MLS Power Rankings Week 9: Portland Timbers just keep climbing higher & higher

This really has been a bizarre season so far – but at least Week 9 brought a glut of goals. Currently, 2013 is still on pace to be the lowest-scoring year in league history, but a few more weekends like the one we just had and the mis-marksmanship of March and early April will soon be forgotten.

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

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Club Comment


Last: 3

You go on the road to RSL, you play your second string, you lose one of them to injury, and you still get three points and a shutout? You get to jump to the top of the rankings. Have we mentioned that Bruce Arena simply crushes the Draft every year?


Last: 1

On the face of it, a 2-2 draw on the road is a pretty good result. But it came at the price of two starters going off injured, a third going off under the influence of the red mist and a two-goal lead coughed up in the interim. Hey, at least they got the point.


Last: 4

Was that "Plan B?" Montreal have been talking about it for a month – and we've yapped a bit as well – and for the first time, this looked like a team that can be dangerous on more than just the counter. They'll need that aggressive approach midweek against TFC as they try to climb out of that 2-0 hole.


Last: 7

Several of the Power Rankings Politburo can make pretty good arguments for this team being No. 1 in the rankings. They dismantled Houston at home. They dismantled San Jose at Jeld-Wen. Then they drew the Quakes at Buck Shaw and simply outplayed Sporting in KC. Who does that? The answer is "a really, really good team."

  • Last Week: Won at Kansas City, 3-2
  • Last Five: D-W-W-D-W
  • This Week: Thursday vs. New England (10:30 pm, Univision Deportes)


Last: 2

We're starting to think this team might not be as good as we think they are. Does that make sense? Well, whatever – you get the point. Fact is, SKC have only looked good in spurts this season. We were expecting something more along the lines of "smothering, dominant force." It's not happening yet.


Last: 10

Clearly, we have no idea what to make of this team. A 3-0 win over the bottom-dwellers is ... well, it should be expected. And "2-2-1 in the last five" isn't exactly dominant, but given the patchy form of literally everyone else outside the top four, they don't have to be dominant to climb this high, do they?


Last: 5

Can't buy a win on the road, and looked something less than remarkable at home. Yeah, Clint Irwin had another big game, and that hurt Houston, but we just don't trust a team that is struggling to defend set pieces. It's been an issue since MLS Cup.


Last: 12

They've won three of four and four of six. Mostly, it's been against teams that we're pretty sure are some of the weaker ones in the league, and other than the Revs game, the Red Bulls have hardly been overwhelming. But if they keep picking up three points, they'll keep climbing.

  • Last Week: Won at Toronto, 2-1
  • Last Five: L-W-L-W-W
  • This Week: Saturday at Columbus (4 pm, NBCSN)


Last: 9

The Goats finally got on the scoreboard in April, but Shea Salinas exposed – time and time again – just how flimsy the 3-5-2 can be on the flanks. "Diagonal ball to a dynamic winger" is going to go on every scouting report vs. the Goats from here on out.


Last: 11

Finishing continues to be the story of the season for San Jose. It's hard to say "four goals in nine games" is a slump, but Chris Wondolowski has missed some chances he normally puts away, and this past week, he wasn't the only one. Last year, that game at Chivas would've finished with three points.


Last: 6

Is it fair to drop this team five spots after they had 20 chances on goal and over 70 percent possession (a ludicrous number)? The Politburo has spoken: You can't lose to what was largely a Galaxy reserve team – or any reserve team, for that matter – and expect to stay in the top 10.


Last: 8

Is it back to the drawing board for John Hackworth? Probably not. The surface in Foxborough has made more than one team look like Bambi on ice this year, and that effective 4-1-4-1 the Revs threw out there probably wasn't in the scouting report.


Last: 13

Well, let's give them credit for fighting back from two goals down. But why were they in that position in the first place? It was like the 'Caps didn't even know there was a game going on for the first 45 minutes. Also, why'd they start three defensive-minded midfielders? It's no coincidence the team played better once they had a little more inspiration (read: Heinemann & Manneh) out there.


Last: 14

A bye week should have given the Sounders time to get healthy and try to get on the same page. The pieces are all there for a serious run at serious hardware this season, despite the disappointment of March and April. 

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: D-L-L-D-W
  • This Week: Satuday at Philadelphia (4 pm, MLS Live)


Last: 15

If games were 85 minutes long, this team might be near the top of the standings (and the Power Rankings). A quick check shows that TFC have coughed up roughly 10 points points on poor defending in the final minutes. Tim Cahill's posterization of Ashtone Morgan was only the most recent example.


Last: 16

Are we underrating this team? It feels like maybe we are, considering that they've lost only once in their last five despite a laundry list of injuries. But Hendry Thomas' leg-plant was gruesome, and honestly, if he's out for an extended period, then the Rapids are meat.


Last: 19

Credit to Jay Heaps for mixing it up some and getting his skill guys in the central midfield. Both Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen looked energized to be there and, while they didn't exactly dominate possession, they sure did look comfortable stringing attacking passes together. Not often we've said that about the Revs this year.


Last: 17

OK, for 25 minutes in Montreal, this Fire team looked really good – as in "should be up 1- or 2-0" good. And then when they didn't get that goal, all their confidence seemed to disappear and it became just a matter of time until the Impact made them pay.

Last: 18

Look at that "Last Five." That's pretty much all you need to know about United right now. It seems like eons since this team was just one win away from MLS Cup – hard to believe it was only five months ago.



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