MLS Power Rankings: Week 30

Crew get healthy in off week and push to playoffs

It was a quiet week for most teams, but not the Philadelphia Union. A cross-country win at Seattle was perhaps the club's best of the season, and vaulted them ahead of struggling Real Salt Lake and conference foes Sporitng Kansas City and Houston.

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

Rank Trending Last Club Comment

1

1

Losing Robbie Keane for a month probably isn’t what they had in mind, but they’ve got plenty of experience playing without him this year, anyway. They’ll hope Landon Donovan is fit enough to make a mark down in Motagua, the most important game left on their docket.

  • Last Week: Lost at New York, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Sunday vs. Chivas USA (9 pm, ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
  • Last Five: WWWWL
2

2

Third straight US Open Cup title, and they were worth every bit of it. But now the grueling schedule is taking a bit of a toll, as the injury list grew some when Jeff Parke went off at halftime on Saturday with a concussion. Attrition is their biggest worry until the playoffs.

  • Last Week: Lost to Philadelphia, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. San Jose (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWWWL

3

6

It took them about two months to get used to playing without Carlos Ruiz, but now everything has clicked. They’ve won three of five, haven’t given up any soft goals in a good long while, and Sébastien Le Toux is on a monstrous tear. They seem a good bet to top the East.

  • Last Week: Beat Seattle, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Toronto (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WTWTW

4

4

Roger Espinoza went toe-to-toe, and quite often toe-to-shin, with Kyle Beckerman, Maurice Edu and Michael Bradley on Saturday. His fearlessness and strong two-way presence – few switch the field of play as well – have been crucial in driving SKC up the rankings.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday vs. New York (4 pm, TeleFutura)
  • Last Five: WLTWT

5

3

We gave them a mulligan last week and they thanked us by laying an egg in Vancouver. We still suspect that they’ll pull themselves together once the playoffs are on, but playing out the string without Kyle Beckerman and with a pouting Fabián Espíndola does not instill us with confidence.

  • Last Week: Lost at Vancouver, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Friday at Colorado (10:30 pm, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: WLLLL

6

5

Gotta give them credit for being undefeated since they switched Geoff Cameron to central defense. The next project is getting Carlo Costly’s wheels turning as the playoffs start. If they manage that much, they’ll be a side to be reckoned with in the postseason.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Friday vs. Portland (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTWWT

 

7

7

They’ll be happy to have the week of rest, but have work left to do in the next 10 days in both the league with the Rocky Mountain Derby and the Champions League, with a must-win in Mexico. They’re probably only good enough for a result in one of the two.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Friday vs. Real Salt Lake (10:30 pm ET, ESPN2)
  • Last Five: LLLTW

8

8

Nobody expected this kind of two-month nose dive from FCD. Even without David Ferreira they seemed to have the type of squad that could withstand the rigors of both the regular season and CCL play. But they haven’t, and now it’s about getting things right in time for the playoffs.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Wednesday at Chicago (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live), Saturday vs. Vancouver (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: WLLLL

9

11

They’re clearly a different team with a healthy Luke Rodgers buzzing around. He stretches the field and creates passing lanes for all the other attackers. Getting Rafa Márquez off the backline helped, too, though the defense still managed to give LA plenty of good looks.

  • Last Week: Beat LA, 2-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Sporting KC (4 pm, TeleFutura)
  • Last Five: WLWTW

10

9

The Fire might not make the playoffs, but they’re warning the rest of MLS that they’ll be major players in 2012 every time they take the pitch. Even without Sebastián Grazzini, they hung in at Seattle for 75 minutes, and have a ‘keeper in Sean Johnson who can win them points outright.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Wednesday vs. FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live), Saturday at D.C. United (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LWWWT

11

10

Another team that will have benefitted from the time off. Eddie Gaven, Emilio Rentería and Chad Marshall are all healthy now, with Robbie Rogers on his way. The Crew have a chance to get back to the form that saw them top the East throughout the summer.

  • Last Week:  Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at New England (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLLLW

12

12

Nobody has greater possibilities down the stretch than D.C., who could conceivably take the East if they win out. A tall order for a team that’s yet to string back-to-back victories together this season, however. In the end, they’ll go as far as Dwayne De Rosario is able to carry them.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Wednesday at Vancouver (10 pm, MatchDay Live), Saturday vs. Chicago (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTWLL

13

13

A hard-working team that’s maybe lacked a little bit of quality in the build-up, Portland have fought and clawed their way into the playoff picture and will likely stay in it to the very end. Win or lose, John Spencer and Merritt Paulson will have a reason for happy-hour drinks at the close of their season.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Bye Next: Friday vs. Houston (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWTLW

14

15

Nobody on the Power Rankings Committee is a huge fan of Route 1 soccer, but Chris Wondolowski’s first touch on the first goal against the Revs belongs in a museum. And the build-up on the second goal was textbook. They need to bottle that for 2012.

  • Last Week: Beat New England, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday at Seattle (10:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: LTTTW

15

14

Honestly, Robin Fraser deserves at least some talk for “Coach of the Year.” Yeah, the Goats won’t make the playoffs, but they’re probably about 15 points better than most thought they’d be at this point. And they’ve identified undervalued assets that have become integral parts of the team – MLS’ version of "Moneyball.”

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Sunday at LA (9 pm, ESPN/ESPN Deportes)
  • Last Five: LLTWT

16

16

Aron Winter’s building process is half done. He’s got to find more help in the central defense, he’s got to keep the youngsters that have shown so well over the past two months, and he’s got to hope his Desginated Players have at least one more year left in their legs.

  • Last Week: Bye
  • This Week: Saturday at Philadelphia (4 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWWLT

17

17

They really are a lot of fun to watch in attack, and one suspects that Milton Caraglio will be good for double-digit goals next year if he gets a full preseason under his belt and stays healthy. Benny Feilhaber, meanwhile, shows class, effort and leadership every week. Good foundation for next season.

  • Last Week: Lost to San Jose, 2-1 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week: Saturday vs. Columbus (7:30 pm, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TWWLT

18

18

The ‘Caps got a much-needed, morale-boosting win midweek, and showed off three of the youngsters they need to build around next season: Camilo, Long Tan and Omar Salgado. Carlyle Mitchell looked useful in central defense, as well.

  • Last Week: Beat Real Salt Lake, 3-0 (HIGHLIGHTS)
  • This Week:  Wednesday vs. D.C. United (10 pm, MatchDay Live), Saturday at FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live)
  • Last Five: TLLLW