Tuesday, September 11, 2007

2007 MLS Week 23 Power Ratings

Last week Chivas expanded the top tier to five teams however; it is looking more and more like it might just be a two-sided affair very soon. Chivas and DC handled their teams much better this week then the other top five and, with their limited injury list, they show no signs of letting up, so might the league now have four tiers? The really good, the good, the all right and the just plan ugly? I don't know but here are my ratings:

1. DC United (Last week - 1) - They did what few others have done this year and got a result at Chivas. On top of that they made a good New England side look second string thanks to great passing and smart positioning. With Boswell back, their defense now complements their offense. A couple more weeks of fine tuning and then they are ready to topple the rest in the playoffs.

2. Chivas USA (3) - Even when they are out played, they find ways to win because they've learned how to make something of every chance they get. With five of their final eight games at home, the Supporters Shield is not an unrealistic goal.

3. New England Revolution (2) - Got a few bounces to go their way, but the team is missing their push. They can find goals but they never really seem to threaten. Also, their midfield has become a little sloppy of late putting way too much pressure on their backline.

4. Houston Dynamo (4) - Finally the offense arrived, but sadly it caused the team to coast. When you are up 4-1 with 30-minutes to go, the game should be put away. The fact that the Dynamo had to work hard late to save all three points and that they used no subs in the process should be a big flashing red light. Their injuries are chocking them, so all a team needs to do is stay with them and then beat them at the end.

5. FC Dallas (5) - A win is a win, but this one against TFC should put some question marks on the team. Denilson is obviously not yet in tune with his team (no surprise as it takes time) but he was not the only one missing passes and failing to make the correct runs. They have the talent to be the best, but FCD just looks like a team out of tune.

6. New York Red Bull (6) - No question about it, this team knows how to play and is not afraid to take some shots, but the age of the club might undue them. With Mathis hurt and Reyna always on the edge of the injury list this team could very easily be without a midfield any given game. Without that power in the center, all the talent up top is wasted.

7. Kansas City Wizards (8) - KC had the week off, which meant they didn't fall closer to the non-playoff realm.

8. Columbus Crew (7) - With luck against you, what chance do you have. If they suffer a couple more injuries, the Crew is going to default on their chance to earn post-season play, which is a shame because they are playing better ball then some who will see additional action.

9. Chicago Fire (10) - Even in the driving rain, Blanco and lead a team to something, but it was Mother Nature that gave them the biggest assist. They are still light in the finishing but have put together a bunch of solid everywhere else.

10. Colorado Rapids (9) - Getting taken to the shade by the LA c-string team is not the way to restart your playoff drive. They gave away passes and could not come close to finishing. Is it a stumble or a return to the norm?

11. Real Salt Lake (11) - There is life in this club. With the playoff dream pretty much dashed, they are putting together some quality. Their passing is better, their defense actual can mark people and they don't look defeated before the first kick. All and all, great signs.

12. Los Angeles Galaxy (12) - So they won't be the worst team ever in MLS, good for them. On Saturday they tossed around the Rapids like a cat with a dead mouse. If they can keep Cobi Jones, Chris Klein and Peter Vagenas hot and finally get something out of Donovan, Saturday will not be a one off.

13. Toronto FC (13) - They gave FCD as much pressure as they got but no goals in over two months means bottom of everything for you.

And now another week is done.

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