MLS POWER RANKINGS (05/16):
- Columbus Crew [last week 1]: Columbus flat out never lets up. Just when it looks like they are going to finally play below their potential, they explode for three goals in nine minutes. Teams will need to figure out how to stop Schelotto, or the Crew will stay entrenched at #1.
- Chicago Fire [last week 2]: Again, if there’s one team that could give CMB a run for their money, it would be Blanco’s bunch. Great goalkeeping, sturdy defense and the coupling of a veteran playmaker with young speedy forwards is a recipe for success in any league.
- New York Red Bulls [last week 5]: Perhaps even more surprising than the Crew, NYRB continues to catch opponents off guard with their stunning chemistry. Now that Richards and Angel are healthy, this team just got a whole lot more dangerous.
- Colorado Rapids [last week 4]: Colorado got hosed when De Rosario was awarded that penalty in the final minutes. The soccer gods (er, refs) threw poor Houston a bone. Gomez still looked good out there though. Amazing how one player can change an entire team’s dynamic.
- FC Dallas [last week 3]: A tough away loss to stomach? Sure. But Dallas is still playing tough defensive soccer and Rice-Eccles is a tough road venue. So long as its key playmakers stay healthy, the Burn is bound for West supremacy in my book.
- Kansas City [last week 6]: No game. No move. I wonder what Jimmy Conrad did to enjoy his week off. Spelunking? Deep sea fishing? Naw, not Jimbo. He probably caught his reflection in a mirror and couldn’t tear himself away for 132 hours. That’s the price of being beautiful.
- Toronto FC [last week 7]: No game. No move. I wonder what Mo Johnston did to enjoy his week off. Actually, no I don’t. He did what he always does on weeks off. Stare at a picture of Jimmy Conrad for 132 hours.
- New England Revolution [last week 8]: Good win for the Revs. Must be nice to finally have Twellman and Ralston back. Now they just need Dorman and Noonan to be deported back to American and forced back into action, and they will be back on the path to another MLS Cup loss.
- Los Angeles Galaxy [last week 10]: Another tough loss for the Gals. When is Ruiz supposed to get healthy? The Fish has been off the market for quite awhile already, and I haven’t heard much about his return. In the meantime, Gordon (who I have nicknamed “Fishsticks” for obvious reasons) is playing quite well.
- DC United [last week 8]: Technically DCU should have probably fell further because they suffered an ugly loss last week. But, I think the Fire will be making a lot of teams look foolish this season. Despite the uncharacteristic home loss, United will likely bounce back.
- Real Salt Lake [last week 12]: Kyle Beckerman doesn’t play sexy soccer. He’s more of a grinder. Like Pete Rose though, Beckerman hustles out there for every inch his opponent will give him. What were the Rapids thinking when they traded him for Ballouchy?
- Chivas USA [last week 11]: What is going on with the Goats? After the best season in franchise history, they have been resigned to needing B.S. extra time goals to avoid ugly shutouts. There’s a lack of intensity among their players that Preki must reverse. Soon.
- Houston Dynamo [last week 13]: If you had told me it would be May before the Dynamo would notch a win, I would have asked what you were smoking (and whether I could get some). But, alas, it took the defending champ seven games to come away with three points.
- San Jose Earthquakes [last week 14]: Poor SJE. They were about to pull a huge upset by beating the #1 team on these rankings, but couldn’t stop young Robbie Rogers. Joe Cannon may be past his prime. If so, It’s going to be a long season for Yallop.
Player of the Week: Jon Busch. There is no way to dispute that Jon Busch has been the best keeper in MLS so far this season. He’s ceded the fewest goals. He has the best save percentage. And it’s not like he’s not being challenged. In fact, he is getting a barrage of shots on goal every game. He’s answering the call so far, and for that he’s player of the week.