Major League Soccer Power Rankings - Week 22

Well it was an interesting week in MLS with 8 matches on the schedule and only 3 draws and 23 goals scored, yes only 4 teams failed to score a goal (Seattle, Chivas, RSL and Vancouver).  Eastern Conference teams won 4 matches, and only 1 Western Conference team won a match.  So here his how they rank with 12 weeks left in the season:

18. Vancouver Whitecaps - down 1

The Whitecaps are still looking for their first road win after they got beat 4-0 at RFK Stadium on Saturday as DC United were simply too much for them to handle, no team has more losses than the 12 of Vancouver and only Toronto FC have a worse goal differential than the Whitecaps -15.  This weekend the Whitecaps will head to Portland for their away leg of the Cascadia Cup with the Timbers.

17. Chicago Fire - up 1

Hey if you can go into New York and get a draw it is worth moving out of the bottom spot and with a 2-2 draw the Fire did just that.  This will be a busy week for the Fire who will get two chances to keep themselves out of the bottom spot, first up is a Thursday night showdown with DC United and then on Sunday they will face Toronto, both matches are at home.

the rest of the rankings after the jump:

16.  New England Revolution - down 1

A 3-1 loss at Columbus as the Revolution move their way back down the power rankings on back to back losses and just a single win in their last 5 matches.  It will be a busy week for the Revs who host Houston on Wednesday and New York on Saturday in two huge 6 point matches.

15. San Jose Earthquakes - down 1

I keep waiting on San Jose to have their normal slow start but then to catch fire in the summer months and make a run at the playoffs, but 3 losses in their last 4 matches and being 23 points behind LA make it tough to believe that over the final 10 matches of the season that they will be able to do much.  Saturday night they will be facing off against LA at the Home Depot Center.

14. Toronto FC - up 1

Well they weren't the better team but they were able to do enough to get a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, and now they will have to start dealing with the extra matches of Champions League.  TFC will start their action away at Tauro of Panama on Thursday and then Sunday at Toyota Park in Chicago.

13. Portland Timbers - even

Well things got back to normal for expansion side Portland as they lost 2-1 at Houston, but still find themselves with 7 wins on their expansion campaign which isn't too bad. Many people expected them to make a big move during the transfer window but nothing came of it and now they will try to claw their way into contention for a playoff spot.  This week they get a double dose of action as they will face Sporting KC on Wednesday before heading home to host fellow expansion side Vancouver on Saturday night.

12. DC United - even

Despite a big time 4-0 win over Vancouver, I couldn't convince myself to move them up the rankings this week as the Whitecaps are just that bad.  I might just be convinced that they deserve a higher ranking if they can impress this week with two big road matches against fellow Eastern Conference foes.  First up will be a Thursday trip to Chicago and then Sunday a trip to face Sporting KC.

11. New York Red Bulls - down 2

On the heels of their 3-0 loss at RSL, the Red Bulls had to get a win when they played host to the lowly Chicago Fire but they could only manage a 2-2 draw and could find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture by the weekend. They face another must win match at New England on Saturday, anything less than 3 points and they could be out of a playoff spot for the first time this year.

10. Houston Dynamo - up 1

The Dynamo are still without a result on the road but they were able to get a 2-1 win over Portland on Sunday on two first half goals, including the 4th of the year for Brian Ching.  Now they have a busy week as they head to New England on Wednesday and then back home to face RSL on Saturday, 

9. Chivas USA - up 1

Well it was a 0-0 draw at Seattle on Saturday that was just enough to get Chivas into the playoff picture but to keep themselves in that spot they will need to build on that, next up is a match at Colorado on Saturday but perhaps more important are the issues they have at home, where they have just a 4-4-4 record.

8. Sporting Kansas City - even

Out of action on the weekend but with a busy week as they will host Portland on Wednesday and then DC United on Sunday.

7. Philadelphia Union - even

Couldn't move them up or down for their hard fought 2-2 draw at home with FC Dallas, I do think that getting two PK's issues in a match is a bit fortunate given the recent performance of MLS officials.  Sebastien Le Toux converted both of the PK's and now will have some help on offense as the Union pick up Freddy Adu. A huge test for them as they will head to Columbus for a match against the Crew and a chance to take back the top spot in the East.

6. Real Salt Lake - down 2

I can be honest and say that I have only seen parts of the 1-0 loss at Toronto and it was a late 77th minute goal by Joao Plata that was the difference maker as RSL go from a huge win over New York to a crushing loss at BMO field. If RSL can't figure out how to perform better on the road and string some results together they could find themselves slipping more each week this month.  On Saturday they will head to Robertson Stadium and what is likely going to be a very intense match against Houston.

5. Columbus Crew - up 1

They keep on doing what they need to do in order to get results in the matches they need to get results in, their 3-1 win at home over New England secured them the top spot in the Eastern Conference.  In what might be the biggest match for them before the playoffs they will play host to the Union on Saturday, and Philly is 3 points behind them in the standings.  If the Crew can get a win they would open up a 6 point gap at the top of the conference.

4. Colorado Rapids - up 1

There is no team in MLS that has been hotter over the last 5 matches than the Rapids, after struggling for months they now 4 wins in their last 5 and 3 straight wins, including their 2-1 road win over San Jose .  The Rapids will stay at home after opening up their Champions League journey and will play host to the Chivas USA on Saturday, a huge 6 point match as the Rapids look to move up in the West.

3. FC Dallas - even

After a tough loss to LA a couple of weeks ago the Hoops headed to Philly and were able to leave with a 2-2 draw, they will open their CCL group play in Mexico on Wednesday and then they will head back home to take on Seattle on Saturday night in what will be a huge couple days for the FC Dallas.

2. Seattle Sounders - even

It looked as if the Sounders might have had their Tuesday Champions League match on their mind during the 0-0 draw with Chivas USA but with 3 wins in their last 5 matches they continue to keep themselves in one of the automatic spots for the playoffs.  A convincing 4-1 win in their CCL opener was a great way to bounce back from the weekend and should have them ready for the Saturday match at Pizza Hut Park against FC Dallas.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy - even

The Galaxy didn't play on the weekend and they didn't have to in order to keep their top spot on the MLS table, or in my power rankings.  They did get a 2-0 win in Champions League action on Tuesday night and on Saturday night they will play host to their Northern California rivals San Jose.

Well there you go, sorry for being so late with the post it has been a crazy week for me.  Just a footnote with the results on Wednesday night in MLS the playoffs would look like this:

Western Conference:
LA Galaxy - 48 pts
FC Dallas - 43 pts
Seattle Sounders - 42 pts

Eastern Conference:
Columbus Crew - 37 pts
Philadelphia Union - 34 pts
Sporting KC - 33 pts

Wildcards:
Colorado Rapids - 40 pts
Real Salt Lake - 36 pts
Houston Dynamo - 32 pts
New York Red Bulls - 31 pts

Just out:
Chivas USA - 30 pts
DC United - 30 pts

A lot of things could happen this weekend, so keep your eyes open as it is getting to crunch time in MLS.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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