Week 21 rankings: Shakeup at the top
With Seattle dropping a pair of matches and D.C. United falling late to Houston, Kansas City's home draw with Philadelphia was enough to see SKC grab the top spot in this week's Power Rankings.
1. Sporting Kansas City
A home draw with Philadelphia doesn't set well, but there can be little quibbling with SKC's eight-game unbeaten streak, especially with injuries and suspensions hitting the back line.
2. D.C. United
What we had here was a failure to communicate, as Bill Hamid's inability to call off Steve Birnbaum allowed Houston's Will Bruin to score a stoppage-time winner. At least a 3-0 midweek victory over Toronto kept DCU's playoff push moving forward.
3. L.A. Galaxy
The Galaxy are starting to look formidable. Gyasi Zardes' maturation process continued in wins over Seattle and Portland, and Robbie Rogers is doing a pretty fair impersonation of a left back, although he was a tad fortunate to avoid getting whistled for a penalty against the Timbers.
4. Seattle Sounders
MLS chaos theory in action. Chad Marshall misses two games and enters the MVP conversation, as the Sounders certainly missed his leadership in the back in losing at home to L.A. and on the road at San Jose.
5. Toronto FC
Michael Bradley's dead-eye pass that eventually led to Luke Moore's goal in a 2-0 win over Montreal should quiet those baying for his ouster for, oh, about a nanosecond. With two games in hand on most of the chasing pack in the East, now is the time for TFC to create some separation.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps
A midweek draw in Chicago was by no means the worst way to conclude a stretch of three road games in four matches. But at some point, the Caps -- now winless in five -- need to start getting some wins, although midfield stalwart Matias Laba continues to do his bit.
7. New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls' epic fightback while a man down against New England -- thanks in part to Dax McCarty's delightful chip -- elicited smiles all around Red Bull Arena. Mike Petke will no doubt wonder where such an effort was during a tepid opening 45 minutes.
8. Real Salt Lake
RSL clinched the Rocky Mountain Cup with a 1-0 win over rivals Colorado, despite losing Aaron Maund to a red card. In the process, Nick Rimando tied the MLS all-time shutout mark with 112, erasing some of the disappointment from a midweek tie against the Red Bulls.
9. Colorado Rapids
A brutal week that included a 3-0 hammering at the hands of a struggling New England side ended with the Rapids unable to make the most of a man advantage against RSL.
10. FC Dallas
FCD seems to have survived the summer doldrums thanks to a seven-game unbeaten streak, one that was extended in a 1-0 win over Chivas USA that saw Tesho Akindele score his third goal in four games. Impressive work by Dallas manager Oscar Pareja.
11. Portland Timbers
The Timbers couldn't handle prosperity against L.A., failing to build on a 1-0 lead, and deservedly got nothing out of their 3-1 loss to the Galaxy. Possession seemed an afterthought, an odd sight for a Caleb Porter-coached side.
12. Philadelphia Union
The Union earned a credible road draw at Kansas City, and have now been bolstered by the arrivals of goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi and defender Carlos Valdes. A playoff run isn't out of the question, especially given Maurice Edu's play in the center of defense.
13. Columbus Crew
The Crew is third in the league in chances created, yet 15th in goals scored. That inability to finish was on display again in Columbus' tie with Chicago, as the Crew squandered some golden opportunities to grab all three points.
14. San Jose Earthquakes
Chris Wondolowski was the hero at both ends of the field in San Jose's 1-0 win over Seattle, setting up Yannick Djalo for the game's only goal, and heading Chad Barrett's goal-bound effort off the line. Now if only Djalo could somehow stay healthy.
15. Chivas USA
The Goats appear to be reverting to the mean, losing their third in a row after fashioning a four-game winning streak. The absence of captain Carlos Bocanegra certainly didn't help.
MLS Power Rankings
- October 27: Seattle at the Double
- October 20: Sounders surging ahead
- October 13: Down to the wire
- October 6: Revs rise up the charts
- September 29: Donovan is the man
- September 22: Galaxy are on target
- September 15: Rose-tinted Sounders win
- September 8: LA in another Galaxy
- September 1: Runaway train
16. Chicago Fire
Two more draws mean the Fire now have 13 on the season, just three shy of the all-time record. Frank Yallop can only hope that Jermaine Jones accepts Chicago's offer and is the key to turning ties into wins.
17. Houston Dynamo
The Dynamo won for the first time since May, so who cares that Bruin's game winner came gift-wrapped by D.C. United? DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido both made their debuts for Houston, with Garrido looking especially sharp.
18. New England Revolution
New England halted its eight-game losing streak with a midweek win over Colorado, but the wound opened anew in a 2-1 loss to New York, as the Revs blew a 1-0 lead while a man up. Incredibly, the Revs are still just a point out of the final playoff spot.
19. Montreal Impact
Any hopes that the Impact would be galvanized by the firing of sporting director Nick De Santis were quickly dashed in a 2-0 loss to Canadian rivals Toronto. It's now up to manager Frank Klopas to upgrade the team's personnel.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.