MLS Power Rankings: Week 19

Despite win, RSL slides back one spot to #5

The LA Galaxy flexed their muscle with an impressive win over the
Columbus Crew, and that was more than good enough to edge the Seattle
Sounders in the latest poll. But while Sporting Kansas City and Colorado
inched closer to the top five, the New York Red Bulls took a plunge to
No. 9, their lowest spot this season.

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All match times for this week's games are ET; only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

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The Galaxy ended their trip through the WFC on the right note, getting a golazo
from Mike Magee and valuable contributions from reserves like Daniel
Keat, Adam Cristman and Jack McBean. That, and a solid 1-0 win over
Columbus midweek, bodes well for a team with a busy schedule and
continental aspirations.

  • Last Week: Beat Columbus, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Vancouver (7:30 pm, Fox Soccer, TSN)
  • Last Five: WTTWW

 

 

 

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We at the Power Rankings Committee care less about the drubbing
Seattle’s reserves took in the second half against Manchester United and
more about the quality display (except for finishing) the starters
produced in the first 45. They’ve won four of five and start Champions
League play this week looking to be in fine form.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Houston (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WWTWW

 

 

 

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Sometimes you give points away, and sometimes they’re stolen from
you. This past weekend, Thierry Henry stole two points from FCD with a
brilliant individual goal, and if you’re a Dallas fan, player or coach
all you can do is tip your hat and move along. A four-point road week is
nothing to fret about, regardless.

  • Last Week: Beat Toronto FC, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS), Tied New York, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Chivas USA (7 pm, Galavisión)
  • Last Five: WWWLT

 

 

 

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The Union looked the part of a contender in a 2-1 loss to Real
Madrid, frustrating Cristiano Ronaldo in his 45-minute run and getting a
golazo from Michael Farfan to cap off a superlative display.
The Union seem to be getting better and closer as a unit each week, and
have gotten results with starters and subs both.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Friday vs. Colorado (7:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: TWTTW

 

 

 

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RSL have won three of four after the 4-0 pummeling they put on San
Jose this weekend, and have four games in hand on LA, Dallas and Seattle
— the only teams ahead of them in the West. They can still struggle to
produce offensively, but if Álvaro Saborío is diving into form, that’s a
problem that could disappear quickly.

  • Last Week: Beat San Jose, 4-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Columbus (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWTWW

 

 

 

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A hard-fought 1-0 loss at LA midweek, followed by a hard-fought 1-0
win over Portland on the weekend. The Crew are getting the results they
should get, and have potential for more as guys like Emilio Rentería,
Rich Balchan, Dilly Duka and Tony Tchani get healthy in the coming
weeks. They’re a legit contender in the East, as the standings show.

 

 

 

 

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Offensively, they did what you’d expect a good team to do against a
side as disorganized as Toronto. They found space, got around the flanks
and punished defensive miscues. Defensively, however, Sporting were a
notch or three below the lockdown side we’d seen throughout most of June
and July.

  • Last Week: Beat Toronto, 4-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. New England (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTTTW

 

 

 

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They gave points away in the 2-2 draw against New England on
Saturday, failing to punish a team playing at altitude with 10 men.
That’s balanced by the hurting they put on RBNY midweek, a comprehensive
4-1 victory. The Rapids are still finding out who they are without
Conor Casey, but the results are promising thus far.

  • Last Week: Beat New York, 4-1 (HIGHLIGHTS), Tied New England 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Friday at Philadelphia (7:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: TWLWT

 

 

 

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“What’s wrong with RBNY?” is everyone’s favorite question these
days, and justifiably so. They have too much talent to get pounded 4-1
at Colorado, yet that’s just what happened. Then they squandered a home
lead against Dallas, in the end having to rely on a wonder-goal from
Henry to snatch a point. Ugly stuff.

  • Last Week: Lost at Colorado, 4-1 (HIGHLIGHTS), Tied FC Dallas, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Bye Next Week: Aug. 6 at Real Salt Lake (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLTLT

 

 

 

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A formation switch proved vital in their 3-0 romp over Houston. With
Nick LaBrocca and Blair Gavin in the center of the 4-1-4-1 Robin Fraser
trotted out, Justin Braun was free to run rampant, getting behind the
static Dynamo back line and beating Tally Hall with ease. If they put a
run together, they’re very much playoff contenders.

  • Last Week: Beat Houston, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday at FC Dallas (7 pm, Galavision)
  • Last Five: TTTWT

 

 

 

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It turns out that this team simply isn't that good at home. They’re
2-3-5 at RFK Stadium in 2011 after dropping a 1-0 decision to the Revs
midweek. It took a vintage performance from Matt Reis to stifle the
United attack, and the DC defense still looks solid, but this team may
need more time to jell than the season will allow.

  • Last Week: Lost to New England, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTWTL

 

 

 

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Geoff Cameron swears it’s not Dom Kinnear’s fault, but it’s Kinnear
who hasn’t made the obvious change: slide Cameron back into central
defense, where he played so well for the 2009 Dynamo team that came
within a whisker of the Supporters’ Shield. Playing your best players in
their best spots is Rule No. 1 for winning soccer.

  • Last Week: Lost to Chivas USA, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Seattle (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTWTL

 

 

 

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The 4-0 loss at Real Salt Lake is either going to be a rallying
point to turn the season around, or it’s the “put a fork in ‘em” moment
of 2011 for the Quakes. It can’t really fall anywhere else in the
spectrum. Right now, it looks much more like the latter than the former,
especially with the injury crisis in defense.

  • Last Week: Tied Vancouver, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS), Lost at Real Salt Lake, 4-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. D.C. United (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTTTL

 

 

 

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The 1-0 loss to Columbus on the weekend isn’t going to build
momentum for a team that still doesn’t know how to score goals, but
there’s no denying the defense has solidified now that John Spencer’s
moved away from the 4-4-2. It’s a positive step for a team that was
hemorrhaging bad goals a month ago.

  • Last Week: Lost at Columbus, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Toronto (11 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LLLWL

 

 

 

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If they can stop getting red cards they might be respectable. It
seems like Steve Nicol has hit on something with his hybrid 4-3-3, and
the Revs put together a four-point road week in the process thanks to
some solid work on set-pieces. They’re not totally out of the playoff
hunt yet, but they need to keep the results coming.

 

 

 

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Their first half against Manchester United can be filed under “moral
victory.” As Sir Alex Ferguson said, Chicago were in many ways the
better team, and Cory Gibbs showed some of that old 2005 form on the
day. A productive 28-minute run from Sebastián Grazzini is promising,
but this is still a team with just two wins on the year.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Bye Next: Aug. 3 vs. Philadelphia (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTTLL

 

 

 

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They battled for a 2-2 draw midweek thanks to a pair of goals from
Eric Hassli, who took advantage of the space created by new running mate
Mustapha Jarju. With just 15 points from 21 games, their year is
trouble; maybe now it's about finding out which pieces to keep and build
with for 2012.

  • Last Week: Tied San Jose, 2-2, (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. LA (7:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: LLLLT

 

 

 

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It was an inauspicious start for the newly constituted roster. All
the old problems — dislocation between midfield and defense, acres of
space on the wing, poor marking on set-pieces — reared their heads in
the 4-2 loss at Sporting KC. They’ll need fixing quickly, as TFC begin
their CCL run on Wednesday night.