MLS Power Rankings: Sporting Kansas City climbs on top

Sporting Kansas City ended nine straight games without a win against Seattle by eking out a 1-0 victory on a controversial penalty kick to oust the Sounders from the top spot in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings. D.C. United, whose long home unbeaten streak was snapped, dropped to third. 

 MLS, Week 14 Results:
Real Salt Lake 0 Colorado 0. Highlights
San Jose 0 FC Dallas 0. Highlights


D.C. United 1 Toronto FC 2. Highlights
Philadelphia 1 New York City 2. Highlights
Columbus 1 Montreal 2. Highlights
Sporting KC 1 Seattle 0. Highlights
Chicago 2 Orlando City 3. Highlights
LA Galaxy 0 Vancouver 1. Highlights
Portland 2 New England 0. Highlights

Houston 4 NY Red Bulls 2. Highlights

D.C. United 3 Chicago 1. Highlights
Philadelphia 3 Columbus 0. Highlights
Montreal 2 Vancouver 1. Highlights

Only MLS results are factored into the Power Rankings. After a team’s current rank is listed its record in parentheses and ranking last week.

1. SPORTING KC (6-2-6), 3. SKC’s 1-0 defeat of Seattle ended a nine-game winless run against the Sounders and extended its unbeaten streak to seven. Dom Dwyer earned the penalty kick that Benny Feilhaber converted and Tim Melia backstopped a third straight shutout. Dwyer had sat out back-to-back games with nagging injuries and got the PK off the bench.

2. SEATTLE (8-4-2), 1. Deprived of Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Barrett, Osvaldo Alonso and Brad Evans, the Sounders lost a goal to a very tight offside decision and fell to SKC, 1-0, on a debatable penalty kick called when keeper Stefan Frei and defender Zach Scott converged and Frei collided with Dwyer. Seattle is an efficient machine; it put all six of its shots on goal and despite the PK is the league’s stingiest team (11 goals conceded in 14 matches).

3. D.C. UNITED (8-4-4), 2. Against Toronto FC, United faded after hitting the crossbar in the fifth minute and taking the lead a minute later when Fabian Espindola’s corner dropped for defender Steve Birnbaum to head it in. TFC took the initiative and by winning, 2-1, ended United’s 20-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions. United looked a bit flat playing its fifth game in 15 days. The streak included a 3-1 thrashing of Chicago Wednesday in which Jairo Arrieta netted twice.

4. FC DALLAS (6-4-4), 4. A dour 0-0 tie at San Jose stopped a two-game losing streak yet extended FCD’s winless run to four, during which it has scored just one goal. Je-Vaughn Watson’s dismissal for a late slide tackle didn’t materially affect the game, as the Quakes were already down to 10. Fabian Castillo came off the bench -- he’s been bothered by a sore hamstring -- but FCD didn’t generate much attack, even with a man advantage for more than 20 minutes.

5. SAN JOSE (5-5-4), 6. The Quakes were blanked at home for the second time this season but considering they had to ride out more than 25 minutes a man down, a 0-0 result isn’t the worst thing. Midfielder Fatai Alashe returned from his overseas stint with the U.S. U-23s and after a scoreless first half the dismissals of Mark Sherrod and JJ Koval blunted San Jose’s efforts to score.

6. NEW ENGLAND (5-4-6), 5. The Revs are winless in their last six games after a 2-0 loss in Portland. Though nearly even in possession (49.5 percent) they managed just four shots (the Timbers took 19). Jermaine Jones missed the game because of a groin injury he suffered last week against the Galaxy. Lee Nguyen played the full 90 without reward; in 13 games (12) starts he’s registered only one goal and two assists.

7. TORONTO FC (6-5-1), 11. Perhaps that seven-game road trip to open the season has honed TFC’s ability to endure those environments: a 2-1 victory at RFK improves the away mark to 4-4-1. It gave up an early goal at the back post, but two more excellent goals by Sebastian Giovinco -- one of them set up by Benoit Cheyrou’s slick pass -- earned a victory. Cheyrou wore the captain’s armband in place of Michael Bradley and secured the middle of the field after TFC had fallen behind.

8. VANCOUVER (8-6-2), 10. With many teams in the top tier struggling, the ‘Caps -- embarking on a five-game road trip necessitated by the Women’s World Cup -- rebounded from a 2-1 loss in Montreal to beat the Galaxy, 1-0, on just two days’ rest. Kekuta Manneh marked his best MLS game in quite a while by intercepting a wayward Galaxy pass, playing a one-two with Octavio Rivero, and rifling a low shot into the net. Pedro Morales connected on a penalty kick as the Impact beat Vancouver for the first time in MLS play.

9. LA GALAXY (5-5-6), 7. Woefully shorthanded because of injuries and national team callups, the Galaxy controlled 65 percent of possession but committed several critical errors on the scoring sequence by which Vancouver claimed the only goal. Mika Vayrynen played a poor pass that was intercepted, Juninho didn’t challenge strongly as the attack unfolded, two players gave Manneh too much space in the penalty area, and keeper Brian Perk left his near post exposed.

10. HOUSTON (5-5-5), 12. Another pair of goals by Will Bruin upped his take to six goals in the past five games as the Dynamo tamed the Red Bulls, 4-2. Oscar Boniek Garcia scored a goal and assisted on two others. You know things are going right when an apparently good goal is disallowed and that same player bags one four minutes later; that’s exactly what Ricardo Clark did on a pair of corner kicks. The Dynamo has scored at least three goals at home four times in 2015.

11. COLUMBUS (4-6-4), 8. A 2-1 loss to Montreal extended the winless streak to five games, during which Crew SC has conceded 11 goals. Federico Higuain’s goal in stoppage time came  after Kei Kamara misfired on an open header in the sixth minute and several other chances were squandered as Crew SC launched 20 shots. A bungled clearance opened the door for Montreal to score its first goal.

12. NY RED BULLS (4-4-5), 9. One win in the last eight games and three straight losses has taken off that shine of a bright start. Two of the goals in a 4-2 loss at Houston were tainted by deflections and New York crumbled after Mike Grella’s goal opened the scoring in the 42nd minute.

13. ORLANDO CITY SC (4-5-5), 14. Victimized by tough luck several times in its inaugural MLS season, OCSC rode some good bounces -- and two own goals -- to beat Chicago, 3-2, on the road. Rookie Cyle Larin came off the bench to equalize the score at 2-2 with his fifth goal of the season.

14. MONTREAL (4-4-2), 16. June is the month for streaks to stop. A 25-game run of futility away from home in MLS play ended with a 2-1 victory in Columbus. Not since near the end of the 2013 season had the Impact won away from home, but goals by Maxim Tissot and Andres Romero secured its fourth win in the last five games.

15. PORTLAND (6-5-4), 17. There are signs of life at Providence Park; the Timbers escaped from a 0-0 deadlock with a pair of late Fanendo Adi goals to beat New England, 2-0, and win a third straight game for the first time in their MLS history. Defenders Jorge Villafana and Alvas Powell provided the serves converted by Adi, who scored two goals in a game for the sixth time in his career.

16. REAL SALT LAKE (4-5-6), 13. After two tough losses at Vancouver and LA, RSL returned to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first of three straight home games but its scoring struggles continued in a 0-0 tie with Colorado. Javier Morales served balls for Alvaro Saborio headers and all three missed the frame. Another Morales cross dropped to Luke Mulholland, who also headed wide.

17. CHICAGO (4-7-2), 15. Two own goals by Adailton – the first such occurrence in league history – canceled out goals from Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam as the Fire blew a pair of one-goal leads and lost at home to Orlando City, 3-2. Mike Magee returned to action after a nine-month absence required by hip surgery and played the last few minutes. Accam also scored in a 3-1 defeat at D.C. United in which the Fire also coughed up a one-goal lead.

18. PHILADELPHIA (4-9-3), 19. The Union continue to lead the league in games lost and goals conceded. The latter figure stands at 25 -- four more than any other MLS team -- after a 2-1 defeat at home against Orlando City. A fourth goal of the year for C.J. Sapong, who leads the team and has scored three times in the last four games, gave Philly a lead it could not hold. Goals by Sapong, Victor Nogueira and Sebastien Le Toux powered Philly to a 3-0 thumping of Colorado on Wednesday. 

19. COLORADO (2-4-8), 18. Dillon Powers could have ended a dour day on a happy note, but he sent wide his 89th minute penalty kick and the Rapids wound up tied at Rio Tinto Stadium, 0-0. Two wins, eight ties and a league-low 11 goals scored tell the tale of 2015.

20. NEW YORK CITY FC (2-7-5), 20. Tough times are the norm for expansion teams and after a grim run of 11 games without a win, NYCFC finally got its second victory of the season with a late Patrick Mullins goal in Philly. He came off the bench to score his third goal of the season for a 2-1 triumph. Thomas McNamara equalized with a blast into the top corner to mark his first NYCFC start.

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