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MLS Power Rankings: Portland Timbers in free fall, Josef Martinez stars again for Atlanta

1. Atlanta United

Record: W16-D6-L4
Week 25 ranking: 1

The single-season goal scoring record belongs to Josef Martinez after the Venezuelan scored No. 28 to lift Atlanta to a 2-1 victory over Orlando City on Friday. The question now is just how high Martinez will take the record before the season is out.

2. New York Red Bulls

Record: 16-4-6
Week 25 ranking: 2

No rivalry game is easy, and the Red Bulls managed to grab four points from two rivalry matches in a five-day span. A draw in the Bronx and a home win over DC United keeps New York right on Atlanta's heels for the top spot in the East.

3. FC Dallas

Record: 13-7-5
Week 25 ranking: 3

Friday night's draw with the Dynamo ensures that FC Dallas will stay atop the Western Conference headed into Week 27. Road points will do fine for Oscar Pareja's team as it works to lock down a first-round bye while integrating new pieces like Pablo Aranguiz.

4. Sporting Kansas City

Record: 12-6-6
Week 25 ranking: 5

Sporting's defense is leading the way for a team now just one point back of first place in the Western Conference standings. Saturday's 2-0 win over Minnesota was SKC's fourth straight clean sheet and 11th of the season.

5. New York City FC

Record: 14-6-6
Week 25 ranking: 4

City got Rivalry Week started with a 1-1 draw against the Red Bulls on Wednesday. Domenec Torrent's side is struggling with its identity a bit, putting the quest for a top-two spot in the Eastern Conference in jeopardy with eight games to go.

6. Seattle Sounders FC

Record: 11-5-9
Week 25 ranking: 7

It wasn't pretty, but it rarely is when the Sounders face the Timbers. A Julio Cascante own goal and a lot of resolute defending saw Seattle through and secure a seventh straight win. Even better, the Sounders jumped over Portland into a playoff spot.

7. LAFC

Record: 12-7-7
Week 25 ranking: 6

LAFC is still without with a win in the El Trafico derby with the Galaxy after a second consecutive draw in the series. Bob Bradley's team had LA ripe for the taking with several key figures out of the Galaxy lineup but couldn't take advantage.

8. Columbus Crew SC

Record: 11-7-8
Week 25 ranking: 9

It took a late Niko Hansen goal -- the Dane's first of the year -- for the Crew to salvage a draw with the Fire. Columbus left Bridgeview wondering how Stefan Cleveland's obvious handball outside of his penalty area went unpunished.

9. Vancouver Whitecaps

Record: 10-7-9
Week 25 ranking: 10

The Whitecaps executed a massive comeback on the road in San Jose and left with a 3-2 win. It took just nine minutes for Vancouver to score three goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first hour of the game. Big win in the West for Carl Robinson's team.

10. Philadelphia Union

Record: 11-3-11
Week 25 ranking: 11

Philly got a single, controversial goal that proved enough to beat New England 1-0 at Talen Energy Stadium. The win, the Union's third straight, extends their lead in the Eastern Conference playoff race to seven over the seventh-place Revolution.

11. Real Salt Lake

Record: 12-5-10
Week 25 ranking: 14

RSL did what a decent team is supposed to do when an opponent goes down to nine men -- they put Colorado to the sword. Six goals and the Rocky Mountain Cup is a nice result from Rivalry Week and gives RSL some breathing room in the playoff race.

12. Portland Timbers

Record: 10-7-7
Week 25 ranking: 8

It's stunning that a team that went unbeaten for three months is teetering on the edge of the playoffs, but four losses in a row have the Timbers in very big trouble. Losing to the hated Sounders at home on an own goal is a gut punch for Portland.

13. LA Galaxy

Record: 10-8-9
Week 25 ranking: 12

Missing starters in a number of positions, the Galaxy squeezed out a point with a 1-1 draw against LAFC at the StubHub Center. Sigi Schmid's team was the better side for much of the match and can only be disappointed with the result.

14. D.C. United

Record: 7-6-10
Week 25 ranking: 13

United didn't do enough to get anything out of a trip to Red Bull Arena despite creating plenty of chances. The failure to secure at least a point may haunt the Black & Red as they try to make a late push for a playoff spot.

15. Toronto FC

Record: 7-6-12
Week 25 ranking: 17

The Reds secured a massive win at home against Montreal to maybe jump-start their playoff chances. Sebastian Giovinco looked his best and Toronto managed to cover for the suspended Jozy Altidore at the top of the formation.

16. Montreal Impact

Record: 10-3-14
Week 25 ranking: 15

The Impact made TFC look good on Friday night, something that hasn't happened often in 2018. A lack of intensity doomed Montreal, something that head coach Remi Garde pointed to after the game. Montreal clings to sixth place despite the loss.

17. Houston Dynamo

Record: 7-7-11
Week 25 ranking: 16

Rivalry Week for the Dynamo brought FC Dallas to town with a chance for Houston to secure El Capitan at home at BBVA Compass Stadium. A mistake at the back for the Dynamo was canceled out by Ronaldo Pena, who scored his first MLS goal for the equalizer.

18. Minnesota United

Record: 9-2-15
Week 25 ranking: 18

It was actually the Loons who were better on the attacking end of the field according to the stats in their 2-0 loss in Kansas City on Saturday, but the combination of Tim Melia and the absence of Darwin Quintero led to a goalless showing for Minnesota.

19. New England Revolution

Record: 7-8-10
Week 25 ranking: 20

The Revs might have a beef with the way Philadelphia scored the only goal in a narrow Union win in Chester, but Brad Friedel made sure not to make excuses for his team's performance after the match. New England is in free fall with the playoffs slipping away.

20. Orlando City

Record: 7-2-16
Week 25 ranking: 21

The Lions still have never beaten Atlanta, and worse, haven't figured out a way out of their latest slump. Orlando played well and had their own chance to seize the game against United, but fell victim to an excellent counter in the 2-1 loss.

21. Chicago Fire

Record: 6-6-15
Week 25 ranking: 23

The Fire split the points with the Crew in Bridgeview on Friday, then jetted off to Germany for Bastian Schweinsteiger's Bayern Munich testimonial. Maybe Chicago can find something in Germany to help brighten a terrible season that can't end soon enough.

22. Colorado Rapids

Record: 6-6-14
Week 25 ranking: 19

Ouch. The Rapids took it on the chin against Real Salt Lake after some big talk leading into the Rocky Mountain Cup showdown. Giving up an early goal and getting two men sent off ensured Colorado was never really in the match.

23. San Jose Earthquakes

Record: 3-8-14
Week 25 ranking: 22

The Quakes had a two-goal lead at home against a less-than-irresistible attacking team in Vancouver and still managed to lose the lead and the game. The Wooden Spoon, and perhaps yet another change of regime, looms in San Jose's future.

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