Real Salt Lake: Week 12 MLS Power Rankings

By Jed Layton

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, June 6 2011 11:42 a.m. MDT

1. FC Dallas (7-3-4, 25 points) Prev. 2: Dallas is in the midst of a nine-game undefeated streak, and as one of the teams with the fewest international call-ups, Dallas will look to capitalize on the weakened lineups of other teams. Defender, George John of Greece, appears to be the only key Dallas player that will be affected. Next up: Kansas City, Sunday.

2. Los Angeles Galaxy (8-2-6, 30 points) Prev. 1: Los Angeles played one of its most boring games of the year against DC United. Every player was lackadaisical, especially without the presence of Landon Donovan. If the trend continues, Galaxy fans may wish for a rare early exit by the U.S. squad in Gold Cup play. Next up: Toronto, Saturday.

3. Philadelphia Union (6-3-3, 21 points) Prev. 3: Saturday's game against Real will feature the two best defenses in the league. The Union is second best only to Salt Lake in goals allowed per game. Much of Philadelphia's defensive prowess is due to goalie Faryd Mondragon and defender Danny Califf, although he gave away a penalty kick only three minutes into Saturday's game against Colorado. Next up: Salt Lake, Saturday.

4. Real Salt Lake (6-2-2, 20 points) Prev. 5: Alvaro Saborio was finally able to find the back of the net, but not for RSL. Instead the striker scored one of five goals for Costa Rica in a rout of Cuba. RSL wasn't too jealous however. Both Fabian Espindola and Jean Alexandre put goals through a very shaky Vancouver defense. Next up: Columbus on Wednesday and Philadelphia on Saturday.

5. Seattle Sounders (5-4-6, 21 points) Prev. 4: Seattle was missing three of its best players for the first 54 minutes of the game until Fredy Montero was subbed in. But even his flashy style wasn't enough to lift the Sounders to a win without Steve Zakuani and Alvaro Fernandez. Next up: Vancouver, Saturday.

6. San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-4, 17 points) Prev. 10: Many soccer critics thought San Jose would flop without Chris Wondolowski, who played decently for the U.S. National Team against Spain. However, San Jose was able to continue its offensive dominance. The Quakes are still near the bottom of the standings, but are playing some of the best soccer in MLS. Next up: DC United, Saturday.

7. New York Red Bulls (4-2-7, 18 points) Prev. 6: The Red Bulls are the team most affected by Gold Cup play with players such as Rafa Marquez, Tim Ream and DeWayne Rosario missing from the line up. The negative effect is working on players that remained. Both Luke Rodgers and Thierry Henry looked off. Still, New York was minutes away from its first win in over a month. Next up: New England, Friday.

8. Colorado Rapids (4-3-7, 19 points) Prev. 9: With another tie against Philadelphia, Colorado set an MLS record with six straight ties. While ties are certainly better than losses, the Rapids must be frustrated with the lack of offensive production and inability to hold a lead. Next up: Portland, Saturday.

9. D.C. United (4-4-4, 16 points) Prev. 10: Two ties in two meetings with the mighty Los Angeles Galaxy is a result most teams would be pleased with. But because DC was the better team in both games, United players will be wishing for another match scheduled against the cross-country rivals. Next up: San Jose, Saturday.

10. Chivas USA (4-4-5, 15 points) Prev. 12: Marcos Mondaini scored in his first game back from suspension. Chivas has a difficult stretch of soccer ahead with games against Dallas, Philadelphia and San Jose, so three points at home were greatly needed. Next up: Houston, Saturday.

11. Portland Timbers (5-5-2, 17 points) Prev. 7: After losing at home for the first time, Portland fans hoped another first would be achieved — a road win. However, execution and confusion on defense left the Timbers still wanting. The Timbers will also be without goalie Jake Gleeson, who was called up for international duty for New Zealand. Next up: Colorado, Saturday.

12. Columbus Crew (3-3-6, 15 points) Prev. 13: The Crew played typical mediocre soccer up until the 90-minute mark down 1-0 against New York, but once the second referee held up the sign for stoppage time minutes, the Crew started playing like the Crew of two years ago. Accurate passes, communication, finishing runs all helped result in a dramatic goal to achieve a road draw. Next up: Real Salt Lake on Wednesday and Chicago on Sunday.

13. Houston Dynamo (3-5-6, 15 points) Prev. 11: The Dynamo can play some of the best, prettiest soccer in all of MLS, but they can also play some of the worst soccer. The former showed up in a 2-0 loss to San Jose Saturday. Next up: Chivas, Saturday.

14. Chicago Fire (1-4-7, 10 points) Prev. 15: The Fire did not receive any favors from schedulers this year. Chicago has already played in a home opener this year being trounced 4-2 by Portland. From that point on Chicago struggled. Now Chicago gets to be the first team to play in Kansas City's new stadium. Will Chicago's poor play trend continue or will the Fire be able to find motivation? Next up: Kansas City on Thursday and Columbus on Sunday.

15. New England Revolution (3-6-4, 13 points) Prev. 14: The Revs continue to lose, but at least a 1-0 loss to Dallas isn't as ugly as some of the other losses have been. New England is fielding a young team prone to mistakes and miscommunication. As the season progresses some of those errors will hopefully be corrected. Next up: New York, Friday.

16. Sporting Kansas City (1-6-3, 6 points) Prev. 17: The seemingly never-ending road trip is finally ending. Kansas City will host its first MLS game on Thursday against the Fire. Sporting has lots of ground to catch up and will have a multitude of home games to do so, but only six points in 10 road games wasn't good enough. Next up: Chicago, Thursday.

17. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-6-7, 10 points) Prev. 16: Eric Hassli proved that MLS refs are susceptible to bad calls due to reputation. Hassli had received two red cards previous to Wednesday's game against Chivas. A third red card against him for a mild tackle was completely unwarranted. Next up: Seattle, Saturday.

18. Toronto FC (2-5-7, 13 points) Prev. 18: Toronto and Kansas City played in the most boring game of the year. Hopefully potential soccer fans did not watch that game because it showed how bad soccer can be. Toronto is in a complete tailspin and FC fans are already calling for Toronto to follow the lead of Vancouver and Chicago and do away with coach Aron Winter. Next up: Los Angeles, Saturday.

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