Philadelphia just keeps climbing after another win under John Hackworth. Meanwhile, Portland drops to the bottom after conceding a five-spot at home. Here are Nos. 11-19 in the ProSoccerTalk’s weekly rankings countdown.
(Nos. 1-10 are on deck …so check back)
19. Portland Timbers – The bold managerial change is off to a bad start: No matter the opposition, giving up five goals at home is just brutal. (Portland fell to the L.A. Galaxy, 5-3.)
18. FC Dallas – The team went into Denver and left with its first win since April, a full 13 games back. David Ferreira’s presence makes a world of difference, especially to players like speedy winger Fabian Castillo; now, if they can just get Brek Shea straightened out.
17. Montréal Impact – Italian defender Alessandro Nesta can’t get on the field fast enough. You have to wonder if Montreal could have held the 1-1 draw Saturday at Philadelphia with an old hand like him around to steady the ship. (Philly scored on a last kick to take all the points.)
16. Toronto FC – Just when things looked so swell under Paul Mariner, the Danny Koevermans’ injury news land with devastating effect. The Dutch forward is out for the season with a serious knee injury picked up in Saturday’s win at New England. Ryan Johnson (pictured), you are on the spot.
15. Colorado Rapids – Goalkeeper Matt Pickens, whose team has lost five of six, including Saturday’s home setback against FC Dallas: “It’s pretty damn embarrassing. This is the toughest stretch I’ve ever been on as a soccer player. But you can’t do anything but get back on the field and keep working.”
14. Chivas USA – The Goats had a much-needed week off; Juan Pablo Ángel, Juan Agudelo and Nick LaBrocca are among the still-healing set. This week turns busy with a mid-week visit from Portland followed three nights later by the next L.A. SuperClasico vs. the Galaxy.
13. Philadelphia Union – Interim manager John Hackworth is making a great case to keep the job at season’s end, as Philly has won four of its last five. The latest was thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Carlos Valdes. Another error from young goalkeeper Zac MacMath nearly turned disastrous; it’s just what you get with young ‘keepers.
12. Columbus Crew – A loss in Ohio to Sporting Kansas City was Columbus’ second in a row and third in four matches. This week’s home match against D.C. United looms large. Dilly Duka’s second half entrance was a bright spot Saturday, at least.
11. New England Revolution – Saturday’s tough loss at home to Toronto snapped a five-game unbeaten streak. Jay Heaps’ team will try to regain the momentum this week at Montreal – but won’t do so without some better finishing. Three nights later, they are in Kansas City.