Sounders move to top as L.A. takes Real beating

[MLS POWER RANKINGS] Seattle's wild 4-3 win over defending champion Colorado boosted the Sounders above the idle Galaxy into the No. 1 spot, and with three teams taking the week off from league action, few of the placings changed significantly, though Portland’s first road win in MLS did add a few notches. Five league games are scheduled for Wednesday. Here's how MLS's 18 teams rank from top to bottom, and why ...

1. SEATTLE (10-4-8). The Sounders beat Colorado, 4-3, to win their fourth game in the last five and move ahead of the Galaxy in the rankings. Mauro Rosales – whose stature has steadily risen during the past six weeks -- recorded a goal and an assist to earn Player of the Week honors as Seattle twice came back from one-goal deficits. For the second time this season Fredy Montero scored with a diving header at the base of the goalpost. Last week: 2.

2. LOS ANGELES (10-2-9). Normally a team doesn’t drop in the rankings without playing a league game, but a Real Madrid squad in its second week of preseason training embarrassed the Galaxy, and the league, 4-1, at the L.A. Coliseum, which is reason enough. Last week: 1.

3. FC DALLAS (10-5-5). Attacking midfielder Ricardo Villar made his first start of the season in place of the injured Andrew Jacobson and failed to score in a 0-0 tie with D.C. United. Jackson hit the crossbar to punctuate a frustrating, draining evening with the thermometer at 100 degrees. Despite the tie at Pizza Hut Park, no other team can match FCD’s total of seven home wins. Last week: 3.

4. PHILADELPHIA (8-4-7). Defender Carlos Valdes scored his first MLS goal and Carlos Ruiz, after sitting out a 0-0 tie at San Jose last week, returned to the lineup to tally his sixth goal of the season as Philly rolled the Revs, 3-0. Sebastian Le Toux won’t come close to the 14 goals he scored last year, but earned his seventh assist, so the 11 he registered in 2010 is well within range. Last week: 4.

5. REAL SALT LAKE (8-3-6). Heavy rains and a waterlogged temporary grass field prevented RSL from playing at Vancouver, and Coach Jason Kreis “suggested” the Whitecaps’ decision to postpone the game should result instead in a forfeit. (It will be rescheduled.) That adds another rescheduled game for RSL, which has played the fewest games (17) after pushing back a league match to accommodate the Concacaf Champions League final in the spring. More pressing are troubles with striker Alvaro Saborio, who stormed off the field after being substituted near the end of a 2-0 victory over FCD July 9. Last week: 5.

6. NEW YORK (6-4-11). The Red Bulls widened their league lead in road ties (11) with a 0-0 final at Home Depot Center. Newly signed goalie Frank Rost needed to make just one save to post a shutout in his MLS debut, and a Jan Gunnar Solli shot hit the crossbar. The Red Bulls have only one win in the last six games and have slipped two points behind Eastern Conference leader Philly, which has played two fewer games. Last week: 6.

7. COLUMBUS (7-5-7). Steven Lenhart failed to score and so did his former team as the Quakes and Crew couldn’t put one in the net on the night former U.S. striker Brian McBride was honored. A kick save on Simon Dawkins highlighted the sharp work of keeper Will Hesmer as the Crew posted its second straight shutout and seventh of the season. Columbus has 10 points in the last five games but with 21 goals still lags in the bottom half of the league. Last week: 7.

8. COLORADO (6-6-9). Wells Thompson scored in the first minute at CenturyLink Field and later assisted on a Jeff Larentowicz goal that reclaimed the lead, but the Rapids’ defense crumbled and Conor Casey hobbled off the field again in a 4-3 defeat. They have only five points in the last five games and the only win during that span is a home victory over the dismal Whitecaps. Last week: 8.

9. D.C. UNITED (5-5-8). Fred played his penultimate game before leaving MLS for Australia, a laborious 0-0 tie in an appropriately named Pizza (as in oven) Hut Park. A great save by Bill Hamid highlighted a match with just three shots on goal. On short rest, D.C. hosts New England Wednesday and desperately needs three points to boost its playoff quest. Last week: 11.

10. HOUSTON (5-6-9). The Dynamo lost Colin Clark and Brian Ching to second-half red cards and still nearly made an early Brad Davis goal go the distance thanks to eight savs by keeper Tally Hall. But a deflected equalizer in the 90th minute left it tied with Sporting Kansas City, 1-1, and just a point ahead of that rival in the Eastern Conference standings. Last week: 9.

11. CHIVAS USA (5-7-8). Jorge Flores nearly became the first player to score an MLS goal against new Red Bulls keeper Frank Rost but his shot came back off the crossbar in a 0-0 home tie. With only six more home games Chivas USA is running out of opportunities to make up ground as it teeters on the dreaded playoff bubble even though it is unbeaten (three ties) in the last four games. Last week: 10.

12.  SPORTING KANSAS CITY (5-6-8). SKC tied its third in a row and for the second straight week needed a goal in the 90thminute to get it done. Defender Aureliin Collin scored his third goal to give SKC some reward for taking 24 shots and putting eight on frame in a 1-1 tie at Houston, but with a two-man advantage for the final 20 minutes it must be said it claimed only the bare minimum. Last week: 12.

13.  SAN JOSE (5-6-8). Assistant coach Mark Watson took over for the suspended Frank Yallop and recently acquired Jacob Peterson (from Toronto) made his debut as San Jose tied 0-0 at Columbus. Keeper Jon Busch came up with another string of sparkling saves to bail out the Quakes, who are winless in their last six games. They’ve also been shut out five times during that bleak stretch, so if Yallop seems tense and grumpy, that’s the reason. Last week: 13.

14. PORTLAND (6-9-3). Jack Jewsbury converted a penalty kick as the Timbers posted their first MLS road victory, 1-0, at Chicago. Keeper Troy Perkins stymied Marco Pappa three times with sharp stops, including a spectacular kick-save in stoppage time. The Timbers also survived two shots off the woodwork to break a seven-game winless streak. Last week: 17.

15.  TORONTO FC (3-9-9). TFC took the weekend off, and has a tough home assignment Wednesday against FC Dallas at which a few or all of the elements from this year’s midseason makeover could be unveiled: forward Ryan Johnson (San Jose), midfielders Terry Dunfield (Vancouver) and Leandre Griffit (Columbus), defender Andy Iro (Columbus), and overseas acquisitions Torsten Frings (last club, Werder Bremen) and Danny Koevermans (PSV Eindhoven). At least it’s not the same old, same old. Last week: 15.

16.  CHICAGO (2-6-12). The Fire ran into a hot Portland goalkeeper, but still, losing 1-0 at home to an expansion team that hadn’t won on the road all season can’t be dismissed. Cory Gibbs and Orr Barouch hit the woodwork, and a second caution to defender Yamith Cuesta in the 63rd minute toughened its task. The only game this week is a Saturday visit of Manchester United as the third stop in its cross-country tour. Unless the Fire can keep Wayne Rooney and pass him off as a re-acquired Chad Barrett, Chicago won’t derive much benefit. Last week: 14.

17.  NEW ENGLAND (3-9-7). The Revs have cut loose a large chunk of their foreign contingent, with Didier Domi and Ousmane Dabo officially joining the exodus before and after, respectively, a dismal 3-0 home defeat by Philadelphia. Of the Americans, well, midfielder Benny Feilhaber left with a second caution in the 66th minute. The Revs failed to put a shot on goal though Stephen McCarthy and Kenny Mansally went close. Last week: 16.

18.  VANCOUVER (2-10-8). The ‘Caps were rained out of their Saturday league game against RSL, so most of the regulars played at least a half in a Monday friendly against Manchester City in which Vancouver blew a 1-0 lead, and lost, 2-1. A Tuesday flight took Vancouver to northern California to play the Quakes Wednesday. Ties won’t lift the ‘Caps back into the playoff race but riding a four-game league losing streak and a miserable road mark (0-8-3), a point would seem like a win. Last week: 18.

1 comment about "Sounders move to top as L.A. takes Real beating".
  1. Mathew Macdonald, July 19, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.

    Sorry but a friendly should have absolutely zero bearing on these rankings. And this is coming from a Sounders fan.

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