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Jeff Carls Posted by Jeff Carlisle
Sep 1, 2014

Week 25 rankings: Runaway train

Relive all the best action from around the league, including Kelyn Rowe's stunning strike and the Portland Timbers' commanding victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps, in this week's edition of MLS Final Kick.

The LA Galaxy has been unstoppable of late, and after hammering two more foes this week -- D.C. United and Chivas USA -- LA reclaimed the top spot in this week's Power Rankings.

1. LA Galaxy (+1)

Every aspect of L.A.'s attack has been otherworldly in recent weeks. Landon Donovan is dishing, Gyasi Zardes is finishing, Robbie Keane is scoring on ridiculous chips and even new acquisition Alan Gordon is getting in on the fun. With that kind of firepower, the Galaxy is poised to duke it out with Seattle for the Supporters Shield.

2. FC Dallas (-1)

Dallas missed a golden opportunity in falling 1-0 to Chicago. Not only did the finishing touch that has been so lethal of late elude FCD, but the September schedule looks brutal, with games against Real Salt Lake, Vancouver, L.A. and Seattle looming. That stretch will ultimately decide where Dallas lands in the Western Conference pecking order.

3. Seattle Sounders (No change)

Seattle's 1-0 win over Colorado wasn't pretty, as it failed to hit the attacking heights it reached the week before against Portland. But it's precisely the kind of match the Sounders need to show they can win as the playoffs -- not to mention the U.S. Open Cup final -- inch closer.

4. D.C. United (No change)

DCU rebounded nicely from its midweek embarrassment against L.A. to beat New York 2-0. The play of goalkeeper Bill Hamid proved critical, especially when he denied Bradley Wright-Phillips' header. United is now four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy are finding their stride just as the MLS regular season enters its home stretch.

5. Real Salt Lake (No change)

Buck Shaw Stadium hasn't always been kind to RSL, but Real snagged some good fortune with what looked to be a phantom penalty call in tying San Jose 1-1. With several players leaving for international duty, including forward Joao Plata, RSL's depth will be tested once again.

6. Sporting Kansas City (No change)

Is it time to worry in Kansas City? The answer would have to be yes, after SKC conceded three goals at home for the second game running. The problem areas keep shifting, too. A week after getting killed in the run of play against D.C. United, SKC fell victim to set pieces against Houston.

7. Philadelphia Union (+2)

The Union's bye week appears to be perfectly timed, as Philadelphia will be well-rested ahead of this week's home-and-home clash with a highly unsettled Toronto FC side.

8. New England Revolution (+6)

The Revolution's revival continued apace with a 3-0 victory over Toronto that saw spectacular strikes from Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe. There was even time for Jay Heaps to give new signing Jermaine Jones his MLS debut.

9. Portland Timbers (+3)

Caleb Porter called his side's 3-0 win over Vancouver the most complete performance of the year, and perhaps his tenure. It was hard to argue as the Timbers dominated on both sides of the ball, and seized the inside track to the fifth and final playoff spot.

10. New York Red Bulls (-3)

A classic failure to communicate cost New York against D.C. United as hesitation between defender Ibrahim Sekagya and goalkeeper Luis Robles allowed Luis Silva to sneak in for United's opener. Now the Red Bulls find themselves below the dreaded red line for a playoff spot.

11. Columbus Crew (-1)

The Crew did more than just lose to Montreal, the league's worst team points-wise. Wil Trapp and Tony Tchani both picked up yellow cards, and are now suspended for next week's match against Chivas USA. While it's a game Columbus should win, its margin for error in the compressed Eastern Conference is wafer-thin.

12. Houston Dynamo (+1)

The Dynamo still has a long way to go, but Friday's 3-1 win at Kansas City -- despite a weather delay -- was a giant step forward. Of course, it helps when a set piece wizard like Brad Davis is on top of his game with two assists.

13. Toronto FC (-5)

Meet the new TFC. Same as the old TFC. Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to New England was bad enough. Now manager Ryan Nelsen has been fired with just 10 games to play thanks to an ill-advised rant against GM Tim Bezbatchenko, with Greg Vanney taking over. Tough to see how such a move helps this late in the season.

14. Vancouver Whitecaps (-3)

The crop of young strikers that forged Vancouver's early success is struggling, and now so is the entire team. Even the normally reliable Matias Laba looked off in the heavy home defeat to Portland. Carl Robinson needs to find a solution, but seems to have few options at this point.

Lee Nguyen got the Revolution off to a flying start with a goal in the second minute. It was all New England after that.

15. Chicago Fire (+1)

Robert Earnshaw got off to a hot start when he was with Toronto before cooling off, but given the way he's come through in the last two games for Chicago, the Fire won't care. The defense looks to be solidifying as well, having conceded just four goals in the last six games.

16. San Jose Earthquakes (-1)

Tommy Thompson continues to impress, but the Quakes still don't have enough attacking punch -- and health -- to climb back into the playoff race. The question now is does San Jose bring injury-prone players like Yannick Djalo back next year?

17. Montreal Impact (+2)

Say this for the Impact, they're not mailing it in. Saturday's 2-0 win over Columbus was the club's second in three games. At first glance, designated player and two-goal hero Ignacio Piatti looks a sound investment.

18. Colorado Rapids (-1)

The Rapids showed improvement -- especially on the defensive side of the ball -- against Seattle, but it still wasn't enough to avoid its sixth straight defeat, which ties a club record. It won't get any easier next week as Colorado travels to L.A. to face the Galaxy.

19. Chivas USA (-1)

The last SuperClasico -- at least the Galaxy/Chivas USA version -- went the same way as most of these encounters have in the past. The Goats hung tough for a while before succumbing to L.A.'s superior quality.

Jeff Carlisle

Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. He has covered the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups for ESPN in Germany, South Africa and Brazil, respectively. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreycarlisle.

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