By Ridge Mahoney
A light week of five games nevertheless produced some movement in the weekly Power Rankings, with Seattle and Real Salt Lake moving up in the Western Conference and the defending champion Galaxy sliding in the other direction.
Seattle beat Northwest rival Vancouver, 3-2, in a see-saw game that saw three lead changes. The other Cascadia Cup team, Portland, squandered a two-goal lead in Chicago yet still departed with a 2-2 tie and its unbeaten streak (12 games) intact. With top team Montreal and No. 2 FC Dallas both idle, RSL moved up a notch to fourth by thumping the Galaxy, 3-1, which slipped three places to 12th. Moving past the Galaxy was Philadelphia, which thumped Columbus, 3-0, in the only midweek match.
Two teams that didn’t play last week altered their coaching situation. The Quakes parted ways with Frank Yallop, who had led the team since it re-entered the league in 2008. Assistant Mark Watson will take over, ostensibly for the rest of the season. Chivas USA officially named Jose Luis Real Casillas to replace Jose Luis Sanchez Sola, who was jettisoned at the end of May with a 3-7-2 record in his brief MLS stint.
Week 15 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
RANK TEAM (W-L-T) LAST WEEK
1. MONTREAL*(8-2-2), 1.
2. FC DALLAS* (8-2-4), 2.
3. PORTLAND (5-1-8), 3.
4. REAL SALT LAKE (8-5-3), 5.
5. NEW YORK* (7-4-5), 4.
6. COLORADO* (5-4-5), 6.
7. SEATTLE (6-4-3), 9.
8. HOUSTON* (6-4-4), 7.
9. SPORTING KANSAS CITY* (6-5-4), 8.
10. NEW ENGLAND (5-4-5), 11.
11. PHILADELPHIA (6-5-4), 12.
12. LOS ANGELES (6-6-2), 9.
13. VANCOUVER (4-5-4), 13.
14. COLUMBUS (4-5-5), 14.
15. CHICAGO (3-7-3), 15.
16. SAN JOSE* (3-6-6), 16.
17. TORONTO FC* (1-7-5)
18. CHIVAS USA* (3-8-2)
19. D.C. UNITED (1-10-3).
*Did not play.
THE BEST. Portland’s brazen approach on the road is working. It hit the woodwork three times in the first four minutes before goals by Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski provided a 2-0 lead it could not hold, yet its unbeaten road record (2-0-6) is a major reason it is third in the Western Conference.
Colombian striker Olmes Garcia is only 20, yet in just a few months he’s become a key member of the Real Salt Lake makeover. He replaced Robbie Findley in the 61st minute of a tied game (1-1) with the Galaxy and connected with a header and on a breakaway to salt away a 3-1 win. In 401 minutes of action he’s scored four goals and notched one assist.
Seattle overpowered Vancouver in the final quarter of an hour to erase a 2-1 deficit. Andy Rose’s goal supplied a 1-0 lead; after conceding twice in 16 minutes, the Sounders rebounded with a Servando Carrasco penalty kick and Lamar Neagle’s fifth goal of the season. Seattle has won five of its last six games.
‘Caps defender Andy O’Brien left the game with a hamstring injury the team blamed on a temporary grass surface installed for the USA’s Hexagonal qualifier against Panama on Tuesday.
THE MIDDLE. The Revs were frustrated at home, 0-0, by D.C. United, yet are 4-1-3 in their last eight games and lead the league with nine shutouts. They have held opponents goalless for 395 consecutive minutes.
Philly scored three times in six minutes -- Brian Carroll, Sheanon Williams and Conor Casey hit the net-- to blow open a goalless game at PPL Park and move into a three-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference.
Vancouver wasted a pair of goals by Camilo Sanvezzo, both set up by Russell Teibert, and preserved its dark mark of failure against Northwest rivals Seattle and Portland. It hasn’t beaten either of them in MLS play.
THE REST. There’s a lot of season to be played yet swapping the rights to Robbie Rogers for Mike Magee is paying off for the Fire. He started its comeback from a 2-0 deficit against Portland by tapping home a feed from Alex, and then drew a foul from which Daniel Paladini curled in the ensuing free kick for a 2-2 tie. The Fire has five points in its last three games; it accrued just seven in the first 10 games of the season.
United’s 0-0 tie extended its club-winless streak to 12 games. It managed just one shot on goal at Gillette Stadium.