SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 5

Saborio (Getty)

The stage has been set for Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City to do battle with early-season supremacy at stake.

For the second week in a row, the teams are 1-2 in the SBI MLS Power Rankings. Salt Lake notched a pair of victories, including a Rocky Mountain Cup triumph over the Colorado Rapids, to maintain its No. 1 standing, while Sporting KC kept pace thanks to a 1-0 win over the struggling MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy.

Which side truly deserves the top slot will now be decided on the field, when Salt Lake travels to Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday for the only meeting between the two clubs this season.

Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):


1. (Last week — 1) REAL SALT LAKE (5-1-0, 15 points)


Last week: Beat Montreal 1-0 on Wednesday, Beat Colorado 2-0 on Saturday

This week: At Kansas City, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Even with injury setbacks for Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy, Salt Lake just keeps on rolling. Now that Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave are back together in central defense and Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio are fit, healthy and scoring goals up top, Salt Lake will be tough to dethrone.

2. (2) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (5-0-0, 15 points)


Last week: Beat Los Angeles 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Salt Lake, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Losing Omar Bravo may have been a blessing in disguise for Kansas City, which has seen Bobby Convey's presence as a traditional left winger create more opportunities for Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong to get into the box and connect with service. But the defense, which recorded another shutout against the Galaxy, has been stellar too.

3. (5) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-1-0, 12 points)


Last week: Beat Vancouver 3-1 on Saturday

This week: At New York, 7 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Chris Wondolowski's brace against previously undefeated (and unscored upon) Vancouver brought the striker to six goals in five games, continuing his miraculous clip. But with just two goals allowed, goalkeeper Jon Busch and the back line have been another driving force behind San Jose's red-hot start.

4. (3) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (2-1-1, 7 points)


Last week: Tied D.C. United 0-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Colorado, 4 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Marc Burch nearly played hero for Seattle in D.C., hitting the crossbar against his former team deep into stoppage time. But the Sounders still earned a tough road draw, largely thanks to yet another controlling performance from holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso. Eddie Johnson's 24-minute shift against United bodes well for Seattle's forward depth going forward.

T-5. (4) HOUSTON DYNAMO (2-1-0, 6 points)


Last week: Idle

This week: At Chicago, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision

Outlook: After back-to-back bye weeks, Houston finally returns to action Sunday with a trip to Chicago. It has been easy to forget about the Dynamo amid the team's hiatus, but let's take a moment to remember that Dominic Kinnear's club has already recorded two road victories — matching its total from all of last year.

T-5. (6) NEW YORK RED BULLS (3-2-0, 9 points)


Last week: Beat Columbus 4-1 on Saturday

This week: Vs. San Jose, 7 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: The year still is young, but New York acquiring Kenny Cooper from Portland for a first-round SuperDraft pick and allocation money is turning out to be quite the move for the Red Bulls. With six goals, Cooper is tied for second in the league, only trailing teammate Thierry Henry, whose seven tallies have helped the Frenchman become the first player to win three straight MLS Player of the Week awards.

7. (T-7) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (2-1-2, 8 points)


Last week: Lost to San Jose 3-1 on Saturday

This week: Idle

Outlook: The good news was Sebastien Le Toux returned to the score sheet after looking a bit off his game in recent matches. But after starting the year with four straight shutouts, the Vancouver defense collapsed in an 11-minute second-half stretch that sealed the Whitecaps' fate against San Jose.

8. (T-7) COLORADO RAPIDS (3-2-0, 9 points)


Last week: Lost to Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday

This week: At Seattle, 4 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Well, it's safe to say Oscar Pareja won't be experimenting with Drew Moor in midfield again anytime soon. The tactical switch, which brought veteran Tyrone Marshall into the back line and relegated standout rookie Tony Cascio to the bench, seemed to throw off Colorado's rhythm against Salt Lake. It looks like the Rapids will have to find another way to fill Pablo Mastroeni's void.

9. (11) D.C. UNITED (1-2-2, 5 points)


Last week: Tied Seattle 0-0 on Saturday

This week: At New England, 4 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: A week after breaking out with four goals in a win over Dallas, United against Seattle returned to their tepid attacking tendencies of weeks prior, getting shut out for the third time in five games. Seeing how the attack was invigorated by second-half substitutes Chris Pontius and Branko Boskovic, it's hard to imagine Ben Olsen will keep them on the bench much longer.

10. (13) FC DALLAS (2-2-1, 7 points)


Last week: Beat New England 1-0 on Thursday

This week: Vs. Montreal, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Six days after falling apart in the second half of a 4-1 loss at D.C. United, Dallas bounced back against New England, using an Ugo Ihemelu strike five minutes into second-half stoppage time to down New England. It wasn't the most convincing performance, but it was three points in a match that marked the returns from injury of George John and Fabian Castillo.

11. (16) CHIVAS USA (2-3-0, 6 points)


Last week: Beat Portland 2-1 on Saturday

This week: At Toronto, 4:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Maybe Chivas should just play of their games away from the Home Depot Center. Robin Fraser's squad is 0-3 with no goals scored at home but 2-0 on the road. If Chivas have the mettle to come from behind in environment such as Jeld-Wen Field, then perhaps this team can make some noise in the Western Conference.

12. (10) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (2-3-0, 6 points)


Last week: Lost to Dallas 1-0 on Thursday

This week: Vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: The Revolution were seconds away from going unbeaten on a tough two-game road swing to Los Angeles and Dallas before Ugo Ihemelu nabbed the result for Dallas. The centerback pairing of A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy continues to show promise, though, as does Clyde Simms' partnership with Shalrie Joseph.

13. (9) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (1-3-0, 3 points)


Last week: Lost to Kansas City 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Portland, 10:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: With David Beckham out of the lineup, the Galaxy once again lost the midfield battle against Kansas City. And Edson Buddle, who was yanked in favor of Chad Barrett in the 57th minute, continues to struggle to develop chemistry with Robbie Keane. Of course, an early-season schedule featuring matches against the likes of Salt Lake and Kansas City hasn't made matters any easier.

14. (15) CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-1, 4 points)


Last week: Idle

This week: Vs. Houston, 7 p.m., Sunday, Galavision

Outlook: Chicago had its second bye week of the young MLS season, so Frank Klopas' side will be well-rested for a home match against the Dynamo, who are coming off two weeks off themselves. The Fire will hope the time off has helped veteran right back Dan Gargan (toe sprain) return to health.

T-15. (12) COLUMBUS CREW (2-2-0, 6 points)


Last week: Lost to New York 4-1 on Saturday

This week: At Philadelphia, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., NBC Sports

Outlook: Columbus may have a respectable six points in four games, but with wins over lowly Toronto and Montreal offsetting ugly losses to Colorado and New York, it's hard to put much stock in that record. Defensively, this is a team that could sure use a healthy Julius James alongside Chad Marshall.

T-15. (14) PORTLAND TIMBERS (1-3-1, 4 points)


Last week: Lost to Chivas USA 2-1 on Saturday

This week: At Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: Another week, another lead surrendered at home in a demoralizing loss. Defensively, the Timbers have some issues that need to be sorted out before making their trip to Los Angeles on Saturday. For as out of sorts as the Galaxy look, they still boast an imposing plethora of attacking talent.

17. (17) PHILADELPHIA UNION (0-3-1, 1 point)


Last week: Idle

This week: Vs. Columbus, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., NBC Sports

Outlook: Coming off a bye week with a full complement of players following Olympic qualifying, Philadelphia will be near full strength for this weekend's match against Columbus. It'll be intriguing to see how Peter Nowak incorporates playmaker Freddy Adu back into an attack that just hasn't clicked yet in 2012.

18. (19) MONTREAL IMPACT (1-4-1, 4 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Lost to Salt Lake 1-0 on Wednesday, Beat Toronto 2-1 on Saturday

This week: At Dallas, 8:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: The centerback pairing of Matteo Ferrari and Shavar Thomas has produced better results than the Ferrari-Tyson Wahl duo used in the season's opening weeks. And rookie Andrew Wenger's well-taken goal against Toronto was an exciting taste of the No. 1 overall pick's potential.

19. (18) TORONTO FC (0-4-0, 0 points)


Last week: Lost to Montreal 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Vs. Chivas USA, 4:30 p.m., Saturday

Outlook: After crashing out of the Champions League with a 6-2 midweek loss at Santos Laguna, Toronto reached a new low over the weekend, dropping to 0-4 while handing expansion Montreal the franchise's first MLS win. The feel-good vibes of that Champions League upset of Los Angeles are now long gone.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Chicago Fire, MLS- Chivas USA, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- FC Dallas, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Montreal Impact, MLS- New England Revolution, MLS- New York Red Bulls, MLS- Philadelphia Union, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes, MLS- Seattle Sounders, MLS- Sporting Kansas City, MLS- Toronto FC, MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps. Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 5

  1. GSScasual says:

    such a ridiculous listing.

  2. MemRook says:

    Wow great insight. Really in depth and thoughtful. You’ve truly given us something to think about, adding a lot to thr conversation.

  3. marco says:

    Unless EJ does something he hasn’t done in years, play and score, Seattle will continue to drop. Right now their offense is anemic without Rosales. And with Montero not close to scoring, Sigi will be playing, and hoping for 1-0 matches. The absence of the offensive sparks off the bench, Fucito, and Neagle, is a cross that GM Hanauer must carry to his summer hearing.

  4. bryan says:

    i’d like to see the following up top and in the midfield for DCU:

    Salihi, DeRo
    Pontius, Branko, Kitchen, DeLeon

    if Salihi continues to struggle, throw in Maicon who has played well.

  5. Alex says:

    How can you put RSL ahead of SKC? I mean, they are good, and definitely one of the top 2 in the country, but SKC is off to the best start in league history since 1996, and hasnt even allowed a shot on goal in 2 1/2 games! Not just goals (only allowed one all season) but shots on goal. I’m an admitted Sporting fan, but what they are doing is historic and until someone beats them I have to say they’re better than anyone on this list.

  6. MemRook says:

    Unfortunately for SKC I think the argument is RSL has played and won against tougher teams than Kansas City. Im not sure great an argument that is, though. You can only beat who is in front of you (SKC) so its not their fault who they’ve played so far.

    All I know is this makes for a great early season story when RSL and SKC play each other. That ought to decide it one would think.

  7. EN says:

    As a Quakes supporter, I’m fully rooting for SKC this weekend.

  8. shelsilverstein says:

    when the listings are this ridiculous, not much else needs to be said

  9. theSMHdude says:

    lol c’mon Ives NY 6 ? we know you cant stand them or their whining fans but you are taking things too personal here ..

  10. JRP says:

    As an RSL supported, you can take your Wondolately and let him take you all the way to the first round of the playoffs and lose again.

  11. What happened to “The Street”, he had 4 goals in two games!?

  12. JRP says:

    Because they are the better team, hands down. That will be proven on Sat.

  13. bcoug says:

    Remind me, what did Fucito provide that Estrada hasn’t provided? Their major difference at this point seems to be that Estrada actually scores.

    While he hasn’t found the net yet, to say Montero is “not close to scoring” is a gross exaggeration.

  14. MemRook says:

    A couple things: you don’t have to like them; they’re here because it’s someone else’s assessment of the league as it is right now. Of course there will be differences of opinions. How many factors go into each team, each game, each match up, and each scenario NOT played out yet (in other words, teams that haven’t played each other yet)??? Probably a billion. Point is, anyone can point to this or that to support their claim. What’s worthless to read, though, are statements like yours and GSScasual’s. Ridiculous? Hardly. At least thought and effort went in to it. Why don’t you compile your own list with a brief description to why and see if EVERYONE agrees with you.

  15. Sipping on that “Wondo”laid?

  16. sammysounder74 says:

    I can’t tell if you want them higher or lower.

  17. Here is a great follow on twitter for RBNY fans, @notHansBacke…guy is great :)

  18. The Imperative Voice says:

    I’m not anywhere near as optimistic as SBI about the Dynamo this week. We’re coming off a tailwhooping in Seattle, have no run of play goals, and will not have the services of at least three “starting” mids, Davis for calf-knack, and Clark and Moffat for brain-knack (mouth and tackling respectively). Rumor is that Kinnear will start Ashe, Watson, and Sturgis in their places. Why start an interesting young player when you can run out a drilled veteran donkey or three instead….

  19. GSScasual says:

    first of all, RSL fan, SKC should be first, then your team, then SJ/NY…

  20. JRP says:

    The will have the oppt to be first next week. But they will have to get through Beckerman, Olave and Rimando to do that. It ain’t going to happen.

  21. JRP says:

    He has found a good form the last two seasons he has been in the MLS. But he has been in the MLS for years and done nothing.
    He can’t carry a team alone.

  22. Jim says:

    I understand RSL has played a somewhat stronger schedule, but in the games against common opponents Sporting comes out better. RSL lost to Chivas at home and Sporting KC beat them on the road…seems to offer a different perspective on the strength of schedule argument.

  23. Air Jordanz says:

    Similar opinion here.

    No problem with Sturgis starting in MF, but Ashe needs to stay on the back line with Nyarko and Oduro threatening with their speed.

    I’d like Ownby and Dixon to start over Watson, and for Ashe to stay at LB.

  24. Fan says:

    Can we all agree that RSL and SKC are tied at first place? I think that makes sense. RSL have played 1 more game. If RSL wins this Saturday, SKC fans can learn to be quiet. If SKC wins, they get #1 rank. If a tie, we shall see them again at MLS Cup.

  25. shelsilverstein says:

    it’s ridiculous because teams that didn’t play lost ground and teams that lost or drew stayed put in their previous places. it’s silly to rank houston above rbny at this point, for example. they haven’t played in at least 2 weeks and rbny is on a tear of good form at preasent. power rankings are momentary glimpses into a team’s current status, not some kind of future prediction or average of 5-6 games and I would suggest you consider that before deeming the comments of others ‘worthless’.

  26. MemRook says:

    Well that’s better!!! There you go. You did it. Insight. Thought. Not just worthless “when the listings are this ridiculous…” statements. See the difference between what you just wrote and what you first wrote?

  27. marco says:

    “While he hasn’t found the net yet, to say Montero is “not close to scoring” is a gross exaggeration.”

    Zero is certainly next to one in my calculus.

    @jersey, A fan might claim Estrada will carry the strike force, but I doubt Sigi will claim that without laughing.

    Both Fucito and Neagle provided offensive energy and spark coming off the bench.

    EJ was the man replacing them. Perhaps he will produce? So far he hasn’t.

  28. marco says:

    Yes, ‘not close to scoring’ is hyperbole, or in math zero goals squared.

  29. CMac says:

    As an RSL fan I can understand KC fan’s irritation at the perceived snub on a lot of the power rankings from the last couple weeks, but they are missing the most important factor here: RSL has better looking kits.

    Seriously though, KC has more points per game, so I wouldn’t feel snubbed if our spots were swapped. Maybe we should say they are sharing the top spot until the weekend? Too bad we only get to play each other once this year, stupid schedule!

  30. David St. Hubbins says:

    the Earthquakes haven’t lost in the first round of the playoffs since 2005 idiot

  31. thaDeuce says:

    Wow, D.C. cracks the top ten! ahead of 3 teams with more points and L.A. , which isn’t one of them! Who woulda thunk it, L.A. with three points and D.C. with 5? Form and momentum counts eh Dallas?

    I dig.

  32. Rob in SJ says:

    What is with all the Wondo Haters out there? How can you not like this guy? He has proven for the past two years plus that he is not a one hit wonder with over 40 goals since coming back to SJ via the Cam Weaver trade of the century. As good as Wondo has been San Jose’s improved defense and depth are the main reason for thier success this season. Victor Bernardez is a BEAST! Looking forward to SJ/NYRB this weekend it should be a classic!

  33. Charles says:

    Seattle led the league in scoring last year. They will be fine. EJ or no EJ. Rosales being out is huge.

  34. Charles says:

    dont call people idiots for their opinion. Especially when you are wrong. You forgot the 2012 season 😉

  35. Charles says:


    Guessing lower.

  36. Charles says:

    No sir, I am going out on a limb and putting the now healthy Seattle Sounders there.

    Their results don’t justify it, I don’t care, Rosales never leaves and Seattle never leaves first. Add EJ and it is game over.

  37. GSScasual says:

    pipe down, no one cares about your thirst for transparency.. if something is ridiculous, you can state it as such.

  38. chupacabra says:

    You forgot to mention the refs who never call handballs or offside against RSL.

  39. JRP says:

    But just call goals back for no reason at all (RSL vs Chivas). Explain that one?

  40. MemRook says:

    Unless its not ridiculous. Then it’s not ok.

  41. GSScasual says:

    well, then … when that situation arises, i will be sure to not call an unridiculous list ridiculous.. but for now, it stands. you are the only one who agrees with this list completely.

  42. JRP says:

    Right. They would have to make to the playoffs to lose in the first round. Have they been in the playoffs more than twice since 2005? This is a serious question. I don’t think so but correct me, David St. Hubbins, if I am wrong.

  43. abc says:

    And Wondo is just about the most likeable guy in the league.

  44. JRP says:

    I am the only person that has said anything about Wondo specifically and all I did was call him Wondolately. Doesn’t mean I don’t like him, just said that he alone can’t take San Jose very far. And that he has had many years in the MLS but has only had a couple of good seasons. He is fun to watch. No one is disputing that fact. He is a nice guy. No one has called him crappy or a jerk or anything. Don’t be so defensive.

  45. bcoug says:

    You’re right Wondo does seem completely likable and the type of player I should be rooting for … however, he and the entire SJ team has the unforgivable stink of Lenhart on them, so I just can’t cheer for any of them.

  46. Rob in SJ says:

    Looking back, my comments about Wondo were mostly in reply to a previous Ives thread where Wondo got player of the week – this was not directed at you specifically JRP.

    bcoug RE: Lenhart, I hear ya… I would despise him if he were not on my team. The style the Yallop likes to play works well with Lenhart on the feild as a Target/Holding forward. Lenhart, given all of his antics does tend to free up space for Wondo and the rest of the team.

  47. MemRook says:

    If you’re not going to even bother reading what I write and comprehending thr words, then I’m not going to bother trying to explain anymore. Not anywhere did I ever say I agree with this list completely. I disagreed with your negativity towards it, but that’s all.

  48. Jeff says:

    RSL and Montreal will have played their 7th game before Houston and Chicago play their 4th. That is one stupid schedule. How could they not do better than that?

  49. Michael says:

    2012 No Playoffs
    2011 Conference Championship game Beat. Red Bulls in first round.

    Quakes have not lost in the first round since their reincarnation, but they have only been in playoffs once.

  50. Neruda says:

    Calls go for and against. Is Chupa trying to claim that MLS now has a covert effort to favor RSL? I thought that was for the big market teams with world famous DP’s and not little old Real Salt Lake with teens and JC players on the team.

  51. Neruda says:

    Yes RSL did lose to Chivas 1 nil. Chivas is improving and is here to play the spoiler as they did in Portland last week with a come from behind win.

  52. Neruda says:

    ha ha. that dog smell just rubs off on everyone he comes into contact with.

  53. Neil says:

    shouldn’t nyrb be above houston- maybe even seattle?! they are on a great streak right now, while houston has had two byes and hasn’t impressed much, while seattle
    s offense hasn’t done well….

  54. Clark says:

    Schedule is front loaded for RSL for Champs League in the late-Summer. The league is smart, they want a team in the Champs league that won’t get blown out 6-2 or 6-1 down in Mexico.

  55. brobrobro says:

    when you ask for the ref to deal with an encroaching player on a free kick, you have to wait for the referee to blow the whistle to take the kick.there’s your reason. calling back that goal against chivas was completely legitimate. espindola’s goal was not.

  56. VADCUfan says:

    I might give you the Rosales part, but you have a high opinion of a player that hasn’t scored a meaningful goal in seasons. I agree EJ doesn’t look bad, but placing him over so many quality MLS strikers would be like me elevating Salihi even though he has yet to score for DC yet.

  57. JRP says:

    Yawn. Sounders fans are relentless in their optimism and ignorance.

  58. JRP says:

    Good point, Clark. But you are just going to anger the masses. They don’t like to remember their shameful performance down south.

  59. sciroccer says:

    Looking at this list of comments it looks like some people are boobs who take things like this list to seriously! I don’t think SKC has had to face a team like RSL yet so this should be a good game, and likely the MLS Cup. “Ridiculous” is just a baby’s comment. If your team sucks this year, deal with it! It’s still early, if their the best they will climb up the rankings. It seems like a pretty acturate list to me, they explained exactly why teams are where they are! Disagree if you like, but every team gets missed calls- for and against. RSL was beat by Chivas on a foul by Townsend to get the goal, and a legite one that was called back, and Chivas had a “goalie/Defender mishap goal in Portland- What goes around comes around no matter who you are! The list looks correct to me. RSL beats SKC 3-1

  60. Brett says:

    RSL has one of the worst kits in the league, I’m assuming ur statement was purely sarcasm. Sporting’s light blues are pretty good actually. But for my money vancouver’s white kit is the best in the league. Lastly, lets be honest, the only mls fans that actually think RSL will win this weekend are RSL fans.

  61. marco says:

    EJ except for a handful of recent minutes has not played or scored in over a year. This goes beyond optimism and should be treated medically.

  62. MJC says:

    Well RSL lost to Chivas at home who SKC beat on the road. So saying RSL is a better team hands down is hyperboyle not backed up by facts.

    I’m not saying RSL might not be better, RSL has looked great this year and I think the Chivas game was an aberation. You did say one thing that was true though – we’ll see on Saturday.

  63. MJC says:

    Lets interject some facts here. RSL opponents are 11-17-2 this year. A .367 winning percentage and averaging 1.16 per game.

    SKC’s opponents are 8-13-3 for a winning percentage of .333 and 1.13.

    So not a whole lot of difference as far as I can see. Oh had 3 of our 5 wins have come against the vaunted Western Conference.

    All this analysis seems a little silly at this point in the season but it keeps me busy till Saturday.

  64. thaDeuce says:

    Well, what does your list look like?

    oh yeah, i don’t read soccer by shelsilverstein. Nor would I.

    Great job SBI.

    I read it and I like it.

  65. CMac says:

    I never said RSL had the best kits, just better than KC’s. KC’s kits are utterly boring; boring color, boring design, lazy effort after the re-branding.

    Your “honesty” is pretty biased there Brett, but I guess I can’t expect anything else when your team starts out 5-0. I hope reality doesn’t hurt too much when we take three points out of your shiny new stadium!