By Ridge Mahoney
Though the top three teams in the Power Rankings lost last weekend, only Real Salt Lake dropped as a result.
Montreal’s last-gasp goal at a soldout Saputo Stadium knocked off top-ranked Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, but SKC’s recent good form kept it in the top spot. Likewise, Portland’s 2-1 loss at San Jose – its first road defeat of the season – could not dislodge the Timbers from the second spot. Montreal took over third place from Real Salt Lake by snapping a five-game winless streak.
Philadelphia and Colorado moved into the top six by winning and the Red Bulls’ wild 4-3 defeat of RSL lifted them to seventh. The Rapids took advantage of the depleted Galaxy to win, 2-0.
MLS jumps right back into action this weekend after its All-Stars play Roma at Sporting Park on Wednesday. Only the Galaxy, which faces Real Madrid in the Guinness International Champions Cup Thursday, doesn’t play a league game.
Week 22 Soccer America MLS Power Rankings
RANK TEAM (W-L-T) LAST WEEK
1. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (10-6-6) 1.
2. PORTLAND (8-3-10) 2.
3. MONTREAL (10-5-5) 4.
4. REAL SALT LAKE (11-7-4) 3.
5. PHILADELPHIA (9-6-7) 6.
6. COLORADO (9-7-7) 7.
7. NEW YORK (10-7-5) 8.
8. VANCOUVER (9-7-5) 6.
9. HOUSTON (8-6-6) 9.
10. NEW ENGLAND (8-7-6) 12.
11. FC DALLAS* (8-5-8) 10.
12. LOS ANGELES (10-9-3) 11.
13. CHICAGO (7-9-4) 13.
14. SEATTLE (8-7-4) 14.
15. SAN JOSE (7-9-6) 15.
16. CHIVAS USA (4-11-5) 16.
17. TORONTO FC (3-10-8) 18.
18. COLUMBUS (6-10-5) 17.
19. D.C. UNITED (2-15-4) 19.
* Did not play.
THE BEST. Marco Di Vaio slipped a pass to Blake Smith in the sixth minute of stoppage time to score the goal that ended SKC’s six-game unbeaten streak. Montreal desperately needed the victory; it hadn’t won in the previous five games. The Timbers’ rally in San Jose fell a goal short thanks to the spectacular work of keeper Jon Busch, who let only Darlington Nagbe’s sixth goal of the season in the 83rd minute get past him.
RSL players and Coach Jason Kreis left Red Bull Arena in disbelief. Javier Morales’s hat trick included a go-ahead goal in the 82nd minute, but Fabian Espindola’s penalty kick (on the second attempt) tied it up and Dax McCarty’s diving header in the fourth minute of stoppage time won one of the best games of this season, or any season.
The Whitecaps held out for more than an hour down to 10 men following the dismissal of Jun Marques Davidson for head-butting Keon Daniel, but Philly broke through with a late Antoine Hoppenot goal to win, 1-0. The Union has accrued 16 points in the last nine games; the ‘Caps have lost two straight after winning five of six.
Colorado is unbeaten in its last six games after goals by Hendry Thomas and Dillon Powers downed the Galaxy, which was missing Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez to international duty, and Robbie Keane (hip flexor) and Robbie Rogers (hamstring) to injuries.
THE MIDDLE. Houston could have won three in a row for the first time this season by beating Chicago at home, but a minute after Cam Weaver provided a 1-0 lead Mike Magee equalized with his 13th goal of the season that tied him with Camilo for the league lead. The game ended 1-1.
The Revs leapfrogged idle FC Dallas in the rankings by downing D.C. United, 2-1, for its second straight win. Dimitri Imbongo and Diego Fagundez (with his seventh goal) scored as the Revs rallied from 1-0 deficit to win at RFK Stadium. Kevin Alston returned to action in the 84th minute as his battle with leukemia marked an important milestone.
Seattle, winless in the last three games, jangled its fans’ nerves by falling behind Chivas USA early at home. Obafemi Martins set up Brad Evans’ equalizer midway through the first half and earned a secondary assist on Lamar Neagle’s second-half winner.
THE REST. Goals by Victor Bernardez and Steven Lenhart enabled the Quakes to beat Portland for the first time in MLS play, and it also pulled them to within five points of a playoff spot. With four wins in the last seven games, San Jose is staying afloat. It plays seven games in August, including two Concacaf Champions League games.
Erick Torres scored his second goal in as many games to give Chivas USA its lead in Seattle but not even the heroics of Dan Kennedy could stave off the Sounders. Toronto FC won at home for the first time this season at BMO Field; Bobby Convey drove a comeback that produced two goals in the final three minutes to upend Columbus, 2-1. Dominic Oduro’s early goal put the Crew in front; Jonathan Osorio equalized in the 87th minute, and in the fourth minute of stoppage time Andrew Wideman steered home Convey’s pass.
Luis Silva tallied his second goal in as many games with D.C. to provide a 1-0 lead. You know the rest. That’s five straight losses.