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Wednesday, August 10, 2011
MLS Power Rankings, Week 22: Young blood

By Scott French

A historic weekend has passed in Major League Soccer, with five teens scoring goals -- including two local products.

Garden Grove's Luis Gil, who at 17 has become a real contributor for Real Salt Lake, netted his first MLS goal in the Utahns' 3-0 romp over New York, firing inside the far post for the second goal.

Woodland Hills' Orr Barouch, 19, continued a fine rookie season for the struggling Chicago Fire, scoring his second league goal -- and eighth in all competitions -- in a loss at Vancouver.

Jack McInerney, 19, scored his first of the year and fourth of his young career with Philadelphia, and Gershon Koffie, 19, scored his first for Vancouver.

The biggest impression was made by 16-year-old Diego Fagundez, who has overshadowed two experienced debutants -- New England teammate Milton Caraglio and Chivas USA's Laurent Courtois -- by scoring a goal and drawing the penalty for another in the Revolution's loss to the Goats.

This week's rankings:




1. GALAXY (13-3-9, 48 points), Last week: 1
Week 21:
Poor effort ends 14-game unbeaten streak in 3-0 loss at Portland; three David Beckham set pieces add up to 3-1 win over FC Dallas
Remark: Landon Donovan joins New York's Rafa Marquez and Man United's Wayne Rooney on the cover of EA Sports' “FIFA Soccer 12”
Captain: Donovan, with Beckham, Gregg Berhalter and Donovan Ricketts down the pecking order
Next: Tuesday in a CONCACAF Champions League Group A game vs. Motagua (Honduras) at Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel, 9:30 p.m.); Saturday, Aug. 20, vs. San Jose at Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m. (Prime Ticket)

2. FC DALLAS (12-6-6, 42 points), Last week: 2
Week 21: Ugo Ihemelu
's goal completes 2-0 aggregate win over Alianza (El Salvador) in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round; Marvin Chavez's early goal won't stand up in 3-1 loss to the Galaxy
Remark: Daniel Hernandez says Galaxy had 12th man in showdown: “It doesn’t help when you have a ref that listens to Beckham and Donovan at the beginning and does what they want”
Captain: Hernandez, a one-time Galaxy midfielder who played for Hoops coach Schellas Hyndman at SMU
Next: Saturday at Philadelphia, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

3. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (11-5-8, 41 points), Last week: 3
Week 21: Nate Jaqua
's overtime goal delivers preliminary-round triumph over San Francisco FC (Panama) in the CONCACAF Champions League; Mauro Rosales scores, creates stoppage-time goals to beat Sporting Kansas City, 2-1
Remark: Heroic performances prod Sounders to Champions League group stage, past K.C. in clinical comeback
Captain: Goalkeeper Kasey Keller
Next: Saturday vs. Chivas USA, 1 p.m. (Prime Ticket and KWHY/Channel 22); Tuesday in CONCACAF Champions League Group D game vs. Comunicaciones (Guatemala), 7 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)

4. COLORADO RAPIDS (9-6-10, 37 points), Last week: 6
Week 21: Brian Mullan
and Omar Cummings score goals in 2-0 win over Columbus
Remark: Cummings-Sanna Nyassi partnership again pays dividends
Captain: Midfield leader Pablo Mastroeni
Next: Saturday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

5. REAL SALT LAKE (10-5-6, 36 points), Last week: 5
Week 21:
Utahns follow defeat with 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City; Gil scores his first in MLS, a superb 25-yarder, in 3-0 rout of New York
Remark: Jason Kreis on Gil: “Luis’ potential is skyscrapers above where he’s at right now.”
Captain: Midfield leader Kyle Beckerman
Next: Saturday at Toronto FC, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

6. PHILADELPHIA UNION (8-5-9, 33 points), Last week: 7
Week 21:
Leads disappear in 1-1 draws at Chicago, at home vs. Houston
Remark: Just two wins in 12 league games, or Union would be running away with the East
Captain: Goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. Orange's Danny Califf is vice-captain
Next: Saturday vs. FC Dallas, 5 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

7. COLUMBUS CREW (9-7-7, 34 points), Last week: 4
Week 21:
Crew stay atop the Eastern Conference despite 2-0 loss at Colorado
Remark: Emmanuel Ekpo receives first call-up to Nigeria's national team
Captain: Riverside's Chad Marshall, the backline leader
Next: Saturday vs. New England, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)




8. CHIVAS USA (7-8-8, 29 points), Last week: 9
Week 21: Alejandro Moreno
nets a pair in 3-2 win at New England
Remark: Laurent Courtois and David Junior Lopes add to Goats' quality, a capable forward could make the difference
Captain: Moreno has worn the armband, with Simon Elliott and Heath Pearce ready to take the job when needed; Jimmy Conrad was the initial choice, but he hasn't played since March 26
Next: Saturday at Seattle, 1 p.m. (Prime Ticket and KWHY/Channel 22)

9. NEW YORK RED BULLS (6-6-12, 30 points), Last week: 8
Week 21:
MLS winless streak hits five with 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake
Remark: Hans Backe gets dreaded “vote of confidence.” With one with in eight MLS games, and so much talent, his tenure has to be in doubt
Captain: Star forward Thierry Henry
Next:
Saturday vs. Chicago, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

10. HOUSTON DYNAMO (6-7-10, 28 points), Last week: 11
Week 21: Geoff Cameron
's late goal forges a 1-1 draw at Philadelphia
Remark: Dynamo get Carlo Costly, add Brazilian midfielder Luiz Camargo on loan
Captain: It's forward Brian Ching, but Brad Davis wore the armband in his absence
Next: Sunday vs. Portland, 6 p.m. (Galavision)

11. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-7-9, 30 points), Last week: 12
Week 21:
Ex-Wizards extend unbeaten streak at 14, beating Real Salt Lake, 2-0, on first-half goals by Roger Espinoza and Teal Bunbury; suffer first loss at Livestrong as Seattle rallies with two late goals in 2-1 decision
Remark: Omar Bravo's second red card doesn't harm his reputation; how he reacted, especially faking that he'd been “head-butted” by Pat Noonan, does the job
Captain: Midfielder Davy Arnaud. Bravo has worn the armband during his injury rehab
Next: Wednesday, Aug. 17, vs. Portland, 5:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

12. D.C. UNITED (6-6-9, 27 points), Last week: 10
Week 21: Dwayne De Rosario
repeats as MLS Player of the Week after hat trick delivers 3-3 draw with Toronto FC
Remark: De Ro has six goals in six games since arriving, but D.C. must defend better to make a run in the weak East
Captain: Veteran forward Josh Wolff, but De Rosario has been wearing the armband lately
Next: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

13. PORTLAND TIMBERS (7-10-5, 26 points), Last week: 16
Week 21:
Comprehensive performance in 3-0 rout of the Galaxy; Kenny Cooper scores first since April in 1-1 draw at San Jose
Remark: Cooper making a difference again with superb showings against L.A., Quakes
Captain: Jack Jewsbury has become a Timbers Army favorite
Next: Sunday at Houston, 6 p.m. (Galavision)

14. NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-10-9, 21 points), Last week: 13
Week 21:
Revs miss too many chances as 3-2 loss to Chivas USA ends three-game unbeaten run
Remark: Uruguay knows about Massachusetts-bred Fagundez, so tug-of-war for his international services likely
Captain: Midfield general Shalrie Joseph
Next:
Saturday at Columbus, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

15. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-8-10, 25 points), Last week: 15
Week 21: Alan Gordon
's first goal for the Quakes delivers 1-1 draw vs. Portland
Remark: Attack limited with Yorba Linda's Steven Lenhart away on an “indefinite family leave of absence,” Gordon recovering from abdominal/hip surgery -- Quakes have been shut out seven times in 10-game winless skid
Captain: Defender Ramiro Corrales
Next:
Saturday vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

16. CHICAGO FIRE (2-7-13, 19 points), Last week: 14
Week 21: Pavel Pardo
tallies in his debut for 1-1 draw vs. Philadelphia; Barouch scores again in 4-2 loss at Vancouver
Remark: “Mentally fatigued” Fire commit “too many mistakes,” fall to bottom of MLS standings
Captain: Midfielder Logan Pause
Next:
Saturday at New York, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

17. VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (3-11-9, 18 points), Last week: 18
Week 21: Eric Hassli
scores ninth and 10th goals, misses PK in 4-2 romp over Chicago
Remark: Martin Rennie, who has the Carolina RailHawks on target for a second straight NASL title, will coach the 'Caps in 2012
Captain: Defender Jay DeMerit, with defender Alain Rochat serving in his absence
Next: Saturday at D.C. United, 4:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)

18. TORONTO FC (3-11-11, 20 points), Last week: 17
Week 21:
Rare win dies when Reds concede late penalty in 3-3 draw at D.C. United
Remark: Danny Koevermans has scored in three successive games
Captain: Newcomer Torsten Frings, after previous captains De Rosario and Maicon Santos were traded away
Next: Saturday vs. Real Salt Lake, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick)
All times Pacific