Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Week 20 Power Ratings and other fun numbers

Week 20 was a fun one for MLS action as just about every game had some bit of entertainment. Also, an interesting trend seems to be going on in league play as 6 of this week's 7 games saw a team shutout to bring August's total for shutouts to 14 out of 16 making it the month with the most shutouts by percentage (87.5%) since April (July 17 of 28 (60.7%), June saw 13 of 30 (43.3%), May 9 of 27 (33.3%), April 17 of 26 (65.4%)). In order to be the month with the most shutouts, four of the remaining 10 matches need to end with a team standing small at zero.

Anyway, here are the regular league numbers 129 games into the season:
SeasonWeek 20
Att per game15,83023,740
Beckham Att (4*)168,84766,237
Beckham Avg Att42,21166,237
Goals per game2.5732.857
Inter-conferenceEast 24-19-17Tie 2-2-0
Ties31 (24.0%)0 (0%)
* Number of MLS matches with Beckham in attendance

One last bit on these numbers, this is the first time this season that the league has gone two weeks in a row without any ties. But onward to the ratings.

The top four remain the top four as they represent the top tier of the league. However, the second tier looks like it might grow soon as LA is looking much better of late while Colorado might be showing some sign of life as well. If Toronto gets healthy, the second tier might make up the majority of the league.

1. New England Revolution (3) - Even strong teams tumble at time and that is what happened against Colorado, however they pulled things right back together in KC. Twellman is looking strong as is the midfield meaning the Revs are ready to compete.

2. DC United (2) - The side underperformed against Columbus but they still came home with the full three points. Fred is a workhorse, now if their defense could just look the same.

3. Houston Dynamo (4) - What a way to make a point with a good effort at home. The team still seems to move a little slow and Corey Ashe didn't seem to know where the coach wanted him to go, but the Dynamo still represent some the best of the league.

4. FC Dallas (Last week - 1) - Dallas is still a tough team but too often, especially on the road, it seems like they want the refs to help them with the game. It is too bad as they are a team that is strong enough to win on their own.

5. New York Red Bull (5) - I said it last week and I'll say it again this week, a well rested New York side is dangerous. When even Clint Mathis is showing pure class, you know you have found something special. If they can keep the level of play close to this, they will be near the top of the East.

6. Chivas USA (8) - The goats are the quiet team in the league and now that their road form is getting better, they might just find a way to pull off a shock in the West. If there is one team that could keep Texas from taking the conference, it is Chivas.

7. Columbus Crew (6) - The Crew have cooled of late as their defense is lapsing and their offense is failing to finish. They need to find a way to hold the ball better if they want to finish strong.

8. Kansas City Wizards (7) - KC is heading to bad, yet familiar territory as they look to be walking towards another late-season slide. If EJ doesn't start scoring soon, this team is heading towards heartbreak.

9. Chicago Fire (9) - Blanco, Blanco, Blanco. It might have been against the worst in the league but it was still a great performance. He has brought some much-needed spark back to the fire.

10. Colorado Rapids (11) - They actually got a win and deserved it. The Rapids smothered and spanked the Revs but I've seen this act before. The question now is can they do it again anytime soon?

11. Los Angeles Galaxy (12) - They might not be getting any points but their play has become something interesting. Beckham is obviously the key to much of what has happened but he is not alone. Now if they could do something, anything about their defense, they might have a chance. Joe Cannon is wonderful but allowing 15 shots on goal is just a bit too much to ask of him.

12. Toronto FC (10) - It looks like the injury bug might be getting somewhat better for the side, but they are still weak from it all. This slide is too much to overcome but they will make some late season pain for others.

13. Real Salt Lake (13) - Alecko Eskandarian and Robbie Findley are back, which should give Kyle Beckerman some good options but a bad team is still a bad team.

Week twenty is now passed the expiration date.

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