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11/23 FINAL
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MLS Power Rankings: Week 4

Something is definitely rumbling in the Power Rankings. It's the sound of a seismic shift for both the LA Galaxy and the San Jose Earthquakes suddenly headed in opposite directions in the polls. Let us know what you think in the Facebook comments below.

Only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule. All times are Eastern.

Rank Trending Last Club Comment

1

1

Peter Vermes may not put much stock into 4-0-0 to start the season, but we on the Power Rankings Politburo do. What SKC do may not be beautiful, but it's rugged, it's compact and it gets results. Good enough for No. 1.

2

3

That was the mettle of a championship team they showed on the road at Portland, and we're now content to call the 1-0 home loss to Chivas USA an aberration. With all the pieces back and healthy, they are definite Shield contenders.

3

9

Hard to argue with San Jose's performances this year. They can get more clinical, true, but they're creating plenty of chances and have shown they know just how to batten down the hatches. They're a legit threat in the West.

4

3

The lack of Brad Evans was nearly as apparent as the lack of Mauro Rosales. Several times there were crosses dragged back to the top of the 18, but no third runner from midfield to get onto it. Injuries are taking their toll.

5

5

The Dynamo are using their tbreak to get Brian Ownby or Alex Dixon ready to go at right midfield, and likely Nathan Sturgis ready to go at defensive midfield. How their depth performs will be a good indication of how close they are to challenging SKC.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Bye

6

4

The slide continues. More damaging than the loss to the Revs may have been the scene in the locker room afterward, if reports are to be believed. Teams that don't play together don't win, an axiom that holds true in any league in the world.

7

 

8

How long til the 'Caps give up a goal? Their run is now at four games, Joe Cannon looks like he's 10 years younger than 2011 and all 10 field players commit themselves to defense. Last season already seems like it was ages ago.

8

10

Thierry Henry is in filthy form. More important is that Ryan Meara let in two fairly soft goals, but bounced back immediately for a strong second half. A rookie 'keeper with that mindset can take a team places, even if the defense struggles.

9

11

Yeah, Jeff Larentowicz is that important. The most crucial spot on the field in a 4-3-3 is that "back point" in the midfield, and Larentowicz plays it as well as anyone in the league. That's the difference between a 4-1 loss at NY and a 2-0 win over Chicago.

10

13

OK, so the Crew took advantage of a TFC team was absolutely gassed. But piling on the teams lower in the standings is crucial for the Crew at this point, considering it's about to get interesting against the Red Bulls.

11

16

 

It's not just that the Revs have two straight wins, it's that they allowed precious few chances on the defensive end after the first 15 minutes in LA. They still have a ways to go, but things have certainly improved in Foxborough.

12

7

At some point it's going to get worrisome that the Fire can't seem to score unless Dominic Oduro is getting regular service. Somebody — are you listening, Patrick Nyarko? — has to step up and help carry the goal-scoring load. And soon.

13

15

 

The lack of production on the flanks killed D.C.'s offense through the first three weeks. Nick DeLeon and Danny Cruz brought it back to life in Week 4, and man, did United look good. That's the team D.C. fans expected in 2012.

14

 

 

12

John Spencer put a positive spin onwhat had to be an excruciating 3-2 loss to RSL. Yes, his team played well, but that's the kind of lead a team with playoff aspirations simply cannot concede — especially at home. Brutal for Portland.

15

6

 

Looks like Schellas Hyndman has another in-season rebuilding project on his hands. Dallas didn't look up for the fight, and the "Brek Shea is tired!" mantra is played out. Has the guy been tired since October? Plenty of time to recover since then — now he needs to produce.

16

14

Casey Townsend has a lot of potential, but right now he's simply showing that he's no Juan Pablo Ángel. Chivas' offensive woes are myriad, but the biggest is the lack of a threat from the center forward spot.

17

 

 

17

They sure did look out of gas on the weekend, after having expended a ton of effort midweek against Santos. What will they have left in the tank for Wednesday in Torreón? And if the result is bad, where does their season go from there?

18

18

Judging by the defensive performance, Danny Califf's knee must be fully healed. Zac MacMath bounced back as well, putting up a second consecutive strong effort after a rough start to the season. But the Union need help — quickly — or 2012 could be a lost cause.

19

 

 

19

A week after keeping Montreal in the game at Columbus, Donovan Ricketts took the Impact out of it against the Red Bulls. Slow reaction, big rebounds, poor positioning ... it was night and day. And the rest of the defense didn't do him any favors.