Your July edition of the Crunchy Power Rankings are below. Do they still hate onetime Supporters Shield contenders FC Dallas and Montreal Impact? (yes). Do they still love those young, plucky Rapids? (yes). Read on!
This is sort of a special edition. Since we're roughly at the halfway point of the season, these are the rankings I'll use to grade the CPR after the season is over. If they're any good, these rankings will correlate better with how teams do in the second half than their position in the actual standings (and maybe I'll throw in some other power rankings to compare against for giggles).
Here are the updated rankings, with a little commentary to follow:
|1||Sporting Kansas City||1.51||4.5||11.83||4.8||95
|4||New York Red Bulls||2.74||1.54||5.18||0.4||66
|7||San Jose Earthquakes||2.87||0.67||-3.58||2.49||61
|11||Seattle Sounders FC||0.68||-0.87||3.67||-0.81||48
|13||Real Salt Lake||-4.53||-0.34||7||-1.57||42
|17||New England Revolution||-6.26||-0.89||-5.19||-0.77||29
In the last edition, I promised to eat my hat or something if FC Dallas was still at the top of the Supporters Shield standings the next time I published the rankings. Despite an inferno of a start to the season, the underlying statistics have never been promising. My hats — from the cadets to the duckbills — are perfectly safe. A month later, Dallas aren't just off the top of the table, they're barely in the playoffs.
Similarly, the Impact were never impressive by crunchy standards. They're actually the biggest movers up since the last edition, but it's from 17th to 12th. Their ability to will opposing shots onto the woodwork was predictably unsustainable and they've fallen off, though they're still second in the East. Again, that's not a situation I'd expect to last long. If I made another hat-eating wager for next month it'd be on New York passing up Montreal comfortably.
The biggest fall is courtesy of the Whitecaps, who've struggled without Russell Teibert (or Captain Canada, as I like to call him). That's a hopeful development for a Sounders team that needs to run down a current playoff team to make the postseason. Right now both Vancouver and Dallas look like wounded gazelle drifting back from the playoff herd.
San Jose remains an enigma. Statistically they're playing very well. Their roster is largely unchanged from the one that won the Supporters Shield last season. But their results are terrible, especially on the road. That last bit may matter a lot as they're just starting a stretch of 4 home games in 5 matches. If they can go on a run, they can start putting pressure on Colorado and Seattle for a last playoff spot. It would take a run like Seattle started in July 2010 to come back from playoff oblivion, but obviously it's been done..
Chicago is another team that is statistically very strong but currently out of the playoff spots. Mike Magee has been a massive addition to the team and I'd be surprised if they weren't a big part of the playoff race in the East in the last couple of months.
In the other direction, RSL has slipped despite losing only 2 of their last 12. They're the new Shield leaders, but the CPR suggest that maybe that's a situation that won't last long.
Seattle is. . we're holding out hope for Seattle. The good news is, as I've mentioned, both Vancouver and FC Dallas aren't looking strong. The bad news is LA certainly is. And even if RSL aren't impressive statistically, they've already accumulated so many points it doesn't matter. The other bad news is Colorado is looking good. If one of the Whitecaps or FCD fall out, it's just as likely (maybe more likely) that the Rapids take that spot. It may take both Vancouver and Dallas losing their playoff positions for the Sounders to make it.