MLS Power Rankings, Week 17: D.C. United vault into top five while Houston Dynamo remain rooted

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 times Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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1

Last: 1

Sigi's not using the absences as an excuse, but we will.

  • Last Week: Lost at Vancouver, 1-0
  • Last Five: D-W-W-W-L
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Portland (10 pm; ESPN2/Deportes)
2

Last: 2

Got an ugly, opportunistic goal, and gave up one of the same. Sporting's still a good bet to win the East, but that Supporters' Shield is slipping away.

3

Last: 3

Amazing what getting guys like Beckerman and Rimando back can do, isn't it?

4

Last: 5

Classic rope-a-dope performance from a team that's still much better in transition than in possession.

5

Last: 6

Gutty, tough road win against a conference rival. D.C.'s come a long way since last year.

  • Last Week: Won at Toronto, 2-1
  • Last Five: W-D-W-L-W
  • This Week: Friday at San Jose (11 pm, NBCSN)
6

Last: 4

Disappointing home result after a bit of good road work. TFC's going to be close to whole starting this weekend, and now we get to see if they really are challengers.

7

Last: 7

Still a very tough team to beat, but still very, very willing to cough up points. When does Robbie Keane start playing like Robbie Keane, by the way?

8

Last: 8

Dillon Powers owes his team a steak dinner. Worst pass of the year.

9

Last: 10

That last five doesn't inspire great confidence, especially with a trip to the league leaders staring them in the face. Liam Ridgewell has to be ready to step in and contribute right away.

  • Last Week: Drew at LA, 2-2
  • Last Five: L-W-D-L-D
  • This Week: Sunday at Seattle (10 pm; ESPN2/Deportes)
10

Last: 9

No panic yet, but definitely some concern. The good news is that they're still generating good looks - they just need to finish a few.

11

Last: 11

The Red Bulls remain one of the most attractive attacking teams in the league, as well as one of the most undisciplined defensively.

12

Last: 13

Props to Dallas for surviving their injury glut and staying in the playoff picture. Now, with Mauro Diaz back, they can start to make a push.

13

Last: 12

The Power Rankings Politburo hopes this team can land Carlos Valdes. It'd be great to have him back in the league.

14

Last: 14

Well, they're still pretty tough to beat. And maybe the answer up top is Aaron Schoenfeld, who's tearing up USL PRO.

15

Last: 18

Cubo! Chivas are playing some hideous soccer, but it's reaping some beautiful results.

16

Last: 16

The Fire now have 10 draws in 16 games. The record for an entire season is 16 draws. This has the feel of a record-breaking team!

17

Last: 15

If they'd been a bit smarter - a bit tighter defensively - they would have picked up their third straight shutout. Still too much naivete from this team in spite of the improved form.

18

Last: 17

They're getting Wondo back, which is great. But the real problem is that neither Steven Lenhart nor Alan Gordon are at all dangerous anymore. 2012 seems like a million years ago. 

19

Last: 19

Having Brad Davis and Rico Clark back in the lineup helps, but this team is still a sieve on defense.