MLS Power Rankings Week 16: Portland Timbers finally rise to the top

It's been kind of a weird run of half-full slates, and we at the Power Rankings Politburo will admit it: We don't know what to do with ourselves on Sundays devoid of MLS. So as much as we like the international "slow-down" (we can't in good conscience call it a "break"), we're ready for it to be over.

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 are written by Matthew Doyle. All game times are Eastern.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Rank Trending Club Comment


Last: 4



Only third in the league on points per game, but don't let that fool you: This is the best team in MLS. They absolutely dominated Dallas, and seem to have dealt just fine with yet another injury in the central defense.

Last Week: Won vs. FC Dallas, 1-0

  • Last Five: W-D-W-D-W
  • This Week: Wednesday at LA (10:30 pm, MLS Live)
    Sunday vs. Colorado (7 pm, NBCSN)

Last: 1

Fell to earth with a thud in this one, which nobody really saw coming. Maybe we should have, though, since with the loss the Impact remain winless on the road when Alessando Nesta doesn't play. Also ... regression to the mean may be in their future.


Last: 2

Lost, and were outclassed. But thanks to another spectacular performance from Raúl Fernández, they had a legit chance at a point up until the final whistle. Very impressive, especially considering they were without all three of their target forwards.


Last: 3

Drop only because of Portland's jump to the top of the rankings. But here's a little nugget for you: Since the start of May, nobody has more points than RSL. The offseason retooling has paid immediate dividends.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-W-D-W-W
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Seattle (9:30 pm, MLS Live)


Last: 5

The Red Bulls, like every other team that had a bye, had plenty of film to watch in their down time. The first thing they have to figure out is if they can figure out how to get Juninho to start controlling games instead of drifting in and out.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-D-W-D-L
  • This Week: Sunday at Philadelphia (5 pm, ESPN)

Last: 6

Sporting have won just two of their last eight, and there are plenty of compelling cases for dropping them significantly lower here. But there's one compelling reason to have them this high – or even higher – and it's talent. SKC are one of the top three teams in the league on raw ability. They're just not playing like it.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-W-D-D-L
  • This Week: Saturday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm, MLS Live)


Last: 8

Each of the last three seasons, a journeyman striker has come out of nowhere to score double digits: Chris Wondolowski (2010), Dominic Oduro (2011) and Alan Gordon (2012). Odds-on favorite to keep the streak going? Lamar Neagle.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-W-L-W-W
  • This Week: Saturday at Real Salt Lake (9:30 pm, MLS Live)

Last: 7

Pains us to drop this team after they fought so hard and could have – maybe even should have – salvaged a draw, but that's life when you have Atiba Harris on the field. Yes, he's an asset quite often, but he's also in constant danger of getting a red.


Last: 9

The Galaxy are the Lannisters of MLS. Rich, unlikeable, and only an utter fool would count them out.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-L-W-L-L
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Portland (10:30 pm, MLS Live)
    Sunday at Chivas USA (11 pm, UniMas)

Last: 10

Still wondering if this team is going shopping in the summertime striker market. This team is obviously quite close to being MLS Cup caliber, and just need one more difference-maker to put them over the top.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-L-L-D-D
  • This Week: Wednesday at Montreal (8 pm, MLS Live)
    Saturday vs. Toronto FC (9 pm, MLS Live)


Last: 13

We did a double-take when we saw this team had won three of their last five, and if it weren't for that injury to Andy O'Brien, it could very well be four of five and unbeaten in the bargain. Have they turned a corner?


Last: 11

That was a young team doing young team things after going down a man against Vancouver. The Revs needed less attitude and more smarts on Saturday.


Last: 15

We'll admit it: We were ready to start driving nails into that coffin after the latest round of injuries. But credit to the Crew for picking up their first signature win of the season. Nice to have Chad Marshall back, isn't it?


Last: 12

The Union win the games they should win, and lose the games you'd expect them to. That's about it at this point.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-W-L-D-W
  • This Week: Sunday vs. New York (5 pm, ESPN)


Last: 16

Was that a sign of more wins to come? The Quakes haven't been as good as last year, but they haven't been as bad as their record indicates. If they start finishing, they could – conceivably – make a push.


Last: 14

Victims of the schedule and the teams around them in last week's rankings having impressive performances. Fact is, teams 10-16 are separated by not much at all.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-LD-W-D
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Colorado (8:30 pm, MLS Live)
    Saturday at Columbus (8 pm, MLS Live)


Last: 17

TFC won on the road? We're as stunned as you are, we promise.


Last: 18

Well, it looks like Chivas have lost their most consistent attacking threat (Eric Avila) and their brightest attacking prospect (Giovani Casillas) to the mothership in Guadalajara. Nice to see that partnership paying off.
  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: L-L-L-L-L
  • This Week: Wednesday at Vancouver (10 pm, MLS Live)
    Sunday vs. LA (11 pm, UniMas)

Last: 19

No excuse for a loss like that to a team like Toronto FC. It's time to start throwing this out there: Will this year's D.C. team be the worst in MLS history?



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