MLS Power Rankings, Week 35: New York Red Bulls finish on top

P RANKS Red bulls

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

We knew it all along.

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 Matthew Doyle. All game times are Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Club Comment

1

Last: 1

Turns out it was time for an exorcism. Farewell to the Curse of Caricola, and welcome to the Péguy Luyindula era. New York have scored eight goals in their last 180 minutes with the mercurial Frenchman in central midfield.

  • Last Week: Won vs. Chicago, 5-2
  • Last Five: W-D-D-W-W
  • This Week: Sunday at Houston/Montreal winner (3:30 pm, NBC)
2

Last: 2

Like the Red Bulls, they're unbeaten in eight, stretching back to August. With Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chará and Will Johnson healthy, they will win the midfield possession battle. And judging by this past weekend's performance, they will finish, too.

  • Last Week: Won at Chivas USA, 5-0
  • Last Five: W-D-W-D-W
  • This Week: Saturday at Seattle/Colorado winner (10 pm ET, NBCSN)

3

Last: 3

Never really hit the heights some expected this year, but they've won six of their last eight, with only one loss (a game they dominated) in that time. The defense is championship worthy.

4

Last: 4

Were unconvincing in the first half against Chivas. Then Javi Morales came on, and they were, um, very convincing. But given how the Goats finished the season getting trucked by all comers, it's almost worrying that RSL only scored twice.

5

Last: 6

Only one loss in their last seven, and they've only given up multiple goals once since mid-August. LA don't really look like their championship selves at this point, but if they keep tossing zeroes and ones, they'll give RSL fits.

  • Last Week: Drew at Seattle, 1-1
  • Last Five: D-L-W-D-D
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Real Salt Lake (9 pm, ESPN)
6

Last: 7

Told ya this is a playoff team. The Revs are probably too young to be nervous, and with José Gonçalves in the backline, they're too smart to be reckless. This is your dark-horse pick, folks. 

  • Last Week: Won at Colmbus, 1-0
  • Last Five: D-D-W-W-W
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Kansas City (8 pm, NBCSN)

7

Last: 5

Feels like their peak came a month too soon, especially defensively. The Rapids are definitely in their worst stretch of the season on that end, with only two shutouts since July. And they've been simply awful on the road.

8

Last: 11

We were too harsh on them last week after they got Luyindula'd. That Red Bulls beatdown is Houston's only loss in the last eight, and while they weren't great against D.C., they were good enough to get the result. That's the unofficial Dynamo motto this time of year.

9

Last: 10

Forget the attack, which is still kind of sputtering: We're just happy to see Ozzie Alonso looking like his old self again. The diamond midfield does seem to solve some problems. Plus ... In Sigi We Trust.

  • Last Week: Drew vs. LA, 1-1
  • Last Five: L-L-L-L-D
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Colorado (10:30 pm, NBCSN)
10

Last: 12

Got to give the Quakes credit – they made it real, real interesting, and if it wasn't for Gaby Torres' screamer two weeks back, San Jose would be hosting Seattle this Wednesday. Bringing Mark Watson back for another go-around was the right call. 

11

Last: 14

If they'd played that diamond midfield for the bulk of the year, they would be in the playoffs. If this roster is kept together, this team could be scary – explosive, technical, physical – come 2014. But it's a big "if" at this point.

12

Last: 9

Just one win in their last eight, just four points taken out of 24 on offer. The Impact made Toronto look like a playoff team this past weekend, which takes some real doing. They just don't seem to have any answers – or room for error – on either side of the ball.

  • Last Week: Lost at Toronto, 1-0
  • Last Five: D-L-L-W-L
  • This Week: Thursday at Houston (8:30 pm, NBCSN)

13

Last: 10

Went 12-6-5 from June onward, which is the best mark in the league. Like San Jose, however, they simply dug too deep an early-season ditch. The roster for next year looks like a contender – but the Fire have an addiction to annual overhauls. They should show restraint this year.

14

Last: 13

The majority of the kids – Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney, Sheanon Williams, Zac MacMath, Danny Cruz – made significant strides, and the four key vets all look like they have at least one more season in the tank. Some reinforcements are needed, but not an outright rebuild.

15

Last: 15

A disappointing final three games after such a good start to the Brian Bliss era. Even if management goes in a different direction, this Crew group has discovered something of an identity heading into next season. They will play some of the most fun, technical soccer in the league.

16

Last: 16

Whoever is next up in Big D has to start leveraging the academy, which is in maybe the second- or third-most fertile area north of the Rio Grande. FCD are a hodgepodge right now, so this is a good time to build the core from within.

17

Last: 18

Saturday was a good day: They beat Montreal, which is nice. Knocked them down to the No. 5 spot – and almost out of the playoffs entirely – which is nicer. In the process, they made sure that first-round draft pick they sent to Vancouver last year falls to No. 3, instead of No. 2. Not a bad day's work.

18

Last: 17

Second year in a row that this team quit down the stretch. It's like the colors and the badge meant nothing to them.

19

Last: 19

Officially clinched "worst regular-season MLS team of all time." But given their USOC trophy and the stadium progress they made, this probably qualifies as a successful year.