SBNhanced Power Rankings: Major League Soccer, Week 17

CARSON CA - JULY 22: Head coach Bruce Arena of the Los Angeles Galaxy voices his opinion toward the line judge during is team's MLS match against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center on July 22 2010 in Carson California. Donovan scored on the rebound to tie the game 2-2. The Earthquakes and the Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Once a week, the Major League Soccer minds at SB Nation get together and talk about cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar, the nuptials of pseudo-celebrities, and Prince.

Seven's such a good song.

When those issues are exhausted, Major League Soccer's results are pursued and perused, subsumed then consumed.  The product: a blend of pictures, bars and evaluation we call the SBNhanced Power Rankings.  Emphasis on power.

Though they stumbled in Champions League, Los Angeles's perch atop Major League Soccer keeps them amongst the league's cup contenders.  Dallas continues to tease as the team most likely to join them, while Houston is threatening a different move:  from playoff contenders to bottom tier.

"You stand in the way of [rankings] and we will smoke them all:"

The Cup Contenders
Los Angeles Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy


100% (21 out of 21 points)
Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew


100% (21 out of 21 points)
Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake


100% (21 out of 21 points)

With each week that the top three persist in their places atop the rankings, we're reminded that the league is playing out somewhat predictably. True, almost everybody thought Seattle would be in this group, but Los Angeles, Columbus and Real Salt Lake were contenders before first kick. Nobody has ascended to their level.

Postseason, But Little More
FC Dallas

FC Dallas


81% (17 out of 21 points)
Toronto FC

Toronto FC


67% (14 out of 21 points)
San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes


67% (14 out of 21 points)
Red Bull New York

New York Red Bulls


62% (13 out of 21 points)

A win at BMO may have vaulted Dallas into the upper-tier, but with a draw in Toronto, Dallas still has something to prove before they can be considered a cup contender.  San Jose is the new team in this group, vaulting from playoff doubts after an impressive showing against Los Angeles.

"Playoffs? Playoffs?"
Colorado Rapids

Colorado Rapids


52% (11 out of 21 points)
Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders


48% (10 out of 21 points)
Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire


33% (7 out of 21 points)
Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo


29% (6 out of 21 points)

Houston's 3-0 loss to Columbus has them on the edge of the fourth tier, though the team they met in last year's playoffs, Seattle, picked up some support after beating Colorado this weekend.  Thanks to their loss, the Rapids fell to this third level.

And with the third pick in the 2011 MLS Superdraft ...
New England Revolution

New England Revolution


10% (2 out of 21 points)
Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union


10% (2 out of 21 points)
Kansas City Wizards

Kansas City Wizards


0% (0 out of 21 points)
DC United

DC United


0% (0 out of 21 points)
Chivas USA

Chivas USA


0% (0 out of 21 points)

 

With the exception of a few voters who hold New England and Philadelphia in higher regard, there is strong agreement amongst the SB Nation community:  there is a bottom tier of five, and those teams aren't particularly close to a playoff challenge.  Kansas City, who had some support last week, joins DC United and Chivas USA as franchises without votes.  I guess the panel doesn't have much regard for Manchester United.

How It Works: Each of the seven participants puts Major League Soccer's clubs into one of the four tiers. Teams in the top tier get three points. Next tier, two points, then one, then zilch. Voters can put as many teams into each tier as they would like. Though the vote total orders the teams, the clubs are intended to be grouped, not sorted.

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