MLS Power Rankings: Week 20

Power Rankings: Houston Dynamo

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Maybe it's the heat, or maybe it's that home-field advantage. It's all working for the Houston Dynamo, who surged in the polls this week after two big wins. 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

Their second-to-last three-game week of the season saw them take six points. Not bad, but they surely didn't look dominant against FC Dallas and had trouble generating quality chances vs. Vancouver. The Quakes need Steven Lenhart back.

2

5

If the Tim Cahill rumors are true, the question must be asked: Do the Red Bulls really need to add such a big piece at midseason? They looked serious last week against Chicago and Philly, hardly letting either team breathe and generally bossing play. How and where the Aussie fits remains to be seen.

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3

RSL weren't perfect against Colorado, but they capitalized on errors and basically never looked like they were in danger of losing. That's quite an accomplishment in a rivalry game, especially against a team as desperate as the Rapids were.

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9

 

 

So much for feeling uninspired. The Dynamo just handed in a nine-point week, handling SKC fairly comfortably before getting their pound of flesh (and then some) from outmanned Montreal. The switch to the 4-3-3 has come faster than expected.

5

2

They've won just once in their last five and are still having trouble generating the chances they thrived on early in the season. Even against a shorthanded Revs side, they very nearly lost it at the end. Sporting need breathing room at some point.

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They blew it midweek, failing to close down Jose Villarreal for the game-tying goal. The win over the Shield-leading Quakes will soothe some of the burn from that, as will the production from Barry Robson. Defense is still where it's at, though.

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7

 

Much-needed time off for Seattle, who will have been happy to see Fredy Montero put in a vintage performance against Chelsea. The next step is helping Mauro Rosales rediscover his 2011 form — and stop turning the ball over in the process.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-T-T-W-T
  • This Week: Saturday at Colorado (9 pm, MLS Live)

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10

Uh-oh. The Galaxy's Designated Players have scored 17 goals over the past seven games, a pretty stunning record coming off the FIFA international break. Add in Omar Gonzalez's steady return to health, and things are starting to look a bit 2011-ish.

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4

Where did the offense go? The 4-0 loss down to 10 men last weekend was acceptable, but their lack of punch against Columbus had to have been more than a bit worrying. It'd be very nice for United if Maicon Santos started playing hungry again.

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6

The Power Rankings Politburo don't really know what to make of this Chicago team. They never really threatened New York at midweek, they're integrating a new playmaker in Alex, and the Sebastián Grazzini saga is still unresolved. Tough to figure them out.

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Dilly Duka makes a huge difference for Columbus, giving them a bit of pace and trickery in the midfield they otherwise lack. Keeping him healthy and finding a forward — any forward — who wants to put the ball in the net consistently would make them a playoff team.

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11

Two weeks ago the Revs were on the verge of fighting for a playoff spot; now they've sunk down almost to the bottom of the table. What happened to Saer Sene's goals? Where has José Moreno been? It can't all be long-range bombs from the midfield every week.

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12

The Union are a young team who got well and truly schooled by the Red Bulls over the weekend. There's plenty of lessons to take from it — including, hopefully, a couple for the absent Mr. Adu.

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Chivas are doing just enough to hang in the playoff race, but not convincing anyone they're in the mix for good. It was a six-pointer they dropped against LA over the weekend, and a loss at Portland this Saturday could be another nail in the coffin.

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17

Paul Mariner for Coach of the Year, maybe? This is as good an in-season turnaround as last year's SKC side, with the addition of a season-ending injury to a key DP thrown in for good measure.

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14

The bottom's dropped out. It's hard to believe that this team has so many of the same pieces that put together their MLS Cup 2010 run, because they simply can not get on the same page out there. Panic time for Oscar Pareja & Co.

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16

Alessandro Nesta should, in theory, help with one of the league's leakiest defenses. They surely could have used him against Houston this past weekend as Mac Kandji roasted them again and again.

18

18

Winning two of three is a decent stretch coming off that three month nightmare. Getting David Ferreira back — and more or less fit, to boot — is obviously the key. Finding another consistent goal scorer would be nice, though.

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19

The bottom's dropped out. Four consecutive losses, twice conceding five goals in that span ... it's ugly. The Timbers are, in theory, fighting for their jobs, but there doesn't seem to be the "blood-and-guts" attitude that drove them down the stretch in 2011.