By Ridge Mahoney
FC Dallas rules the top spot despite tying but Montreal and defending champion Galaxy kept up the pressure by winning.
Dallas squandered a 2-0 lead in Vancouver yet still came home with a 2-2 tie. The Impact trimmed FCD’s lead in overall points by beating Chicago, 2-0; the Galaxy won at Real Salt Lake by the same score with an undermanned squad.
Portland got the biggest win of the week by rallying twice and then scoring the final goal of a spectacular 3-2 victory at Sporting Kansas City. Along with the top three in the rankings -- FCD, Montreal and the Galaxy -- the Timbers have lost just once. The Crew edged into the top tier by thumping D.C. United, 3-0, after waiting out a 50-minute delay caused by a scoreboard fire. No, really.
New York jumped out of the bottom tier by scoring a late winner at Toronto, which has already thrown away an astonishing number -- relatively speaking -- of points by conceding goals in the final minutes. The Revs roused themselves to beat Philly for the first time in nine meetings.
The week’s games gave decent entertainment value. There were 27 goals scored in nine matches, and none of the three ties were of the dreaded 0-0 variety.
Week 9 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
Rank TEAM (W-L-T) Last Week
1. FC DALLAS (6-1-2), 1.
2. LOS ANGELES (4-1-2), 3.
3. MONTREAL (5-1-1), 5.
4. HOUSTON (4-2-2), 2.
5. PORTLAND (3-1-4), 7.
6. KANSAS CITY (4-3-2), 4.
7. COLUMBUS (3-2-3), 8.
8. PHILADELPHIA (3-3-2), 6.
9. NEW YORK (4-4-2), 13.
10. VANCOUVER (2-3-3), 11.
11. REAL SALT LAKE (3-4-2), 9.
12. COLORADO (2-4-2), 14
13. SAN JOSE (2-3-4), 12.
14. CHIVAS USA (3-3-2), 10.
15. CHICAGO (2-5-1), 15.
16. NEW ENGLAND (2-4-2), 18.
17. SEATTLE (1-3-2), 16.
18. TORONTO FC (1-2-5), 17.
19. D.C. UNITED (1-6-1), 19.
THE BEST. FCD cruised to a 2-0 lead with an own goal and a Matt Hedges’ header of a wayward ball knocked back toward the keeper, but it quickly conceded twice after Jackson was sent off for swatting Alain Rochat in the face. Still, a seven-game unbeaten streak that includes five wins is no fluke.
Missing much of its starting lineup -- including Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane -- to injuries, the Galaxy crisply dispatched RSL, 2-0. Keeper Brian Rowe posted the shutout in his MLS debut and Mike Magee scored his sixth goal to tie for the league lead.
The Impact used its proven formula of a Marco di Vaio goal (his fourth) and stout defense (only five goals conceded this season) to beat Chicago, 2-0. Recent signing Andres Romero netted his first goal for the club. Defender Alessandro Nesta left with an apparent groin injury shortly after halftime, and replacement Wandrille Lefèvre started the scoring sequence on Romero’s goal with a sharp pass.
Houston’s unbeaten streak at home stands at 36 games after a 1-1 tie against Colorado; the Dynamo needed a spectacular strike by Gilles Barnes to rectify a rather tepid showing. SKC’s Chance Myers -- who started the match with zero goals in seven seasons -- scored twice to take over the Golden Boot race among right backs, but the Timbers rallied with goals by Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe that set the stage for livewire Rodney Wallace to net the winner.
The Crew scored 11 minutes apart in the first half and tacked on a third goal in the 47th minute to down D.C. United, which remains rooted to the bottom of the rankings. Jairo Arrieta returned to the starting lineup after a four-game absence to set up Dominic Oduro for the first goal.
THE MIDDLE. The Union’s modest three-game unbeaten streak came to end with their first loss to New England. Tim Cahill got both goals including an 89th-minute winner as the Red Bulls beat TFC, 2-1. Speedy sub Kekutah Manneh woke up the lethargic ‘Caps to score a goal and set up the equalizer three minutes later in a 2-2 tie. RSL had injury issues as well -- Alvaro Saborio and Robbie Findley were late scratches for the Galaxy showdown -- but was shockingly second-best for most of the night.
THE REST. The Rapids haven’t done a lot right this season yet might have deserved more than a 1-1 tie in Houston. Drew Moor scored the goal, Clint Irwin recorded a few more vital saves, and Martin Rivero played his first competitive match since suffering a broken foot six months ago.
The Quakes got another Goonie goal, this one by Cordell Cato in the 76th minute, to claim a 2-2 tie with Chivas USA at Home Depot Center. Yet the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winners are winless in their last five. Jorge Villafana tortured San Jose on the flanks, and sent in the crosses that produced goals for Mario de Luna and Tristan Bowen.
Lee Nyugen scored a goal and set up the other as the attacking element in a four-man midfield as New England dumped the Union, 2-0. He started and finished the sequence for the clinching goal by setting up Saer Sene for a shot that was saved, then pounced on the rebound. Diego Fagundez got the first one.
Eight games into his coaching career, Ryan Nelsen is sprouting gray hairs by the minute. TFC conceded its fourth goal in the 87th minute or later to waste a remarkable goal by Jonathan Osorio, who collected a weak clearance outside the box and floated a left-footed shot over stranded keeper Luis Robles off the underside of the bar.
A foul called on D.C. midfielder Perry Kitchen as he headed the ball into the net wiped out an apparent equalizer, and three minutes later United conceded a second goal to the Crew. The losing streak is at five.