MLS Power Rankings: Week 33

Power Rankings: Week 34

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That's a wrap on the regular season, so let's take stock. The biggest surprise? D.C. United, who end up at No. 3 on our list heading into the postseason. And the disappointment? How about Portland, who debuted at No. 8 at First Kick and, well, never got the mojo going. And check out the Galaxy, who dropped nearly to the basement before righting the ship down the stretch.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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

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1

1

Wondo made history, but the Quakes themselves just missed out. A win would have seen them become just the third team in league history (the other two were ’98 LA Galaxy and ’98 D.C. United) to go +30 or better on goal differential. Nonetheless, they’ll be remembered as one of the best, most dominant Shield winners in league history.

  • Last Week: Drew at Portland, 1-1
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  • Last Five: W-D-W-D-D
  • First Kick: 7 High: 1 (Wk. 16) Low: 11 (Wk. 2)
  • This Week: Sunday at Knockout winner
2

2

After looking listless at New York, they physically dominated a very game Philly team in the regular-season finale. Kei Kamara’s playing as well as he has all year, the central defensive pairing is set and the only question remaining is about their finishing. They actually outshot the Quakes this year, but scored 30 fewer goals. C.J. Sapong needs to become the man.

  • Last Week: Defeated Philadelphia, 2-1
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  • Last Five: D-W-D-D-W
  • First Kick: 4 High: 1 (Wk. 3) Low: 7 (Wk. 15)
  • This Week: Sunday at Knockout winner

3

3

Unbeaten in their last seven, including five wins. Yes, they had a cottony soft schedule, but they made the most of it when other teams in the hunt failed to (looking your way, New York). We still get the feeling that this side is a year away, but there are only so many times you can say that about a team that goes out every week and gets a result.

  • Last Week: Drew at Chicago, 1-1
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  • Last Five: W-D-W-W-D
  • First Kick: 16 High: 2 (Wk. 15) Low: 16 (First Kick)
  • This Week: Saturday at New York (8 pm, NBCSN)

4

4

 

 

If they get shut out by Seattle on Friday, they’ll have officially gone a calendar month without scoring a goal in competitive play (two regular-season games, a CCL game and a playoff game). But they also haven’t allowed a goal since the 17th minute of that early-October 2-1 win at LA. Defense wins championships, and Jason Kreis knows this.

  • Last Week: Drew vs. Vancouver, 0-0
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  • Last Five: W-W-W-D-D
  • First Kick: 3 High: 1 (Wk. 1) Low: 8 (Wk. 28)
  • This Week: Friday at Seattle (10 pm, NBCSN)

5

5

Took a heroic effort from Josh Saunders to keep Seattle off the scoreboard, but the obvious concern heading into the playoffs is the health of Eddie Johnson. If he’s good to go, Seattle can pretty clearly beat anyone. If he can’t, it’s going to be a big ask of Sammy Ochoa, who’s great in spurts but struggles over 90 minutes.

  • Last Week: Lost at LA, 1-0
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  • Last Five: D-W-D-W-L
  • First Kick: 2 High: 1 (Wk. 9) Low: 8 (Wk. 16)
  • This Week: Friday vs. Real Salt Lake (10 pm, NBCSN)

6

7

Health is a concern for the Galaxy, too. Landon Donovan put in a solid 90 minute shift in the win over the Sounders, but was sluggish by his standards. Same for David Beckham, who went a little more than an hour. And Bruce Arena has all but ruled A.J. DeLaGarza out for the Knockout Round. Lots of pressure falling to Robbie Keane – who can handle it – and Tommy Meyer, who may not be able to.

  • Last Week: Defeated Seattle, 1-0
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  • Last Five: W-D-L-D-W
  • First Kick: 1 High: 1 (First Kick) Low: 17 (Wk. 11)
  • This Week: Thursday vs. Vancouver (10:30 pm, NBCSN)

7

8

The Red Bulls stayed true to form, beating up on the lowly Union in their regular-season finale. They are, however, just 2-2-2 in their last six and have beaten exactly one playoff team since mid-July. The good news is that they’ve handled D.C. fairly well this season, and still boast one of the league’s best home-field advantages.

  • Last Week: Won at Philadelphia, 3-0
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  • Last Five: D-W-L-D-W
  • First Kick: 9 High: 2 (Wk. 11) Low: 13 (Wk. 2)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. D.C. United (8 pm, NBCSN)

8

6

If the Fire were clinical in front of the net, they’d probably be No. 3 on this list, but the 1-1 draw vs. United highlighted a disturbing trend of wasting chances. It’s seen them post just one win in their last four, and get relegated to the Knockout Round. The good news, though, is that they get to host it, and that they’re finally fully fit.

  • Last Week: Drew vs. D.C. United, 1-1
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  • Last Five: L-L-W-L-D
  • First Kick: 10 High: 3 (Wk. 29) Low: 12 (Wk. 4)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Houston (9 pm, ESPN2)

9

9

Midway through the summer, it looked like the Dynamo were going to end up as one of the league’s top teams, losing just once in 11 games and ripping off a five-game winning streak. Since then, they’re only 3-3-4, have changed formations a couple of times and seen the goals dry up. Terrifyingly, the key may very well be Mac Kandji. When he’s on, the 4-3-3 works. When he’s not, they’re meat.

  • Last Week: Lost at Colorado, 2-0
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  • Last Five: L-W-D-W-L
  • First Kick: 5 High: 2 (Wk. 22) Low: 9 (Wk. 16)
  • This Week: Wednesday at Chicago (9 pm, ESPN2)

10

10

Got to think that toe injury to Federico Higuaín in mid-August is what really put paid to the Crew’s playoff hopes. Between him, Jairo Arrieta and the boatload of young midfielders they’ve got, 2013 looks like it’ll see a return to the postseason. And a possible MVP-level campaign for the little Argentine enganche.

  • Last Week: Defeated Toronto, 2-1
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  • Last Five: L-W-D-L-W
  • First Kick: 15 High: 8 (Wk. 26) Low: 17 (Wk. 7)
  • This Week: Season completed

11

11

 

 

It was all so promising for two-thirds of the season. Then it all went to pot, and the ‘Caps were actually the league’s third-worst team over the final 10 games, picking up just one win and six points. They finished the year playing an entirely new XI with four defensive-minded midfielders and zero ability to generate chances. Hard to see them having any shot in the playoffs.

  • Last Week: Drew at Real Salt Lake, 0-0
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  • Last Five: D-D-W-L-D
  • First Kick: 6 High: 5 (Wk. 9) Low: 13 (Wk. 28)
  • This Week: Thursday at LA (10:30 pm, NBCSN)

12

12

That was a disappointing ending to what was otherwise a promising season. Going winless in their last six games, and scoring just three goals in that span, should bring up real questions about whether or not Marco Di Vaio justifies that DP contract. Still, there doesn’t need to be an overhaul at Stade Saputo, just some minor changes.

  • Last Week: Lost to New England, 1-0
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  • Last Five: L-D-D-D-L
  • First Kick: 19 High: 9 (Wk. 25) Low: 19 (First Kick)
  • This Week: Season completed

13

13

The Power Rankings Politburo would like to know why, exactly, none of the FCD youngsters got a run-out against Chivas in the season finale. Jonathan Top, Ruben Luna, Brian Leyva, etc. etc. etc. …  these are all guys who could have used the experience and have shown talent in the brief time they spent on the pitch. Disappointing.

14

 

 

16

The Rapids had a miserable summer, but lost just once in their last five and finally committed to that 4-2-3-1 with Hendry Thomas in the fold. Expect big second seasons from Martín Rivero and Tony Cascio, and hopefully some more consistent play from the backline. The pieces are there to be a better team in 2013.

  • Last Week: Defeated Houston, 2-0
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  • Last Five: D-D-L-W-W
  • First Kick: 12 High: 9 (Wk. 4) Low: 18 (Wk. 21)
  • This Week: Season completed

15

17

Did anyone expect to see the Revs end their season with back-to-back 1-0 wins? Truly bizarre, especially since the second came on the road against a pretty good team.  They’ve got some moves to make in the offseason, which will probably start with offloading one of their surfeit of midfielders for a veteran central defender.

  • Last Week: Won at Montreal, 1-0
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  • Last Five: D-L-L-W-W
  • First Kick: 17 High: 10 (Wk. 18) Low: 18 (Wk. 2)
  • This Week: Season completed

16

14

Is the Freddy Adu era over? Probably. Should it be? Maybe not. The Union don’t generate the same number or quality of chances when he’s on the bench, and for a team with a striker as opportunistic as Jack Mac, “chance generation” is the silver bullet. Know who else is good at generating chances, though? Sébastien Le Toux. And he’s likely going to be on the trading block. Just sayin’.

17

 

15

Why wasn’t Andrew Jean-Baptiste given more run in the central defense this year? He’s clearly got MLS size and physicality, but what sets him apart is his comfort on the ball and confidence in traffic. He has the look of a dominant defender for years to come if the Timbers would only trust him. Best part of 2012, though, was the emergence of Bright Dike as a legit MLS-caliber No. 9.

  • Last Week: Drew vs. San Jose, 1-1
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  • Last Five: L-D-L-W-D
  • First Kick: 8 High: 8 (First Kick) Low: 19 (Wk. 9)
  • This Week: Season completed

18

19

The Juan Agudelo who showed up over the past three games needs to be the Juan Agudelo Chivas USA get for the bulk of their games in 2013. He was always a threat in the final third, and does more work linking play than he gets credit for. Very encouraging to see him get that goal on basically the last kick of the season.

19

 

18

Nightmare season, but they got a quality rookie out of it, didn’t sign any ridiculous DP contracts and consistently stayed in games until the very end even against teams like Santos Laguna. They obviously need Torsten Frings and Stefan Frei to get healthy next year, they need to keep Adrian Cann and they need to make that No. 1 pick really, really count.

  • Last Week: Lost at Columbus, 2-1
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  • Last Five: L-L-L-D-L
  • First Kick: 14 High: 12 (Wk. 2) Low: 19 (Wk. 5)
  • Next GameSaturday at FC Dallas (7 pm, Galavision)