SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 23

Earthquakes (Getty)


It sure didn't take long for the San Jose Earthquakes to climb back atop the ladder.

More late heroics gave San Jose a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, pushing the Earthquakes back to the No. 1 spot in this week's SBI MLS Power Rankings after they had been dethroned the week prior by the Houston Dynamo.

Elsewhere in the poll, Sporting Kansas City jumped to the second position following the club's U.S. Open Cup triumph and league win over D.C. United. And this week's biggest riser was FC Dallas, which vaulted four slots to No. 13 with a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rapids.

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


SBI MLS POWER RANKINGS (WEEK 23)

1. (Last week — 2) SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (14-5-5, 47 points)

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Last week: Beat Seattle 2-1 on Saturday

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

Outlook: This San Jose team never says die, does it? Another week, another dramatic result for the Earthquakes, who responded to Fredy Montero's stoppage-time equalizer with Steven Lenhart's winner moments later. Steven Beitashour, Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon have now parlayed the Earthquakes' success into U.S. national team call-ups.

2. (4) SPORTING KANSAS CITY (13-7-4, 43 points)

SportingKClogo

Last week: Beat D.C. United 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Saturday at Toronto, 4:30 p.m.

Outlook: Talk about a productive week — Kansas City claimed the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday with a penalty kicks win over Seattle before controlling play from start to finish in a 2-1 triumph over D.C. United. Graham Zusi's emergence as an impactful option out wide gives the team even more flexibility going forward.

3. (1) HOUSTON DYNAMO (11-6-7, 40 points)

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Last week: Lost to New York 2-0 on Friday

This week: Sunday vs. Columbus, 9 p.m.

Outlook: A week after defeating New York by a 2-0 score line, Houston fell to the Red Bulls by the same margin. On the plus side, the match marked the return of Ricardo Clark, who will help fill the void left by departed defender-midfielder Geoff Cameron.

4. (5) NEW YORK RED BULLS (12-7-5, 41 points)

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Last week: Beat Houston 2-1 on Friday

This week: Sunday vs. Portland, 7 p.m.

Outlook: New York looked much sharper in Game 2 of the Tim Cahill era, with the Australian notching two assists. The centerback pairing of Heath Pearce and Markus Holgersson also asserted itself well against the Dynamo, leaving one to again wonder where Rafa Marquez really fits in when he returns from his latest injury.

5. (3) REAL SALT LAKE (13-9-3, 42 points)

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Last week: Lost to Vancouver 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Saturday vs. Dallas, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Saturday's match at Vancouver unfolded as another tough loss away from home for Salt Lake, which went 0-3 in its three-game road trip that spanned MLS and Champions League play. RSL returns to Rio Tinto Stadium this weekend, though, with a match against Dallas.

6. (T-6) SEATTLE SOUNDERS (10-6-7, 37 points)

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Last week: Lost to San Jose 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Saturday vs. Vancouver, 4 p.m.

Outlook: It was an agonizing week for the Sounders, who lost in penalty kicks in the U.S. Open Cup final before watching San Jose score the winner with seconds left in stoppage time on Saturday. It's back to the comforts of CenturyLink Field this weekend for a Cascadia Cup match against Vancouver.

7. (8) LOS ANGELES GALAXY (11-11-3, 33 points)

LA_Primary_COL

Last week: Beat Chivas USA 4-0 on Sunday

This week: Wednesday at Columbus, 7 p.m.

Outlook: A week after Seattle dispatched Los Angeles by a 4-0 score, the Galaxy did the same to SuperClasico rival Chivas. Rejuvenated by his new partnership with Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan added four assists to give him the league lead with 11.

8. (9) CHICAGO FIRE (11-7-5, 38 points)

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Last week: Beat Philadelphia 3-1 on Sunday

This week: Saturday vs. New England, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: The new strike duo of Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald showed good chemistry Sunday as Rolfe bagged a brace in a win at Philadelphia. With the likes of Patrick Nyarko and Dominic Oduro now coming off the bench, this Fire team is deep and talented.

9. (T-6) D.C. UNITED (11-8-3, 36 points)

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Last week: Lost to Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Sunday vs. Philadelphia, 5 p.m.

Outlook: Playing without Dwayne De Rosario (shoulder), United looked lost throughout their 2-1 loss at Kansas City on Saturday, failing to link together with any efficiency. The only bit of magic came courtesy of Andy Najar, who was sharp in his return from Olympic duty with Honduras.

10. (10) VANCOUVER WHITECAPS (10-7-7, 37 points)

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Last week: Beat Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday vs. Dallas, 10 p.m.; Saturday at Seattle, 4 p.m.

Outlook: Goals from Camilo and Dane Richards gave the Whitecaps a win at home over RSL, solidifying their place in the tentative Western Conference playoff field. For Vancouver, the focus down the stretch may now turn to locking down a top-three berth and a first-round bye.

11. (11) COLUMBUS CREW (8-8-4, 28 points)

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Last week: Idle

This week: Wednesday vs. Los Angeles, 7 p.m.; Sunday at Houston, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Columbus' match against Toronto was understandably postponed so players could attend the funeral of midfielder Kirk Urso. The Crew will play for the first time since Urso's death Wednesday against Los Angeles in what is sure to be an emotional affair.

12. (12) MONTREAL IMPACT (10-13-3, 33 points)

Logo Impact MLS

Last week: Beat New England 1-0 on Sunday

This week: Saturday vs. San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Outlook: A bit of magic from Sanna Nyassi and a sound defensive effort in front of new goalkeeper Troy Perkins gave Montreal a win over New England and put the Impact within three points of D.C. United for the final Eastern Conference playoff slot. But United still have four games in hand on Montreal.

13. (17) FC DALLAS (6-11-8, 26 points)

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Last week: Beat Colorado 3-2 on Saturday

This week: Wednesday at Vancouver, 10 p.m.; Saturday at Salt Lake, 9 p.m.

Outlook: With David Ferreira healthy and productive and Brek Shea seemingly emerging from his slump, Dallas is starting to make some noise in the Western Conference. But the 10-point deficit in the hunt for the final playoff spot is likely too much to overcome.

14. (13) PHILADELPHIA UNION (7-12-2, 23 points)

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Last week: Lost to Chicago 3-1 on Sunday

This week: Sunday at D.C. United, 5 p.m.

Outlook: Bakary Soumare had an up-and-down debut for the Union, who saw the return of goalkeeper Zac MacMath's growing pains in a loss to Chicago on Sunday. The absence of suspended striker Jack McInerney, meanwhile, left the Union attack somewhat lost.

15. (15) COLORADO RAPIDS (8-15-1, 25 points)

RapidsLogo

Last week: Lost to Dallas 3-2 on Saturday

This week: Saturday vs. Chivas, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Colorado's tumble down the standings continued with a 3-2 loss to Dallas on Saturday. Only four clubs have allowed more goals than the Rapids this season, despite the team keeping intact the core of the defensive unit that won the MLS Cup just two seasons ago, namely veterans Marvell Wynne and Drew Moor.

16. (14) CHIVAS USA (7-9-5, 26 points)

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Last week: Lost to Los Angeles 4-0 on Sunday

This week: Saturday at Colorado, 9 p.m.

Outlook: Dan Kennedy's heroics kept Chivas' 4-0 loss to Los Angeles on Sunday from being much worse. Even with midseason acquisitions Dan Califf, Shalrie Joseph and Juan Agudelo all on the field, Chivas still were completely overwhelmed by the Galaxy.

17. (16) NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (6-12-5, 23 points)

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Last week: Lost to Montreal 1-0 on Sunday

This week: Saturday at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Outlook: Jerry Bengtson's return from Olympic duty wasn't enough to bolster New England's stagnant attack, which was shut out by Montreal league-worst back line. The returns from injury of A.J. Soares and Kevin Alston to the Revolution defense was one positive development from the game for New England.

18. (18) TORONTO FC (5-13-4, 19 points)

 TOR_Primary_COL 

Last week: Idle

This week: Wednesday vs. Portland, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday vs. Kansas City, 4:30 p.m.

Outlook: Toronto will have two very different opponents coming to town this week, with a dismal Portland side visiting BMO Field before surging Kansas City rolls in Saturday. If the new strike partnership of Ryan Johnson and Eric Hassli continues to grow, look for TFC to be a spoiler for teams such as Kansas City in the coming months.

19. (19) PORTLAND TIMBERS (5-12-5, 20 points)

TimbersLogo

Last week: Idle

This week: Wednesday at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at New York, 7 p.m.

Outlook: It's been a month and a half since Portland last won a game, an early July upset of San Jose when John Spencer still was in charge. With new goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts between the posts, Portland will try to get Gavin Wilkinson his first win as coach during a pair of games on the road this week.

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12 Responses to SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 23

  1. Matt says:

    What happened to all those strong Western conference teams I kept hearing about at the beginning of the season?

  2. Devin Brown says:

    I keep hearing about “the void left by departed defender-midfielder Geoff Cameron.” What void?

  3. Gnarls says:

    What happened? The league schedule became lopsided so that the Eastern teams now have a false sense of superiority.

  4. MattJack says:

    seattle was like the Lakers or Heat phoning in a game against the raptors 2/3rds the way through the season.. except on a plastic pitch. Omar got 90 mins and didn’t get an injury.

  5. The special one says:

    At least Toronto Fc isn’t last anymore!

  6. divers suck says:

    Huh? That doesn’t make any sense.

  7. Rabid RBNY says:

    The Eatern conference playoffs are going to be gritty.

  8. Ben Yates says:

    Look at the record of Eastern conference teams vs Western conference…the East has the lead so your argument is flawed.

  9. Dillon says:

    Red Bulls won 2-0 not 2-1.

  10. hogatroge says:

    The void that started the season not living up to potential, but decimated DCU in his send off game.

  11. Eddie Vedder says:

    This right here is the best SSFC hater banter on the web..

  12. robert daniels says:

    How are the galaxy and salt lake higher than my fire?