Galarcep: MLS Power Rankings, Week 7

Editor’s note: After each weekend’s action, senior staff writer

Ives Galarcep ranks Major League Soccer’s 18 teams in FOX Soccer’s

Major League Soccer Power Rankings. Here is Ives’s order after the

seventh weekend of the 2011 Major League Soccer season:

Rank (LW)   Team Record (W-L-D)

1 (1).

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Real Salt Lake

4-1-0

Last Week: Lost, 1-0, to Monterrey, CONCACAF

Champions League Final second leg, last Wednesday; lost to

Portland, 1-0, last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Chivas USA on Saturday

Outlook: Losing to Portland with several key

starters missing didn’t hurt nearly as badly as falling to

Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Final. The Red

Bulls are a worthy contender to the top spot, but until an

MLS team beats, or even takes points, from a full RSL

squad, Jason Kreis’ team remains No. 1.

2 (3).

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New York Red Bulls

4-1-2

Last Week: Beat Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, last

Saturday.

This Week: at Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Outlook: Had more trouble against Sporting KC than

most would have expected. We saw pretty clearly how

important Teemu Tainio is to Red Bulls success when he

missed the second half. We’ll see just how strong the Red

Bulls are when they try to become the first team to beat

the LA Galaxy at Home Depot Center this season.

3 (4).

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Philadelphia Union

4-1-1

Last Week: Beat San Jose Earthquakes, 1-0, last

Saturday.

This Week: at Portland Timbers on Friday.

Outlook: The Union showed heart and toughness

playing a man down and earning a late winner against San

Jose, but Philly must now travel to Portland and try and

win where three teams have failed. The match-up between the

Union’s defense and Portland’s high-powered offense should

be one of the best of the upcoming weekend.

4 (2).

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LA Galaxy

4-2-3

Last Week: Lost, 1-0, to FC Dallas last Sunday.

This Week: vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday

Outlook: The Galaxy endured the elements and a

beautiful/lucky game-winner from FC Dallas and must now

face off against the hottest team in MLS. Juan Pablo Angel

worked his way into the starting lineup but didn’t find the

net. It’s a safe bet he will be even more motivated to face

off against the team that dumped him after four years of

stellar service.

5 (5).

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Seattle Sounders

3-2-3

Last Week: Beat Toronto FC, 3-0, last Saturday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Wednesday; vs. Columbus

Crew on Saturday.

Outlook: Brad Evans and Alvaro Fernandez stepped up

to lead a short-handed Sounders attack while Seattle’s

defense looked good as well. Fredy Montero is starting to

find his rhythm and will look to rip apart a struggling

D.C. defense, but Columbus should pose a much tougher test

this weekend.

6 (6).

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Houston Dynamo

3-1-3

Last Week: Beat D.C. United, 4-1, last Friday.

This Week: vs. Colorado Rapids on Wednesday; vs.

Toronto FC on Saturday.

Outlook: Will Bruin’s hat-trick was a coming out

party, but also a reminder of just how dangerous the Dynamo

attack can be. To be fair, D.C. isn’t playing well, but

Houston can show just how strong it is right now when the

Dynamo plays host to Colorado.

7 (8).

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Columbus Crew

3-1-3

Last Week: Beat Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, last

Saturday.

This Week: vs. Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

Outlook: Emilio Renteria stepped up in the Crew’s

latest win, but the defense continues to be the key to

Columbus’ success. A very tough test awaits at Qwest Field,

where the Sounders offense thrives.

8 (7).

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Colorado Rapids

3-3-1

Last Week: Tied the Chicago Fire, 1-1, last

Saturday.

This Week: at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday.

Outlook: A draw against Chicago had to be considered

disappointing for a Rapids side that has now gone four

matches without a victory. The winless streak looks likely

to continue against a red-hot Houston Dynamo.

9 (12).

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Portland Timbers

3-3-1

Last Week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 1-0, last

Saturday.

This Week: vs. Philadelphia on Friday.

Outlook: RSL may have rested some starters, but that

doesn’t take away from an impressive defensive performance

from a Portland side that had yet to show it can really

keep a team off the scoreboard. Now comes another stiff

test in a Philly team with a defense that will make things

difficult for Kenny Cooper and Co.

10 (9).

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FC Dallas

3-3-1

Last Week: Beat Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, last

Sunday.

This Week: at D.C. United on Saturday.

Outlook: Whether it was a lucky shot or a cross that

wound up in the net, Brek Shea’s winner pushed Dallas to a

two-game winning streak and suddenly the MLS Cup finalists

don’t look so desperate without MVP David Ferreira. There

are still some questions about the defense, but the offense

should have a chance to shine against a reeling D.C.

defense.

11 (16).

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Chivas USA

2-2-3

Last Week: Beat New England Revolution, 3-0, last

Saturday.

This Week: at Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Outlook: The Chivas USA defense is downright stingy,

having allowed just one goal in four, and rattling off

three goals on the visiting Revs makes you wonder if the

Rojiblanco offense might actually be ready to start

producing on a regular basis. Head coach Robin Fraser knows

a tougher test awaits as he returns to Rio Tinto Stadium to

face the team he served as an assistant coach for.

12 (13).

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Chicago Fire

1-3-3

Last Week: Tied Colorado Rapids, 1-1, last

Saturday

This Week: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

Outlook: Coming away with a road point against a

traditionally tough home team in the Colorado Rapids is a

positive step for the Fire, but questions about the attack

remain. There will be no excuses this weekend, with a home

game against lowly Vancouver.

13 (10).

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New England Revolution

2-3-3

Last Week: Lost, 3-0, to Chivas USA last

Saturday.

This Week: vs. Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

Outlook: The Revs were expected to give Chivas USA a

real battle and show off newly-signed Benny Feilhaber, but

instead were sent home after a thorough beating by Chivas

USA. New England is chalking the loss up to a team still

coming together with so many new faces, but that excuse

rings hollow in a league where many teams are doing well

despite having so many new faces.

14 (14).

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Sporting KC

1-4-1

Last Week: Lost, 1-0, to New York Red Bulls last

Saturday.

This Week: Bye

Outlook: Kansas City probably wishes it didn’t have

a week off after playing arguably its best half of soccer

since March. With Omar Bravo set to return, and Ryan Smith

working his way back to full fitness, Sporting KC is a team

that should not be written off despite a five-match winless

streak.

15 (11).

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DC United

2-4-1

Last Week: Lost, 4-1, at Houston last Saturday.

This Week: vs. Seattle Sounders on Wednesday; vs. FC

Dallas on Saturday.

Outlook: As if giving up eight goals in their past

two matches wasn’t bad enough, now D.C. United’s young

defense must also face Seattle and Dallas teams with plenty

of weapons. Ben Olsen had better sort out his defense

quickly because if D.C. doesn’t get some points in this

two-game week, a team that looked like such a good playoff

bet will suddenly be well behind a strong pack of playoff

contenders in the East.

16 (17).

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San Jose Earthquakes

1-4-2

Last Week: Lost, 1-0, to Philadelphia last

Saturday.

This Week: Bye

Outlook: If there’s a team that needs a week off to

regroup it’s San Jose, which is winless in five and just

wasted a chance to beat a team playing a man down. Yes, you

can argue the late penalty against Jason Hernandez vs.

Philadelphia was questionable, but you can’t question the

fact that the Earthquakes failed to take advantage of being

up a man.

17 (18).

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Vancouver Whitecaps

1-4-3

Last Week: Lost, 2-1, to Columbus Crew last

Saturday.

This Week: at Chicago Fire on Saturday.

Outlook: Omar Salgado scoring his first professional

goal was a nice footnote, but it’s tough to get too excited

when the Whitecaps made it seven straight matches without a

win after losing to the Crew. There is clearly some

attacking talent on the Whitecaps, but unless the defense

can piece together a better effort, Chicago will be a good

bet to increase Vancouver’s winless streak.

18 (14).

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Toronto FC

1-3-4

Last Week: Lost, 3-0, to Seattle Sounders last

Saturday.

This Week: vs. Houston on Saturday.

Outlook: Just when you want to think Toronto FC is

ready to turn things around, TFC drops a stinker like its

3-0 loss to the Sounders. Aron Winter’s rebuilding project

is going to take some time, but with each passing week it

is becoming clear that we shouldn’t expect too many

positives from Toronto this season.

Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for FoxSoccer.com covering

Major League Soccer and the U.S. national team.