 people in America that do not know David Beckham is coming to play in the USA.

9. DC United (11) - On Thursday they got a cheap point but on Sunday they earned all three. The club still fails to excite in the attack, but with Troy Perkins returning to form and the new four-man back working out, it looks like they have settled down a bit.

10. Columbus Crew (7) - When you live by just barely squeaking by, well you are susceptible to a lot. The Crew was able to eat the main course of Kansas City's attack on Saturday but could not handle dessert. If they want to make something of this season, they will need to find an offensive option.

11. Chivas USA (8) - They looked better against DC then against LA, but they could not make anything happen at the end of their attacks. Their inability to finish chances has been their biggest weakness since week one. The good news is everything else for the club is above average.

12. Real Salt Lake (12) - This team fixed two big problems this past weekend as they did not give up unbelievably late goals (although the 83rd is still a little late) and they made something of their opponent's mistakes. As great as that result is, there was still a lack of consistent play from the squad. However, they have got to be feeling good going into Thursday's match. If they can get a result out of Colorado, I think they will be heading on up the ratings.

13. Toronto FC (13) - Toronto had the week off, during which time they failed to score a goal.

There stands the MLS for another week.

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