A light schedule of five league games yielded little change in the rankings but a second straight win for New York City FC edged it out of last place.MLS, Week 15 Results:
Most teams are playing Open Cup games in midweek though those results are not a factor in the Power Rankings. Each team is listed with its season record in parentheses followed by ranking last week.
1. SPORTING KC (6-2-6), 1. As SKC sat out the league program, it made news off the field when head coach Peter Vermes objected to comments from OCSC’s Adrian Heath regarding Dom Dwyer, comments for which Heath was fined. SKC hosts St. Louis FC in the Open Cup Tuesday and looks to add its seven-game unbeaten run in league play at Real Salt Lake on Sunday.
2. SEATTLE (9-4-2), 2. The Sounders rebounded from a 1-0 loss to SKC by thrashing FC Dallas, 3-0. Leo Gonzalez scored one minute after coming off the bench for his first league goal since 2010 and Stefan Frei earned his eighth shutout to round off an impressive display. Lamar Neagle scored the opening goal and also set up Gonzalez for the stoppage-time clincher. Sounders play Portland in the U.S. Open Cup Tuesday and get back to the league grind at home Saturday against San Jose, which is the first of four games in 14 days.
3. D.C. UNITED (8-5-4), 3. A 1-0 loss at Orlando City is United’s second straight defeat and fourth in the last seven games. Sometimes life isn’t fair -- Bill Hamid saved a penalty kick (awarded on a questionable foul) from Kaka and the Brazilian knocks in the rebound -- but this result may have been. “They earned it,” said head coach Ben Olsen. United plays Pittsburgh in the Open Cup Wednesday and hosts New England on Sunday.
4. FC DALLAS (6-5-4), 4. FCD crumbled after missing two great opportunities to take the lead in its loss at Seattle. Fabian Castillo hit the post and Kyle Bekker failed to put away a point-blank chance as the winless streak increased to five games: three losses by combined scores of 9-1 and a pair of 0-0 ties. After an Open Cup game against OKC Energy, FCD plays a Friday night game at Colorado.
5. SAN JOSE (5-5-4), 5. Winless in their last three league games, the Quakes rested during the weekend for a Northern California derby tussle with Sacramento Republic FC on Tuesday. They play at Seattle Saturday and will be missing Mark Sherrod and JJ Koval, who were both red-carded in a 0-0 tie with FCD June 6. Sherrod, who played for Quakes head coach Dominic Kinnear in Houston and was acquired in a trade from Orlando City, was making his first start since recovering from a torn ACL.
6. NEW ENGLAND (6-4-6), 6. He’s been squeezed for playing time this season, but Diego Fagundez capitalized on just his sixth start -- and the 100th appearance of his MLS career -- by hitting a fabulous side volley out of the air for the Revs’ first goal in a 2-0 defeat of Chicago. Charlie Davies also scored as they broke a five-game winless streak and extended their home unbeaten run to 17 games.
7. TORONTO FC (6-5-1), 7. Teams on winning streaks normally abhor bye weeks, yet the break gave TFC a chance to power up for a run of three home games in seven days: in order, New York City FC, Montreal and D.C. United. Midfielder Marky Delgado has returned from the FIFA U-20 World Cup after starting every game for the USA.
8. VANCOUVER (8-6-2), 8. The ‘Caps didn’t play last weekend and will hit the halfway mark of the season Saturday at Red Bull Arena in the third of their five-game road swing necessitated by the Women’s World Cup. According to the stats gurus, Pedro Morales leads in the league in chances created with 42.
9. LA GALAXY (5-5-7) 9. Head coach Bruce Arena decided to give Sebastian Lletget his first MLS start during a two-hour storm delay in Columbus, and after just 14 minutes Lletget drilled a low shot just inside the post to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. But a second goal never came, even though Robbie Rogers tormented the Crew SC back line a few times and Stefan Ishizaki put a ball in the net that was disallowed. After a U.S. Open Cup game against amateur PSA Elite Wednesday, the Galaxy hosts Philly on Saturday.
10. HOUSTON (5-5-5), 10. The Austin Aztex are the Dynamo’s opponent Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup, after which it heads to Portland for a league game Saturday. Houston has won three of its last five games and during that stretch Will Bruin has scored six of his seven goals this season. It has also not posted a shutout in more than two months.
11. COLUMBUS (4-6-5), 11. On a long run from midfield Federico Higuain reached a low cross from Ethan Finlay to score his second goal in as many games as Columbus rallied to tie the Galaxy, 1-1. Justin Meram nailed a header on frame that was saved and the result left Crew SC winless in its last six league games. It plays Richmond in the Open Cup Wednesday and a week later hosts New England.
12. ORLANDO CITY SC (5-5-5), 13. The Lions won a second straight game and extended their unbeaten streak to five by edging D.C. United, 1-0. Kaka headed home the rebound of his saved penalty kick as OCSC avenged two losses to United. The foul called when Pedro Ribeiro went down triggered intense debate but just about everyone agreed the shutout (United put only two shots on goal) was justified.
13. NY RED BULLS (4-4-5), 12. They sat out the weekend following a 4-2 thumping in Houston that was their third straight setback. The Red Bulls host NASL team Atlanta in the Open Cup Tuesday and head coach Jesse Marsch might choose to field defender Ronald Zubar, who hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury in the season opener.
14. MONTREAL (4-5-2), 14. Centerback Laurent Ciman lofted a free kick that defensive partner Wandrille Lefevre knocked home for his first MLS goal in the 89th minute but not much else was noteworthy from a 3-1 loss to NYCFC in Yankee Stadium, other than an appalling tendency for the Impact give the ball away.
15. PORTLAND (6-5-4), 15. The Timbers took the week off from league play and get the ultimate motivational test for their return to action: a U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match at Seattle Tuesday. They also play three league games in eight days, starting Saturday against Houston. They are one of five teams to allow less than one goal per game; last year, they conceded slightly more than 1.5 per game.
16. REAL SALT LAKE (4-5-6), 16. RSL sat out the league schedule last weekend but had six players on international duty, and it won’t have all of them back Tuesday for an Open Cup match against Sounders 2. League play resumes Saturday at home against Sporting Kansas City, which tied RSL, 0-0, two months ago.
17. PHILADELPHIA (4-9-3), 18. The Union’s break from league play included a 1-0 defeat of affiliate club Reading United in which graduate Andrew Wenger scored the only goal and keeper John McCarthy, who has been bothered by concussion symptoms, returned to the nets. In the Open Cup, Philly plays Rochester, which is unbeaten in the USL this season, on Tuesday and then flies west to face the Galaxy.
18. CHICAGO (4-8-2), 17. The Fire fell at New England, 2-0, on goals conceded after Harry Shipp headed a good opportunity over the bar and Kennedy Igboananike’s follow-up of a rebound was saved. It has been outscored, 8-3, during its three-game losing streak and hasn’t shown the depth to cope with the international callups of David Accam, Shaun Maloney and Joevin Jones.
19. NEW YORK CITY FC (3-7-5), 20. His 15 minutes might not guarantee fame for Kwadwo Poku, yet in that span he set up Mix Diskerud for the winning goal and nailed the clincher himself. The more famous David Villa also tallied a goal and an assist as NYCFC won a second straight game for the first time by downing Montreal, 3-1.
20. COLORADO (2-4-8), 19. The Rapids go local for their Open Cup match Tuesday against Colorado Springs before hosting a third and final regular-season game against FC Dallas on Friday. FCD has supplied four of Colorado’s 14 points this season (4-0 victory, 1-1 tie) but won’t be intimated by the Rapids’ weak home record (1-3-3).