MLS Power Rankings - Week 4

1. Red Bull NY (+4) - A solid, if not spectacular, win away in Dallas. They may not be beautiful to watch, but they're organized and they win games. I have to suspect that age and that backline will catch up with them sooner or later, but for now, they're at the top of the pile.

2. Houston Dynamo (-1) - Deserved more against Chicago and were denied by the bar on multiple occasions. This team still has the tools to start winning a lot of games if they start to put a few more on frame.

3. Chicago Fire (+5) - The East is a beast and is much stronger, top to bottom, than the West. Like RBNY, Chicago is just grinding out results against good teams. Still, their lack of a real go-to finisher could harm them when results start to sour. Will Blanco be sinner or savior?

4. NE Revolution (+2) - A nice win away from home, but the defense still looks a bit on the rickety side. Twellman makes all the difference for this team as he'll finish what few chances they conjure up.

5. Chivas USA (-1) - A tough loss to Cannon + Donovan. Cannon stones them on multiple chances and Donovan punishes them on the few chances the Galaxy create. Chivas is good up top and in the midfield. They're probably just a solid defender away from being a top side in MLS.

6. KC Wizards (+1) - Two wins, two clean sheets, but they're both against cellar dwellers TFC. EJ keeps scoring, but probably should have finished more of the opportunities than he did. Another solid, if unspectacular team, and I'm beginning to think the defense is a bit more vulnerable than I had anticipated. Time will tell.

7. LA Galaxy (+2) - A good win against Chivas, but two men do not a team make. Should either Cannon or Donovan go down, this team is completely sunk. Cannon kept the Gals in the game by doing his normal superkeeper routine and Donovan rose to the occasion and dominated the game, scoring the opener and creating the other two with his running and deft passing. In-form Donovan + in-form EJ = winning US National Team?

8. Colorado Rapids (+2) - A decent victory away to RSL, even if the second goal was a joke (and made the result more flattering). Though the defense is improved from last year, I still think it will prove vulnerable in the long run.

9. Columbus Crew (+2) - Sure they're not a great team, but they also haven't lost a game this year. A tough-to-beat Crew makes the East a lot more interesting. They'll remain draw specialists though, unless they learn how to finish more of the chances they create.

10. FC Dallas (-7) - Two losses at home and severe questions in midfield, combined with other teams looking strong, mean the Hoops fall precipitously. They did lose to two pretty good teams though. If they can recover and start getting results again, they'll start to climb the rankings.

11. DC United (-9) - I've given them three games to prove that they're the real deal, but no dice. They do have the talent to be a tremendous side, but for now they're disorganized and lack passion. This week should tell a lot about where this team is going. A couple of decent results and they're back in the hunt. Two more losses and they'll be struggling to make the playoffs.

12. Real Salt Lake - Seitz looked really good in net and they probably deserved more from the game against the Rapids, but it's still another loss. How long does Ellinger have to right the ship?

13. Toronto FC - Another week of shooting blanks and losing. That said, they played well at home in front of a great crowd. If they can ever start scoring, they may get out of the basement.

As promised, there was some real moving and shaking this week as the pattern of the season begins to take shape. NY and the Revs both shot up to the top of the chart, while Dallas and DC fell off a cliff. Another fun week is in store - see you Thursday night where I'm hoping to be celebrating a DC victory and not crying in my beer (again).

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