MLS Power Rankings: Week 16

Power Rankings, June 26

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A wild week left us here at the Power Rankings Politiburo with one thought: Don't mess with San Jose. The Quakes' two wins may not have been pretty, but they got it done, and they vault to the top of the polls. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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

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1

4

Frank Yallop's 4-3-3 did a pretty good job of confusing both teams at Rio Tinto. But what really matters is what happened during the final 15 minutes, when the Quakes – once again – punished every mistake the saw. That's the sign of a quality team.

2

5

All we wanted from Dax McCarty, really from Day 1, was for him to channel his inner Didier Deschamps. Now he's finally done it and is the keystone to New York's sprint to the top of the East. Few defensive midfielders cover more ground, and only Beckerman starts an attack as well.

3

1

Last week around this time, we were pretty certain that RSL would take four of their next five, put some distance between themselves and the field and cruise to the Shield. They promptly dropped six points at home in humiliating fashion. So ... we just don't know.

4

2

 

 

So much for getting healthy and stamping their authority on an Eastern rival. The key, of course, was McCarty's omnipresence, cutting down the running lanes that United had so gladly exploited the first time through. If the book's really out on them, can D.C.adjust?

5

3

That season-opening run seems like a long, long time ago. This current Sporting KC group has a ton of trouble creating from the run of play, don't always step as one on the trap and allow plenty of space to create on the wings. They need to find answers quickly.

6

6

The Power Rankings Politburo have decided, in our wisdom, to give the 'Caps a bit of a mulligan for the past week. They outplayed New York at home but couldn't finish, then simply didn't show up for the LA game. So it goes. Now they can sit on it and ruminate until July 4.

7

10

First time all year the Fire have won two on the trot, and the existential threat of potential new arrivals seems to have brought them to life. Chris Rolfe has helped as well  always nice when you can bring a guy like that off the bench. But will they keep Sebastián Grazzini?

8

7

The slow fall continues. We may be giving Seattle too much respect  they haven't even held a lead in their last seven games  but there's too much talent there and too much precedent with Sigi Schmid teams for us to sell the Sounders out at this point.

9

8

Another team we may be giving too much respect to, but it's hard to avoid it when you look at what this group is capable of. We all remember what this defense looked like at the end of 2011, and there's no reason to think they won't get back there in 2012.

10

17

To MLS fans outside of SoCal, this past week must've felt like the scene in The Shining when Jack Nicholson hacks through the door with an axe and promises to dismember anyone in his path. The Galaxy are fifth in the West, and in perfect form for the California Clasico.

11

9

Hearty clap for this team, which has had plenty of reason to quit thanks to all the injuries this year (and last  is there something to that?) but have kept fighting. Now they need to find someone who'll score regularly  and then just leave him up front. No more mucking around.

12

11

The Rapids wasted an incredible performance from Matt Pickens midweek, and gift-wrapped three points for the Earthquakes in the process. Nobody is really clicking in the attack, and the midfield hasn't been able to consistently impose its will upon the opposition. Bad sign for a 4-3-3 side.

13

12

They did what they should've in punishing a porous, sluggish Houston defense on the weekend. But that midweek performance at Chivas was lacking, and this team's looking a bit Jekyll and Hyde. Their last five shows as much, certainly.

14

 

 

13

Their shutout streak came to an end early, and the entire first 45 minutes at Toronto was pretty bad. The second 45 was beautiful, though  some of the most attractive soccer any team in the league has played at any point this season. So much potential there.

15

14

Chivas won at home and drew on the road, which is a good formula for success in any league. But their home win was an inspiring single-goal defeat of an expansion side while their trip to Dallas was another study in Dan Kennedy saving points. Hard to get too excited.

16

16

They certainly looked more eager to attack against Seattle than they have in previous weeks. Looking at their last five, now, it doesn't seem so bad  two wins, two draws and just one loss. They need to translate that to momentum and cohesion, especially in attack.

17

 

 

19

Did anybody have Philly over SKC penciled in as just the second true blowout loss of the season? It all clicked for the Union, who made Sporting look old, disorganized and slow at PPL Park. Lots of positives from this one (duh), but the biggest thing was Carlos Valdés leading that young backline.

18

18

Say what you want about the 4-4-2, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch a team that's playing like Toronto right now. Yes, there's the heartache of two lost leads, but at least they had the lead. For a team that'd been nothing but zeros since March, two results from three is a good start.

19

 

 

17

There's too much talent in this team for them to keep dropping results week after week after week. But that's what happened, and the return of Brek Shea didn't stem the tide. Yes, losing Blas Pérez and the continued absence of David Ferreira makes things difficult, but every MLS team fights through injuries.