Soccer America Power Rankings

[MLS: Week 27] FC Dallas and New England posted important victories to move up the rankings. Another heavy midweek schedule of non-league games will test many MLS teams as they battle for playoff spots, starting Tuesday when Philadelphia hosts Seattle in the Open Cup final.

MLS WEEK 27, Results:

Sunday, September 14
San Jose 1 LA Galaxy 1
Saturday, September 13
Philadelphia 2 New York 2
New England 2 Montreal 1
Houston 2 Columbus 2
Chicago 1 Toronto FC 1
Colorado 2 Portland 2
FC Dallas 2 Vancouver 1
Friday, September 12
Seattle 3 Real Salt Lake 2
Chivas USA 0 Sporting KC 4
Wednesday, September 10 (Report)
Montreal 2 LA Galaxy 2
New York 1 D.C. United 0
Vancouver 2 San Jose0

1.SEATTLE (17-7-3), 1. Obafemi Martins tormented Real Salt Lake in a pulsating 3-2 victory. He nailed a shot off the crossbar, ran down a Clint Dempsey pass to score his team-high 13th goal of the season, and forced a red-card foul while in pursuit of a Brad Evans long ball. Lamar Neagle scored his first goal in more than three months and sixth of the season on a 25-yard blast, and sub Andy Rose hit the winner in stoppage time. For the Open Cup final in Philadelphia on Tuesday midfielder Marco Pappa will rejoin the team after playing for Guatemala in the Copa Centroamericana, where he won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot. The Sounders then put their four-game league winning streak on the line Saturday at Red Bull Arena.

2. LOS ANGELES (14-5-10), 2. Robbie Keane clanged a penalty kick off the crossbar -- his third failure in four PK attempts this season -- in a 1-1 tie at San Jose, the Galaxy’s second deadlock of the week after a 2-2 result in Montreal last Wednesday. The Impact carved open a three-man back line to take a 2-0 lead, after which the back four returned, and Gyasi Zardes and Alan Gordon scored five minutes apart to get a point. The Galaxy lost a lead at San Jose provided by Omar Gonzalez’s header from a Stefan Ishizaki corner kick, and Keane’s miss leaves it three points behind the Sounders, who have played one fewer game.

3. FC DALLAS (13-9-6),  5. Blas Perez scored an amazing goal from near the corner flag that made all the highlight reels but he got the winner in typical poacher’s fashion in a 2-1 defeat of Vancouver that edged FCD to within a point of third-place RSL in the Western Conference. Perez scored after a Michel free kick had triggered a scramble in the penalty area to reward a strong effort that featured several brazen runs by Fabian Castillo and more good work by rookie Tesho Akindele, who earned the decisive free kick and set up Perez with a vital touch.

4. REAL SALT LAKE (12-6-10), 4. RSL nearly survived a red card issued to Nat Borchers for dragging down Martins in the 68th minute but was stung in stoppage time. The defeat didn’t dim the luster of a vintage game by Javier Morales; he polished off a nice ball from Luke Mulholland with a fierce shot inside the far post, and space provided by his pass enabled Joao Plata to score on a deflection. Carlos Salcedo and Cale Grossman came on in the wake of Borchers’ departure but RSL just failed to last.

5. NEW YORK (9-8-11), 6. Just to remind everyone what they might be missing next year if he chooses not to return to MLS, Thierry Henry scored his 50th league goal and conjured up a few special moments in a 2-2 tie with Philadelphia. Peguy Luyindula’s penalty kick and Henry’s goal didn’t hold up; a foul on Ibrahim Sekagya yielded a PK by which the Union claimed a 2-2 tie. On Wednesday, Lloyd Sam’s goal in stoppage time ended nearly an hour of frustration in a 1-0 victory during which New York played with a man advantage against United.

6. D.C. UNITED (14-9-5), 3. A tough 1-0 loss to New York Wednesday was its second defeat in the last four games but it still holds a two-point lead atop the Eastern Conference. Ten saves by Bill Hamid staved off New York until stoppage time; the Red Bulls had attacked relentlessly after Fabian Espindola was sent off for a high kick that caught Dax McCarty in the chest. After a CCL game in Jamaica Tuesday against Waterhouse FC, United plays at Chicago Saturday and might have a chance to clinch a playoff spot.

7. NEW ENGLAND (13-12-3), 11. The Revs fell behind Montreal in the 13th minute; by the 25th minute they were ahead, 2-1, and en route to a fifth straight victory and fourth consecutive triumph at home. Kelyn Rowe belted a long shot that dipped under the opposing keeper to tie the game, and Lee Nguyen chipped his 13th goal of the season after Charlie Davies had flicked on a Jermaine Jones lob. Jones, who registered his third assist in as many games, left at halftime with a foot injury that didn’t appear to be serious.  For the past month or so, defenders Jose Goncalves and A.J. Soares have toughened up the center and are funneling balls forward more consistently.

8. PHILADELPHIA (9-9-10), 10. Head coach Jim Curtin has been rotating players to deal with a crowded schedule, and rookie Pedro Ribeiro came up with a big game in just his third MLS start as the Union tied New York, 2-2. Ribeiro converted a cross from Andrew Wenger to score his first league goal during a comeback that ended with him winning a disputed penalty kick that Sebastien Le Toux converted in stoppage time. Conor Casey sat out the match but Curtin did use Cristian Maidana, Victor Nogueira and Le Toux off the bench. Following the Open Cup final, Philly stays home to host Houston.

9. COLUMBUS (9-9-10), 9. The Crew rallied from scoring an early own goal at Houston to get a 2-2 tie. Wil Trapp ran onto a Waylon Francis throw-in to surprise the Dynamo and score his first league goal early in the second half, and five minutes later Ethan Finlay cashed in a cross from Francis. Two possible penalty-kick decisions were rescinded by the match officials but still the Crew has garnered 10 points in the last five games and is clinging to fifth place heading into a home date with New England this weekend.

10. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (13-10-6), 7. Dom Dwyer broke Preki’s team record for goals in a season by hitting his 19th in a 4-0 pounding of Chivas USA that broke a four-game losing streak. Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber, and Claudio Bieler also scored and SKC posted its first shutout since June 27. This opponent came at a good time but now starts a grueling run of two CCL games and a home match against New England within nine days.

11. HOUSTON (9-13-5), 13. Gifted an own goal and leading, 2-0, at halftime, the Dynamo was well-poised for a third straight victory. Instead, the Crew scored a pair of quick goals and Houston couldn’t find a winner. Oscar Boniek Garcia, beset by blurred vision, came off at halftime and Brad Davis was replaced in the 58th minute with the score tied. Giles Barnes had finished off a nice passing move to score the second goal after an A.J. Cochran header hit an opponent and wound up in the net.

12. PORTLAND (8-8-12), 8. Controversies abounded in a 2-2 tie with Colorado, which scored on a penalty kick awarded for a handball by Liam Ridgewell, who appeared to have used his chest to control the ball. Diego Valeri scored, as did Gaston Fernandez, whom the Rapids believed got away with a handball of his own to equalize. Donovan Ricketts played a sharp game as the Timbers tied their third game in the last five, hearkening back to the first half of the season when its ties exceeded wins and losses combined. One point out of fifth, the Timbers can take over that spot by beating Vancouver at home Saturday.

13. VANCOUVER (8-7-13), 12.  Erik Hurtado scored his first goal in more than three months but the tired ‘Caps, playing their third game in eight days, were outlasted by FC Dallas, 2-1. Mauro Rosales played at the attacking tip of a midfield diamond and set up the goal for Hurtado. The ‘Caps dominated during a 2-0 defeat of San Jose Wednesday; Pedro Morales leads the team in goals and assists after scoring his eighth goal and getting his 10th assist on a corner kick drilled into the net by a Kendall Waston header. The 'Caps hold a slim one-point edge in fifth place over Portland heading into their showdown Saturday.

14. CHICAGO (5-7-15), 16. The league record for ties, held by New York with 16, is within touching distance after a 1-1 deadlock against Toronto FC. Lovel Palmer scored his first goal since 2011 -- when he scored against TFC playing for Houston -- but the Fire spurned opportunities to double the lead when a penalty kick by Jeff Larentowicz was saved and Quincy Amarikwa’s follow-up was blocked. Robert Earnshaw, who had scored two goals in as many games, sat out with a strained calf against his former team. Recently signed French defender Florent Sinama-Pongolle has not cleared up his paperwork.

15. TORONTO FC (9-11-7), 14. An apparent winner by Gilberto, who poked the ball over the line while barging into the back of Fire defender Bakary Soumare, was disallowed to the incredulous fury of Michael Bradley and many of his teammates. They had equalized through a goal by Dwayne De Rosario and were in a position to get a result thanks to Joe Bendik’s saving of a penalty kick. But six games without a win and seven games to play leave little margin for error, especially for a team lacking its best striker (Jermaine Defoe, out with a groin problem) and consistency in the back line.

16. COLORADO (8-13-7), 15. At least that horrible run of seven straight losses is over. The Rapids tied the Timbers, 2-2, as Shane O'Neill returned to the lineup after missing two months with a knee injury. Colorado lost eight games and won one without him. Dillon Powers tied the game, 1-1, with his ninth goal of the season from a rather dubious penalty-kick decision, and minutes after being thwarted by Ricketts, his Jamaican countryman, Deshorn Brown converted a great cross from Marc Burch. Up next is a daunting test at Real Salt Lake on Friday. 

17. SAN JOSE (6-11-10), 17. Ex-Quakes Landon Donovan and Dan Gargan missed the final California Clasico at Buck Shaw Stadium because of suspension; it ended 1-1 thanks to a Chris Wondolowski equalizer. Coupled with Wednesday's 2-0 loss in Vancouver, the tie left San Jose winless in the last eight games and above only Chivas USA in the Western Conference. Wondo leads the team with 13 goals; no one else has more than three.

18. MONTREAL (5-17-6), 18. The Impact can take leads but can’t hold them. The Galaxy came back from a 2-0 deficit imposed by goals from Marco Di Vaio and Ignacio Piatti, and the lead set up by Calum Mallace’s goal against New England lasted only 10 minutes. Troy Perkins recorded eight saves against the Revs and Montreal’s efforts to come back were hampered when left back Krzysztof Krol departed with a second caution in the 61st minute.  Felipe was suspended and Di Vaio and Piatti were rested against the Revs in preparation for a Concacaf Champions League match against the Red Bulls on Wednesday.

19. CHIVAS USA (6-16-6), 19. The team that opponents know they can get well against didn’t manage a shot on goal and fell at home to Sporting Kansas City, 4-0. It is winless in its last 10 games and players, fans and coaches won't be buoyed by reports that the league may suspend operations for the team in 2015 whether or not it is sold.

1 comment about "Soccer America Power Rankings".
  1. Andrea Hana, September 19, 2014 at 11:44 p.m.

    Hm. Still in 1st place. Eh? Probably chafing your hide, Mahoney. You just hate to say anything good about Sounders unless you are forced into it.

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