MLS Power Rankings: Week 25

The prevailing argument on the Power Rankings Committee boils down to one question: Galaxy or Sounders? After a week when most teams rested on their laurels, the Galaxy retained the top spot with a draw at Sporting KC. But will it last? Big games loom in both LA and Seattle this weekend, and Real Salt Lake continue to creep up the polls.

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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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They weren’t particularly convincing against Sporting on Monday, which isn’t really a surprise given the somewhat makeshift XI Bruce Arena trotted out there. Gregg Berhalter was missed and will continue to be missed down the stretch. They’re still Shield favorites, but are they the same team they were two weeks ago?

  • Last Week: Tied Sporting KC, 2-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Friday vs. Colorado (11 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WLWWT

 

 

 

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Seattle are on a pretty epic roll right now, getting contributions from all over the field and continuing their solid play in defense. Most impressive is that they’ve finally learned how to gut out tough wins – a skill that eluded them in their first two seasons. If LA slip up, the Sounders could very well pip them for the Shield.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Real Salt Lake (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWTWW

 

 

 

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Dallas have more than just the game on their minds this week with the tragic passing of Bobby Rhine. It’s a tragic end to what’s been a tumultuous few weeks in Big D, and it’ll take some serious wizardry from Schellas Hyndman to keep his team focused on the task at hand. The tight-knit locker room will be a big help in the weeks to come.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at New England (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLTLW

 

 

 

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Are they back? They looked the part in a dominant first half against Philly, mostly shutting the Union down through midfield and getting out on the break a few times themselves. Paulo Jr. could very well be the key to their playoff hopes, as he adds a dimension in attack that they’ve been lacking all year.

  • Last Week: Beat Philadelphia, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Seattle (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLLWW

 

 

 

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The Crew’s veteran leaders and usually hot-tempered coach Robert Warzycha shrugged their shoulders after the 6-2 Seattle loss and moved on. It’s the right move at this point of the season, especially for a team that’s come so far since March. Dwelling on the blowout – which was an aberration – would have done no good.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Toronto (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLWWL

 

 

 

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The Rapids needed a break as badly as anyone in the league after their midsummer charge up the standings seemed to have sapped their energy by the end of August. Now rested and recharged, they get ready for seven games in a season-defining 23-day stretch. Time to show that championship mettle.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Friday at LA (11 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WWWTL

 

 

 

 

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Peter Vermes & Co. are clearly riding the “it’s us against the world” mentality from here on out. Even after replays showed that Aurélien Collin’s non-goal against the Galaxy was indeed offside, neither the coach nor the players moderated their stance one bit. It’s a good gambit – teams have won championships with that attitude before.

 

 

 

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DC will have gone nearly three weeks since their last contest when they next step on the pitch. It’s a much-needed break – though the guy who could use it most, Dwayne De Rosario, will have spent 180 minutes of sweat for Canada during that time. Bottom line, though, is United have their fate in their hands with 10 games left to play.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Chivas USA (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTWTL

 

 

 

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The Timbers don’t have the most forgiving schedule down the stretch, but they do have perhaps the best homefield advantage. That alone won’t be enough to see them through – they’ll need a draw or two on the road – but if they get hot and protect their house, they have a legit shot at the playoffs.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Philadelphia (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLLWW

 

 

 

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New York’s walking wounded and over-30 crowd will be happy to have had the international break off. Jan Gunnar Solli, Joel Lindpere, Thierry Henry and – perhaps most importantly – Luke Rodgers have all had time to rest and are expected to be back to 100 percent soon. It could inject some life into a team that has won just twice in forever.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Vancouver (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTLTT

 

 

 

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Peter Nowak took a couple of gambles this season, and in the short-term they’re not paying off. Danny Mwanga’s not ready to be a full-time starter, Freddy Adu is still finding his feet, they’re lacking depth on the back line and, in general, they look pretty confused out there. Season’s not over yet, of course, but things need to change fast.

  • Last Week: Lost at Real Salt Lake, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. New England (8 pm, Galavisión), Saturday vs. Portland (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTTLL

 

 

 

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As much as there is to like about this Houston team, the pieces just haven’t seemed to fit. They’re unable to build out of the back and nobody’s striker corps have been more wasteful in front of the net. And to make the playoffs, they’ll need to do something they haven’t all year: Win on the road.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Sporting KC (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWTWL

 

 

 

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Sometimes mid-season signings can submarine a season, changing the on-and-off-field dynamics enough to sink a winning team. Chicago are at the other end of the spectrum, as the additions of Sebastián Grazzini and Pável Pardo have injected life into their season. They’re in the USOC final now, and have a playoff push to make.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTTWW

 

 

 

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Robin Fraser has done some really good work keeping this team – which most had written off before First Kick – in the playoff hunt. But after a late-August swoon, they’re on the outside looking in and need to find the spark that they rode to a solid July. Without it they’ll be at home come the post season.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. D.C. United (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTTLL

 

 

 

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Benny Feilhaber may not be putting up much in the way of stats – just two goals and three assists through 15 games – but he’s completing a high percentage of passes in the final third and gives the Revs a calmness on the ball that they can build around. Figuring out which pieces fit best around him should be priority No. 1 for the rest of 2011.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Wednesday at Philadelphia (8 pm, Galavisión), Saturday vs. FC Dallas (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLLTT

 

 

 

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The Reds still have the CCL to play for, and like most everyone else, are coming off a long and much-needed break thanks to the international fixtures. A good run and qualification from the group stage could make up for a lot of the pain they’ve suffered in the regular season since 2007.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Columbus (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTWLT

 

 

 

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How much different would this season have been if Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat had been able to play together in the heart of the defense from Week 1? It’ll be bittersweet for ‘Caps fans to see that pairing from here on out, but the hope is that it’s a successful preview of what’s to come in 2012.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at New York (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWLLW

 

 

 

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Everything that could have went wrong did for the Quakes this season. The hope now is that they find a midfield formation that works for them, that they get Ike Opara healthy enough to build around on the back line, and that Chris Wondolowski rediscovers his scoring touch on a permanent basis.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Chicago (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTLLT