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MLS Power Rankings: San Jose takes over the top
by Ridge Mahoney, May 8th, 2012 2:27AM

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TAGS:  mls, real salt lake, san jose earthquakes, seattle sounders, sporting kansas city

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A second straight loss by Sporting Kansas City dropped it out of the top spot and all the way to fourth, behind three Western Conference teams.

1. SAN JOSE (7-2-1). After a wild 5-3 home win over D.C. United in which Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart both netted twice, the Quakes went north and lost a heartbreaker to the Whitecaps, 2-1, on a goal deep into stoppage time. Wondo’s also scored in Vancouver; his 11th goal moved him atop the scoring charts and the split lifts San Jose atop the heap. Last week: 2.

2. SEATTLE (6-1-1). The Sounders swept their two games, thumping the Galaxy, 2-0, and nudging past Philly, 1-0. Fredy Montero’s 35-yard golazo stunned LA, and his assist set up Mauro Rosales for the winner against the Union that marked a fourth straight victory by shutout. Both games were at CenturyLink Field, where they’ve played six of their eight games this season. Last week: 3

3. REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-1). The Alvaro Saborio Show returned to Rio Tinto Stadium; he scored both goals – the first a clinical finish of a deflected ball, the second a classic header from a Javier Morales free kick – as RSL labored to beat a pesky Revs team, 2-1. If not for some magical work by keeper Nick Rimando, this would have been a tie. Last week: 4.

4. SPORTING KC (7-2-0). SKC fell at home to expansion Montreal, 2-0, for just their third loss at Livestrong Sporting Park in regular season play since moving in last year. It was also their second straight shutout loss. Aurelien Collin’s foul on Lamar Neagle provided the second goal on a penalty kick, but coach Peter Vermes was more upset that the play came off a throw-in. Last week: 1.

5. VANCOUVER (5-2-2). The Whitecaps won their third in a row by outlasting the fatigued Quakes, who played Wednesday while Vancouver was beating Edmonton, 2-0, in the Canadian Championship. Gerson Koffie provided an equalizer early in the second half against San Jose and Eric Hassli powered the winner of Jon Busch’s glove in the 95th minute. Last week: 5.

6. D.C. UNITED (5-3-3). United’s unbeaten run ended at seven games when the Quakes pounded out a 5-3 win that featured a goal and two assists by Dwayne De Rosario, the 2011 MVP. A flight back across the country -- how’s that for planning? -- produced a 2-0 victory in Toronto on goals by Chris Pontius and DP Hamdi Salihi and a return to the nets for keeper Bill Hamid, making his first MLS appearance since playing for the U.S. under-23s in Concacaf Olympic qualifying. Last week: 6.

7. NEW YORK (5-3-1). A patchwork defense stymied the Galaxy in a 1-0 victory decided on Joel Lindpere’s finish of a service by Jan Gunnar Solli, who was shifted to left wing in one of several moves by Coach Hans Backe. With two shutout wins in a row and 10 points from their last five games the Red Bulls look something like a professional soccer team. Last week: 8.

8. CHICAGO (3-2-2). The Fire was pretty poor on the road last year but netted their second away win in four matches by beating Chivas USA, 2-1, in a Friday night affair at Home Depot Center. Defender Austin Berry, making his first MLS start in place of the suspended Jalil Anibaba, gave away a penalty kick that put Chicago behind but then notched the tying goal. Marco Pappa’s goal won it in stoppage time. Last week: 10.

9. HOUSTON (2-2-2). Idle for the third weekend this season, the Dynamo ends its seven-game roadie at New York Wednesday, then opens up BBVA Compass Stadium Saturday against D.C., which it tied, 2-2, at RFK two weeks ago. Last week: 7.

10. COLORADO (5-5-0). The Rapids started the week’s action by losing, 2-1, at New England, then continued on to Dallas and exploited a two-man advantage to down FCD, 2-0, with goals by newcomers Jamie Castrillon (his third) and Martin Rivero (numero uno). Keeper Matt Pickens’ 26th shutout broke the club record previous held by Joe Cannon and Brian Mullan picked up assists on both goals. Last week: 12.

11. MONTREAL (3-5-2). The Impact got its first MLS road win in fine style, downing SKC, 2-0, with goals by Felipe Martins and Patrice Bernier. Also notable was the debut of Colombian defender Nelson Rivas, who despite picking up a caution for a hard foul already looks wise in the ways of MLS. Three wins in its last five games has pushed Montreal into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Last week: 15.

12. FC DALLAS (3-4-3). Down to nine men with the dismissals of Daniel Hernandez (second caution) and Blas Perez (straight red for studs-up tackle on Drew Moor) left FCD greatly weakened from the 36th minute against the Rapids, who eventually prevailed, 2-0. FCD hasn’t won in its last four games. Last week: 9.

13. COLUMBUS (2-4-2). Six saves by keeper Andy Gruenbaum stymied the Timbers in a 0-0 tie at Portland. Josh Williams replaced Chad Marshall and forced a good save from Troy Perkins but for the third time in the last four games the Crew failed to score. Six goals scored in eight games points out this team’s most glaring problem. Last week: 13.

14. LOS ANGELES (3-5-1). Two games and no goals dropped the Galaxy down the ladder once again. A feeble attack, with David Beckham and Robbie Keane being rested, generated little threat during a 2-0 loss in Seattle. There were more chances and more frustration Saturday when the under-strength Red Bulls took a 1-0 victory away from HDC. The Galaxy has yet to post a shutout in 2012. Last week: 11.

15. NEW ENGLAND (3-6-0). Matt Reis reached the century mark in career wins and Saer Sene and Fernando Cardenas scored goals for a 2-1 defeat of Colorado during the week that broke a three-game losing streak. Three days later in Utah, Blake Brettschneider opened the scoring but New England, impaired by a red card to Cardenas, went back to its losing ways with a 2-1 loss. Last week: 14.

16. PORTLAND (2-5-2). Tough times for the Timbers, so much so that a 0-0 tie at Jeld-Wen Field against the Crew is being regarded as a sign of progress. Jack Jewsbury moved to right back, where he played some of the time during his stay in Kansas City. Portland’s attack did liven up but still it struggled to a third straight goalless game. Last week: 17.

17. CHIVAS USA (3-6-0). Juan Pablo Angel converted a penalty kick midway through the first half to provide a 1-0 lead against the Fire. That was the first goal scored by Chivas USA at home this season and it turned out to be insufficient. An eventual 2-1 defeat left Chivas USA with a 0-5-0 mark at Home Depot Center and mired in a three-game losing streak. Last week: 16.

18. PHILADELPHIA (3-5-1). The Union lost its second in a row and didn’t do much to test backup keeper Bryan Meredith, who posted a shutout in his first MLS start. Head coach Peter Nowak finished up his suspension as keeper Zac MacMath was about the only bright spot with his five saves. Last week: 18.

19. TORONTO FC (0-8-0). Nick Soolsma and Danny Koevermans sat out with injuries, which left Joao Plata with a lot to do up front. He and his TFC teammates gave a decent effort but still fell to D.C., 2-0. Last week: 19.



4 comments
  1. Rick Figueiredo
    commented on: May 8, 2012 at 3:50 p.m.
    Time to replace Bruce Arena?

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: May 8, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
    Bruce Arena is really not the problem The problem is that LAG upper management has all the payroll going to three guys. There big mistake was not "strongly" supporting

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: May 8, 2012 at 4:56 p.m.
    Sorry got cut off...... LAG mistake was not supporting Beckham going to PSG. That money could have been spent on three good MLS quality players. It's nice to see a beautiful DB cross or free kick one in a while. But it's like a Pepsi: Refreshing but you can't live on it. As to the rankings.....the top 5 teams ARE the top 5 teams. I think the season will play out this way. The question is who gets hot in the playoffs. The SS does not matter anymore.

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: May 8, 2012 at 5:59 p.m.
    Hey amigos, if Arena is not just the HC, but the GM, can he fire himself or will that call be made by Lieweekly of AEG? Funny, during the half time show, Lalas was somewhat "castigated" by Twellman(?) that Arena should not have considered the Wednesday game vs the Sounders, as Lalas put it, "a throw away game!" Surprising 'cause Lalas himself used to be the HH (head honcho) of the LAG at one time and eventually got fired. Yet, I agree with Twellman that Arena shouldn't have considered the mid-week game as a "throw away" game, rather, because after all is said and done, the guys that "opted" not to play are being paid some serious dollars. So, let me see now, if a game can be "thrown away,( (cf Lalas) then a GM could also be a "throw away" as Lalas knows only too well. The LAG did play rather pathetically, DB consistently playing the ball high into the box hoping it'd land on a forward's head, yet to be consistently thwarted by the 21 year old 6ft something Red Bull 'keeper! Were those the tactics Arena decided to use, because if they were, then he needs to have his wite erase-clip board taken away from him and have him re-enroll in an "A" License coaching program.... just a thought, mind you, still it merits some serious re-thinking of LAG tactical play!


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