To Power Rank or Not to Power Rank? Fire in MLS Week 32

Rank ’em! (image:

To Power Rank or Not to Power Rank? For the second to last time in 2012, this is the question.

Despite others’ disdainful opinions that power rankings are nothing but meaningless drivel, dear reader, you know how we love to aggregate and argue about them. Plus, we always relish an opportunity to listen to Snap…


Chicago Fire Aggregate Power Ranking = 6.0, down from 4.4 

Soccer America #5 –  “Feeble attack mustered just one shot on goal in a 1-0 loss at New England as the flickering Fire lost for the third time in the last four games. Coach Frank Klopas elected not to play veteran defender Arne Friedrich on the Revs’ artificial surface, and midfielder Pavel Pardo – sidelined since mid-September with hamstring and calf injuries – also didn’t play. Chicago can overtake D.C. for second place in the East if it beats United Saturday, and it could also use a boost in momentum.” You’re too kind. Really.

ESPN FC #6 –  “A road win at New York two weeks ago appeared to have the Fire on the right track, but a 1-0 loss at New England has Chicago in danger of getting sucked into the play-in game morass.” Perhaps ESPN FC feels betrayed? After all, they were most kind to Chicago for many weeks. Oy vey. #6 – “They allowed exactly one shot on goal against New England, and there’s nothing Sean Johnson could have done about it regardless. But this is the second time in recent weeks that Chicago have gone into a must-win game and come out on the wrong side of the scoreline. Yes, the schedule’s been tough, but great teams get results from those games.” The cold, hard slap of reality across my face.

BS Nation #6 –  “The Fire were the 2nd team in the East to qualify for the playoffs but if the recent limping continues, Chicago will find itself playing the 1st Round Knockout game on the road.” I’m feeling sick right now.  #6 –  “Would the Fire have secured a 0-0 draw at New England with Arne Friedrich in the starting XI? The veteran German center back certainly would have directed someone to close down Fagundez’s space as he approached the penalty area, right? In the end, the point lost is probably worth it if it means Friedrich will enter the playoffs at something close to full strength.” You called it Kyle McCarthy. But he was already at full strength. Ugh.

Fox Soccer #6 – “If other teams adhere to the template New England used on Saturday night to quell Chris Rolfe, then the Fire won’t last long in the postseason.” Truth. Lordy that hurts.

NBC Sports Pro Soccer Talk #7 –  “Going into the playoffs on up-and-down roller coaster form reduces the post-season to a toss-up. The “good” Fire apparently remained home in Chicago  last weekend, while the “bad” Fire went limp in a 1-0 loss at New England. In further bad news, the Fire (don’t forget, we were talking about Frank Klopas’ men challenging for East’s top spot just a couple of weeks ago) could tumble all way to fifth if they aren’t careful; they finish at home against D.C. United this week.” Or perhaps flacid? Maybe Steve Davis has been right all along to keep the Fire below the #5 spot for weeks. I humbly yield.

*Soccer By Ives and have apparently left the power rankings biz for now.

The Composite Table

Is what you’ve just read fair relative to the actual standings? I’d say yes. It matches Chicago’s standing in the table itself. In fact, considering last Saturday’s result, the Fire are lucky their aggregate power ranking isn’t lower than six. Take a look:

MLS Composite table as of 10/24/12, courtesy of

Where do you rank the Fire right now?

Make your voice heard! Leave a power ranking and a comment below and join the fray. Or heck, why not write your own top ten list with comments?

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