MLS Power Rankings: Week 26

CJ Sapong and the Power Rankings

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It was a weekend of upsets in MLS, but not at the top of the Power Rankings. The LA Galaxy held onto their top spot win a win over Colorado, while both Seattle and FC Dallas exposed a few chinks in their armor. Real Salt Lake and Sporting Kansas City, though, made strides again, leaving some incredible storylines still to play out as the season hits the stretch run.

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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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1

1

If it wasn’t for Matt Pickens – who put on one of the displays of the year – the Galaxy would have run Colorado out of town by 4-0 or 5-0. It’s safe to say that Bruce Arena’s rotation policy is working. The next step is getting Robbie Keane on the same page and starting to put games away in the first half. Do that, and they’re near unbeatable.

  • Last Week: Beat Colorado, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Vancouver (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWWTW

2

2

Seattle’s bad luck came in a serving of three on Saturday: a ridiculous own-goal, a penalty miss and a bad red card. In spite of all that, they still had plenty of chances to tie the game, but were foiled by Nick Rimando and the RSL defense. It happens, even to the best of teams. Expect the Sounders to take it out on Herediano midweek.

  • Last Week: Lost to Real Salt Lake, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. D.C. United (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTWWL

3

4

Some at the Power Rankings Committee are dubious about moving RSL too far up the list, but as long as they keep gutting out tough wins, they deserve some love. Especially with Álvaro Saborío looking engaged again and Javier Morales rumored to be on the way back. And an underrated factor: their comparatively light schedule.

  • Last Week: Beat Seattle, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Sporting KC (9 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LLWWW

4

3

It’s looking like the schedule, the George John transfer rumors and the tragic passing of Bobby Rhine have taken a toll on FCD. They were sloppy against New England, looking weary and not up for the fight. They get a chance to right the ship with two very winnable home games this week against Tauro of Panama and RBNY.

  • Last Week: Lost at New England, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. New York (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTLWL

5

7

This is the Sporting team Peter Vermes was hoping to see a few weeks back, one that jumped on you early and finished the game off before it got down to the final few minutes. It helps that they were facing Houston’s Keystone Kops back line, but full credit to SKC for taking advantage of the chances the Dynamo served up on a platter.

  • Last Week: Beat Houston, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Real Salt Lake (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WWLTW

6

6

Gary Smith said he’s not worried about his team after the LA loss, and we’ll take him at his word. The Rapids have another tough game midweek against Santos Laguna, then head to a revitalized Toronto FC on the weekend. We’ll see what tune Smith’s whistling after all that.

  • Last Week: Lost at LA, 1-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Toronto FC (1:30 pm, TSN)
  • Last Five: WWTLL

 

7

8

Since the acquisition of Dwayne De Rosario, United have probably been the best team in the Eastern Conference. That’s not saying too much, given the fact that Eastern teams have found new and creative ways to disappoint week after week, but it’s enough to get them to climb the rankings, especially after a 3-0 demolition of Chivas.

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9

Grinding out a 0-0 draw on the road against a fellow playoff contender is a pretty good indicator of the advancing maturity of this Portland side. The next step is to get all three points at home Friday in a game that, honestly, they not only should win, but have to win. If they don’t, they’re probably toast.

  • Last Week: Tied Philadelphia, 0-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Friday vs. New England (11 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: LLWWT

9

5

Uh, what just happened? The Crew were trucking along just fine until the Seattle torching, which we wrote off as an aberration. But conceding four to lowly TFC? Where did that come from? The one Eastern team that looked like they had it figured out are suddenly flailing badly defensively and in need of a big performance on Wednesday.

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11

Everyone thought that the second half against New England was going to snap the Union out of their slump, but it merely led to a relatively flat 90 minutes against Portland. They haven’t won in a long time, their body language is not particularly good right now, they’re inconsistent offensively and the defense is suddenly leaky. Uh-oh.

11

10

Since the end of April their only wins have been against New England at home and against Toronto at home. Yes, Luke Rodgers is back (unless he gets injured again), and that bodes well, but they’re a mess defensively and they have the collective body language of the characters from The Walking Dead.

  • Last Week: Tied Vancouver, 1-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLTTT

12

12

Is the 3-0 hiding Sporting KC gave them the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Will Dominic Kinnear finally move Geoff Cameron back to central defense, the spot where he dominated in 2009? If he does, Houston are probably a playoff team. If he persists with the Andre Hainault/Jermaine Taylor pairing, they could be meat.

13

15

They got a point on the road, then beat one of the league’s heavyweights at home. Not a bad week from Steve Nicol’s men, who are finally looking like they’re on the same page. And once poor Milton Caraglio learns the turf bounce at Gillette is about twice as high as a grass bounce, he’ll triple his scoring output.

  • Last Week: Tied Philadelphia, 4-4 (HIGHLIGHTS), Beat FC Dallas, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Friday at Portland (11 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: LTTTW

14

16

Since mid-July their only losses were 2-0 at Chicago and 1-0 to FC Dallas in the CCL. Their offense is clicking, the midfield moves the ball very, very well, and while the defense is still swiss cheese, they have 'keepers who can make up for it. It’s too late for a playoff run, but unlike most of the other teams in the East, TFC are actually improving week to week.

  • Last Week: Beat Columbus, 4-2 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Colorado (1:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWLTW

15

13

Way to disappoint. They took a two-game winning streak and a chance to pull themselves solidly into the playoff race into what looked like a very winnable game at San Jose. Then Dan Gargan hit the post, Dom Oduro fired right at Jon Busch on a breakaway and now they’re just like all the other teams on 27 points: on the ouside looking in.

  • Last Week: Lost at San Jose, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Chivas USA (4 pm, TeleFutura)
  • Last Five: TTWWL

16

14

They rolled the dice on the Juan Pablo Ángel acquisition, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to pay off. Chivas aren’t the same team they were a month ago, Nick LaBrocca can’t find space in the attacking third and, defensively, without Heath Pearce, they’re low-hanging fruit. Can’t put a fork in ‘em yet, but it’s close.

  • Last Week: Lost to D.C. United, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Chicago (4 pm, TeleFutura)
  • Last Five: TTLLL

17

18

As Chris Wondolowski goes, so go San Jose. And right now, Wondo is going. After what’s been a woeful summer, they’re somehow just five points out of the final playoff spot with seven left to play. Probably won’t be enough, but if Wondo stays hot and Jon Busch keeps being Jon Busch, they have a puncher’s chance.

  • Last Week: Beat Chicago, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Houston (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLLTW

18

17

Yes, the Red Bulls are masters of the tie, but that’s no excuse for what we saw from the ‘Caps. Forty-five minutes up a man and they simply didn’t look up for the fight. In the end, the only thing that preserved the point was Joe Cannon’s stellar performance and some timely clearances from Jay DeMerit and Alain Rochat.