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MLS Power Rankings, Week 15: New York Red Bulls Crash Out Of Top Tier

FC Dallas moves back into the top tier and by all rights looks like they might be the team to beat in the season's second half.

SEATTLE - JUNE 23:  Head coach Hans Backe of the New York Red Bulls looks on against the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on June 23, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Red Bulls 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE - JUNE 23: Head coach Hans Backe of the New York Red Bulls looks on against the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on June 23, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Sounders defeated the Red Bulls 4-2. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It has now been almost two full months since the New York Red Bulls have won back-to-back matches. In fact, they haven't won two matches during the entire 10-match stretch since April 30. So, maybe they were due to fall out of the top tier of the SB Nation Soccer MLS Power Rankings awhile ago. Either way, they are now and only four of 22 voters consider them real contenders at this point.

Taking their place in the top tier is FC Dallas, who now appears at the top of 14 ballots and is just two points shy of catching Real Salt Lake. The other big movement came at the bottom of the rankings where both Sporting Kansas City and the Chicago Fire climbed out of the basement and into the third tier.

Playing For The Shield

Los Angeles Galaxy

100% (66 out of 66 points)

Real Salt Lake

89% (59 out of 66 points)

FC Dallas

87% (58 out of 66 points)

Even down a man and having a midfielder playing in goal, the LA Galaxy found a way to eek out a point this week against the San Jose Earthquakes. Without Landon Donovan, this team did not look as dangerous as they had, but that should be expected. They did manage to go undefeated, though, and still sit atop the standings with Donovan back just in time for a Fourth of July match against the Seattle Sounders.

Enjoy The Playoffs

Philadelphia Union

80% (53 out of 66 points)

Seattle Sounders

77% (51 out of 66 points)

New York Red Bulls

72% (48 out of 66 points)

Colorado Rapids

65% (43 out of 66 points)

Columbus Crew

57% (38 out of 66 points)

I might be late to the party, but it's finally time to knock the New York Red Bulls out of the championship tier. When they were in the midst of this long stretch of poor results, I blamed it on the Gold Cup and actually felt that their ability to keep pulling out draws without their starting centerback pairing was a testament to their championship credentials. After this most recent draw against Chicago and the crushing defeat to Seattle, though, I think it's impossible to ignore the fact that there's something fundamentally wrong with this team. It could be goalkeeping, it could be a mental condition affecting the whole squad, but whatever it is, they won't be challenging for an MLS Cup title until it gets sorted out.

- Steve Stoehr, The Bent Musket

Still Something To Prove

San Jose Earthquakes

43% (29 out of 66 points)

DC United

39% (26 out of 66 points)

Houston Dynamo

36% (24 out of 66 points)

Sporting Kansas City

30% (20 out of 66 points)

Portland Timbers

27% (18 out of 66 points)

Chivas USA

24% (16 out of 66 points)

Chicago Fire

16% (11 out of 66 points)

Don't look now, but Sporting Kansas City is just two points out of a playoff spot and still has 19 matches left to play. They aren't exactly setting the world ablaze, but they have clearly recovered from that awful start. Their win over the Vancouver Whitecaps was their third in four matches and they have not lost in seven. 

At Least There's No Relegation

New England Revolution

6% (4 out of 66 points)

Vancouver Whitecaps

3% (2 out of 66 points)

Toronto FC

0% (0 out of 66 points)

If there were a tier beneath the lowest we have available now, I'd place New England and Toronto in that category. Tier minus one, perhaps. These two squads look downright awful. Both teams have a couple of pretty good to really good players sprinkled in a squad full of bench players, reservists and nobodies. Both teams also sport very good goalkeepers (although Matt Reis had a bad match on Sunday) that are essentially facing a firing squad every match, as evidenced by their positions at one and two on the saves list this season. Soccer in New England is coming apart at the seams both on and off the field, and Toronto is taking the fan base that taught America how to really be supporters and putting them on the rack with season after season of disappointment. If these two teams don't figure things out by the end of this season we may be seeing the dreaded specter of relocation rearing its ugly head again in MLS.

- Steve Stoehr, The Bent Musket

How It Works: Each of the 22 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); Aaron Campeau (SB Nation, soccer); Ryan Rosenblatt (SB Nation, soccer); Drew Epperley (SB Nation, soccer); Phillip Quinn (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); Josie Bekcer (LAG Confidential) Alicia Ratterree (The Goat Parade).