By Ridge Mahoney
New York and Sporting Kansas City moved up the Power Rankings two spots by extending their winning streaks.
An own goal gave the Red Bulls a 1-0 home win over FC Dallas that moved them into second place behind Seattle, and SKC improved its away record to a league-best 6-5-3 by beating Toronto FC,
2-1, to jump from sixth to fourth. New York has won four in a row, SKC three.
1. SEATTLE (15-8-5), 1. A 1-1 tie against the Galaxy at StubHub
Center stopped a five-game winning streak yet still accounted for a 26th point in the last 11 games. Mauro Rosales continued his improved play with a cross that
Eddie Johnson headed home. Worth noting: Seattle has allowed 28 goals, tied with Sporting Kansas City for the fewest in MLS.
2. NEW YORK (15-9-6), 4. The own goal that decided a 1-0 home defeat of FC Dallas came from a Jonny Steele cross; throughout the game, the
service of Fabian Espindola, Steele and others constantly tested the FCD back line. The Eastern Conference leader has won three straight.
3. COLORADO (12-9-9), 2. A 1-0 loss in Portland was just the Rapids’ second defeat in the second half of the season but it did drop them out of
the top three in the Western Conference. A giveaway by Drew Moor led to the goal and Martin Rivero looked rusty in his
first start since June.
4. SPORTING KC (14-9-6), 6. A victory in Toronto isn’t at all unexpected, but the fact that C.J. Sapong scored his second and third goals of the season in a 2-1 win suggests he could be a valuable late-season asset with Kei Kamara no
longer in the picture.
5. REAL SALT LAKE (14-10-6), 3. The normally stingy RSL defense has been leaky of late -- 13 goals conceded in the past six
games -- and twice the Quakes’ Steven Lenhart escaped the marking of Nat Borchers to score in a 2-1 loss at Rio
6. LOS ANGELES (13-10-6), 5. Trailing the Sounders, 1-0, at home a furious push earned the Galaxy an equalizer from a superb Juninho free kick but nothing else. Robbie Keane said his team deserved all three points; maybe, but he also probably
deserved a red card for kicking up the legs of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
7. PORTLAND (11-5-13), 8. Diego Valeri’s elegant first-time chip
provided the margin of victory, 1-0, against the Rapids, yet the Timbers sorely needed the defensive grit of Diego Chara and others to offset some sloppy
8. MONTREAL (13-9-6), 7. A reversed handball call that denied the Impact a penalty kick angered head coach Marco Schallibaum yet it typified a frenzied 3-0 home loss to Vancouver in which four shots came off the woodwork.
9. NEW ENGLAND (11-11-7),
10. After conceding an own goal to D.C. United, the Revs stepped up. Diego Fagundez scored his 11th goal, Lee
Nguyen converted a penalty kick 28 minutes after being stoned from the spot, and in the final seconds keeper Matt Reis scrambled backwards to swat away a
chip and preserve the win.
10. HOUSTON (12-10-7), 11. The Dynamo dazzled the Chivas USA defense with a barrage of crosses and through balls; Giles Barnes and Oscar Boniek Garcia each scored twice in a 5-1 romp. Houston has won two straight after managing just one
victory in the previous six games.
11. CHICAGO (11-12-6), 9. This isn’t the time for a meltdown, but a 3-0 loss in Columbus sparked by Bakary Soumare’s sending-off in the 29th minute indicates something is amiss. Five points in the last five games have dropped the Fire to sixth place.
12. SAN JOSE (11-11-8), 13. The Quakes picked a good time to notch their second road win of the season, downing RSL, 2-1. This was a different Goonie
spirit; Lenhart scored in the 18th minute, and after San Jose conceded an equalizer a minute later, he scored again in the 21st.
(10-10-9), 12. What did Union head coach John Hackworth and his players ponder during a bye week? Maybe what to do about a 465-minute run during which
they have scored one goal.
14. VANCOUVER (11-10-8), 16. The ‘Caps held onto a 1-0 lead provided by Kenny
Miller’s seventh-minute PK until his replacement, Camilo, came on to notch his 15th and 16th goals of the season. Still, nine points in the last 10
matches isn’t playoff-caliber form.
15. COLUMBUS (11-14-5), 17. The Crew won its second straight game, 3-0, to stay in the playoff hunt.
Jairo Arrieta set up Dominic Oduro for the first goal and drew the Soumare foul that left Chicago down to 10 men.
16. FC DALLAS (10-9-10), 14. Erick’s mis-clearance into his own net produced the Red Bulls’ goal, but bad luck wasn’t the reason Blas Perez couldn’t hit the frame from good positions, nor why Fabian Castillo couldn’t score from close range.
Two wins in the last 15 games is utterly grotesque.
17. CHIVAS USA (6-16-8), 15. After conceding two goals in the previous three games, Chivas USA
was lit up by Houston. Four of the five goals came after Eric Avila’s equalizer in the 50th minute and Bobby
Burling’s departure at halftime because of a back problem had a lot to do with the collapse.
18. TORONTO FC (4-15-11), 18. The stands
at BMO Field were mostly empty and so was part of the TFC bench at the end of a rain-soaked 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City. Darel Russell’s equalizer
held up for only 15 minutes, and head coach Ryan Nelsen and assistant Fran O’Leary were dismissed for
19. D.C. UNITED (3-20-6), 19. Your opponent gives you a 1-0 lead with an own goal and your keeper, Bill
Hamid, saves a penalty kick, but he can’t stop a second PK, and so you lose to New England, 2-1. The loss tied the team record of 20 defeats in a
post-shootout season set in 2010, and is within two of the all-time mark – 22 – set by RSL and Chivas USA in 2005.