Tuesday, September 04, 2007

2007 MLS Week 22 Power Ratings

What a week for MLS. It might not have changed much in terms of the playoffs but, for me at least, it did seem to cement certain trends. Because of these, there was a lot of movement in my ratings including a jump of Chivas into the top tier. So here are the ratings:

1. DC United (Last week - 2) - Talk about an assault. What DC did to Dallas in Dallas was almost criminal. Olsen was flying, Gomez was looking strong and Fred applied the final blow just for fun. United owned every minute and every inch of this match, which seems to be the way of late. There are still minor issues but this club is looking like the one to beat heading into the final month.

2. New England Revolution (1) - The Revs had the week off so Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman could prepare to not be invited into the US camp for Brazil.

3. Chivas USA (5) - This move is one that has been coming for a long time. Even though the goats did not play this past week, they move up based on the poor play of the teams from Texas. But their big test comes Thursday night against DC. If you are a fan of either Texas side, you will want to wear your black & red for this one as United might be the only chance for your team to win the West.

4. Houston Dynamo (4) - Injuries are eating them alive but they did manage to adjust at the start of the second half to get even with KC. However, they can't keep giving up points at home and expect to take the conference or have a chance at the Supporters Shield. With just one win from their last six league games, things are looking down in Houston.

5. FC Dallas (3) - Wow, I haven't seen such a dismal match at home from FCD in a long time. Is Sala back to 100% in goal? Are they taking defensive lessons from LA? How did Troy Perkins not fall asleep in goal for DC? Not the way to introduce Denilson to the team. Dallas is a team that always seems just a few inches away from being as great as they should be.

6. New York Red Bull (6) - The Red Bulls got the rare win without Jozy Altidore in the lineup. Angel is looking smooth again while Blanco was contained by force. I still think their defense is mixed while but with turf advantage, they can move fast.

7. Columbus Crew (7) - Is the Schelotto push fading in Columbus? Last month, it looked like everything was connecting but of late, their attack has gone missing again. They let balls hang around in their half much too long and seem lazy in the middle. The fact that they let the Rapids back in shows that they are still unlikely to make the playoffs.

8. Kansas City Wizards (8) - Midweek they stunk against Real but then they pulled it together against Houston. The team still depends too much on Eddie Johnson which will be their undoing. The good news is they are still in the playoff picture, the bad news is it doesn't look like they will be there for long.

9. Colorado Rapids (10) - For the first time in a while, the Rapids fully deserve the point they earned this weekend. The Crew were not depleted or on a long road trip. The Rapids held in there and kept pushing to find openings. Sure enough, they caught Columbus and found the net. A few more outings like this and they will be moving up the list again.

10. Chicago Fire (9) - When everything flows through one player, what happens when that playing is taken out of the match? Chicago found out against New York. Shut down Blanco and the Fire become the lackluster club they were before the Mexican arrived.

11. Real Salt Lake (13) - Two wins in a row for Real, how amazing is that. The new signings are making waves for Salt Lake, but can it last? Who cares, two wins in a row and nine points in a month, this is strange territory for the team from Utah, so enjoy it.

12. Los Angeles Galaxy (11) - How bad are things for LA, Donovan can't even make penalty kicks any more. This team is just bad, but will they be the worst ever? In terms of points per game, LA still has a chance of being worse the Tampa Bay (2001 - 14pts from 27 matches or .5185 points per match) and Chivas USA (2005 - 18 from 32 or .5625)*. Right now LA has 14 points or .7368 for match, however, if they don't get at least three more in their final 11 games, they will be worse then Chivas. I would hope that even LA in their current form could get those 3 points but I'm not convinced.

13. Toronto FC (12) - They were off and hopefully no one else got hurt. If you can't score goals, you can't win games. TFC hasn't scored in a long time.

And that's the week as I knew it.

*The Tampa Bay record is from 2001 when MLS called off the final five matches due to the 11 Sept attacks, so Chivas is the worst for a fully scheduled season of play.

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