[MLS POWER RANKINGS WEEK 14] A stoppage-time equalizer earned New York a 3-3 tie in Portland that moved the Red Bulls into the top three, and a spectacular free kick by Fredy Montero brought the Sounders a win in Toronto that inches them closer to the top. Home losses for Houston and Chivas USA dropped them down the ladder.
1. LOS ANGELES (8-2-6). Juninho (with another golazo) and Chad Barrett scored the goals by which LA pulled away from Colorado to win, 3-1, after a Drew Moor own goal opened the scoring. Missing Landon Donovan and Donovan Ricketts, who faced each other Sunday in a Gold Cup quarterfinal, as well as David Beckham (back spasms), LA ran its unbeaten streak to nine games. Last week: 1.
2. FC DALLAS (8-4-4). Midfielder Andrew Jacobson assisted on both goals, as Brek Shea and Jackson Concalves got FCD back on the winning track by beating Chivas USA, 2-1 on the road. Jackson pounced on a ball headed to him by Jacobson and ignored by the Chivas USA defense in the 85th minute to notch FCD’s third win in the last five games. Last week: 2.
3. NEW YORK (5-2-8). The fifth minute of stoppage time is leaving it extremely late, yet Dwayne DeRosario’s penalty kick came just in time to claim a 3-3 tie in Portland. Austin da Luz’s opening goal evaporated in a three-goal barrage, but he assisted on Thierry Henry’s strike that narrowed the margin, and then DeRo stepped up to equalize. NYRB is on a run of ties, but is unbeaten in six games (eight points). Henry is also tied for the league lead with eight goals. Last week: 4.
4. FC SEATTLE (6-4-7). The roller-coaster MLS career of Fredy Montero swooped to another high point when his swerving free kick at BMO Field in the 90th minute propelled the Sounders to a 1-0 win after they’d played most of the second half with 10 men. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado’s second caution in the 49th minute prompted Coach Sigi Schmid to deploy substitute Zach Scott at centerback, and the Sounders got their fifth shutout as well as a victory when Montero struck from about 28 yards out. Last week: 5.
5. PHILADELPHIA (6-4-4). Serbian striker Veljko Paunovic, signed last month after trialing with the Union, made his MLS debut in a 1-0 loss at Vancouver. The Union, shut out for the fourth time this season, is among the lowest-scoring teams in the league (16) yet with only 12 goals conceded (second-fewest) is just a point out of first place in the Eastern Conference. Last week: 3.
6. REAL SALT LAKE (6-3-4). A 1-1 tie with D.C. left RSL with just five points in its last five matches yet still with a few games in hand. Fabian Espindola scored from the spot and while United’s equalizing PK whistled for a foul by Chris Wingert appeared to be a phantom call, RSL escaped twice when United shots came back off the crossbar. Last week: 7.
7. COLORADO (5-4-7). A reunion of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings up top produced a goal scored by the Casey and set up by the Cummings, but not much else went right as the Rapids, down to 10 men after Caleb Folan’s dismissal, were thumped at home, 3-1, by the Galaxy. They aren’t scaring anybody – except a few home fans - at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, where they are 2-2-4. Last week: 6.
8. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (3-6-4). Graham Zusi, scorer of two goals in a 4-1 rout of Dallas last week, got an assist with a long-range free kick that CJ Sapong turned into the net to down San Jose, 1-0, for SKC’s first victory in its brand-new stadium. Still last in the Eastern Conference, SKC is also unbeaten in the last five games and has won its last two. Last week: 9.
9. SAN JOSE (5-5-4). A six-game unbeaten run ended in Kansas City, where the Quakes were shut out for the first time in seven games, 1-0. Simon Dawkins came off the bench to spark a sputtering attack at the start of the second half with a shot that narrowly missed and another that was saved. On tap for Saturday is a visit by the high-flying Galaxy. Last week: 8.
10. D.C. UNITED (4-5-5). If United got some luck via a foul call by which Charlie Davies won a penalty kick he himself converted, Chris Pontius wasn’t so lucky to drill two shots off the crossbar in a 1-1 tie at Real Salt Lake. United put forth a strong defensive effort and more such displays will be needed; it leads the league goals allowed per game (1.79). Last week: 12.
11. COLUMBUS (5-4-6). A week after suffering their first home loss of the season, the Crew went to Houston and picked up its first road victory, 2-0. Bernardo Anor scored a goal after setting one up for Andres Mendoza, and drew the foul by which Lovel Palmer earned his second caution and dismissal. A former Venezuelan youth international, Anor excelled in just his second MLS appearance. Last week: 14.
12. CHIVAS USA (4-6-5). A long-range shot by Michael Lahoud that took a deflection brought Chivas USA even with FC Dallas at 1-1, but not even a very sharp Dan Kennedy could prevent a late winner handed to the opposition by Lahoud that gave the match to FCD, 2-1. Lahoud let a tame header into the box bounce past him that FCD tucked away. A 2-4-2 home record is one reason CUSA is languishing near the bottom of the Western Conference. Last week: 10.
13. PORTLAND (5-6-3). Speaking of home records, the Timbers were within seconds of ending a two-game losing streak at Jeld-Wen Field when they conceded a penalty-kick equalizer by which New York forged a 3-3 tie. Portland came back from a 1-0 deficit with goals by Jack Jewsbury and Kevin Goldthwaite, plus an own goal, to take a 3-1 lead they couldn’t hold. Coach John Spencer, suspended by the league for his stinging criticism of officials, watched this game from the stands. Last week: 13.
14. HOUSTON (4-6-6). The Dynamo, which broke a seven-game winless streak by beating Chivas USA at home a week ago, couldn’t duplicate that feat and lost to Columbus, 2-0, at Robertson Stadium. Down a goal, they went down a man when Lovel Palmer saw his second yellow card. Last week: 11.
15. CHICAGO (2-4-9). In a league burdened by a high percentage of ties (53 in 137 games, nearly 39 percent), the Fire is doing more than its fair share. It tied its fourth game in the last five, 1-1 at New England, with a Dominic Oduro goal and might have won had not substitute Orr Barouch’s header been cleared off the line. Logan Pause stopped a Revs’ shot on a similar play in a wide-open game. Cristian Nazarit got the start up top in place of Gaston Puerari, who was transferred to Mexican club Atlas during the week. Last week: 15.
16. VANCOUVER (2-6-8). A boisterous crowd at Empire Field celebrated a second win of the season and cessation of a 14-match unbeaten streak after Alain Rochat’s goal proved sufficient to beat Philadelphia, 1-0. Coach Tom Soehn juggled his lineup, pairing Michael Boxall and Jay DeMerit as centerbacks, and restoring Terry Dunfield to midfield upon his return from Gold Cup duty. David Chiumiento earned his sixth assist and Joe Cannon notched his first shutout. Last week: 16.
17. NEW ENGLAND (3-7-6). Two home games produced just two points as the Revs tied TFC (0-0) and the Fire (1-1). Rajko Lekic scored his second goal of the season and debutant Ryan Guy contributed with a goalline clearance against Chicago. Those two ties account for their only points in the last five games, during which they have scored only two goals. Five of their next six games are on the road, where they are 0-5-2 this season. Last week: 17.
18. TORONTO FC (2-6-9). TFC is locked in a death match with Chicago for most ties in MLS; it managed a 0-0 in New England last Wednesday, but squandered a draw at home Saturday by conceding a goal to Seattle in the final minute to lose, 1-0. That ran its winless streak to eight games; despite tightening up the defense, somewhat, it still leads MLS in goals allowed (26). Last week: 18.