New York Red Bulls top Power Rankings as Shield foes fall
A number of surprising results this weekend made for little movement in the top of the rankings, mostly because so many of the top teams lost. That doesn't mean there weren't changes, however. Montreal is making a move, while some of the lower-ranked teams made arguments for a push up the list.
1. New York Red Bulls (no change)
Every team is allowed a bad game or two, but the Red Bulls' 5-2 loss to Orlando City on Friday feels worse because New York held their Supporters' Shield fate in their own hands. Expect New York to bounce back, because if there's any character trait we've seen from them consistently this year, it's an ability to recover from disappointment.
2. Vancouver Whitecaps (no change)
The Caps fell in controversial fashion to NYCFC at BC Place, but even without David Villa's penalty, Vancouver would have only pulled out a draw against one of the worst teams in the league. Carl Robinson has a job to do -- namely, restore the confidence of his young team with the playoffs looming.
3. LA Galaxy (+2)
The Galaxy are good at home, and got goals from all three of their designated players in Sunday's 3-2 win over FC Dallas. But the win also showed the cracks in the Galaxy makeup, namely a propensity for making mistakes on the defensive end and the questionable abilities of an aged Donovan Ricketts.
4. New England Revolution (+1)
The Revs couldn't take advantage of a Union B-side in a 1-1 draw at PPL Park, although they moved within a point of the Red Bulls thanks to New York's loss on Friday. New England will have to wait at least another week to mathematically secure its place in the playoffs.
5. Columbus Crew (-1)
Kei Kamara's 22nd goal of the year wasn't enough to get the Crew three points at home against Portland. Gregg Berhalter can't be happy about the defensive effort, especially against a Timbers team that is more apt to barge its way in than use much subtlety.
6. Seattle Sounders (no change)
Considering where they were six weeks ago, the Sounders should feel good about holding fourth place in the Western Conference with a chance to move up the table. Still, gutting out a 1-1 road draw against a second-choice Sporting KC side with a real chance at the Supporters' Shield in play has to sting.
7. Sporting Kansas City (+1)
Peter Vermes chose Saturday's tilt against Seattle to give his starters a rest, also with an eye on Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup final. The group rewarded him with a competitive performance against the best the Sounders had to offer.
8. Portland Timbers (+1)
The Timbers went to Columbus and pulled off a big win, with Fanendo Adi scoring twice in the 2-1 victory. It has something of a "bonus" feel to it, and might just be the spark Portland needs to push them into the playoffs.
9. Montreal Impact (+2)
Is there anything more to say about Didier Drogba? The Ivorian striker scored both goals in a 2-0 win over D.C. United, running his total to seven goals in six games. More than that, Montreal looks like a brand-new team, one capable of giving opponents fits in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
10. FC Dallas (-3)
FC Dallas was overrun in the midfield by the Galaxy on Sunday night, leading to a 3-2 loss. Oscar Pareja's team doesn't quit, however, and managed to make LA sweat anyway. That's a good trait to have, especially come playoff time.
11. Toronto FC (+1)
It says something that after TFC's 3-2 win over Chicago on Saturday, Jonathan Osorio suggested MLS review the goal credited to him off an audacious shot-cum-cross by Sebastian Giovinco -- which the league did, and subsequently changed. The Italian's teammates are clearly invested in his historic season.
12. Orlando City (+1)
What a night for Cyle Larin at Red Bull Arena on Friday. The Canadian's hat trick means he's not only a lock to win Rookie of the Year, but he now holds the rookie record for goals scored. Fourteen goals is an impressive haul for any MLS striker, much less a first-year player lining up for an expansion side.
13. D.C. United (-3)
There's no way around it: United looks gassed. Giving up goals to Didier Drogba isn't particularly shameful, but Ben Olsen's team now looks like a side without much fight left in them. Considering that their season has been built almost entirely on their ability to fight and scrap for every result, that's a problem.
14. San Jose Earthquakes (+1)
Yes, Matias Perez-Garcia should have known better than to take off his shirt to celebrate scoring the go-ahead goal in San Jose's 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday, especially considering he was already on a yellow card, but it demands pointing out that the rule he broke is asinine. Perez-Garcia will now miss a massive clash with the Whitecaps on Saturday because of his exuberance.
15. Houston Dynamo (+1)
The Dynamo's quest for the playoffs looks doomed, but a 3-2 win over Colorado on Saturday brought good feelings in the form of Brad Davis' 300th MLS start. The Houston great scored the winning goal just after halftime.
16. New York City FC (+2)
Frank Lampard showing up is a great thing for NYCFC, although it unfortunately comes too late to mean anything in terms of the playoffs. But if we're just viewing Jason Kreis' team through the lens of the quality of its play, it's good to see Lampard and Andrea Pirlo finding their MLS legs.
17. Real Salt Lake (-3)
Jeff Cassar's team got a midweek Champions League result against Santa Tecla, but it ultimately cost them against the Quakes. Without Javier Morales -- who was injured against Santa Tecla -- they couldn't make their chances count in a 1-0 loss.
18. Philadelphia Union (-1)
Heading into the U.S. Open Cup final, the Union got a stellar performance from goalkeeper Andre Blake in a 1-1 draw with New England. It feels weird to say it, but maybe Philly finally has an answer between the sticks -- one it could have found months ago.
19. Colorado Rapids (no change)
The good news for Colorado is that there's four games left in its season. The bad news is that there's four games left in its season. Coach Pablo Mastroeni and his staff must use the remaining schedule to assess changes for 2016.
20. Chicago Fire (no change)
The Fire showed some life in Toronto, but it wasn't enough to bring them a win. With rumors swirling about who the next coach might be in the Windy City and a handful of starters shut down for the remainder of the season, it's a wonder the Fire can concentrate on their remaining schedule at all.
Jason Davis is a writer from Virginia covering American soccer. He also hosts a daily soccer podcast that covers the beautiful game. Follow him @davisjsn.