MLS Power Rankings: Week 15

The sun is shining in Seattle, and Sounders are on the move. After three straight wins, it's tough to deny that Sigi Schmid's crew can now officially stake their claim to one of the best in the West with a huge match looming againt the No. 1 LA Galaxy. The New York Red Bulls, meanwhile, fall to their lowest spot in weeks after a tough road trip to the West Coast.

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All match times for this week's games are ET; only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

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What an utterly bizarre game, and what a spectacular save from Mike Magee in the 89th minute. At that point, didn’t you just get the feeling that this is meant to be the Galaxy’s year? How does a guy who’s never played ‘keeper make that save? Any MLS starter would be happy to have it on his highlight reel. Still need a forward to start scoring, though.

  • Last Week: Tied San Jose, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Monday vs. Seattle (10:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: WTTWT

 

 

 

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Schellas Hyndman’s team is still coming together, and though the pieces don’t quite fit just yet, they’re getting good results along the way. Turns out that heavy loss to Sporting a couple weeks back was a blip after all — and to prove it, they completely destroyed Portland on Saturday. This team should keep getting better as the season progresses.

  • Last Week: Beat Portland, 4-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Columbus (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWLWW

 

 

 

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Let’s officially enter Mauro Rosales into the “Newcomer of the Year” running — and as a darkhorse for MVP. The Argentine hasn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he makes plays all over the field and has allowed Seattle to move on from the Steve Zakuani incident. "Flaco" Fernández gets a nod as well, as does the rock-solid defense. Hopefully Jeff Parke’s injury isn’t severe.

  • Last Week: Beat New York, 4-2 (RECAP/WATCH), Beat New England, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Monday at LA (10:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: TTWWW

 

 

 

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Faryd Mondragón stood up and took the blame for the two goals against Chivas. Meanwhile, the offense stood up and put three on the board to get their ‘keeper off the hook. There’s a mentality of collective responsibility about the Union that has them deservedly sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings.

  • Last Week: Tied Sporting KC, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH), Beat Chivas USA, 3-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at D.C. United (7 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: TTLTW

 

 

 

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If Álvaro Saborío is going to start scoring again, then RSL are going to start climbing the charts. Granted, it was against TFC, so there’s no saying this will be a permanent run of form. Also, while most of the other teams near the top of the PRanks will be inundated with CCL fixtures, RSL have a comparatively light schedule. They’re a good bet for a second-half run.

  • Last Week: Tied Chicago, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH) Beat Toronto, 3-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Monday vs. New England (8:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: LTTTW

 

 

 

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All the experts — including those of us on the Power Rankings committee — figured this was a rebuilding year for Columbus. But it’s looking more and more like it was simply a “building” year, as Robert Warzycha & Co. added a bunch of youngsters who really, really know how to play. They’re just two points out of first in the East with nearly half the season played.

 

 

 

 

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They’ve won just once since April and got thumped on the road midweek. Things will get better with the return of Tim Ream and Juan Agudelo — and hopefully, sooner or later, Rafa Márquez — but many of the other veterans look like they’re running on fumes. Not good, especially for a team that has a ton of travel coming up this summer.

  • Last Week: Lost at Seattle, 4-2 (RECAP/WATCH), Tied Chicago, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (10:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: TWTLT

 

 

 

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Sporting have won three of four, and since that pasting they took in LA last month have been revitalized and solid at the back. If they pick up some opportunistic goals, as they managed this past week, they’ll continue to win. And with an incredibly kind schedule the rest of the way, they look a good bet to climb into the playoff race.

 

 

 

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The high from that demolition of DC a few weeks back has worn off in a hurry, especially in the wake of what was really an embarrassing scoreless draw against LA this weekend. The good news is that a (fully rested) Chris Wondolowski is coming back, and the defense still looks solid. Frank Yallop should have little trouble making the pieces fit.

  • Last Week: Tied LA, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. New York (10:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: TWWLT

 

 

 

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Giving up the lead twice at home to a struggling team is not the hallmark of a club that looks serious about making a run. There’s not a lot to say about it other than, “It happens with young teams.” The good news is that they’re learning and improving each week, and they boast some of the league’s most exciting attackers, including the recently acquired Dwayne De Rosario.

  • Last Week: Tied Houston, 2-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Philadelphia (7 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WTLTT

 

 

 

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Two awful losses in a row, a negative goal differential, and just a general lack of intensity have derailed last year’s MLS Cup champs. If Omar Cummings can get healthy and Conor Casey comes back from his red card with the form he showed over the past month, they could make a second-half run. But the overall impression is that something’s missing.

  • Last Week: Lost at Columbus, 4-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Houston (9 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: TTWLL

 

 

 

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Last time the Dynamo faced DC, they dominated in the air and posted four goals. This time they were stoned repeatedly by Bill Hamid and were only able to walk away with a single point. It’s not crisis-time yet in Houston, but they’re making a lot of the same mistakes that cost them so dearly in 2010. Good news is that reinforcements are coming.

  • Last Week: Tied D.C. United, 2-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at Colorado (9 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: TLWLT

 

 

 

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Only four losses on the season and unbeaten in forever, but the Fire have to start turning some of those draws into wins. They had ample opportunity to take all three points from the Red Bulls this weekend, but weren’t able to capitalize. Rumors abound about midseason reinforcements, and you have to believe that means “goalscorer.”

 

 

 

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The Rojiblancos are the only team in the league currently on three-game losing skid, but the good news is that the offense is starting to fire. Two goals on the road at Philadelphia is a good building block and bodes well for the rest of the season. Now Robin Fraser needs to get his defense back into shape.

  • Last Week: Lost to Philadelphia, 3-2 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Chicago (10 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWLLL

 

 

 

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It may be time for John Spencer to admit that the forward tandem of Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza just doesn’t work. The two can’t link up with each other consistently and neither is particularly dangerous off-the-ball in the run of play. A change in midfield as well — Diego Chará has been questionable — could be on the books.

  • Last Week: Lost to FC Dallas, 4-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Sporting KC (11 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LLLTL

 

 

 

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The ‘Caps have the worst record in the league, but their goal differential isn’t horrible. That suggests they’ll pull things together somewhat as they continue to coalesce during the second half of the season. There are still tweaks that need to be made, but things don’t seem as dire as they did a month ago.

  • Last Week: Lost to Sporting KC, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday at Toronto FC (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLTWL

 

 

 

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They’ve won just once in their past 10 outings and haven’t looked remotely good since a 3-2 win over SKC two months ago. Their strikers don’t finish, their midfield doesn’t hold the ball well, and their fullbacks haven’t been adding to the attack. And Matt Reis has looked to be a shadow of his old self in net.

  • Last Week: Lost at Seattle, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Monday at Real Salt Lake (8:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: LLTTL

 

 

 

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There is always a learning-curve when transitioning to the pros, especially in defense. We saw that this week with Doneil Henry, who had a bit of a howler after several solid outings. Finding a steady, veteran presence to put alongside him would go a long way, as would getting a fully fit and healthy midfield in front of him. Neither exist in Toronto right now.

  • Last Week: Lost at Real Salt Lake, 3-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Vancouver (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTTLL