MLS Power Rankings: Week 9

Power Rankings

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After a week of shakeups in the Power Rankings, there's a new side atop the polls. 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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Our server saw that we had Seattle No. 1 for the first time ever, poured itself an El Jimador and steeled itself for some serious work. Congrats, Seattle fans – you're frightening our machinery into pre-noon tequila shots.

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They were pretty clearly hanging on for dear life in the final half-hour against Vancouver. A busy stretch and a spate of injuries in the backline finally took their toll, but with Víctor Bernárdez and Jason Hernandez both due back soon, we can't drop them.

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And so the tumble begins. Dropping consecutive games in itself would be enough – but doing so to Portland and Montreal? Nobody saw that one coming, and none of the other top teams have similar blemishes.

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Hard to drop a team after a win, but even at full strength they didn't look particularly convincing against New England. That said, they're still in the hunt, grinding out results week after week. A lot like last year's Galaxy, to be honest.

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Huge, huge week for the Whitecaps. Getting the 2-0 win in the first leg of the ACC then beating a rolling San Jose side for their third straight in the league would have been plenty, but getting Eric Hassli  on track? That's priceless.

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Give D.C. credit – they handled a busy stretch with aplomb, winning two out of three and putting in a valiant effort midweek at San Jose. Offensively, they have all the answers, and when the defense gets healthy, they'll be a serious threat in the East.

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What happened to the team that was giving up three or four goals every time out? A tactical shift has helped, as have Ryan Meara's heroics in goal. The next test is reintegrating the mistake-prone pair of Rafa Márquez and Roy Miller.

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Sporting KC went 1-6-3 on their 10-game road swing to start last season, but still won the East. Houston are sitting pretty at 2-2-2 and have a very winnable game at New York on Wednesday. If they take that one, they'll be top three in the conference with 17 home games to come.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-L-T-T-L
  • This Week: Wednesday at New York (7 pm, MLS LIVE), Saturday vs. D.C. United (4:30 pm, NBC Sports Network)

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It's starting to come together as the Rapids slowly carve out their identity. The return of Conor Casey – who looked spry against Dallas – is the best news of the season, and will make it much easier to transition to the 4-3-3.

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Gotta hand it to Frank Klopas, who switched it up tactically at Chivas USA and was rewarded with the full three points. For as underwhelming as the Fire have been, they're a respectable 3-2-2 and have shown depth both in defense and midfield. Plenty to build upon.

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Patrice Bernier and Felipe deserve a ton of credit for their stunning win at Sporting KC, but here's a simple fact: When Sinisa Ubiparipovic plays 20-plus minutes, Montreal are 3-0-1 in all competitions. When he rides the bench, they're 0-5-1.

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Uninspired. Lethargic. Saturnine. Watching LA's midfield fail to close down Mauro Rosales midweek, then let Joel Lindpere – not exactly a speedster – blow by them for the game-winner on Saturday must have given Bruce Arena agita. What happened to the disciplined killers of 2011?

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Sucks to play two men down for the majority of the game, but we at the Power Rankings Politburo would encourage Dallas players to stop kicking the other guys and focus a bit more on playing a bit of jôgo bonito. They have the talent for it.

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What was telling about the loss wasn't the scoreline, but how insouciant Seattle were once up 1-0. The Sounders didn't go for the kill – they went for the spectacular, knowing that Philly's attack presented no real threat of finding an equalizer.

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A bit of a heart-breaking loss for the Revolution, who played very, very well at RSL. Right now, this looks very much like a team that is going to spend another couple of months dropping tough decisions before finally having it all come together in the summer.

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The only reason Chivas don't drop after yet another last-minute, one-goal home loss is because the teams below them have been even less inspiring. The Goats will have their fingers crossed that José Erick Correa can be the answer to their scoring woes.

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Best part of their 2012 start to the season: Josh Williams is clearly a legit MLS central defender. Always nice to make that kind of discovery. Second-best part? They're in the East, so they'll have plenty of time to work back into the playoff hunt.

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Bottom of the West, dropping results at home left and right, seven points out of the playoff hunt and the teams ahead of them getting stronger by the week. This is a nightmare from which John Spencer & Co. desperately need to wake.

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The only surprise about their loss to D.C. was that Dwayne De Rosario wasn't the executioner. At this point, their season might be riding on a result in the Amway Canadian Championship second leg against Montreal on Wednesday.