SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 19

Earthquakes (Getty)

With the league's best record on the line, the San Jose Earthquakes came through Saturday in spectacular fashion.

San Jose, the Supporters' Shield front-runner, rose to the challenge against second-place Real Salt Lake on Saturday, cruising to a 5-0 win that secured a season sweep of RSL and a firm grasp on the top spot in this SBI MLS Power Rankings.

With Salt Lake and D.C. United suffering blowout losses, Sporting Kansas City jumped up to the No. 2 position after a 2-0 win over Columbus. And in the week's biggest drop, the Vancouver Whitecaps plunged five slots to No. 10 after losses to Toronto and Chicago.

Here are this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings (as voted on by SBI staff):


SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 19)

1. (Last week — 1) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (12-4-4, 40 points)

SJ_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Salt Lake 5-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday vs. Dallas, 11 p.m., Sunday at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Outlook: With his hat trick against Salt Lake on Saturday, Chris Wondolowski made it 17 goals in just 18 games. At this point, the striker is running away with the MVP race. And with 41 goals total, the Earthquakes have seven more than any other team in MLS.

2. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (11-5-3, 36 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Beat Columbus 2-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Houston, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday vs. New England, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: Now sitting by itself atop the Eastern Conference, Kansas City now must defend that position with a pair of conference matchups: a trip to take on surging Houston (unbeaten in four) and a home fixture against the Revolution.

3. (3) REAL SALT LAKE (11-7-3, 36 points)

RSL_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to San Jose 5-0 on Saturday

This week: Saturday vs. Colorado, 10 p.m.

Outlook: Salt Lake was hanging tight with San Jose until a Kyle Beckerman red card opened the floodgates for the Earthquakes in the second half. Now RSL must rally for a Rocky Mountain Cup fixture without the club's suspended captain.

4. (2) D.C. UNITED (10-6-3, 33 points)

DCU_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Houston 4-0 on Sunday

This week: Saturday at Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: Bill Hamid's early red card doomed United, putting the team a goal down, a man down and a substitute down in the Houston heat. From that point on, it was a lost cause. How the team responds in Columbus to conclude a stretch of four out of five on the road will be key.

5. (6) NEW YORK RED BULLS (9-5-5, 32 points)

NY_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied Seattle 2-2 on Sunday

This week: Wednesday vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.; Saturday vs. Philadelphia, 2:30 p.m.

Outlook: The shock acquisition of Sebastien Le Toux immediately paid dividends for New York, but the club's iffy back line couldn't hold onto a second-half lead as Seattle battled back for a point on the road. next up, this week's unusual slate brings a pair of matinees at Red Bull Arena.

6. (7) CHICAGO FIRE (9-6-4, 31 points)

CHI_primary_COL

Last week: Beat Vancouver 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at New York, 1 p.m.

Outlook: The Fire picked up out a 1-0 win over Vancouver thanks to a Pavel Pardo goal and defensive discipline down the stretch following the ejection of Arne Friedrich. The shutout should be a good confidence-builder for Sean Johnson, who has been up and down in goal.

7. (8) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (8-10-2, 26 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Portland 5-3 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Vancouver, 10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Chivas, 10 p.m.

Outlook: The Galaxy's Designated Players came through big time at Jeld-Wen Field, combining for five goals and three assists in Los Angeles' 5-3 win over Portland. David Beckham's brace following a two-game suspension was a particularly welcome development for the Galaxy.

8. (9) HOUSTON DYNAMO (7-5-7, 28 points)

HOU_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat D.C. United 4-0 on Sunday

This week: Wednesday vs. Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday vs. Montreal, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: With Macoumba Kandji rounding into form, Oscar Boniek Garcia making an impact and Will Bruin still scoring goals, the Dynamo now have a wealth of formidable options up front. With two more home games this week, Houston could be a team on the rise.

9. (10) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (8-5-7, 31 points)

SEA_Primary_COL

Last week: Tied New York 2-2 on Sunday

This week: Idle

Outlook: Eddie Johnson might have earned the All-Star nod from Ben Olsen, but it was strike partner Fredy Montero who came off the bench to earn Seattle a point on the road with a second-half equalizer. The wins have come sparingly for the Sounders lately, but this team is starting to get strong results ahead of their friendly with UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea.

10. (5) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (8-6-6, 30 points)

WhitecapsLogo

Last week: Lost to Toronto 3-2 on Wednesday; lost to Chicago 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday vs. Los Angeles, 10 p.m.; Sunday vs. San Jose, 7 p.m.

Outlook: After a heartbreaking loss at Toronto midweek, Vancouver just didn't have the energy to grab an equalizer at Chicago on Saturday. Going forward, the exit of Sebastien Le Toux and entrance of Kenny Miller gives the club a very different dynamic.

11. (13) PHILADELPHIA UNION (6-9-2, 20 points)

UNI_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Montreal 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Saturday at New York, 2:30 p.m.

Outlook: All-Star centerback Carlos Valdes continued his superb season for Philadelphia, notching the 91st-minute winner just moments after a Keon Daniel own goal had drawn Montreal level. With three straight victories, the Union now boast the league's longest current winning streak.

12. (11) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (6-8-4, 22 points)

NE_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Toronto 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Montreal, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: New England continues to slowly but surely fall out of the Eastern Conference playoff field, with the Revolution now six points behind fifth-place Houston. Suffering a loss at home to Toronto is an unacceptable result for Jay Heaps' squad.

13. (12) COLUMBUS CREW (6-7-4, 22 points)

CLB_Primary_COL

Last week: Lost to Kansas City 2-0 on Saturday

This week: Saturday vs. D.C. United, 2:30 p.m.

Outlook: Like New England, the Crew this weekend dropped points at home they desperately needed to keep up in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. And to make matters worse, goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was snubbed for an All-Star nod.

14. (14) CHIVAS USA (5-7-5, 20 points)

CHV_Primary_COL

Last week: Idle

This week: Wednesday vs. Portland, 4 p.m.; Saturday at Los Angeles, 10 p.m.

Outlook: Although the club took this past week off from MLS play, it still received a welcome recognition when goalkeeper Dan Kennedy was named to Ben Olsen's All-Star squad. Back in action this week, Chivas face Portland before "visting" the Galaxy in a SuperClasico fixture.

15. (15) COLORADO RAPIDS (7-11-1, 22 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week: Lost to Dallas 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Toronto, 7 p.m.; Saturday at Salt Lake, 10 p.m.

Outlook: Saturday's loss to lowly Dallas in a 2010 MLS Cup final rematch was the third-straight defeat for the Rapids, who now are four points back of the Galaxy for final Western Conference playoff slot. Pablo Mastroeni's placement on the disabled list was also a tough, if not unexpected, turn of events.

16. (16) MONTREAL IMPACT (6-12-3, 21 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Lost to Philadelphia 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday vs. New England, 8 p.m.; Saturday at Houston, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: The Impact surrendered the winner to Philadelphia just two minutes after they had drawn level with an 89th-minute equalizer. It was a brutal defeat for the Impact, who have to be hoping Alessandro Nesta gains fitness sooner rather than later.

17. (18) TORONTO FC (4-11-4, 16 points)

 TOR_Primary_COL 

Last week: Beat Vancouver 3-2 on Wednesday; beat New England 1-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday vs. Colorado, 7 p.m.

Outlook: The thrill of winning back-to-back matches was dampened by the news Toronto has lost striker Danny Koevermans for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Much of the scoring burden will now fall to Jamaican forward Ryan Johnson.

18. (19) FC DALLAS (4-9-7, 19 points)

DAL_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Colorado 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at San Jose, 10 p.m.; Saturday vs. Portland, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Following the team's first win in any competition since April, Dallas has an intriguing contract of fixtures in the week ahead: a trip to play the league's top team on the road before a home game against the bottom club in this week's Power Rankings.

19. (17) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-8-4, 19 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Beat San Jose 2-1 on Tuesday; lost to Salt Lake 3-0 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Chivas, 4 p.m.; Saturday at Dallas, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Portland's defense was ravaged by the Galaxy in the debut of interim coach Gavin Wilkinson, surrendering four goals in the game's first 28 minutes, though Kris Boyd's brace did provide some minor consolation.

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13 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 19

  1. Charles says:

    Only four teams have lost 10 or more games. Only one of them is in the top 14.

    I didn’t think that LA looked very good in giving up 3 goals to non-scoring Portland. SBI disagrees.

  2. Eurosnob says:

    OK, I there’s one thing I don’t understand. DCU lost 0-4 and RSL lost 0-5. Both teams deserve to go down in rankings. However, DCU is dropped two places from No. 2 to No. 4, while RSL stays put at No. 3. Wouldn’t it be more logical to drop each team one place rather than have RSL leapfrog DCU after RSL’s 0-5 loss?

  3. A wise man once says:

    +1

  4. Gnarls says:

    LA has had defensive issues all season. Nothing new there. What’s new is four goals in 9 minutes.

  5. Hogatroge Abroad says:

    Agree to an extent.

    There’s no denying LA’s attack is potent.

    But giving up 3 goals to the #19 team in the Power Rankings, combined with the fact that your team is <0.500 and has played 1 more game than most of the teams in the standings is absurd.

    However, Power Rankings are an indication of how a team is doing right now. And, for the last month and a half, LA has been doing very well.

  6. QuakesInYourPanties says:

    It’s a matter of the quality of opposition. Going down to the #1 team in the league merits more consideration than losing to a lower seeded team.

  7. A wise man once says:

    Yeah, but losing 5-0 and not even dropping?

  8. JoeMormon says:

    I have prayed many, many times since last Saturday. However, I didn’t pray for RSL to stay high in the Power Rankings, this is an undeserved blessing. I pray that RSL can get back on track against C.Rapids. Amen.

  9. divers suck says:

    Good Grief! 8-10-2 Galaxy above 3 teams with winning records and more points. I wonder if it would have been any other team but the Galaxy with the same record on an identical “run” would this joke of a rankings have been the same? I doubt it. I guess it’s a “dream team” thing.

  10. jake says:

    Although if you want to look at it your way, we might as well just look at the point totals and rank the teams. That’s no fun! We can all just go to the league website and do the math.

    These weekly power rankings are just that…”weekly”

    They are based on the past weeks performance – not overall performance since week one.

  11. JRP says:

    RSL has been one of the top three teams in the MLS for the past four years. When you have been on top that long it takes a lot more to fall. They are the only team that has been the that constant in this league during that period. RSL is still one of the elite teams. After this week, maybe the MLS only has one elite. But if you are going to be pounded, better to lose to SJ than a team wasting money on panty models like LA.

  12. JRP says:

    I think you are partly wrong. They are based on both with an emphasis on the past week more than the history.
    Mostly these are just something to generate hits. And it works. I check them every week. Luckily, they treat my team well.

  13. QuakeWithFear says:

    Go QUAKES. :]