Weekly MLS Power Rankings: Toronto FC Stays Winless

This was supposed to the be the year for Toronto FC. Change had come. Paul Mariner and Aron Winter had brought hope and flashes of progress last year. There was the CONCACAF Champions League win over Los Angeles. There was the revamped squad. And yet it's all gone so terribly wrong. While teams like the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps have turned the corner, Toronto is lingering at the bottom, still winless.1. Real Salt Lake (8-3-2, 26 pts.) - Real Salt Lake got a much-needed week off. 2. Seattle Sounders (7-2-2, 23 pts.) - The Sounders went into Vancouver and got an important point.3. New York Red Bulls (8-3-1, 25 pts.) - New York continues to get results against all odds. Hans Backe is showing MLS what made him so successful in Denmark. 4. San Jose Earthquakes (7-2-3, 24 pts.) - Drawing with Columbus at home wasn't what was expected; it was not a good showing from the Quakes. 5. D.C. United (7-4-3, 24 pts.) - Two solid home wins pushes D.C. ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference. 6. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-3-3, 18 pts.) - The Canadian Cup is taking its toll on the Whitecaps, but ...
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MLS Weekly Power Rankings: New York Red Bulls Continue to Surprise

Theirry Henry is more than just the best player for the New York Red Bulls. He's the team's leader. He's the Red Bulls' general. And he's the face of the franchise.But right now, the Red Bulls are winning without their best player, and it's been great to watch the fight the team has. Another team grinding out results is Real Salt Lake (no surprise there). The Royals went into Seattle and showed what they're made of.  1. Real Salt Lake (8-3-1, 26 pts.) - Real Salt Lake shows up for the big games. Not many teams will go into Seattle and hold the Sounders scoreless like RSL did.2. Seattle Sounders (7-2-1, 19 pts.) - Losing at home is a shocker for Seattle against any opponent. 3. San Jose Earthquakes (7-2-1, 22 pts.) - Drawing with Chivas was a tough blow for San Jose as it tried to surpass Real Salt Lake to get the top spot in the West again.4. New York Red Bulls (7-3-1, 22 pts.) - The Patrick Ewing Theory is alive and well in New York. 5. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-3-2, 17 pts.) - Vancouver got run off the field by New England on Saturday, but Martin Rennie admitted to leaving veteran ...
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Houston Dynamo’s New Stadium Another Step Forward for MLS

When the Houston Dynamo walk onto BBVA Compass Field on Saturday night to face D.C. United in front of 22,000 fans (4:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network)—it spells a new challenge for the Dynamo and caps a journey that started in San Jose.It's also another big step for Major League Soccer as Houston becomes another team with its own place to call home.When the Dynamo moved from San Jose to Houston in 2005, it was because AEG, the team's principle owners, couldn't secure a stadium location. So the team moved to Houston and called Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston home.In its first season in Houston, the Dynamo won the 2006 MLS Cup, beating the New England Revolution 4-3. Even though the Dynamo were hugely successful after moving from San Jose, it still took six years for Houston to build a stadium—which is even more of a feat considering the new stadium was the reason for the move.Now, the team has a brand new, state-of-the-art stadium to show off, which is located next to the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston. The stadium is another sign that Major League Soccer is pushing its way into the mainstream ...
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MLS Weekly Power Rankings: Seattle Sounders Finally Get Past the Galaxy

The Seattle Sounders Jumped to the table of this week's Power Rankings after handling the Los Angeles Galaxy and Philadelphia Union in one week. Sporting Kansas City had a tough week with its first home loss of the season. And Vancouver stepped up with a big win over San Jose on Saturday. 1. Seattle Sounders (6-1-1, 19 pts.) Beating Los Angeles in the midweek game was what the Sounders needed to get that monkey off their back. Following that win up with a solid, 1-0 win over Philadelphia wrapped up an impressive week for a team that was playing under the radar for much of the season.2. Real Salt Lake (7-3-1, 22 pts.) Was there any doubt RSL would beat New England, who was coming off a Wednesday night game? No. But it just proves that this team wins when it needs to, which is vital.3. San Jose Earthquakes (7-2-1, 22 pts.) A goal-fest on Wednesday and a 5-3 win over D.C. was followed up by a disappointing 2-1 loss to Vancouver on Saturday.4. Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-2, 17 pts.) A Canadian Championship win on Wednesday was followed up by a 2-1 win over a San Jose team that looked unstoppable. Is there a bigger turnaround in MLS this year? ...
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Seattle Sounders: Freddy Montero Scores Absolute Stunner Against LA Galaxy

The Seattle Sounders had plenty of chances in the first half to bury the Los Angeles Galaxy yesterday, but they squandered many of them.Eddie Johnson finished off an excellent move and ball from Mauro Rosales in the 40th minute to score his second goal in as many games to fire his ahead. However, the real clincher came in the second half. Fredy Montero lined up an ambitious shot from 35-yards out and sent a dipping blast into the upper-90 to beat Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who was filling in for Los Angeles' usual starting keeper Josh Saunders (Saunders recently entered Major League Soccer's substance abuse treatment program).The goal was Montero's first of the season, and probably his most ambitious and impressive goal in his short but already impressive career. "When you have the opportunity to shoot from that distance you just try," he said after the game, per ESPN. "Thank God that ball went into the net."Montero's newest strike partner Johnson tried his hand in Europe after a successful career in MLS. It didn't turn out so well for the former Fulham man. He bounced around Europe on loan, but didn't find any success.Johnson returned to MLS this season and ended up partnering Sounders. Injuries ...
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Major League Soccer Power Rankings, Week 8: Toronto FC Stays Winless

1. San Jose Earthquakes (6-1-1, 19 pts.) - Depth and defense is what prevails in Major League Soccer. And San Jose has it. Going to Philadelphia isn't easy, but the 'Quakes were up to the task and continue to defy the odds. 2. Sporting Kansas City (7-1-0, 21 pts.) - Sporting needed a week off. They got it. Now, will there be a hangover when Kansas City hosts the Impact? 3. Real Salt Lake (6-3-1, 19 pts.) - Dallas and Toronto proved worthy opponents for Salt Lake, but four points on a short week was expected from one of the league's best sides, and that's what they got.4. Seattle Sounders (4-1-1, 13 pts.) - Seattle is playing under the radar right now, but that doesn't mean the Sounders aren't playing well. Another good road win this week, beating Chicago, 2-1.5. New York Red Bulls (4-3-1, 13 pts.) - The Red Bulls hung on to beat the Revolution on Saturday, but Thierry Henry limped off injured in the first half. Henry was playing at a top level, and borderline unstoppable, until his hamstring went. New York is going to have to find some bodies and sign some players soon with all the injuries they ...
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Major League Soccer’s 10 Most Surprising Storylines so Far for the 2012 Season

Major League Soccer is entering into the best patch of the league's history. Attendance is up. New teams are thriving. And the quality of play on the field continues to improve. Here are the 10 more surprising storylines so far this year in MLS. 1. The continued growth of MLS There was already an established fan base in Montreal before the Impact's home opener, which had the largest crowd for a home opener for an expansion team in MLS history. The Impact, like Vancouver and Seattle before it, was a professional team playing in the lower division of North American soccer. There was no way to know the kind of reception the team would get upon entry to the MLS. Montreal became the 19th team in MLS only 10 years after the league was on the brink of extinction.  2. The improved style of playThere have been complaints abound about the poor quality of play and players in MLS, but that is starting to change. The names on the back of jerseys may not be the most recognizable, but the players wearing those jerseys are certainly more talented than those in the past. MLS has grown, and the style of play has evolved from kick and chase to more organized ...
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Major League Soccer Power Rankings: Sporting Kansas City Finally Falls

There are a few surprises this year in Major League Soccer. Sporting Kansas City's great start to the season is one, even though the team's talent was never in question. Injuries have been a major player already this year. And there seems to be one surprising blow out every week.Some major movement this week in the rankings. San Jose moves up to No. 2 and D.C. United continues to crawl up the ranking with impressive performances. 1. Sporting Kansas City (7-1-0, 21 pts.) - It was a long week for Sporting Kansas City. SKC had a midweek game in Vancouver, which it won, 3-1, and another game in Portland on Saturday, which it lost, 1-0. To win those two games on the road after playing Real Salt Lake last weekend would have been a miracle. 2. San Jose Earthquakes (5-1-1, 16 pts.) - Yes, Real Salt Lake was down to nine men, but that's not matter in San Jose right now. Frank Yallop got his 100th win as a manager in MLS, and this put the Quakes in first place in the Western Conference for the first time since being refounded as an expansion team in 2008.3. Real Salt Lake (5-3-0, 15 ...
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Major League Soccer Power Rankings: Kansas City Stays Perfect

Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake were both looking to establish their supremacy. They wanted to show Major League Soccer who was the team to beat. And Kansas City came out on top and stayed perfect. Sporting Kansas City has the whole package while the rest of the Eastern Conference is lagging far behind. Sporting's closest competitor, New York, has a defense with as many holes as an industrial colander.Out West, Real stays on top, but San Jose keeps creeping closer and closer to jumping into the top two spots. 1. Sporting Kansas City (6-0-0, 18 pts.) - Sporting showed the league they are for real with a solid win over RSL. But the real test awaits when the team travels to Vancouver this Wednesday. A short week and a lot of travel could finally ruin KC's unbeaten run. Still, Sporting, even if they lose Wednesday, is the best team in the league right now.2. Real Salt Lake (5-2-0, 15 pts.) - Real Salt Lake might not have deserved to lose in Kansas City, but they aren't and won't be the only team this season to lose in Livestrong Park. The Royals have one of the deepest and most experienced teams in MLS, this loss ...
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Major League Soccer Power Rankings Week 5: New York Red Bulls Surging

The New York Red Bulls sputtered in the first week of Major League Soccer action, but things have turned around in New York. Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry look like the best forward paring in MLS, and there doesn't seem to be answer to how to stop them right now. Real Salt Lake came back firing this week with two wins in a short week. Is this week's showdown with perfect Sporting Kansas City the game of the year? Short answer: Yes. Both teams are stingy and both are in prime form. 1. Sporting Kansas City (5-0-0, 15 Points)  Kei Kamara comes through in the clutch again, and Sporting K.C. becomes the first team since MLS's inaugural season to start the year 5-0. Oh, and Sporting hasn't allowed a shot on goal for 245 minutes.That's pretty impressive (an understatement if I've ever written one). 2. Real Salt Lake (5-1-0, 15 Points)Two wins on one week proved to be pretty easy for an RSL side that has come together again under Jason Kreis. 3. San Jose Earthquakes (4-1-0, 12 Points) San Jose finally allowed a goal, but Chris Wondolowski added two more to his tally, and the Quakes dispatched a good Whitecaps team at home.  4. New ...
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