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So About Those Power Rankings

The Major League Soccer Power Rankings are a bit of a crap shoot and for Rapids fans we have to ask: Does it really matter?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We do not do Power Rankings here at Burgundy Wave.  It is not that we haven't in the past, but it is not something we currently do and I don't have plans do so.  Why?  Because they are honestly meaningless in Major League Soccer.  Until every team has played the same number of games it is darn right impossible to determine who is best and who is worst in the league.  Check out the games played column:

Here is the MLS Power Rankings published April 21, 2015:

Ranking Club Games Played Points W L D
1 New York Red Bulls 5 11 3 0 2
2 Vancouver Whitecaps 8 16 5 2 1
3 Seattle Sounders 6 10 3 2 1
4 LA Galaxy 7 11 3 2 2
5 FC Dallas 7 13 4 2 1
6 Columbus Crew SC 6 8 2 2 2
7 New England Revolution 7 11 3 2 2
8 D.C. United 6 11 3 1 2
9 Real Salt Lake 6 9 2 1 3
10 Sporting Kansas City 7 9 2 1 3
11 Orlando City 7 8 2 3 2
12 Portland Timbers 7 9 2 2 3
13 Houston Dynamo 7 9 2 2 3
14 San Jose Earthquakes 7 9 3 4 0
15 Chicago Fire 5 6 2 3 0
16 Toronto FC 5 3 1 4 0
17 New York City FC 7 6 1 3 3
18 Montreal Impact 4 2 0 2 2
19 Philadelphia Union 8 6 1 4 3
20 Colorado Rapids 6 6 1 2 3

I get a chance to talk to a few people about Power Rankings and I certainly read all of the tweets about them, but this has to be my favorite (from last week):

So when I talk about these power rankings, I tend to get a little bit fired up about them.  See this:

OK, so maybe I am a bit emotional about something that has zero impact on the actual playoff race or whether a club plays well.  And, as I mentioned, the games played issue makes it tough to decide who is best.  And the Rapids did get run off the pitch on Saturday and have not won at home since July (SPOILER ALERT: more on that with The Daily Wave on Thursday).  I get that they are near the bottom of the barrel.

But are they really 20th?  I do not think so.  I would have them in the 15th to 17th range right now and that would probably be fair.  They are still struggling with finishing and their defense is starting to show some cracks in the armor.  (Hey Pablo Mastroeni, how about you go with a backline of Marc Burch, Drew Moor, Shane O'Neill and Michael Harrington--give it a shot, see what happens).  But they are better than Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto and NYCFC.  However, I do think a lot of it is the perception from last year (right or wrong) and the feeling by many "experts" that Mr Mastroeni is completely unqualified and out of his element.

Regardless, power rankings do give people something to talk about and as a Rapids supporter, we want something good to talk about.  Since the 2013 playoff loss in Seattle, the Rapids have gone 9-20-11 and have collected 38 out of a possible 120 points.  It is so very difficult to be a supporter right now when things seem so incredibly bleak.  Yes, there has been improvement from last year, but the club is still in last place in the Western Conference and the hope from the FC Dallas victory quickly rotted away.  We are looking to cling on to something.  Anything that might be a bit of good news.  Even if it is a one spot rise in the power rankings.

Because, right now, that is all we have.