Red Bulls Remain in Top 4 of Week 11 Power Rankings

22 May 1:41 pm

Red Bulls Remain in Top 4 of Week 11 Power Rankings

By Frank Della Femina

The New York Red Bulls remain in the top four of this week’s MLS power rankings, although the exact placement in that top four varies a bit across the web.

We’ll start things off with the MLSsoccer.com rankings.

The staff at the League site gave the Red Bulls a nice jump from No. 4 to No. 2 following this past week’s road win over the Montreal Impact. Both San Jose and Seattle were demoted below the Red Bulls, as Real Salt Lake remains the top dog this week.

MLSsoccer.com provides this back-handed compliment:

What do you call a team that keeps beating inferior opponents by a single goal? Winners. Whatever else happens this season, New York will know that they can go back to playing lock-down soccer if they need to. That's invaluable.

Let’s flip things over to ESPN now, who provided a similar promotion for the Red Bulls in the jump from No. 4 to No. 2.

The last time New York won five straight, Clint Mathis was scoring at will for the MetroStars in '03. After a 2-1 comeback win over Montreal, with 10 men for 32 minutes when Palsson got ejected, the Red Bulls are close to franchise history.

Now it gets a little interesting as we head toward the Soccer by Ives and Sports Illustrated rankings. Five wins in a row, coupled with the team’s ability to win shorthanded against Montreal, didn’t impact (get it? Impact?) the rankings from these respective sites one bit, as the team remains a lock at the No. 4 spot.

Soccer by Ives writes:

The acquisition of Heath Pearce immediately shores up New York's iffy back line, and losing Juan Agudelo in the deal won't be much of a blow if Kenny Cooper keeps on scoring goals. On a five-game winning streak, these Red Bulls are finally living up to the hype.

Hmmm. That doesn’t explain much in terms of the team staying level in their power rankings. Let’s see what Sports Illustrated has to say:

Facing more adversity than perhaps any other team in the league, the Red Bulls ran off their fifth win in a row, to mark their longest winning streak in nine years. Heath Pearce's transition to the back line went rather seamless, and Dane Richards' first goal of the season couldn't have come at a better time. Somehow this team continues to produce results with odds not in its favor.

So this week the Red Bulls land at No. 2 overall on MLSsoccer.com and ESPN, while Soccer by Ives and Sports Illustrated have the team holding steady at No. 4.

I’ll just smile and nod at those last two.

What’s your take on this week’s power rankings?