MLS Power Rankings, Week 34: Ninety minutes from No. 1 in New York

Any of the five Western Conference playoff teams (sorry San Jose, you're out) could finish atop the conference. And there are five Eastern Conference playoff teams that can all finish on 49 points – three would make the postseason, and two would miss it.

Our point? That it's been an incredibly tight year, and there hasn't been a lot to chose from between these teams week after week.

Which is all the more reason for you guys to celebrate how great we are in the comments section. We've been reading all year, and are overwhelmed by the positivity coming from our devoted readers.

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: 1

Ninety minutes from a Shield and some history. They've lost just twice in their last 14, and have wins over Sporting, RSL and Montreal in that span. They are absolutely worth the No. 1 spot here.

  • Last Week: Won at Houston, 3-0
  • Last Five: W-W-D-D-W
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Chicago (5 pm, UniMas)

Last: 2

Their rock-solid defense keeps on posting those zeroes – they've allowed just three goals in their last seven. Now it's about getting and keeping Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe and Maximiliano Urruti healthy for November.


Last: 3

Like Portland, they've given up just three goals in their last seven. But their own attack is flagging a bit as well, making some of these recent games closer than they should have been. Claudio Bieler has to play like a DP again soon.


Last: 4

A very solid defensive performance to get a point in Portland, and that backline looks even better with the return of Chris Schuler. But this team hasn't had a signature performance since August, which has to be a worry.


Last: 5

Had every chance to fold, but once again found a way to find the points they needed. With Gaby Torres getting hot and Clint Irwin being a brick wall, this is the dark-horse team that should scare you most in the playoffs.


Last: 6

Landon Donovan isn't close to 100 percent, and neither is Omar Gonzalez. Robbie Keane has cooled off, and none of the kids have stepped up to become a legit third option. The champs have some holes in the boat that need fixing, and not much time to do it. 


Last: 9

Young team on the verge of collapsing goes unbeaten in five during the home stretch. We've been telling you since May that this was a playoff team, and they're one win away from making that a reality.


Last: 11

The stones on Mike Magee! How do you pull a Panenka in the middle of a playoff race after you missed your last PK? There should be a statue of the guy somewhere in Bridgeview if the Fire make the postseason.


Last: 12

Hernán Bernardello is the key to this team. He can shield the defense – a constant worry – while releasing wingers into space, which boosts the hit-and-miss attack. With him healthy, this is a much better team than the one that went six winless heading into last weekend.


Last: 7

In Sigi We Trust. 


Last: 8

Too many squandered chances in front of goal, too many mix-ups in the back. Houston don't have the same leeway in terms of how they perform that other playoff hopefuls seem to, and now they need to win on the road and get some help to make the postseason.


Last: 13

Gave it a valiant effort with an 8-2-3 run in their last 13, and have been one of the best teams in the league (not aesthetically, but still) under Mark Watson. They'll at least get to take out their frustrations on Heredia in midweek CCL action.

  • Last Week: Drew at LA, 0-0
  • Last Five: D-W-W-W-D
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Dallas (5:30 pm, NBCSN)


Last: 10

They won back-to-back games three times this year – once early, once midseason, and once at the end. But they never put together a sustained streak of good form that could have given them the cushion they needed. Eyes on 2014, barring a weekend miracle.

  • Last Week: Lost at Montreal, 2-1
  • Last Five: L-W-W-D-L
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Kansas City (3 pm ET, NBCSN)

Last: 14

Hard not to ask "What could have been?" after seeing how fun and prolific this team was once they moved to the diamond-four midfield. The pieces are there to be a playoff team in 2014, and they have some very interesting trade chips.


Last: 15

Always going to be difficult to get a road result without Federico Higuaín, but man did the Crew give it a shot. We'll say it once again: Brian Bliss has revitalized this team.


Last: 16

Nice to see one more home win for Schellas Hyndman. It just didn't work out for Dallas this year, but their core of young talent (Mauro Díaz, Fabián Castillo, Kelyn Acosta, Walker Zimmerman, Matt Hedges) is among the best in the league.

  • Last Week: Won vs. Seattle, 2-0
  • Last Five: L-L-D-L-W
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (5:30 pm ET; NBCSN)


Last: 17

They are officially not the worst Chivas, as Guadalajara have now hit the bottom of the Liga MX table. Any points the LA Chivas pick up this week, by the way, will have major playoff seeding implications, and possible Supporters' Shield implications.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • Last Five: W-D-L-L-L
  • This Week: Wednesday at Real Salt Lake (9 pm, MLS Live)
    Saturday vs. Portland (10:30 pm ET, MLS Live)

Last: 18

That definitely was not a hand ball, and TFC continue to be tougher defensively than most realize. But their attack is a train wreck.

Last: 19

One more week to go until they claim the title of "Worst MLS Team of All-Time." Wonder whether that causes more pain to D.C. fans or RSL fans.



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