Soccer America Power Rankings

[MLS: Week 17] Seattle kept its USA stars on the bench yet retained the top spot despite losing, and the rest of the top four also remained unchanged as more teams welcomed back their World Cup players.

Sunday, July 6

Sporting KC 1 Chicago 1.

Saturday, July 5

Toronto FC 1 D.C. United 2.
Vancouver 1 Seattle 0.
Chivas USA 1 Montreal 0.

Friday, July 4
Houston 2 New York 2.
FC Dallas 2 Philadelphia 1.
Colorado 1 Columbus 1.
Real Salt Lake 2 New England 1.
LA Galaxy 2 Portland 2.

Wednesday, July 2
Chicago 1 Toronto FC 1.
San Jose 1 Chivas USA 0.

1. SEATTLE (11-4-2), 1. World Cup representatives Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin were among five starters missing for various reasons as the Sounders lost for just the second time in the last 13 games, 1-0, to Vancouver. They managed just two shots on goal. Keeper Stefan Frei saved five shots as Seattle failed to win a Cascadia Cup game for the third time this season.

2. D.C. UNITED (8-5-4), 2. Bill Hamid pulled off one of his biggest saves of the season to preserve a 2-1 win at BMO Field. Nick DeLeon scored after stealing a ball in midfield and Perry Kitchen nailed home a Lewis Neal corner kick to provide the lead, and deep into stoppage time Hamid repelled a point-blank blast. United has alternated wins with other results in its last 11 games, which translates to six victories and 20 points and – improbably, given its terrible showing in 2013 -- first place in the Eastern Conference.

3. LOS ANGELES (5-3-6), 3. The Galaxy got a break when Baggio Husidic’s cross bounced into the net off a Timbers defender for the equalizer in a 2-2 tie with Portland. It had conceded two goals in three minutes to fall behind after taking the lead with a goal by Marcelo Sarvas. The games will soon begin to pile up for the Galaxy, which is 3-0-3 in its last six and along with Toronto FC has played the fewest league games.

4. VANCOUVER (6-3-7), 4. Right back Steven Beitashour returned to the lineup for the Cascadia Cup game with Seattle after representing Iran at the World Cup, and Sebastian Fernandez nailed a knuckling 22-yard shot that was all the ‘Caps needed to win, 1-0. Coach Paul Robinson said playmaker Pedro Morales played his best game of the season as Vancouver halted a modest three-game winless streak. It plays three games in eight days starting Saturday against Chivas USA.

5. COLORADO (7-5-5), 6. A costly giveaway by Dillon Powers led to the equalizer by which Columbus wiped out a 1-0 lead taken by the Rapids with an own goal, and by the tradeoff the teams tied, 1-1. The solid work of keeper Clint Irwin and greater attention to defending have paid off recently; in the past six games, the Rapids have recorded three shutouts and twice conceded just one goal.

6. TORONTO FC (6-5-3), 5. Michael Bradley returned from World Cup duty to play the first 60 minutes of a 2-1 loss to D.C. United in which a costly turnover and poor marking on a corner kick enabled United’s two goals. Daniel Lovitz nearly tied the game in the final seconds but his close-range shot was saved. Luke Moore banged home a rebound to score for TFC, which piled up a 19-7 edge in shots as its six-game unbeaten streak (three wins, three ties) ended.

7. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (7-5-5), 8. Dom Dwyer’s 12th goal of the season provided SKC an early 1-0 lead it couldn’t parlay into a victory Sunday against the Fire, and the 1-1 tie dropped it out of a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference. Dwyer also blocked a goal-bound shot during a set playand picked up a caution by taking a photo of himself during his goal celebration. In all, SKC endured a frustrating afternoon during which it outshot its opponent 18-6, and controlled nearly two-thirds (66.5 percent) of possession. Chicago’s goal snapped SKC’s shutout streak at 281 minutes.

8. REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-7), 9. One day after returning from World Cup duty in Brazil, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and midfielder Kyle Beckerman stepped onto the field at Rio Tinto Stadium and helped beat New England, 2-1. Javier Morales and Joao Plata converted penalty kicks for RSL, which controlled 61 percent of the possession with captain Beckerman back in the lineup.

9. FC DALLAS (7-7-5). 10. A right quadriceps injury suffered by keeper Chris Seitz as he took a goal kick soured a 2-1 defeat of Philadelphia. Tesho Akindele volleyed a chip from Blas Perez for his second goal of the season and with an own goal FCD captured the victory that extended its unbeaten streak to four games.

10. NEW ENGLAND (7-7-2), 7. The losing streak is four games after a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake in which the Revs committed two fouls that yielded penalty kicks. They rallied with a Darrius Barnes goal a minute after they fell behind. Head coach Jay Heaps moved defender A.J. Soares to defensive mid in attempt to shore up the midfield; more changes are likely during a busy week in which they play Philly in the Open Cup Tuesday and a league match against Chicago Saturday.

11. COLUMBUS (4-5-8), 12. An Ethan Finlay goal brought the Crew its first goal and first point in Colorado since 2009. It also ended the team’s 257-minute scoreless streak. Finlay netted his fourth goal of the season to mark his return from appendectomy surgery last month. A right hamstring strain sidelined playmaker Federico Higuain, who has played just 66 minutes in the past five games. The 1-1 result leaves the Crew with four straight ties and just one victory in the past 14 games.

12. NEW YORK (4-5-8), 13. Bradley Wright-Phillips owns the Dynamo. He scored the equalizer and then the goal-ahead goal in a 2-2 tie with Houston to take his league-high total to 14 goals and his personal account against the Dynamo this season to five. The Red Bulls objected to a handball call on Chris Duvall that provided Houston with a penalty kick by which it forged the tie, New York’s third deadlock in the last four games.

13. SAN JOSE (4-7-4), 11. The Quakes sat out last weekend; the time off and return of Chris Wondolowski can hopefully kick-start an attack that can’t seem to hit the net. A 1-0 loss to Chivas USA Wednesday was their third straight defeat by that scoreline and its average of one goal per game is tied for last in the league with three other teams. Keeper Jon Busch is second in the league with 55 saves and though he rescued his team a few times the one that got by him was enough.

14. PORTLAND (4-5-9), 15. For the 13th time this season, the Timbers fell behind, and though they caught and passed the Galaxy at StubHub Center, they departed with a 2-2 tie. Defender Jorge Villafana set up the equalizer for Diego Valeri and scored the go-ahead goal himself three minutes later on a rebound, but a Galaxy cross befuddled defender Raushawn McKenzie and it bounced off him into the net. Despite its struggles to win games, Portland hasn’t lost any of its last five on the road and it gets a severe test this weekend at Seattle.

15. PHILADELPHIA (4-5-6), 14. It wasn’t a good day to be a Philly defender; an attempted Fabinho clearance hit Sheanon Williams instead and wound up in the Union net, and a rough tackle by Maurice Edu – playing centerback after his move from midfield – earned him a red card in a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas. Amobi Okugo, who had been playing centerback, got upfield from his midfield position to tuck away Cristian Maidana’s cross to briefly tie the game, 1-1. Nothing dour about Philly; it has scored 11 goals and conceded 10 in the last five matches.

16. CHICAGO (2-4-10), 17. A spectacular double-save by keeper Sean Johnson in the final seconds made sure a Mike Magee goal would stand up for a 1-1 tie at Sporting Kansas City. Johnson finished with eight saves, none of which were more vital than his parry of a low shot from Jacob Peterson and block of a follow-up attempt by C.J. Sapong. Still, the Fire haven’t won since beating SKC May 18 and that grotesque number of ties indicates it had better find whatever is missing.

17. CHIVAS USA (5-7-5), 18. The formula may not be all that original but it’s working. Goals by Erick “Cubo” Torres and stout defending earned 1-0 defeats of San Jose and Montreal last week that lifted Chivas USA out of last place in the Western Conference. Torres not only stunned the Impact in stoppage time, he did so by trapping a deflected ball out of the air and biking it into the top corner.

Check it out:

Torres' fabulous strike deserved a much bigger audience than the 4,201 fans in attendance at StubHub Center. Keeper Dan Kennedy recorded his third straight shutout and hasn’t been beaten in the last 323 minutes.

18. MONTREAL (3-8-5). 16. Seconds away from a 0-0 tie on the road, the Impact left StubHub Center stunned by Torres’ goal. Montreal has righted itself somewhat after a disastrous start but must do much better than its 2-2-1 record in the last five games to make any sort of a playoff push.

19. HOUSTON (5-10-3), 19. Brad Davis marked his return from the World Cup by converting a late penalty kick as the Dynamo snapped a five-game losing streak by tying New York, 2-2. The trio of Davis, Ricardo Clark and Oscar Boniek Garcia started together for the first time since April 5, and Clark started the play by which Giles Barnes scored the earliest goal in team history (39 seconds). But the Dynamo couldn’t contain Wright-Phillips and has conceded 15 goals in the last six games.


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