Charlotte Independence
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Greenville Triumph
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LA Force
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 By Jason Davis

Kansas City challenges Seattle at the top of the MLS Power Rankings

A short-handed trip to Kansas City was nearly enough to knock the Sounders off the top spot, but Sigi Schmid & Co. hang on for another week ...

1. Seattle Sounders (no change)

No Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey or Brad Evans on a trip to Sporting Park meant trouble for the top-ranked team in the league. Still, the Sounders nearly walked away with a point and can justifiably claim that they might have taken all three points if not for a pair of questionable calls by the officials.

2. Sporting Kansas City (+1)

Winning thanks to a strong performance by goalkeeper Tim Melia and a controversial penalty wasn't enough to push Sporting past Seattle in the rankings, but they do move up one spot. Sporting are now unbeaten in seven matches and just two points off first place in the West.

3. Toronto FC (+2)

Sebastian Giovinco's insane run of form continued in Washington with a pair of goals. Over his past four games, the Italian has contributed three goals and three assists while TFC has collected 10 points, pushing the Reds into the top three in the Eastern Conference.

4. D.C. United (-2)

A mixed-bag week for D.C. United, which won midweek against Chicago but fell on the weekend to TFC. The schedule is no friend of Ben Olsen at the moment -- the East's first-place team just went through a stretch of five matches in 15 days.

5. New England Revolution (-1)

A rough end to a trip out to the West Coast for Jay Heaps and the Revs means they drop down a spot this week. Holding on to a draw and a point into the closing stages on Saturday, New England's set-piece defending deserted them.

6. Vancouver Whitecaps (+2)

The Whitecaps might have benefited from a poor Galaxy attack this weekend, but give them credit for jumping on the chance to victimize the champs. Kekuta Manneh's winner showed off everything that makes the Caps exciting, while the improved defense makes them MLS Cup contenders.

7. New York Red Bulls (-1)

The Red Bulls will want to quickly forget a disastrous trip to Houston, where concentration was not in great supply. Maybe it was the new grass at BBVA Compass Stadium, or maybe it was the heat -- whatever the problem, it's not new. New York is now in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

8. Portland Timbers (+4)

The Timbers make another big move up the rankings thanks to their win over New England on Saturday. Fanendo Adi played hero, but give plenty of credit to Jorge Villafana and Alvas Powell for excellent service. With the win, the Timbers have their first-ever three-game MLS winning streak.

9. LA Galaxy (no change)

It has to trouble Bruce Arena that the Galaxy can dominate the ball at home against the Whitecaps but fail to put a single shot on goal. LA was without Gyasi Zardes, but when Robbie Keane is back in the starting lineup, hitting the target at least once isn't too high an expectation.

10. Houston Dynamo (+4)

Will Bruin, perhaps the streakiest striker in MLS, is currently on the plus side of the scoring column. That means trouble for Dynamo opponents, who now must account for more than just Giles Barnes when the Dynamo come calling.

11. San Jose Earthquakes (-1)

Sunday in Week 14 is best left to the dustbin of history. That includes San Jose's 0-0 draw with FC Dallas, when three red cards were handed out in a game that produced very little in the way of attacking quality. The Quakes can certainly feel aggrieved by the cards.

12. FC Dallas (-5)

There's a brownout in north Texas. After an ugly, red-card-filled goalless draw against the Quakes in San Jose, the onetime high-flying Hoops have just one goal in their last four games. That's cause for significant concern and why FC Dallas drops out of the top 10.

13. Columbus Crew (-2)

"Bad week" doesn't do Crew SC's four-day stretch justice. First, Gregg Berhalter's men suffered a 3-0 humiliation on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Then, Montreal walked into MAPFRE Stadium and beat Columbus 2-1 on the Crew's own patch of grass. That's zero wins in the last five for Columbus.

14. Orlando City (+1)

Sometimes it's better to be lucky ... and good. Cyle Larin's excellent goal and a pair of own goals from Fire defender Adailton were enough to get Orlando three points on the road in Chicago. Orlando is now unbeaten in its last four.

15. Chicago Fire (-2)

Even at home, and even when the attack is clicking, the Fire can't get out of their own way. Adailton's history-making double-own-goal day directly led to Chicago's home loss to Orlando and a drop down the rankings. Defending is the overriding problem for a team with significant attacking ability.

16. Real Salt Lake (no change)

It was some good, some bad for RSL on Sunday. The good? Dillon Powers failed to put in a late penalty chance that would have had the home side losing in a rivalry match. The bad? The failure by RSL to make their dominance count in a game that produced plenty of chances but no goals.

17. Montreal Impact (+1)

Break up the Impact, who now have four wins in their last five matches, including two this week. The latest, on the road in Columbus, is slightly less impressive with Crew SC struggling, but it is enough to lift Montreal up the rankings. The Impact know how to counter.

18. Philadelphia Union (no change)

Philly's good times came took a depressing hit on Saturday via a 2-1 loss to NYCFC, only a few days after the Union thumped Columbus 3-0. Progress in Chester is tough to judge, but losing to the league's worst team at home has to sting.

19. Colorado Rapids (-2)

The Rapids simply cannot miss out on the opportunity to steal three points the way they did on Sunday. Dillon Powers' missed penalty against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium will hurt both because of the rivalry and because Colorado needs to take advantage of every bit of luck it gets.

20. New York City FC (no change)

The first road win in franchise history is big for NYCFC for a couple of reasons; it provides a big confidence boost to a team in desperate need of one, and it might lead to more playing time for a couple of young talents Jason Kreis has been hesitant to use so far this season.

Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer and the United States national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @davisjsn.


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