Soccer America Power Rankings

[MLS: Week 11] Real Salt Lake, still unbeaten, and Seattle retained their positions in the top two. Further down the ladder, Chicago’s second straight win moved it out of the bottom five, though the Fire is one of 10 teams either at .500 or within a game of that level.

MLS: Week 11 Results:
May 18 (Report)
Chicago 2, Sporting Kansas City 1

May 17 (Report)
Toronto 2, New York 1
Seattle 1, San Jose 0
Philadelphia 3, New England 5
Portland 3, Columbus 3
Houston 1, Los Angeles 0
Real Salt Lake 2, Colorado 1
D.C. United 1, Montreal 1
FC Dallas 1, Chivas USA 1

May 14 (Report)
Sporting KC 1 Philadelphia 2

1. REAL SALT LAKE (6-0-5), 1. With its three national team regulars on international duty, RSL used solid games by forward Devon Sandoval and goalie Jeff Attinella to down Colorado, 2-1, and even the all-time series between the teams at 10-10-9. Sandoval earned a secondary assist on Joao Plata’s goal and caused the penalty kick that Javier Morales converted for the winning goal. Attinella thwarted the Rapids with a few spectacular moments, in particular a double save from Kamani Hill and Dillon Serna, before losing a shutout in the 83rd minute.

2. SEATTLE (8-3-1), 2. Obafemi Martins took over the scoring duties with Clint Dempsey in the U.S. training camp, and his first-time clipped shot from a sharp angle hat floated over keeper Jon Busch inside the far post deservedly drew Goal of the Week nomination. Yet just as impressive was the ball Gonzalo Pineda chipped into space for Martins to work his magic. The Sounders posted just their second shutout of the season against a very shorthanded Quakes squad, and head coach Sigi Schmid will be looking for similar showings against more potent foes in the weeks ahead.

3. NEW ENGLAND (6-3-2), 5. True, the Revs recently have taken advantage of teams that played midweek while they rested, but the sharpness of their movement and precision of their passing is impressive nonetheless. They carved up the Union as five different players scored in a 5-3 rout, and the margin would have been larger if they didn’t get a little sloppy defensively after piling up a four-goal lead.

4. VANCOUVER (4-2-4), 4. The Whitecaps took the weekend off from league action after a disappointing penalty-kick loss to Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship last Wednesday.

5. FC DALLAS (5-5-2), 6. Captain Andrew Jacobson sat on the bench again as FCD rallied on a late Fabian Castillo goal to tie Chivas USA, 1-1. Adam Moffat and Victor Ulloa got the starts in central midfield, and FCD dominated the stats -- 15-8 in shots, 6-2 in corners, 62-38 percent of possession –- yet nearly lost its fifth straight game. Castillo’s finishing has been a concern of head coach Oscar Pareja, but instead of driving at goal off the dribble, he neatly tucked away a low feed from Jair Benitez to end a four-game losing skid.

6. SPORTING KC (5-4-2), 3. Let’s just say the defending champion didn’t handle well the absences of several starters, and a rough outing for Erik Palmer-Brown in a 2-1 loss to Chicago can be chalked up to circumstance and inexperience. A second caution ended a rough MLS debut for the 17-year-old during which he also gave away a penalty kick with a careless foul. SKC just didn’t show up to play in a 2-1 home loss to Philadelphia a few days earlier, and conceded the winner a minute after equalizing. (When’s the last time that happened?) The good news is that Dom Dwyer scored in both games and is among the league leaders in goals with eight.

7. D.C. UNITED (4-3-3), 9. No matter what the mindset of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann regarding the national team, the entity that is D.C. United still believes in Eddie Johnson. A firm header from a Fabian Espindola cross ended his goalless drought of 2014 and secured a 1-1 tie with Montreal. Earning the secondary assist was ex-Fire man Chris Rolfe, who is still foraging for a spot in the team. if and when he finds that slot, United will have an attacking piece essential in the absence of the other Chris, Pontius.

8. LA GALAXY (2-3-3), 7. Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez left for U.S. training camp well in advance of a 1-0 loss in Houston on Saturday that dropped the Galaxy into last place in the Western Conference. Keeper Jaime Penedo and defender Dan Gargan misplayed a throw-in to offer the Dynamo the chance it converted. Six road games in the first eight games is certainly an important factor in the Galaxy’s record but the road ahead doesn’t look much brighter.

9. COLORADO (4-4-3), 8. Don’t tell the Rapids about RSL not being at full strength. The backups did well enough to beat Colorado, 2-1, despite a late Drew Moor goal resulting from a Serna free kick. Serna also forced a good save with one of Colorado’s best shots of the night, but his lively performance contrasted with a few tepid showings by more experienced teammates. Playing at Rio Tinto Stadium can have that effect on a team, but rookie head coach Pablo Mastroeni needs some consistency from his veterans regardless of venue.

10. TORONTO FC (4-4-0), 12. An emotional penalty-kick win over Vancouver in the Amway Canadian Championship Wednesday and a long flight home could have been blamed for a bad result, but instead TFC beat New York, 2-0. Bradley Orr stepped in for U.S. international Michael Bradley, and with a confident midfield steal and precise pass set up Jermain Defoe to notch the winning goal. The victory snapped a three-game league losing streak.

11 HOUSTON (5-5-2), 13. Giles Barnes pounced on a Galaxy defensive miscue and defender David Horst helped save the win with a spectacular goalline clearance as Houston downed the Galaxy, 1-0. Horst recovered from a poor effort in the opening minutes that the Galaxy nearly turned into a goal and led a swarming defense that neutralized Robbie Keane for most of the game. Rookie Mark Sherrod, who scored twice on his MLS debut last week, picked up his first MLS assist (okay it was from a poorly defended throw-in, but still). And kudos to the crowd: a sellout (22,233) for a game missing several stars is praiseworthy.

12. COLUMBUS (3-4-4), 10. A tie in Portland is far from uncommon, and the Crew will lament conceding two goals while up a man and settling for a 3-3 tie. Federico Higuain’s two goals, including a first-half stoppage time penalty kick, built a strong platform but even after Ethan Finlay scored on a deflected shot to restore the lead (at 3-2), Columbus couldn’t manage the match. The Timbers' tying goal came on a free kick that might have involved offside but simple fact is that the Crew didn’t win the initial ball in the air nor the knockdown that produced the goal.

13. NEW YORK (3-4-5), 11. Missed chances are especially costly on the road, where opportunities often are few, and so it proved to be after Bradley Wright-Phillips blazed over the bar in the opening minutes of a 2-0 loss in Toronto. A midfield giveaway by Dax McCarty set TFC on its way to score the first goal and aside from Thierry Henry, not much of this game impressed Red Bull fans.

14. CHICAGO (2-2-6), 15. The Fire isn’t yet a good team, but it emulated one aspect of successful teams by taking advantage of a depleted opponent, in this case Sporting Kansas City. Penalty kicks won by Quincy Amarikwa and Benji Joya were converted by Mike Magee to give Chicago a second straight victory following eight games without a win. Yet rather than exploiting a man advantage presented in the 64th minute, Chicago conceded a goal and had to ride out some tricky moments. There are many glitches to sort out, but at least head coach Frank Yallop has bit of success to show for his rebuilding effort.

15. SAN JOSE (2-4-4), 14. Injuries, suspensions and national team call-ups had depleted the Quakes before word came through that the father of defender Jason Hernandez had lost his battle with cancer. The players wore black armbands during the 1-0 loss in Seattle to honor their absent teammate and his family, and battled valiantly after falling behind in the eighth minute.

16. PHILADELPHIA (2-6-5), 16. Erase all that goodwill from an emotional 2-1 midweek defeat of the defending champion. Philly’s resistance crumbled as the Revs ran rings around and through the Union during a 5-3 romp. Cristian Maidana’s sending-off didn’t affect the outcome – Philly was already down, 5-2, when he departed in the 82nd minute – but it further soured a very dour day at PPL Park, especially since it had beem Maidana who had struck back less than a minute after SKC equalized to score the winner on Wednesday against Sporting KC.

17. CHIVAS USA (2-5-4), 17. Leading scorer Erick Torres (eight goals) was blanked for just the third time this season as Chivas USA ground out a 1-1 tie at FC Dallas. Homegrown signing Marco Delgado, who celebrated his 19th birthday the day before the game, latched onto a Mauro Rosales cross to notch his first professional goal, but the 1-0 lead didn’t stand up. At 1-2-3 on the road, Chivas USA is doing okay (the Galaxy has the same away record), but its 1-3-1 home mark is vintage lousy.

18. MONTREAL (1-5-4), 18. The surging dribbles and threatening crosses delivered by Justin Mapp since he left Philly for the Impact have drawn notice, yet Mapp’s increased workrate and defensive commitment are also laudable. To set up a goal for Jack McInerney against D.C. United, he swooped on a opponent’s poor touch to drive a ball from the right wing that Jack Mac tapped in from the edge of the goal area. On the one hand, the Impact did well to get a road point while missing defender Marco Ferrari and forward Marco Di Vaio, both injured, but it also let a 1-0 lead slip away with six minutes to play.

19. PORTLAND (1-3-7), 19. At the start of the season, nobody thought the Timbers could replicate the 15 ties they played last year. Hah! With 23 matches to go, they have tied seven, and got a 3-3 result with Columbus by scoring twice - and conceding once - while down a man. The Timbers are unbeaten at home, but a 1-0-6 record at home is a curiosity, not an achievement.





1 comment about "Soccer America Power Rankings".
  1. Robert Foltman, May 20, 2014 at 8:52 a.m.

    You reference teams at or near .500, including the Fire at 2-2-6. That is not a .500 record. The Fire have 12 out of a possible 30 points, or 40 percent of points available. It's the points, not the record, that determines a team's win percentage.

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