Major League Soccer - Power Rankings Week 23

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 20: The Los Angeles Galaxy team pose for a photo before the game against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center on August 20, 2011 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Sorry that these are so late and short but it is a very busy time of year for me.

18. Vancouver Whitecaps - even - 3-13-9 - 18 points and -16 goal differential

A 2-1 loss at Portland keeps the Whitecaps as one of the few team without a road win in 2011, they will be at home on Saturday as they play host to the Houston Dynamo.

17.  Toronto FC - down 3 - 4-12-11 - 23 points and -23 goal differential

A 2-0 loss at Chicago is enough to drop the Red's down the rankings, it looks as if their focus may be on Champions League as they are 9 points out of the final playoff spot with just 7 matches remaining.  Their Wednesday night CCL match was stopped by lightning and will be replayed in full on Thursday morning, on Saturday they will play host to the San Jose Earthquakes.

16. New England Revolution - even - 4-11-11 - 23 points and -13 goal differential

A disappointing 2-2 home draw with the New York Red Bulls, they blew a 2-0 lead and gave up two goals to Dane Richards in a match that ended up 10 v 10.  Like TFC they are 9 points out of the final playoff spot but they do have 8 matches left, this weekend they head to Philadelphia for a Sunday match.

15. San Jose Earthquakes - even - 5-10-10 - 25 points and -8 goal differential

Well a tough 2-0 loss at the LA Galaxy as the Quakes will go in the history books as the first goal of the night was the first for LA's newest DP Robbie Keane who scored in the 21st minute. 7 points out of the final playoff spot with 9 matches to go, this is usually when San Jose starts to make a run, on Saturday they will be facing off with Toronto FC at BMO Field.

14. Chicago Fire - up 3 - 3-7-15 - 24 points and -5 goal differential

Well the Fire got a 2-0 win over Toronto FC to move up the rankings and while their 24 points are 8 short of a playoff spot you have to realize they have 9 matches left and if they can get some wins instead of losses they could make a run. They will get a real test as they play host to the defending MLS Cup Champion Colorado on Saturday.

13. Portland Timbers - even - 8-12-5 - 29 points and -9 goal differential

Well the Timbers got a 2-1 home win over their expansion brothers Vancouver, and while they are just 3 points out of a playoff spot they do play two matches this week (Wednesday at home against Chivas USA and Saturday at DC United) they could play their way into a spot if they can get a couple wins and some other things go their way. One thing that could hurt them is their goal differential, they need some big wins to close that gap.

12. DC United - even - 7-7-10 - 31 points and -1 goal differential

A tough 1-0 loss at Sporting KC as DC could have moved into a playoff spot, they sit just 1 point shy of the final spot and this weekend they will face another team fighting for a playoff spot as they play host to the Portland Timbers and maybe Hurricane Irene as well. They also have two matches in hand over the Red Bulls who occupy the final playoff spot.

11. New York Red Bulls - even - 6-6-14 - 32 points and +4 goal differential

Well you have to wonder when the Red Bulls will get another win, they just seem to really be struggling and a 2-2 draw at New England where they had to come from behind is proof of their struggles.  They do sit in the final playoff spot but they will be facing a huge test as they play host to the LA Galaxy on Sunday evening, should the weather allow the match to go ahead as scheduled.

10. Chivas USA - down 1 - 7-8-10 - 31 points and +4 goal differential

A very solid 2-2 draw on the road against the Rapids move Chivas USA within a point of the final playoff spot.  This week sees them get two chances to close that gap, first at Portland on Wednesday (they are down 1-0 at the half) and then Saturday they will host Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center.  Have to give new coach Robin Fraser full credit for a quick rebuilding job.

9. Real Salt Lake - down 3 - 10-7-6 - 36 points and +12 goal differential

Well the 3-2 loss at Houston on a stoppage time goal was heartbreaking as RSL continue to really struggle on the road.  They have played fewer matches than any team in MLS, but unless they can get results they will find themselves fighting to hold on to a playoff spot as a number of teams are within reach as the season winds down. They will head to the HDC to take on their 2005 expansion brothers Chivas USA, RSL have had a few good results at the HDC.

8. Philadelphia Union - down 1 - 8-6-10 - 34 points and +6 goal differential

The Union lost 2-1 at Columbus as the Crew begin to build some breathing room at the top of the East, now the Union will need to respond as they have dropped out of the top 3 and a guaranteed spot.  On Sunday they will play host to New England in a match that you have to believe they will label a must win.

7. Houston Dynamo - up 3 - 8-7-11 - 35 points and +2 goal differential

A huge 3-2 win at home over RSL, with a 93rd minute stoppage time goal, his first, by Alex Dixon and Houston find themselves in 3rd spot in the East and a 3-0-2 record in their last 5. They might be able to keep that going as they will head to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps on Saturday, could they get their first road win of 2011?

6. Sporting Kansas City - up 2 - 9-7-9 - 36 points and a +5 goal differential

What a difference home makes, after a horrible 10 match road trip to start the season the newly renamed KC side find themselves in second place in the East.  They have just 3 more road matches and 6 more at home, which may be enough to get them back into the playoffs.  A huge test on Saturday as they will play host to FC Dallas in what might be the best match of the upcoming weekend.

5. Colorado Rapids - down 1 - 10-6-11 - 41 points and a +5 goal differential

Well a 2-2 draw at home stopped their 3 match winning streak but they are still one of the hottest teams in MLS and the top of the wildcard playoff teams.  On Saturday they will travel to Chicago to take on the Fire after their 1-1 draw with Real Espana in Honduras (hey I wonder if anyone called them "Fake Espana"?

4. FC Dallas - down 1 - 12-7-7 - 43 points and a +6 goal differential

A 1-0 loss to Seattle at home moved them down just a bit as the Hoop's have just one win in their last 5 and a brutal week as they had a CCL match in Toronto Wednesday night (suspended to be replayed on Thursday morning), then they travel to Sporting KC for a Saturday match, then off to Seattle for the US Open Cup semi-final on the 30th. Their depth is going to be tested the next 7 days.

3. Columbus Crew - up 2 - 11-7-7 - 40 points and a +5 goal differential

A huge 2-1 win at home over Philadelphia to secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference, the Crew are simply as solid of a team as there is in MLS.  Nothing flashy about them but 4 wins in their last 5 matches prove that they might be the class of the East again this year.  We will get a good glimpse of how they match up against one of the best in the West as they head to Seattle for a Saturday showdown with the Sounders.

2. Seattle Sounders - even - 12-5-9 - 45 points and a +9 goal differential

Well an impressive week for the Sounders, a 1-0 win at FC Dallas and then they became just the second US team to pick up a win in Mexico as they got a 1-0 win over Monterrey in Champions League action.  Their road form may be the difference maker for them this year as they have 6 road wins already, but on Saturday they will be at home and hosting the top team in the East as Columbus comes to town.

1. Los Angeles Galaxy - even - 14-3-9 - 51 points and a +17 goal differential

It is clear by their actions on and off the pitch that LA is going all in this year to win MLS Cup and maybe more, they are running away with the Supporters' Shield, are a playoff lock, and with the addition of Robbie Keane they are ready for whatever comes their way.  They got a 2-0 win over San Jose last weekend and weather permitting they will head to Red Bull Arena for the "Don Garber's Dream MLS Cup" match against the New York Red Bulls.  Unless TH14 pulls out a miracle, I have to expect the Galaxy to keep on rolling.

OK, there you go my quick and dirty power rankings.  Oh as a foot note, Portland is still up 1-0 over Chivas USA in the 85th minute, if they hold on to a win they would trail New York for the final playoff spot based on goal differential.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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