MLS Power Rankings, Week 5: FC Dallas makes its point(s)

April, 13, 2011
4/13/11
3:58
PM PT
FC Dallas was Major League Soccer's best team for a good portion of last season, and had Macoumba Kandji's ball ricocheted differently off George John last November, it might have been the Hoops celebrating an MLS Cup title on that chilly Toronto evening.

Last week's 3-0 romp over Colorado in a title-game rematch could serve as a spark for FC Dallas, which started the season slowly after head coach Schellas Hyndman, a deserving MLS Coach of the Year in 2010, tossed out some key players during the offseason.




We've had the Hoops as low as 13th in our power rankings, mostly wondering whether Hyndman's moves -- especially letting go linking midfielder Dax McCarty (to D.C. United, through the expansion draft), speedy forward Atiba Harris (to Vancouver in the expansion draft) and versatile defender Heath Pearce (in a trade with Chivas USA) for, well, nothing -- had destroyed the balance and chemistry that served the club so well in last year's run.

Friday night's victory showed Dallas in the best light, with reigning league MVP David Ferreira scoring twice, then celebrating with a pacifier and by “rocking the baby” to let the world know his wife is pregnant. Colorado was missing some key personnel, but if Ferreira is back at his best, FC Dallas is capable of anything. We've got them sixth this week.

This week's rankings:

1. REAL SALT LAKE (3-0-0), Last week: 1
Week 4:
Takes its B team to Foxborough and cleans up, 2-0, on the Revolution
Remark: RSL would be a contender with its second team
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Jason Kreis scored 108 goals, won 1999 MLS MVP with Dallas in 1999
Next: Wednesday vs. Colorado, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

2. GALAXY (2-1-2), Last week: 3
Week 4:
Get robbed on Charlie Davies' end-of-game dive for 1-1 draw at D.C. United
Remark: Landon Donovan offers Davies some pool gear, via Twitter; maybe he could give the Galaxy a few goals
Star of the (coaching) staff: With Cobi Jones off with the Cosmos, the honor falls to assistant Gregg Berhalter, a two-time World Cup selection who would be starting on L.A.'s backline if healthy
Next: Wednesday at Toronto FC, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Sunday at Chicago, 1 p.m. (Galavision and Fox Sports West)

3. COLORADO RAPIDS (3-1-0), Last week: 2
Week 4:
No match for FC Dallas in 3-0 defeat
Remark: Pablo Mastroeni's absence plays huge role in MLS Cup rematch
Star of the (coaching) staff: Former Galaxy director of soccer Paul Bravo, the Rapids' technical director, was a star forward in San Jose, Colorado
Next: Wednesday at Real Salt Lake, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

4. NEW YORK RED BULLS (1-1-2), Last week: 4
Week 4:
Juan Agudelo hits a post and the crossbar, and the Red Bulls fall, 1-0, at Philadelphia
Remark: Will we ever see Achilles-ailing Thierry Henry at his best?
Star of the (coaching) staff: Sporting director/general manager Erik Soler played in midfield and at right back in the Bundesliga, for Norway's national team
Next: Saturday vs. San Jose, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

5. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (1-2-2), Last week: 5
Week 4: O'Brian White
scores, sets up Steve Zakuani as Sounders finally win
Remark: Fredy Montero returns, but Quakes attack looked pretty good without him
Star of the (coaching) staff: Technical director (and UCLA alum) Chris Henderson was the youngest player on the 1990 U.S. World Cup team, was winger in Germany, Norway and for five MLS clubs
Next: Saturday at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

6. FC DALLAS (1-2-1), Last week: 13
Week 4:
MVP David Ferreira announces he's a father-to-be by scoring twice in 3-0 romp over Colorado, winning Player of the Week
Remark: It wasn't MLS Cup, but emphatic victory over Rapids showed Hoops, finally, in the best light
Star of the (coaching) staff: Assistant coach Marco Ferruzzi played in midfield for Tampa Bay Mutiny, starred in second tier for Richmond Kickers
Next: Sunday at Portland, 3 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

7. HOUSTON DYNAMO (1-1-2), Last week: 7
Week 4:
Falls in OT, 1-0, to Sporting Kansas City in U.S. Open Cup qualifier, then notches first MLS victory, with Brad Davis assisting all three in a 3-1 win over Vancouver
Remark: Danny Cruz's energetic work fuels Dynamo's initial triumph
Star of the (coaching) staff: A close one, but we'll take iconic assistant coach Steve Ralston, MLS's all-time games and assist leader, over head coach Dominic Kinnear, also a fine playmaking midfielder
Next: Sunday vs. New England, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

8. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (1-1-2), Last week: 6
Week 4: Simon Dawkins
gets the equalizer in an unsatisfying 1-1 draw with Toronto FC
Remark: Quakes can thank David Beckham for directing Spurs alum Dawkins to San Jose
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Frank Yallop's experience in England, with Canada's national team barely trumps GM John Doyle's (1990 World Cup, MLS's first Defender of the Year) and assistant coach Mark Watson's (second-most capped player in Canadian annals)
Next: Saturday at New York, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

9. CHICAGO FIRE (1-1-1), Last week: 8
Week 4: Diego Chaves
quickly answers Seattle's first, but that isn't enough in a 2-1 road loss
Remark: Chaves and Gaston Puerari eliminating those attacking concerns
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Carlos de los Cobos' 16 years as midfielder in Mexico's top league, 1986 World Cup just beats technical director Frank Klopas' time up top in Greece, 1994 U.S. World Cup team
Next: Thursday at Portland, 8 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes); Sunday vs. Galaxy, 1 p.m. (TeleFutura and Fox Sports West)

10. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (1-1-1), Last week: 9
Week 4:
Beats Houston, 1-0, on C.J. Sapong's OT goal in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier
Remark: Once things start clicking defensively, Sporting will be tough to beat.
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Peter Vermes went to a World Cup and played in Europe as a forward, won an MLS Cup and revived his national team career as a defender
Next: Saturday at Columbus, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

11. PHILADELPHIA UNION (3-1-0), Last week: 10
Week 4:
Loses on penalties at D.C. United in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier; Roger Torres provides the goal as New York becomes Union's third 1-0 victim
Remark: Union has conceded just one goal in four games, although Red Bulls should have scored a few
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Peter Nowak, a midfield general, was Poland's national team captain, starred in Germany and led the Chicago Fire to the MLS Cup title in their first season
Next: Saturday vs. Seattle, 1 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

12. COLUMBUS CREW (1-1-2), Last week: 11
Week 4:
Defense good enough, offense not in 0-0 draw at Chivas USA
Remark: Crew not only not conceding goals -- that's three successive shutouts -- they're not giving up chances
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Robert Warzycha was a winger for Poland and starred at Everton before seven solid seasons with the Crew
Next: Saturday vs. Sporting Kansas City, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

13. D.C. UNITED (1-2-1), Last week: 12
Week 4:
Topples Philly on PKs after a 2-2 draw in a U.S. Open qualifier; Charlie Davies goes down easily, then finishes from the spot for a 1-1 draw with the Galaxty
Remark: If car door opens, might Davies provide driver-safety PSA?
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Ben Olsen was an MLS Rookie of the Year and played in a World Cup during an often inspirational career with D.C.
Next: Saturday at Toronto FC, 4 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

14. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (1-1-2), Last week: 14
Week 4: Ilija Stolica
's stoppage-time strike ties Vancouver, 1-1; second straight sub-8,000 home crowd watches RSL's second team win, 2-0
Remark: The question on new Danish signing isn't whether his first name is spelled R-e-j-k-o or R-a-j-k-o -- it's what can Lekic do in front of the net
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Steve Nicol was a big contributor on the backline, occasionally in midfield for Liverpool's great teams of the 1980s, went to the 1986 World Cup with Scotland
Next: Sunday at Houston, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

15. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (1-2-2), Last week: 15
Week 4: Erik Hassli
's penalty-kick celebration sees red in 1-1 draw with New England; Camilo's third not enough in 3-1 loss at Houston
Remark: What kind of wacky second yellow card will Hassli pick up this week?
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Teitur Thordarson was captain of Iceland's national team and a consistent scorer in his home league, in Sweden and France
Next: Saturday vs. Chivas USA, 4 p.m. (Prime Ticket)

16. TORONTO FC (1-1-2), Last week: 17
Week 4: Alan Gordon
scores again and Reds claim nice 1-1 draw at San Jose
Remark: Julian de Guzman's return from knee surgery can't hurt -- but he needs to provide plenty
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach Aron Winter went to two World Cups and three European Championships with Dutch national team and starred as a defensive midfielder for Ajax Amsterdam, Lazio and Inter Milan
Next: Wednesday vs. Galaxy, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Saturday vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

17. CHIVAS USA (0-2-2), Last week: 16
Week 4:
Not enough offense, again, is scoreless draw with Columbus
Remark: Gotta praise defense, with so many missing, but somebody has to take responsibility for scoring
Star of the (coaching) staff: Take your pick: An argument can be made that head coach Robin Fraser was the finest center back in MLS history; top assistant Greg Vanney also was a U.S. national-teamer, deprived of a World Cup spot by injury; assistant Carlos Llamosa played for the U.S. at the 2002 World Cup
Next: Saturday at Vancouver, 4 p.m. (Prime Ticket)

18. PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-2-1), Last week: 18
Week 4:
Idle
Remark: Lumber Co. has had almost two weeks to prep for the home opener; our prediction: MLS's best atmosphere
Star of the (coaching) staff: Head coach John Spencer was a feisty forward in Scotland, for Chelsea and QPR and an MLS Best XI pick for the Colorado Rapids
Next: Thursday vs. Chicago, 8 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes); Sunday vs. FC Dallas, 3 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

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