By Ridge Mahoney
An eight-point lead over the Galaxy and a five-point edge in the overall standings places FC Dallas in a dominant position.
FCD has five wins and a tie in its last six games after beating Vancouver, 2-0. No other team is close to that kind of form, though Sporting Kansas City won its third straight, at New York, 1-0, Wednesday before falling to the Galaxy, 2-0, at Home Depot Center.
On the down side, both Toronto FC and Vancouver are winless in their last five. Another late goal robbed TFC of a home win and left it with four straight ties.
The Canadian teams kick off their round-robin competition this week to determine the nation’s representative in the 2013-2014 Concacaf Champions’ League. Joining the three MLS teams is NASL club FC Edmonton, which hosts Vancouver Wednesday, the same day the Impact plays at Toronto.
Week 8 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (W-L-T) Last Week
1. FC DALLAS (6-1-1), 1.
2. HOUSTON (4-2-1), 2.
3. LOS ANGELES (3-1-2), 3.
4. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (4-2-2), 5.
5. MONTREAL (4-1-1), 4.
6. PHILADELPHIA (3-2-2), 9.
7. PORTLAND (2-1-4), 8.
8. COLUMBUS (2-2-3), 7.
9. REAL SALT LAKE (3-3-2), 11.
10. CHIVAS USA (3-3-1), 6.
11. VANCOUVER (2-3-2), 10.
12. SAN JOSE (2-3-3), 12.
13. NEW YORK (3-4-2), 14.
14. COLORADO (2-4-2), 13.
15. CHICAGO (2-4-1), 18.
16. SEATTLE (1-3-2), 19.
17. TORONTO FC (1-2-4), 15.
18. NEW ENGLAND (1-4-2), 16.
19. D.C UNITED (1-5-1), 17.
THE BEST. Five home games, five home wins stands the record for FCD after it defeated Vancouver, 2-0, with an own goal and Blas Perez’s third tally of the season. More importantly, the swagger in David Ferreira has returned. The Dynamo lost Adam Moffat and Brad Davis to in-game injuries and Jermaine Taylor to a red card yet still snagged a point, its first on the road this season, in Toronto (1-1) when Warren Creavalle’s header found the net in the 94th minute.
The Galaxy took advantage of a tired SKC squad and Landon Donovan netted his first goal of the season in a 2-0 victory. A cross-country flight and just two days’ rest were SKC’s reward for downing New York, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena. The Montreal Impact returns to action with a busy week: Toronto Wednesday in the All-Canadian Championship, and Saturday at home against the Fire. Montreal regains the conference lead if it wins and SKC doesn’t.
Jack McInerney is the league’s top scorer with six goals after bagging two in a 3-2 Union defeat of D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Of the Union’s 11 points, seven have come on the road. Portland succumbed to the Quakes’ Goonie magic by conceding in the 92nd minute but a 1-1 tie (goal by DP Diego Valeri) keeps the Timbers unbeaten on the road this season.
THE MIDDLE. Andy Gruenebaum’s heroic goalkeeping wasn’t breached until the 83rd minute of a 1-0 loss in Chicago, but with zero shots on goal what can you expect? The Crew plays the next three at home after opening the season with five of seven away. Real Salt Lake started its own three-game homestand by edging Chivas USA, 1-0, with a rare commodity: a Javier Morales headed goal. The loss was Chivas USA’s second in a row by a 1-0 score. The Whitecaps go back-to-back with FCD by playing host to that rival this weekend at BC Place, where they are 2-0-1 this season. Overall, though, they’ve only taken two points from their last five games.
THE REST. Rookie Andy Jahn struck a stoppage-time goal for the second time this season and the 92nd-minute strike averted a home loss, yet still left the Quakes winless in the last four. The Red Bulls were outclassed by SKC at home, 1-0, then riddled the Revs by scoring twice in the first eight minutes and adding two late goals to win, 4-1. Knee pain experienced during the warm-up knocking Edson Buddle out of the starting lineup and Marvell Wynne left the game with a strained groin as the depleted Rapids lost at home to Seattle, 1-0. They are missing nearly a full XI due to injuries; Dillon Powers played despite suffering a head gash that required 40 stitches.
Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz headed home a flicked throw-in to score his first goal for Chicago in its 1-0 defeat of Columbus. Obafemi Martins returned after missing one game with a knee problem and scored his first MLS goal in the Sounders’ first win of the season, 1-0, at Colorado. Toronto FC’s late-game collapses are becoming chronic; Houston’s equalizer was the third goal TFC has conceded in the 87th minute or later, and the Dynamo did it down to 10 men.
An own goal ended a club-record 394-minute New England scoreless streak but a 4-1 defeat at Red Bull Arena left the Revs with just three goals and five points after seven games. Former United players Brian Carroll and Danny Cruz played pivotal roles as D.C. lost its fourth straight game, 3-2, to Philadelphia despite a goal by former Philly forward Lionard Pajoy.