MLS Power Rankings, Week 5: Turbulent Week Has Four Teams In Top Tier, 10 In Tier 3

HARRISON, NJ - APRIL 16: Luke Rodgers #9 of the New York Red Bulls celebrates his goal at 2 minutes with teammate Thierry Henry #14 against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 16, 2011 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)

This was a pretty turbulent Week 5 in the SB Nation MLS Power Rankings. No tier remained unchanged as our editors rewarded the New York Red Bulls for their victory by returning them to the top tier; dropped all but two teams out of the second tier and pulled the Columbus Crew and Portland Timbers out of the bottom tier.

With a season-high 11 matches being played last week that included six teams playing twice, maybe such dynamic movement should not have been a huge surprise. That there are now 10 teams sitting in our third tier does seem to speak to the unpredictable nature of the season to this point.

Our voters could only come to a consensus on six teams they think are likely to make the 10-team playoff field. Similarly, Real Salt Lake is the only team that draws even 90 percent of the first-tier votes with no other team earning any more than 13 first-tier votes.

As has become the custom, I've turned it over to our editors to explain themselves in each tier:

Playing For The Shield

Real Salt Lake


100% (60 out of 60 points)

Los Angeles Galaxy


88% (53 out of 60 points)

New York Red Bulls


86% (52 out of 60 points)

Colorado Rapids


85% (51 out of 60 points)

I started the Red Bulls in the top tier at the beginning of the season, but it was always an "on the cusp" sort of feeling as I waited for New York to wake up. Their 3-0 domination of the Earthquakes, a team I've rated highly, showed us how strong this New York team is capable of being when all the parts of working properly. Admit it, you didn't know who Luke Rodgers was either. Now, we're all sitting here thinking, "Oh great, the Red Bulls have another weapon". There's a good chance New York could fluctuate a bit as the season continues, but I have to think that come the playoffs, the Red Bulls will be firmly entrenched in a top tier spot in the power rankings.

- Zach Woosley, Dynamo Theory

Enjoy The Playoffs

Philadelphia Union


75% (45 out of 60 points)

Seattle Sounders


65% (39 out of 60 points)

Right now, the Union don't look like a great team, but they do look like one of the 10 best. I haven't moved them at all and won't until they do something unbelievable.

- Kevin McCauley, SB Nation soccer

Still Something To Prove

FC Dallas


48% (29 out of 60 points)

Sporting Kansas City


46% (28 out of 60 points)

Houston Dynamo


46% (28 out of 60 points)

San Jose Earthquakes


41% (25 out of 60 points)

DC United


41% (25 out of 60 points)

Portland Timbers


35% (21 out of 60 points)

Chicago Fire


31% (19 out of 60 points)

Vancouver Whitecaps


25% (15 out of 60 points)

New England Revolution


21% (13 out of 60 points)

Columbus Crew


20% (12 out of 60 points)

I've been on the Kansas City bandwagon since last last season. The aggressive 4-3-3 they play brings a level of excitement to MLS that is absent in most other places and they attack with a flair that some teams (like my own New England Revolution) are sorely missing. That said, they aren't playing like the playoff contenders I billed them to be this season. I understand that they are on an extended road trip before the opening of their new stadium and - as Portland proved twice this week - playing in front of your home fans can make all the difference, but I worry that they'll dig a hole so deep for themselves that they won't be able to haul themselves back into the playoff spots later this season. There simply aren't enough automatic places in the weak Eastern Conference, and although that should keep things close until late in the fall, it also means that anything less than a 3rd place finish will likely see Sporting KC miss the postseason.

- Steve Stoehr, The Bent Musket

At Least There's No Relegation

Toronto FC


1% (1 out of 60 points)

Chivas USA


0% (0 out of 60 points)

It's still very early in Aron Winter's rebuild and reimagining of TFC, and the growing pains were clearly evident in Saturday's game against DC United. Defensive giveaways and a lack of incision up front are symptomatic of a lack of quality in the squad as it stands. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end, but 2011 is shaping up to be a long year for TFC.

- Duncan Fletcher, Waking the Red

How It Works: Each of the 20 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 zero. Voters can put as many teams into each tier as they see fit. Though the vote total orders the teams, the clubs are intended to be grouped, not sorted. Although some of the names may indicate otherwise, the point of this is to assess current form and our voters are instructed to place teams in tiers based how those teams will fair in coming weeks.

Who participated: Jeremiah Oshan (SB Nation, soccer); Kevin McCauley (SB Nation, soccer); Aaron Campeau (SB Nation, soccer); Ryan Rosenblatt (SB Nation, soccer); Drew Epperley (SB Nation, soccer); Steve Davis (Daily Soccer Fix); Martin Shatzer (Black and Red United); Scott Kessler (Brotherly Game); Chris "UZ" White (Burgundy Wave); Zach Woosley (Dynamo Theory); Denzel Eslinger (RSL Soapbox); Robert Jonas (Quake, Rattle and Goal); Daniel Robertson (Big D Soccer); Dave Clark (Sounder at Heart); Andy Edwards (The Daily Wiz); Geoff Gibson (Stumptown Footy), Duncan Fletcher (Waking the Red), Steve Stoehr (The Bent Musket); Tweed Thornton (Hot Time in Old Town), Ben Schneider (Once a Metro); Jeff King (The Goat Parade).

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