MLS Power Rankings: Rapids stay top

Colorado prevailed in Seattle, 1-0, to run its unbeaten streak to eight games and retain first place in the Soccer America MLS Power Rankings.

FC Dallas jumped ahead of the Galaxy into second place by winning, 4-2, at New England, and Philadelphia jumped two places by knocking off D.C. United, 1-0. The Union is unbeaten in its last five games and sits atop a very crowded Eastern Conference.

A 7-0 dismantling of derby rival New York City FC coupled with a 1-0 defeat of Chicago shot the Red Bulls up the rankings.

Week 12 Results:
May 18
Toronto FC 1, New York City FC 1. Highlights
New York Red Bulls 1, Chicago 0.  Highlights
May 20
Philadelphia 1, D.C. United 0.  Highlights
May 21
Seattle 0, Colorado 1.  Highlights
New England 2, FC Dallas 4.  Highlights
Sporting KC 1, Real Salt Lake 3.  Highlights
Toronto FC 0, Columbus 0.  Highlights
Chicago 1, Houston 0.  Highlights
Orlando City 2, Montreal 1.  Highlights
May 22
Portland 4, Vancouver 2.  Highlights
LA Galaxy 1, San Jose 1.  Highlights

The MLS Power Rankings are based only on MLS results. A team’s ranking includes its record (W-L-T) in parentheses and rank last week.

1. COLORADO (8-2-3), 1. The Sounders at home aren’t as formidable as they used to be, yet once again the Rapids prevailed with gritty defense and opportunistic finishing. Defender Marc Burch played the unlikely hero by delivering the corner kick Axel Sjoberg headed into the net and clearing a Clint Dempsey shot off the goal line, which was one of seven shots repelled by Colorado field players.

2. FC DALLAS (8-4-2), 3. Lacking evidence to the contrary it can be assumed FC is destined to be the streaky team of 2016. A dismantling of the Revs for a third straight win follows three straight losses that were preceded by a six-game unbeaten streak (win, win, tie, tie, win, win). Atiba Harris’ goal late in the first half tied the match, 2-2, Fabian Castillo chased a long ball over the top to slot the winner, and Tesho Akindele notched his second goal in the final minute.

3. LA GALAXY (5-1-5), 2. Deprived of a goal despite several good chances and a Giovani dos Santos rocket off the crossbar, L.A. took a 1-0 lead when for the second time this season a Sebastian Lletget cross produced an own goal. Just minutes later Gyasi Zardes lost his mark on a corner kick and bang went the equalizer into the net. Three of the last four games in a nine-game unbeaten run have been ties.

4. PHILADELPHIA (5-3-3), 6. A excellent save by Andre Blake kept United off the board and Richie Marquez knocked home a great Sebastien Le Toux cross in stoppage time to extend Philly’s unbeaten streak (five games). In the back started two rookies (Joseph Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry) who are 22 and Marquez, 23, a second-year player. Those young legs will be stretched this week when Philly travels to Orlando and then Colorado to play two games in four days.

5. VANCOUVER (6-6-2), 4. Defensive implosions doomed the Whitecaps at Providence Park. Transgressions by ex-Timber Pa Modou Kah yielded a pair of penalty kicks and a slip by Kendall Waston opened the door for Portland’s second goal. The Human Handful, Kekuta Manneh, scored with a deflected shot and Pedro Morales tucked away a late PK. The four-goal loss snapped a three-game win streak and ballooned the goals-allowed mark to 24, which is tied for the most in MLS.

6. SAN JOSE (5-3-4), 8. Midfielder Fatai Alashe’s knack for memorable goals -- he scored the first one at Avaya Stadium last year – came forth again when he equalized in the 87th minute at StubHub Center. Ex-Galaxian Chad Barrett made space on the left to deliver the cross Alashe headed home to cancel out a Marvell Wynne own goal registered just four minutes earlier. The Quakes don’t often dazzle but they’ve bounced back to tie or win after each of their three losses.

7. TORONTO FC (4-4-4), 5. Playing two teams lower in the standings at home wasn’t supposed to produce just one goal and two points. Clint Irwin posted his fifth shutout in the tie with Columbus and needed a goal-line clearance by Josh Williams to claim the zero. Williams played the ball that Will Johnson tapped in for the equalizer against NYCFC but despite some scything runs by Sebastian Giovinco TFC couldn’t notch that second goal and finished its first 2016 homestand at 1-1-2.

8. REAL SALT LAKE (6-3-2), 10. Three minutes after conceding a goal that cut its lead in half, RSL punched home the clincher when Kyle Beckerman won a ball in midfield and slid a pass that Yura Movsisyan dribbled and dinked over the keeper. Juan Martinez had scored the first goal after a slick sequence of passes and, as usual, Nick Rimando pulled off a couple of big saves. RSL’s five-game road swing continues with visits to Columbus and NYCFC.

9. MONTREAL (4-4-4), 7. No Didier Drogba (turf allergy) but a third=minute goal by Ignacio Piatti provided a great start that eventually fizzled out. (Only Piatti knows why he tried to chip the keeper from a sharp angle with two teammates haring through the goalmouth.) The Impact conceded goals late in each half and despite four straight ties, is winless in the last six games.

10. NY RED BULLS (5-7-1), 17. With authority! The Red Bulls crushed their city rivals three days after edging past Chicago with a Mike Grella goal set up by nice interplay between Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips, who notched two in the derby beatdown as did Dax McCarty. Not as gaudy as the final scoreline but more important is the fact NYRB has won four of its last six after losing four in a row.

11. ORLANDO CITY (3-3-5), 14. By breaking out of their slumbers Kaka and Cyle Larin powered the Lions to a comeback victory. The Brazilian notched his first assists since early April and Larin scored twice as many goals as he’d netted in the six previous games, none of which OCSC won. To set up the winner Kaka chested a throw-in to Julio Baptista and relayed the return pass to Larin crashing the far post (while perhaps a shade offside).

12. NEW YORK CITY (4-4-5), 9. After a 1-1 tie in Toronto on Wednesday NYFC showed the effects of a third game in seven days as well as confusion and panic in the face of pressure even though a few regulars were rested in Canada. Kwadwo Poku scored his first goal of 2016 in his third start and keeper Josh Saunders stopped six TFC shots. If team management wondered how a severe setback would test the resolve of NYCFC and its first-year head coach, such has been provided.

13. PORTLAND (4-6-3), 15. A strong effort by Jack McInerney in place of an injured Fanendo Adi helped the Timbers snap a three-game losing streak. Jack Mac drew an early PK that Diego Valeri converted and scored a second goal himself. Another PK by Dairon Asprilla and a majestic Darlington Nagbe free kick sealed the result.

14. SEATTLE (4-6-1), 11. A goal-line clearance denied Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris failed to convert two good opportunities as the Sounders lost their third home game of the season. (They lost only four games all of last year at C-link.) They play their next three on the road, where they are 0-3-1. 

15. D.C. UNITED (3-5-4), 12. The decisive goal occurred in the first minute of stoppage time when United left its back post exposed. Along with a heartbreaking loss, head coach Ben Olsen must deal with the behavior of DP Luciano Acosta, who upon being substituted in the 61st minute wagged a finger in Olsen’s direction and refused to shake his hand. United is 3-3-1 in its last seven games and can’t seem to generate any real momentum.

16. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (5-7-2), 13. Again, head coach Peter Vermes bemoaned errors that led to “bad goals” being conceded. RSL scored its first goal after a giveaway near the edge of SKC’s penalty area, and an off-target shot caromed off Brad Davis for a second goal. Another turnover led to a goal that cancelled out Dom Dwyer’s sixth of the season and hung SKC with its third loss in the last four games.

17. COLUMBUS (2-5-4), 16. Crew SC limited TFC to a season-low eight shots (two on goal) and got the road shutout though rookie midfielder Rodrigo Saravia had to step in at centerback when a hamstring injury forced Gaston Sauro out of the game before halftime. Without a centerback on the subs’ list, head coach Gregg Berhalter went to Savaria and Columbus scraped out its third straight tie.

18. CHICAGO (2-5-4), 20. A seven-game winless skid ended thanks to a third-minute goal from Arturo Alvarez, who raced onto a ball from Gilberto to notch his first Fire goal. Matt Lampson earned his third shutout and by conceding just one goal in two games Chicago stayed amongst the defensive leaders (13 goals allowed in 11 games). However, it also has scored the fewest goals, nine.

19. HOUSTON (3-7-2), 18. Ten minutes after he failed to intercept a ball that yielded Chicago’s goal, defender DaMarcus Beasley -- competing against his former MLS employer -- left the game when he apparently aggravated a previous injury. The Dynamo dominated possession (62.7 percent) but managed just three shots on goal and hasn’t won on the road since July of last year.

20. NEW ENGLAND (2-4-7), 19. Lee Nguyen led the Revs back from conceding an early goal by swerving a corner kick Juan Agudelo headed in for the equalizer, then winning and converting a penalty kick. But a goal conceded from a corner re-tied the game and centerback Sambinha’s scuffled clearance turned into the winning goal. Yet despite a bad run of one win in the last eight games, the Revs are just one point out of the playoff tier.
1 comment about " MLS Power Rankings: Rapids stay top".
  1. Doug Kieffer, May 24, 2016 at 11:42 a.m.

    Fire keeper on Saturday was Sean Johnson.

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