MLS Power Rankings: Week 14

Black & Gold move up two spots after the win in Houston

There's little argument atop the Power Rankings this week, where
the Galaxy hold the top spot and FC Dallas and New York round out the
top three, and there's no doubt who's on the move further down the
ladder. Sporting Kansas City are officially part of the conversation
now, reaching a new high in this week's poll.

Got a problem with ours? Vote for your own?

All match times for this week's games are ET; only MLS regular-season games reflected on schedule.

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This was the big one. Yeah, the Rapids have been struggling and
they’re not the same team they were last year (yet), but going to DSG
Park without your two big-name DPs and starting 'keeper, and waltzing
out with a 3-1 win? Emphatic statement from the Galaxy, who are odds-on
favorites to repeat as Shield champs.

  • Last Week: Beat Colorado, 3-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at San Jose (6:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WWTTW

 

 

 

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Schellas Hyndman’s team is still coming together. The pieces don’t
quite fit just yet, but they’re getting results along the way. It took a
communication breakdown in the Chivas defense this time, but teams that
cause pressure tend to make that sort of luck. This team should keep
getting better as the season progresses.

  • Last Week: Beat Chivas USA, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Portland (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTWLW

 

 

 

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The indelible image from NY’s weekend will be Thierry Henry
sarcastically shaking hands with Ricardo Salazar after his late red
card. Which, as you may have heard, was a bit of a debatable call.
But the real hero was Dwayne De Rosario, who dragged himself all over
the continent but still had enough energy to both create and score the
equalizer.

  • Last Week: Tied Portland, 3-3 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Thursday at Seattle (10 pm, ESPN2), Sunday at Chicago (2 pm ET, ESPN)
  • Last Five: TTTWT

 

 

 

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You have to wonder why Peter Nowak doesn’t start his best forward,
and why he’d ever go with the double d-mid set-up of Brian Carroll and
Stefani Miglioranzi. The Union almost never look dangerous when those
two guys are on the field together and when Mwanga’s on the bench. Time
to double-down on the attack.

 

 

 

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Getting a last-gasp 1-0 win over a short-handed Toronto isn’t the
way to etch your name permanently into the “contenders” category, but
three points on the road is three points on the road. You can’t argue
with it. Seattle are now unbeaten in four and have one of the league’s
better goal differentials.

  • Last Week: Beat Toronto, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Thursday vs. New York (10 pm, ESPN2), Sunday vs. New England (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWTTW

 

 

 

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They gave up a late lead on the road, but we can’t really fault
them too much, though it needs to be said: Charlie Davies’ dive is
exhibit A in “Why it’s almost always a bad idea for a defender to
attempt a slide tackle in the box.” Whether Chris Wingert touched him or
not (c’mon, he didn’t), it’s always a risk.

 

 

 

 

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The Crew have been rolling since Bizarro Warzycha started playing
his youngsters and Bizarro Mendoza started scoring. Rich Balchan looks
like a long-term solution at defensive midfield, Bernardo Anor and
Justin Meram have provided a real spark and the defense is as solid as
ever. And this was supposed to be a “rebuilding year.”

  • Last Week: Beat Houston, 2-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs Colorado (8 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTWLW

 

 

 

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They probably won’t give up an own goal and a golazo every
week, but the energy and toughness that defined last season’s Rapids
team is largely missing in 2011. As Omar Cummings and Conor Casey return
to full health, maybe it’ll come back. But it’s not a sure thing, and
the Shield may already be out of reach.

 

 

 

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The offense dried up in a hurry once the Quakes ran into a back
line they couldn’t dominate physically. Frank Yallop’s challenge will be
figuring out how to get Steven Lenhart, Simon Dawkins and Chris
Wondolowski all on the pitch together at the same time in the coming
weeks, and making sure the defense holds firm.

  • Last Week: Lost to Sporting KC, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. LA (6:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
  • Last Five: WTWWL

 

 

 

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SKC haven’t lost in a long time and are slowly limping their way up
the table. Their goal difference suggests more victories are to come,
as does the change from the sieve-like 4-3-3 that Peter Vermes insisted
upon during their epic road trip. Now how to get the offense firing
consistently like it did in that Dallas game...

 

 

 

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“All goals are beautiful” is what they say, and we at the Power
Rankings Committee are certain that DC fans will feel that way about
Davies’ late PK. But we were more impressed with the series of
almost-goals United had from the run of play, including a pair of pinged
crossbars from Chris Pontius. More, and better, to come from this side.

  • Last Week: Tied Real Salt Lake, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Houston (6 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWTLT

 

 

 

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The refrain from Portland after Sunday’s epic draw with New York was
that the “second half showed what we’re capable of.” For good and for
bad, as it turns out: They came back from a one-goal deficit, then
coughed up a two-goal lead themselves. More discipline and compactness
in defense is badly needed.

  • Last Week: Tied New York, 3-3 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLLLT

 

 

 

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What is with this team? A group that has so many big, tough players
shouldn’t be so soft. Whether it’s a lack of veteran leadership or just
not enough focus — particularly from the back line — it’s tough to say,
but Houston’s first half of the season is solidly disappointing.

  • Last Week: Lost to Columbus, 2-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at D.C. United (6 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTLWL

 

 

 

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Two straight losses have taken the shine off what was an impressive
May, but this is still a team in rebuilding mode that’s missing a bunch
of regulars. That said, they have to figure out how to stop conceding
soft goals and get back to willing themselves to victory.

  • Last Week: Lost to FC Dallas, 2-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at Philadelphia (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTWLL

 

 

 

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The Fire are yet another team that haven’t lost in an eternity, but
they didn’t quite have what it takes to get themselves a winning streak,
either. Part of that is getting used to a new system, part missing
Marco Pappa, and part team selection. At some point, Orr Barouch and
Corben Bone have to become regulars or Chicago have no creativity.

  • Last Week: Tied New England, 1-1 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. Real Salt Lake (8 pm, MatchDay Live), Sunday vs. New York (2 pm ET, ESPN)
  • Last Five: TTTWT

 

 

 

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After the week the city of Vancouver has had, it’s nice to see them
turn up on the right side of a sports story. The ‘Caps are still
strugglers and look very unlikely to compete for a playoff spot, but
they’re playing solid soccer now and there’s every reason to think that
it’ll continue through the summer.

  • Last Week: Beat Philadelphia, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at Sporting KC (8:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TTLTW

 

 

 

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They were one blown offside trap away from walking out of another
home game pointless. Benny Feilhaber can’t get healthy quick enough, and
the Revs best make good on the talk of a summertime signing or their
season will go nowhere. If you can’t put the ball in the net, you can’t
win.

 

 

 

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Even when things go right — stifling Seattle’s attack despite
playing with a makeshift midfield and defense — they end up going wrong.
Fredy Montero’s free-kick goal was a golazo, but how does that
happen near-post? Stefan Frei was surprisingly caught off-guard, and
suddenly the season’s approaching “lost cause” status.

  • Last Week: Tied New England, 0-0 (RECAP/WATCH), Lost to Seattle, 1-0 (RECAP/WATCH)
  • This Week: Saturday at Real Salt Lake (9:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTTTL