Monday, April 07, 2008

MLS Power Rankings: Weeks 1 & 2 Combined

Well, after week two of the season, we have finally seen all of the teams play. Where do they sit in the pecking order? I'll let you know.


1. KC - What a week for Jimmy Conrad. Claudio Lopez is showing his quality and so is forward Ivan Trujillo. Their 2-0 defeat of DCU (last year's Supporter's Shield winner) wasn't easy, but impressive nonetheless. Now they have put Colorado back in their place, and frankly I'm excited for this team this year. The new mini-RFK seems like such a better fit for them (all awkward camera angles aside).

2. DCU - Their loss to KC will obviously make it hard to put them at the #1 spot, but they are strong. Jaime Moreno's return from injury is a much-needed plus going into the 2nd leg of their CONCACAF Champions Cup against Mexican side Pachuca (they are down 2-0 in the two leg series and need to beat the other team by at least three goals to move on). That is a tall order, but they showed the depth to be able to rest some players in their 4-0 dismantling of Toronto FC on Saturday.

3. CHI - I was not impressed with their performance against RSL in week one. In fact, Blanco's goal in full length stoppage time was one of those fluke things that just happens occasionally to a team. The team showed no possession or attacking prowess. Now, fast forward one week, and their destruction of NE looks like a whole new team. Something came together for this team and they showed some real quality (even Chad Barrett looked good all game long).

4. RBNY - They've only played one game, but they did beat Columbus 2-0 and they did it well. I think Osorio will get this team to gel, and shore up last year's defensive woes. JPA and Jozy up top = destruction for goalies' GAA.

5. NE - What can I say? The loss of goal-scoring machine Taylor Twellman and Ironman/Captain Steve Ralston didn't seem like it would matter with the two new Gambians having their way with Houston's flanks, but then Chicago showed them how bad it can hurt. All is not lost for the team, but the shoes that Cristman has to fill may just be a little too big for the tyke at this point.

6. CLB - They beat Toronto 2-0 on opening day. They lost to RBNY 2-0 one week later. Another year of steady mediocrity.

7. TOR - Another sad, sad start for this 2nd year franchise. 2-0 loss to CLB, then a 4-0 drubbing against DCU. Their fans are special, so kudos to them for that (and that is not said in sarcasm. The fact that over 2,000 of them--I've read closer to 3,000--went down to Columbus for the opening game is fantastic).


1. CHV - They played to a 1-1 draw against Dallas, and then beat RSL 3-1 (with the two strikers that just left RSL this past off-season scoring). They are off to a good start this season.

2. HOU - I realize that Dallas had a stronger showing in their first two games, as did Colorado, and LA. However, this team is in the same boat as DCU with CONCACAF games testing their depth (four games in two weeks). They passed the depth test for me at this point.

3. DAL - Two weeks, two ties. Nothing incredibly impressive, but still showing some strength, also.

4. RSL - Some might find this strange, given that they still haven't won and both Colorado and LA have. My reason is simply quality of opponent. Chicago has proven themselves a dangerous team, and Chivas is #1 in the West. Against CHI, they held possession the entire game and barely lost two points for one of those unlucky Blanco-nian strikes of fate. While losing to CHV is no fun (especially when every player you just sent over there scored on you), this team is showing some grit and determination.

5. COL - An impressive start to the season until one remembers who they beat (lame duck LA). Granted they did this without half of their starters, but their loss to KC showed that they can't hang with the bigger kids in school.

6. LA - Wow. 4-0 loss to COL to start the season is terrible. Landy-cakes and Beckham scoring/assisting against expansion SJ had to have felt good for them, but the loss of Carlos Ruiz is going to hurt (even with Beckham). So much depends on the incredibly untested shoulders of Steve Cronin.

7. SJ - Welcome back! I hope you have some patience.

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