MLS Power Rankings, Week 26: Signature performance vaults Montreal Impact up the ladder

Two teams put the idea of competitive parity to the knife, while another laid down the law with a vintage road win. Are we finally starting to see some separation?

Note: Only MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. The Power Rankings are voted on by the editorial staff at MLSsoccer.com, and all comments are written by Matt Doyle. All game times are Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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We might be more impressed by the somewhat heroic draw at Portland than the thumping of Columbus. But for fun, let's watch the 14-pass sequence that led to Luis Gil's goal again.

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It's time to talk about what could make this a Galaxy dynasty. Obviously a third-straight MLS Cup would do it, but how about a third Shield in four years? Got to think they've got the taste now, given recent form.

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The bye week was nice, but now it's a race to the finish. And for the Rapids, it ain't easy -- they probably have the hardest remaining schedule in the league.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: D-W-D-D-W
  • This Week: Saturday at Sporting Kansas City (8:30 pm, MLS Live)
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One of the signature performances of the season, and given the way they were able to pull Houston apart at will, we've got to assume that this is the first-choice lineup going forward. Bernardello answers a lot of the defensive questions they had.

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It's a theme: The Timbers play really well, but leave a ton of points on the table. "Goal scoring by committee" only takes you so far, and they're paying for their lack of a true sniper on the front line.

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A month ago, this looked like a team that had legit designs on the Supporters' Shield. Now? They're sinking like a stone, with the indifferent form of those below them the only thing keeping them from dropping lower.

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It wasn't pretty, but that win over Portland was only Seattle's second vs. a playoff team since May. Nonetheless they're third in the league on points per game -- and we trust Sigi to put all the attacking pieces together correctly.

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Secretly one of the most disappointing three-game runs in New York history. They have -- easily -- the softest schedule of any contender down the stretch, and opening it with  point from those three games makes us ask this: Are they really contenders?

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If Jaime Penedo hadn't gone horizontal, they at least get the point. But when fighting for a playoff spot, a point at home really isn't enough, is it? The 'Caps are now outside the top five in the West for the first time in forever.

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Dom Kinnear teams don't do tailspins because they always get the little things right, which means even when they're not particularly good, they're not particularly bad, either. But this weekend they didn't track runners, didn't string passes together and didn't finish open looks. Shocking display.

  • Last Week: Lost at Montreal, 5-0
  • Last Five: D-W-L-W-L
  • This Week: Sunday at Chicago (3 pm, UniMas)

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At the start of August, the Fire hadn't beaten a playoff team. At the end of August, they'd taken nine of a possible 12 points in four straight against playoff teams. They are officially for real.

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The Revs are for real, too, but only for as long as Juan Agudelo is healthy. He's the best No. 9 in the league at holding the ball under pressure, and is second in the league in goals per 90 despite not taking PKs. When he's on the field, New England attack in waves. When he's not, they scramble.

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Philly were rooked out of a perfectly good goal that would have put them up 2-1, which had to be frustrating. But a team with that many veterans has to react better to adversity.

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If the Quakes miss the playoffs -- which looks fairly likely at this point -- they'll look back on the two points dropped in Dallas as a big reason why. All the luck they had in 2012 has well and truly disappeared.

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Dallas finally came up for air after three months under water. Hard to have much confidence, though, since they're working in new faces with a new formation and haven't shown the ability to get shutouts when they really, really need them.

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That two-game run was nice while it lasted, but unless something big changes, it's about to get really ugly from here on out. The Crew have a merciless final stretch, and -- without Federico Higuain for the next two games -- it's hard to see them starting it off with anything but two losses.

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Followed up one of their worst performances of the season with one of their best. Chivas can still be carved up by any competent attacking team, but at least they seem to be learning from their losses.

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Only one game left against a non-playoff team. The Power Rankings Politburo would like to encourage our TFC friends to firmly affix their "spoiler" caps.

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Dwayne De Rosario's first-half strike was a good indication of what he has left in the tank. His second-half performance is an indication that the tank only runs for 45 minutes.