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Power Rankings: Galaxy holds top spot, Sounders take second
by Ridge Mahoney, August 8th, 2011 11:52PM
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TAGS:  mls


Los Angeles rebounded after a 3-0 midweek loss to Portland by beating FC Dallas, 3-1, in a matchup of the league’s top two teams. Seattle rallied for a 2-1 win at Kansas City to take over the second spot, and Colorado’s 2-0 defeat of Columbus moved it past the Crew into fourth place. A four-point week for Portland lifted the Timbers two slots.

(Teams’ performances in non-league competitions are included for reference but are not considered in compiling the power rankings, which are based on recent results as well as overall records.)

1. LOS ANGELES (13-3-9). The inevitable occurred in Portland; a clunky performance and 3-0 defeat ended its unbeaten streak at 14 games. Three days later, the Galaxy rallied from a 1-0 deficit at home against FC Dallas to punch in goals by Omar Gonzalez, Juninho and Mike Magee and earn a 3-1 win that preserved the league’s only unbeaten home mark (7-0-5). Its points-per-game (1.92) and goal difference (plus 15) are the league’s best marks. Last week: 1.

2. SEATTLE (11-5-8). After securing the 2-0 home victory – in extra time, no less – that they needed to advance in the Concacaf Champions League, the Sounders traveled to Kansas City on short rest and scored twice in stoppage time against 10 men to claim a 2-1 comeback victory. Mauro Rosales, rapidly ascending the Newcomer of the Year ladder, scored the first goal and created the second for Lamar Neagle. Only LA (6-3-4) has a better road mark than Seattle’s 5-3-5. Last week: 3.

3. FC DALLAS (12-6-6). FCD repeated its 1-0 first leg victory over Alianza on Wednesday to win that series, 2-0 on aggregate, and took a 1-0 lead at Home Depot Center with a goal by Marvin Chavez in the ninth minute before faltering. It failed to clear two loose balls, including one caused by a rare Kevin Hartman misplay of a cross, and conceded a third to a David Beckham corner kick headed home by Magee. In the standings it trails the Galaxy by six points and is only one ahead of Seattle. Last week: 2.

4. COLORADO (9-6-10). With 10 points in their last four games the defending champions are looking like the Beasts of the East: a 2-0 defeat of the Crew comes on the heels of a 2-1 win at Philly and 4-1 thumping of the Red Bulls. A 30-yard screamer into the top corner off the foot of Brian Mullan broke the game open and another nice Omar Cummings-Sanna Nyassi combination yielded the clincher. Add in the occasional key saves by Matt Pickens and you have a very solid win. Last week: 5.

5. COLUMBUS (9-7-7). A foot contusion early in a match against Colorado added Eddie Gaven to the injured list, and his replacement, Bernardo Anor, struggled as the Crew lost, 2-0, at Colorado. Already missing Emilio Renteria and Jeff Cunningham, Columbus created few chances and squandered one when Andres Mendoza fluffed an opportunity to equalize. Its separation atop the Eastern Conference from second-place Philly is down to one point. Last week: 4.

6. REAL SALT LAKE (10-5-6). RSL bounced back from a 2-0 loss at Kansas City to tame the Red Bulls, 3-0, in Rio Tinto. Goals by Nat Borchers and Alvaro Saborio sandwiched a 25-yard rip by 17-year-old Luis Gil that notched his first professional goal. In Kansas City, RSL lost a second straight game despite playing a man up for the last half an hour. Looking down the stretch, RSL holds at least three games in hand on each of the four Western Conference teams it trails, and has more points (36) than any Eastern Conference team. Last week: 7.

7. PHILADELPHIA (8-5-9). Jack McInerney, whose playing time figures to increase with Carlos Ruiz sold to Mexican club Veracruz, celebrated his fourth start of the season by tucking home a Sebastien Le Toux feed that gave the Union a 1-0 lead against Houston. He also nailed another shot into the net was disallowed for offside, and thrilled the the PPL Park crowd with a spectacular overhead attempt that narrowly missed. Le Toux’s shot off the post preceded a late Dynamo equalizer; the 1-1 tie leaves the Union winless in the last three yet sporting a 5-1-5 home record. Last week: 6.

8. CHIVAS USA (7-8-8). Keeper Dan Kennedy pushed a Shalrie Joseph shot onto the post in stoppage time to end a 3-2 win at New England with one final twist of drama. Alejandro Moreno and Nick LaBrocca scored to stake Chivas USA to a 2-0 lead and another goal by Moreno proved to be the winner. On the minus side, a Heath Pearce foul gave away a PK the Revs converted and a Zarek Valentin blunder set up New England’s second goal. With three wins and three ties in its last seven games, Chivas USA has climbed into the playoff tier as 10th in overall points. Last week: 10.

9. D.C. UNITED (6-6-9). So far, United’s trade for Dwayne De Rosario is the most impactful midseason transaction. He netted all three D.C. goals in a 3-3 tie with Toronto as it played most of the match with 10 men and backup goalkeeper Steve Cronin in the nets following Bill Hamid’s early ejection. DeRo has scored six goals, including two game-winners, in as many games since moving over from New York. On the schedule front, United has three games remaining against expansion teams Portland and Vancouver. Last week: 9.

10. NEW YORK (6-6-12). Perhaps far too impressed by their triumph at the Emirates Cup in London the weekend before, the Red Bulls were plagued by giveaways and unforced errors in a thoroughly dismal 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake that extended their MLS winless streak to five games. New York conceded a goal on a corner kick and gave away its sixth penalty kick of the season, tied for most in the league, on a Roy Miller handball. Last week: 8.

11. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-7-9). SKC held out a man down for half an hour against Seattle but succumbed twice in stoppage time to lose, 2-1, for the first time at Livestrong Sporting Park. Kei Kamara headed home a throw-in for his sixth goal of the season and Omar Bravo’s ejection for a wild, two-footed tackle on Pat Noonan eventually proved costly. The defeat snapped a 14-game unbeaten streak and came three days after goals by Roger Espinoza and Teal Bunbury downed RSL, 2-0, despite Espinoza’s ejection in the 57th minute. Last week: 12.

12. HOUSTON (6-7-10). A goal in the 85th minute by Geoff Cameron, his fourth of the season, rescued a 1-1 tie on the road in Philadelphia that the Dynamo dominated with a 16-8 edge in shots. Honduran international Carlo Costly debuted in the 61st minute and played up front with Brian Ching, who looks primed for a strong finish after laboring through several injury absences. Last week: 11.

13. PORTLAND (7-10-5). The Timbers followed up their 3-0 thrashing of the Galaxy on Wednesday by scraping out a 1-1 tie at San Jose. Kenny Cooper tapped home a feed from Jorge Perlaza after Portland had sliced open the Quakes’ back line but it then conceded an Alan Gordon header from a set play. Against LA, Perlaza scored his fifth goal between strikes by Mike Chabala and Eric Brunner to give Portland three vital points heading into a rough stretch. Starting Sunday in Houston, it plays five games in 14 days. Last week: 15.

14. SAN JOSE (5-8-10). The Quakes’ wretched home performances are dragging them away from the playoff tier. Alan Gordon’s equalizer off the bench left them tied, 1-1, with Portland for their seventh deadlock in 13 home games to go along with three wins and three defeats. It hasn’t won at home in more than two months and is winless in the last 10 games overall, during which it has scored only five goals and been blanked seven times. Last week: 14.

15. NEW ENGLAND (4-10-9). The Revs were set back by two Chivas USA goals at home and never caught up in a 3-2 loss. Diego Facundez, a 16-year-old making his MLS debut, won a penalty kick that Shalrie Joseph converted for New England’s first goal and pounced on a defensive error to net the second. Facundez gives a lot of optimism for the future, which without a miraculous revival is all the Revs’ fans can look forward to. Last week: 13.

16. TORONTO (3-11-11). Peri Marosevic and Julian da Guzman scored goals that brought TFC back from one-goal deficits, and DP Danny Koevermans nailed his third MLS goal for a 3-2 lead Toronto couldn’t hold at RFK Stadium. Taking some of the luster off the road point via a 3-3 tie was the man advantage TFC held for 81 minutes. Still, coming after an exhausting 2-1 midweek defeat of Real Esteli in Nicaragua that followed a 2-2 tie in Portland last week – total travel of nearly 7,000 miles – the results earned TFC some respect. Last week: 17.

17. VANCOUVER (3-11-9). Way back at the start of the season, the Whitecaps embarked on their MLS adventure by drilling Canadian rival Toronto FC, 4-2. One win in 21 games and a head coaching change later, the Empire Field faithful erupted again as Eric Hassli scored twice and assisted on a third goal in a 4-2 rout of the Fire. He failed to convert a penalty kick yet still is just one off the league lead with 10 goals. Last week: 18.

18. CHICAGO (2-7-13). Recent acquisition Sebastian Grazzini showed off the playmaking skills that prompted the Fire to sign him by playing a through ball for Dominic Oduro to score an equalizer (1-1) at Vancouver, and 19-year-old forward Orr Barouch came on as a sub to score a late goal. Misplays by Yamith Cuesta and Sean Johnson on the Empire Field turf yielded two goals, yet the defensive effort didn’t impress. Last week: 16.

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: August 9, 2011 at 10:10 a.m.
    Where does Diego Facundez comes from?And where has he been before? Is he U.S. is born? If he is vow, what a good prospect!
  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: August 9, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.
    BTW, is Fagundez (previous article) or Facundez (this article)?
  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: August 9, 2011 at 10:22 a.m.
    If it is with "g" he would be Portuguese background which would be more likely being from New England. If he is "c" he is most likely Spanish decent. Just curios. It really doesn't matter, hopefully he is U.S. born or raised and he has the a U.S. in his heart......
  1. Mark Jacob
    commented on: August 9, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
    It sort of confusing that the Dynamo eked out a 1-1 tie vs. Philly and fell a spot in the "power rankings." Kansas City lost 2-1 and logically rose one place!?!@# Really? Must be that new math.

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