Seattle Sounders maintain top spot, Portland tumble down the rankings
Seattle had to settle for a draw against Sporting Kansas City, but with their nearest pursuers suffering defeats, the Sounders held on to the top spot in ESPN's MLS Power Rankings for another week...
1. Seattle Sounders (no change)
The Sounders dominated possession but had just one shot on target for their troubles, and they were forced to settle for a draw against Kansas City. With Seattle's defense currently tied for the best in the league, the talk/worry/concern of Brad Evans at center-back has died down.
2. New England Revolution (no change)
So do you criticize the Revs' lack of discipline for having two players sent off, or do you salute their courage for grinding out a 1-1 draw with D.C. United while playing with nine men? Probably both, though Jermaine Jones' bump on Mark Geiger may add to New England's suspension issues.
3. D.C. United (+2)
The black and red move up due to other team's failings rather than their own results. On Saturday, DCU huffed and puffed and finally broke through to get a draw against nine-man New England, a game that reinforced the importance of injured forward Fabian Espindola.
4. FC Dallas (no change)
FCD will be seeing Evan Bush in its nightmares, as it couldn't convert a flurry of late chances thanks to the Montreal keeper's heroics. Defensively, Dallas was all over the place, reckless one moment, and too passive the next. Not a good way to start a string of five straight on the road.
5. New York Red Bulls (-2)
All of a sudden, the Red Bulls are facing a bit of a personnel crisis in defense, with Damien Perinelle and Ronald Zubar injured while Matt Miazga is with the U20s. They were all missed by a misfiring Red Bulls side against Philadelphia.
6. Sporting Kansas City (+2)
SKC enjoyed a fine week, thumping New England 4-2, and then grabbing a gritty road point at Seattle on short rest. The only worry at this point is getting the injured Dom Dwyer back on the field.
7. San Jose Earthquakes (no change)
Chris Wondolowski joined the century club with a second half penalty, but David Bingham's decision-making -- in this case an ill-advised challenge on Cyle Larin -- once again cost the Quakes points.
8. Toronto FC (+3)
Luke Moore filled in capably for the injured Jozy Altidore, and Sebastian Giovinco continued to dazzle, scoring the game-winner in Toronto's 1-0 win over Portland, its first home triumph of the season.
9. Vancouver Whitecaps (-3)
The Caps seem to have lost their early season mojo, having been shut out in three of their last four league games. That said, they're likely still wondering why an apparent free kick goal from Pedro Morales was waived off.
10. Columbus Crew (-1)
Kei Kamara's form remains stellar, but the same can't be said for his Crew teammates, who let a two-goal lead get away in a 2-2 draw against Chicago. The injury list is growing too with Ethan Findlay hobbling off.
11. Real Salt Lake (+1)
Kudos to John Stertzer, whose firstMLS goal was especially sweet after missing parts of three seasons with injuries. The 2-0 win spoiled the homecoming of former manager Jason Kreis. With Javier Morales and Joao Plata seeing the field, RSL is finding a modicum of health at last.
12. Houston Dynamo (-1)
Not only was the Dynamo left to rue Alan Gordon's game-winner, but it had a legitimate shout for a penalty later in stoppage time when David Horst was taken down. That said, Will Bruin needed to do better with two early chances that would have altered the game.
13. Orlando City (no change)
One boneheaded penalty deserved another apparently, as Darwin Ceren conceded a spot kick just minutes after Kaka put the Lions ahead with a pen of his own. Still, Sunday's 1-1 tie at San Jose isn't a bad road result at all for Orlando.
14. LA Galaxy (+1)
The Galaxy welcomed back some critical players to the field against Houston and it paid off. Alan Gordon did it again with another stoppage time winner, with plenty of help from Robbie Keane who returned from injury. Ditto for Omar Gonzalez who helped solidify things in the back.
15. Chicago Fire (+1)
Thanks to the impactful play of substitutes, Quincy Amarikwa, Guly do Prado and Jason Johnson, the Fire did well to claw its way back from a two-goal deficit against Columbus. Well done to Jon Busch as well, who notched his 300th MLS appearance.
16. Colorado Rapids (+1)
The Rapids long, home nightmare is over at last, as Colorado notched its first home victory since last July. Lucas Pittinari's goal was a beauty, as was Gabriel Torres' sublime assist, and the Rapids' underrated defensive unit continues to get the job one.
17. Philadelphia Union (+1)
Midfield balance has been elusive in Philadelphia since the club's inception. But Jim Curtin may be on to something with the central trio of Brian Carroll, Cristian Maidana and Vincent Nogueira. The Union made it two upset wins in a row with a victory over New York at Red Bull Arena, where it had never won.
18. Montreal Impact (+1)
Jack McInerney is one of those forwards who divides opinion, but man can he finish. His game-winner on Saturday -- along with some stellar play from Evan Bush -- gave Montreal it's second straight win.
19. Portland Timbers (-5)
The Timbers are playing just poorly enough to lose, with Saturday's 1-0 loss to Toronto the latest chapter. The sight of Diego Valeri hobbling off with an ankle injury makes life even more difficult for an attack that has struggled to score goals this season.
20. New York City FC (no change)
Jason Kreis endured an unhappy homecoming to RSL, but NYCFC's 10-match winless streak is no doubt weighing more on his mind. The rumored pursuit of Andrea Pirlo is intriguing, but this team needs help in all areas.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.