Week 9 Power Rankings: Slow and Steady Climb

08 May 2:37 pm

Week 9 Power Rankings: Slow and Steady Climb

By Frank Della Femina

Any Red Bulls fan knows how big it was for the team to snag three points on the road in Los Angeles. Never mind the defense posting a clean sheet in the 1-0 victory, the second-straight shutout of the season.

But it seems 180-plus minutes of keeping an opponent scoreless only goes so far in terms of power rankings. MLSsoccer.com was rational enough to notice the perseverance of the club through its rough patch of injuries and in turn bumped New York up two spots in the rankings. Others, like Sports Illustrated and Soccer By Ives, still continue to either have doubts or a slight hesitation to promote the team up the rankings more than one spot.

Here's what MLSsoccer.com had to say after promoting the Red Bulls from ninth place in week 8, to seventh place in week 9:

"What happened to the team that was giving up three or four goals every time out? A tactical shift has helped, as have Ryan Meara's heroics in goal. The next test is reintegrating the mistake-prone pair of Rafa Márquez and Roy Miller."

(Editor's Note: To counter that, the Red Bulls are 3-0-1 when Marquez and Miller are in the lineup together. Just throwing that out there...)

Soccer By Ives: 7 (8)

"The Red Bulls, missing a slew of players including Designated Players Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry, traveled across the country to take on the defending MLS Cup champion Galaxy, who rested most of their regulars ahead of the contest. But New York beat the odds, grinding out a 1-0 win. It looks like this team might have some fight after all."

Sports Illustrated: 7 (8)

"The Red Bulls are relishing their new underdog role amid an injury crisis, one that has seemed to develop a sense of cohesion in the locker room and on the field that was previously lacking. Rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara's noticeable growth in the last few weeks has made all the difference for Hans Backe's club."

So if you're keeping track, the Red Bulls are in seventh place across the board in all three of those power rankings. Only in ESPN's rankings did the Red Bulls stay level at ninth place. Just a little food for thought: even the Dyamo, Wednesday's opponent who has posted a winless record in their last four outings, rank higher than the Red Bulls, according to ESPN.

What do you think of this week's rankings? Where would you place the Red Bulls on your personal power rankings?