Week 27 rankings: Rose-tinted win for the Seattle Sounders
An August stumble has given way to a September revival for Seattle, one that continued in the Sounders' 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake thanks to Andy Rose's late winner.
The Sounders' fourth straight win was enough to propel them back to the top of ESPN's Power Rankings.
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
1. Seattle Sounders (+1)
Seattle's pulsating 3-2 defeat of Real Salt Lake gave it some valuable breathing room in the Supporters' Shield race. The Sounders are now three points clear of L.A. with a game in hand.
Andy Rose provided the heroics, as did Obafemi Martins who scored and drew a match-turning red card on RSL defender Nat Borchers.
2. L.A. Galaxy (-1)
L.A. could have done worse than two road draws against Montreal and San Jose, but the dropped points could loom large in the Supporters' Shield race given a difficult run-in that sees two matches each against Seattle and Dallas.
The San Jose match was especially grating given Robbie Keane's missed penalty and the level of L.A.'s first-half domination.
3. FC Dallas (no change)
Blas Perez's early return from representing Panama at the Copa Centroamericana proved to be a boon for Dallas, as the FCD striker scored twice in his side's 2-1 win over Vancouver.
The win over a Western Conference rival solidified Dallas' grip on fourth place, with third now in its sights.
4. D.C. United (no change)
It's likely that Ben Olsen's blood pressure is still dangerously high following Fabian Espindola's highly dubious red card against New York, a match that saw United fall to Lloyd Sam's late winner.
The coming weeks will reveal how much DCU's CONCACAF Champions League commitments will impact the club's performances.
5. Real Salt Lake (no change)
Defenders often have to live on the edge in terms of when to make challenges, and overall Nat Borchers has been solid this season, but you have to wonder why he didn't trust a keeper as talented as Nick Rimando on the play that got the RSL defender sent off against Seattle.
6. New England Revolution (+1)
The Revs seem intent on spotting opponents a goal these days. They did so for the third game running against Montreal, but came back thanks to goals from Kelyn Rowe and MVP candidate Lee Nguyen.
The injury that forced Jermaine Jones off at the half is one to keep an eye on.
7. Philadelphia Union (-1)
With Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup final against Seattle looming, interim manager Jim Curtin utilized his depth in a 2-2 draw against the Red Bulls, and received a pair of big plays from stand-in forward Pedro Ribeiro.
Now Curtin and the rest of the squad can focus on winning the club its first trophy.
8. Sporting Kansas City (no change)
Chivas USA is the tonic for every struggling MLS side these days, and Kansas City proved no different, cruising to a 4-0 win.
SKC now gets a break from league play, but the CCL will keep Kansas City plenty busy over the next two weeks prior to an encounter against New England on Sept. 26 fraught with playoff implications.
9. New York Red Bulls (+1)
New York is still stewing over the late penalty that allowed the Union to snatch a draw on Saturday, but the midweek victory over D.C. United was immense.
The hamstring injury that forced Bradley Wright-Phillips to miss the last two matches remains a concern, however.
10. Portland Timbers (-1)
The Timbers were among several clubs to feel hard done by on penalty decisions.
In this instance a dodgy handball whistled against Liam Ridgewell was partially responsible for a 2-2 draw against Colorado. Now a massive home contest -- along with some midweek CONCACAF Champions League action -- looms for the Timbers.
11. Columbus Crew (no change)
An impressive second half fightback saw Columbus tie Houston 2-2, a result notable not just for the point the Crew gained but for the two the Dynamo didn't.
And evidently, Will Trapp can not only pass the ball, but he can score from distance as well.
12. Houston Dynamo (no change)
There will be much gnashing of teeth in Houston after it failed to win after being two goals up against the Crew. And what was with Brad Davis being subbed out with less than an hour gone?
Given the Dynamo's injury issues -- Oscar Boniek Garcia had to leave the match with blurred vision -- Houston needs Davis at his best.
13. Vancouver Whitecaps (no change)
It was the best of nights and the worst of nights for goalkeeper David Ousted.
The Dane delivered string of superb saves but was also plenty culpable on both of Dallas' goals in a 2-1 loss. Will Vancouver make a move for a forward ahead of Monday's roster freeze?
14. Toronto FC (no change)
A team that has struggled over the past few months didn't have much luck against Chicago either, as an apparent game winner by Gilberto was mysteriously waved off, nearly causing Michael Bradley to blow a gasket.
TFC now can't afford any kind of slip-up against a reeling Chivas USA.
15. Chicago Fire (no change)
The Fire has missed four penalties on the season after Jeff Larentowicz failed to convert against Toronto.
Three of those have come in games Chicago tied, and it seems likely that those six points will be the difference between making the playoffs and spending the postseason at home.
16. San Jose Earthquakes (no change)
The Quakes went back to the future in the second half of their 1-1 tie against L.A., with Steven Lenhart's return to the lineup providing some physicality.
It helped Chris Wondolowski pop up for another opportunistic finish. Wondolowski now has eight goals and four assists since his agonizing miss in the World Cup.
17. Montreal Impact(no change)
With an eye towards Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League tilt against New York, manager Frank Klopas opted for a young lineup against New England.
The Impact didn't play badly, but it wasn't enough to hold off the Revs on the road.
18. Colorado Rapids (no change)
So Pablo Mastroeni's plan to repair Clint Irwin's confidence is to play the third-string keeper instead? Hmmm.
The Rapids managed to staunch the hemorrhaging at last with a 2-2 draw to the Timbers, though Colorado's first result since July did little to improve the club's fading postseason prospects.
19. Chivas USA (no change)
The Goats' long, sad goodbye continued both on and off the field.
Chivas were crushed 4-0 at home, and now a report from Sports Illustrated is stating the club seems likely to take a hiatus in 2015. Morale must be at an all-time low.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.