By Ridge Mahoney
The busiest week so far of the MLS schedule – 15 games -– knotted up the power rankings behind top dog FC Dallas, though FCD’s 1-1 tie with Portland and 2-1 defeat of bottom-dweller D.C. United at home weren’t terribly impressive.
Of the 11 teams that played twice, only Seattle won both of its games, and the double boost lifted the Sounders four spots. By beating the Crew, 2-0, in Columbus, the Rapids moved ahead of that rival in the rankings.
Dallas, New York and Portland managed four points from their double-dips. Sadly, D.C. United lost both of its games to stay rooted in the bottom slot.
There’s only one midweek game this week, but it’s an important one. After being thumped, 3-1, in Vancouver, the Galaxy heads east for a two-game Eastern that starts Wednesday in Philadelphia. Then it’s on to Red Bull Arena for a Sunday showdown.
Philly stays home for a Saturday rematch with Chicago, which it beat, 1-0, at Toyota Park last week to edge into the top sector.
Week 11 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
RANK TEAM (W-L-T) LAST WEEK
1. FC DALLAS (7-1-3), 1
2. MONTREAL (6-2-2), 2
3. NEW YORK (6-4-3), 7
4. SPORTING KC (6-4-2), 5
5. PORTLAND (4-1-6), 6
6. HOUSTON (6-3-2), 3
7. LA GALAXY (4-3-2), 4
8. PHILADELPHIA (4-3-3), 8
9. COLORADO (4-4-3), 11
10. REAL SALT LAKE (5-5-2), 9
11. VANCOUVER (3-4-3), 12
12. COLUMBUS (3-4-3), 10
13. SEATTLE (3-3-3), 17
14. SAN JOSE (3-4-5), 13
15. NEW ENGLAND (2-4-4), 15
16. CHICAGO (2-6-1), 14
17. CHIVAS USA (3-5-2), 16
18. TORONTO FC (1-5-4), 18
19. D.C. UNITED (1-8-1), 19
THE BEST. FC Dallas is 6-0-1 at home and unbeaten in nine matches (7-0-2) after tying Portland and beating D.C. United. Je-Vaughn Watson got the winner against D.C. by guiding a Michel corner kick into the net via his stomach. FCD has outscored opponents 12-4 at home this season; now comes a good road test Saturday at Seattle.
Montreal rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat RSL, 3-2, with a Marco Di Vaio equalizer and Matteo Ferrari’s stoppage-time winner. RSL failed twice to hold leads provided by a Ferrari own goal and Kyle Beckerman’s first tally of 2013. The Red Bulls won their fourth straight by beating Montreal, 2-1, with the second of Thierry Henry’s two goals a spectacular overhead strike, then earned a 1-1 tie at New England by scoring (Lloyd Sam) a minute after falling behind.
A mixed week for Sporting Kansas City featured a 1-0 home loss to Seattle and a victory by the same score that ended Houston’s 36-game unbeaten streak in all competitions at BBVA Compass Stadium. Aurelien Collin’s header off a throw-in downed the Dynamo, which had thrashed D.C. United, 4-0, Wednesday at RFK Stadium.
Portland beat Chivas USA, 3-0, thanks to another monster game (goal and assist) by Rodney Wallace and another nice goal from Will Johnson. Wallace set up the Timbers’ goal in Dallas with a fabulous cross for Darlington Nagbe to tap in.
The Galaxy looked out of sorts at B.C. Place and the ‘Caps took advantage to inflict a 3-1 defeat keyed by Russell Teibert’s two goals. Robbie Keane didn’t play, Landon Donovan looked flat, and L.A. couldn’t contain Nigel Reo-Coker and Gershon Koffie, who earned the assists as Teibert scored his first two MLS goals. Homegrown signing Gyasi Zardes got his first MLS goal for the Galaxy from an assist by another youngster, Jose Villarreal.
Jack McInerney scored his league-high seventh goal in the Union’s 1-0 win at Chicago and keeper Zac MacMath stopped six shots to earn his second shutout. The Union’s young team gets tested at home this week against the Galaxy and Fire.
THE MIDDLE. Edson Buddle netted his second goal in as many games for the Rapids, which have won four of their last six. Darren Mattocks tacked on the third goal for Vancouver, which improved to 3-0-2 at home by ending a seven-game winless streak and beat the Galaxy for the first time since entering MLS in 2011.
The Sounders rode the momentum of a 1-0 stoppage-time win at Kansas City to crush the Quakes, 4-0. Djimi Traore pounced on a whiffed clearance to stun Sporting KC, and three days later Lamar Neagle scored twice and Mauro Rosales curled a beautiful free kick into the top corner as Seattle completely outclassed the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winner.
THE REST. Optimism that arose after San Jose came back to beat Toronto FC, 2-1, at home midweek quickly evaporated in the Northwest. Chris Wondolowski set up the first goal and scored the winner against Toronto at Buck Shaw Stadium to snap a six-game winless streak, but the road record is 0-3-2 after going toothless in Seattle. Oh, and that 18 goals allowed ties Chivas USA for second-worst in the league. On the plus side, rookie Adam Jahn has four goals.
Henry preserved his record of never playing at Gillette Stadium as the Revs conceded an equalizer one minute after Diego Fagundez had given them the lead. Chicago’s 1-0 loss to Philly marked the fifth time it has been shut out this season though it is not the lowest-scoring team in the league. That would be D.C. United (five goals), which despite a spirited effort and Dwayne DeRosario’s goal in Dallas lost its sixth straight game.
Speaking of bad streaks, TFC is winless in eight games after losing in San Jose despite taking the lead through Justin Braun’s fifth goal against the Quakes, and Chivas USA sank to last in the Western Conference by losing for the fourth time in the last five games.