MLS Power Rankings: Week 7

There's a new team atop the Western Conference standings, and a new threat creeping up the table in the East. So what does it mean for the Power Rankings? Things are starting to get interesting. If you agree or disagree with our rankings, let us know what you think in the Facebook comments below.

Only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule. All times are Eastern.

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They finally lost. And RSL's Jason Kreis is right – they're far from beautiful to watch. But Kreis is also right that they're still incredibly effective. As long as Sporting don't run out of gas, they'll be able to overpower teams and will likely continue to hold the top spot.

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Steven Lenhart's antics overshadowed the fact that San Jose just keep trucking along. They find ways to get results no matter how many starters they're missing, and in Steven Beitashour, they have the best overlapping fullback in the league. It's not just the Wondo Show anymore.

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We don't particularly like dropping RSL since they lost when they were (justly) down a man for an hour and (unjustly) down two for the final 21 minutes. The good news is that Javier Morales is back and looked fit. Getting him 100 percent healthy is priority No. 1.

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4

The best news from the bye week? Sammy Ochoa scored a brace in Reserve League action against Chivas USA on Monday. He's once again going to have to play himself into a semblance of fitness. Once he does so, Fredy Montero will have his preferred partner.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-W-L-T-W
  • This Week: Saturday at Chicago (8:30 pm, MLS LIVE)

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Coughing up a lead is not how Dominic Kinnear drew it up, certainly. But coming back for a point on the road without Brad Davis and Colin Clark? That's significant. So is the fact that Will Bruin is playing with boatloads of confidence in the final third.

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Say what you want about the Red Bulls defense – and we'll say plenty – but those breakdowns mean nothing if they're not punished. Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, Maicon Santos and Dwayne De Rosario are forming a nice attacking foursome, and the defense is holding tight.

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Eventually teams are going to just start building cut-back walls against Camilo like they do against Messi. He's shown he's a match-winner when in the box, and his partnership with Sébastien Le Toux seems to have plenty of potential. About those other attackers, though...

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8

Complain about our rankings all you want, but we're pretty sure we had LA pegged correctly at No. 8 all along. Obviously they have potential to move higher with the return of Leonardo and the offense starting to click, but they still need work shutting the game down in midfield.

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The sheer volume of second balls New York didn't win against D.C. is absolutely staggering. There seemed to be zero communication between the central defense and central midfield, and – stop us if you've heard us say this before – zero speed as well.

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This past week on Blas Island: Our hero Blas Pérez went 1-on-4 against the backline in Vancouver. Coming up next week: Will Schellas get him any help? Will the midfield make their way into the final third? Will Bobby Warshaw play attacking mid again?

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Considering they've had the weakest schedule in the league, we expected a bit more from this gang. But hey, they got three points on the road and have dropped just one of their last four. So why are we still feeling so "meh" about the Fire?

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11

No question that when the Rapids spread you out and get you backpedaling, they can play some fun, entertaining soccer. But they're still lacking a cutting edge and some toughness in the final third – something they'll hope to reacquire when Conor Casey comes back.

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We still want to see how Jay Heaps is going to get all his talented midfielders into the same lineup. With Benny Feilhaber healthy again, he absolutely needs to find a way. The Revs have potentially one of the most entertaining teams in the league if they get the pieces right.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-W-W-L-L
  • This Week: Saturday at New York (3:30 pm, NBC Sports Network)

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Is it too much to call that a season-saving win? The Timbers – and their fans – needed that victory not just for the sake of the standings, but for the sake of their sanity. They're still plenty of work yet to be done, but that was a huge building block.

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Philly looked like they were more interested in a UFC bout than a soccer match in Carson at the weekend. But they got a great road win, got Freddy Adu his first goal and got another shutout for Zac MacMath. Can't really argue with what works.

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14

Ugh. Every time the Power Rankings Politburo shows a little faith in you, Chivas, you find a way to disappoint. A playoff team sends that Union side back home with their tail between their legs. Are the Rojiblancos, right now, a playoff team? Nope.

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As you can see, we on the Politburo are a little conflicted about the Crew. A home draw against Houston isn't the worst result in the world, surely – but the Dynamo were short-handed, and Columbus had something close to their First XI. Tough to be too sold on them.

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First road point, which is a real franchise milestone. But it would have been yet another blown lead if Maicon Santos had simply held his run instead of wandering a step into the offside position. Bullet dodged, but the Impact need to fix that.

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We considered ranking them No. 20, but trying to do so broke the SuperComputer used to tabulate the rankings. This team is generating – and squandering – a ton of chances. That's nice, but it doesn't pay the bills. And defensively ... well, just read this.